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Olympic champion Sir Mark Todd suspended by racing authorities for whipping horse ten times


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Sir Mark Todd has been given an interim suspension by the British Horseracing Authority in response to a viral social media clip.

The footage, which was on TikTok at the weekend, saw the former Olympian strike a horse with a branch.

The 65-year-old, who apologised for his actions, retired from eventing and became a racehorse trainer.

But for now he will be prevented from having runners in Britain or ireland, following the move from the BHA.

A BHA statement read: “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.”
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The horse in the video clip, shared widely on social media, was reluctant to cross a water obstacle.

Todd’s actions were widely criticised and led to him stepping down from his role with World Horse Welfare.

The RSPCA received information about the video, while a spokesperson for the FEI said the world governing body for sports including eventing and dressage was “disappointed and alarmed” by it.

“This is not acceptable behaviour and it goes against everything we stand for and the values we encourage and expect from all horsemen and horsewomen,” they added.

Todd, who had 13 winners on racecourses in 2021, issued an apology “to the horse and all involved.”

“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,” he added.

“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.”

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