Olympic great Mark Todd loses training license after incident with horse

Mark Todd, a two-time Olympic equestrian champion and now notable racehorse trainer, has temporarily lost his training license pending an investigation into a video showing him hitting a horse with a limb.

The British Horseracing Authority yesterday imposed the provisional suspension on the 65-year-old New Zealander, saying it prevented him from racing horses in Britain or abroad.

In a video posted to social media, Todd is seen repeatedly punching a horse that refused to jump into the water during a training clinic in 2020.

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The behavior was described as “absolutely disgusting” on social media and sparked widespread outrage.

Todd accepted the suspension, the BHA said, having already admitted to being the individual in the footage and apologizing.

“One of the main things I preach is to establish mutual respect between horse and rider and that patience and kindness are the best way to get results,” Todd said in his own statement.

“I believe this is one of the main attributes with a great empathy with animals that has allowed me to have a long and successful career in eventing.

“I’m very disappointed that I didn’t buy into that in this case.”

Todd is one of New Zealand’s most famous Olympians. He competed in seven Summer Games from 1984 to 2016, winning eventing gold medals in 1984 and 1988 as well as three bronze medals.

He was knighted in the New Zealand New Year Honors in 2013 and has since become a racehorse trainer.

Todd stepped down from his role as patron of World Horse Welfare over the incident.

The incident came a week after English Premier League footballer Kurt Zouma was fined and lost a sponsorship deal with Adidas for animal abuse. Zouma was filmed kicking and slapping his cat.

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