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Todd issues apology after striking horse in social media video

Sir Mark Todd has apologised after a video emerged on social media of him striking a horse with a branch.

The trainer was a highly successful three-day eventer prior to taking out his licence, winning two Olympic gold medals in 1984 and 1988 for New Zealand and earning a knighthood in 2013 for his equestrian achievements.

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, whose most prominent horse is training is King Edward VII Stakes runner-up Tasman Bay, said in a statement: “I wholeheartedly apologise 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.”

When approached for comment, the British Horseracing Authority said: “The BHA is aware of the reports and video and is looking into it.”

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