Skip to Content

Sir Mark Todd Suspended by BHA After Whipping Horse With Branch

Sir Mark Todd Suspended by BHA After Whipping Horse With Branch

Our readers support us. This post may contain affiliate links. We earn from qualifying purchases. Learn More

Olympian eventer Sir Mark Todd is facing a suspension on his training license from the British Horseracing Authority (BHA).

The suspension comes after Todd came under fire for a social media video that shows him hitting a horse with a branch.

In the viral video, Todd hits the horse with a branch multiple times after the horse refuses to go across a water jump.

The incident happened in 2020 at a training clinic that the five-time Olympic medalist was hosting.

Training Turmoil

Mark todd hitting a horse with branch

With two Olympic gold medals under his belt, along with three bronze medals, Todd is a famous horse rider in the equestrian world. In addition to his career as an eventer, Todd is also a racehorse trainer.

The New Zealand native has long been respected for his many accomplishments, including winning the Rider of the 20th century by the International Federation for Equestrian Sports. In 2013, he even received his knighthood for his services to equestrian sport.

However, Todd’s reputation is now in hot water after British eventer Chloe Terrell posted a video of Todd hitting her horse.

After initially posting the video to Tik Tok, Terrell posted a longer version of the incident on Instagram.

In the nearly two-long minute video, Terrell is schooling her horse under the guidance of Todd. At first, Todd uses the branch to make noise in order to encourage the horse to move forward. However, he then progresses to using the branch to repeatedly hit the horse after it balks at the water obstacle.

Here is the video below. Note, the main controversy starts at 1:25 in the video:

Also Read: 9 Interesting Facts About Mark Todd

Suspension From Racing

Upon learning of the incident, The Chair of British racing’s Independent Judicial Panel approved an application from the BHA for an interim suspension on Todd’s training license.

The interim suspension means that Todd is not allowed to race horses in Great Britain or internationally while the investigation continues.

Todd has agreed to the imposition of an interim suspension and has since apologized regarding the matter.

“I wholeheartedly apologize to the horse and all involved for my actions in this video clip. 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, ” said Todd.

Mark Todd, famous horse rider

Upon posting the clip, Terrell has received lots of feedback, including backlash regarding the situation.

“Since posting the initial edited clip on TikTok I personally have received a lot of negativity and insults and abuse. That is something that comes with being active on social media. Since receiving backlash for the length of time since this clip was taken, for the sake of transparency, this was a clip from a training clinic in 2020.

“Whether I have rightly or wrongly addressed a situation on social media is not relevant to the fact that a top level athlete excessively and repeatedly hit my horse with a tree branch. I personally am not comfortable with how my horse was treated and at the time I was a 21-year-old girl who was not brave enough to speak up about my concerns,” Terrell went on to say.

In addition to his apology, Todd has also stepped down from his patron role for World Horse Welfare.

Though the BHA is unable to comment on details of the investigation until it is concluded, they will provide further updates as necessary when possible.

Also Read: 9 Interesting Facts About Mark Todd