Sir Mark Todd has licence suspended after hitting horse with tree branch repeatedly
Todd was a highly successful three-day eventer before taking out his training licence, winning two Olympic gold medals in 1984 and 1988
Sir Mark Todd has received an interim suspension of his horse training licence after a video emerged of the former Olympian striking a horse with a tree branch.
The interim licence suspension was confirmed by the British Horseracing Authority.
In the video, Todd appears to be teaching a cross-country schooling session where one rider is struggling to get a horse into the water jump, with the trainer then brandishing a branch and striking the horse several times on the hindquarters. Todd later apologised for his actions.
Todd was a highly successful three-day eventer before taking out his training licence, winning two Olympic gold medals in 1984 and 1988 for New Zealand and earning a knighthood in 2013 for his equestrian achievements.
In a statement released on Wednesday morning, the BHA said: “The Chair of British racing’s Independent Judicial Panel has today approved an application from the BHA that an interim suspension should be placed on the training licence of Sir Mark Todd following the emergence over the weekend of a video showing him striking a horse with what appears to be a branch.
“This interim suspension means that while investigations continue into the circumstances of this incident, Sir Mark will be unable to race horses in Great Britain or internationally.
“The trainer has admitted the individual involved in the video was him, has apologised for his actions and agreed to the imposition of an interim suspension.
“On Sunday the BHA condemned the video and confirmed that it was looking into the incident.
“The BHA will provide further updates as necessary in due course, though will not be able to comment on the detail of the investigation itself until it is concluded.
“The interim suspension has been approved on the basis that it can be reviewed at a later date if necessary, on application by either party.”
In a statement Sir Mark Todd apologised for his actions, saying:
“One of the main things I preach is about establishing a mutual respect between horse and rider and that patience and kindness is the best way to get results.
“I believe this is one of the main attributes along with a great empathy with animals that has enabled me to have a long and successful career in eventing.
“I am very disappointed in myself that I did not adhere to that in this case.”