Mark Todd steps down as World Horse Welfare boss after viral video

  • Two-time Olympic eventing champion Mark Todd has resigned as patron of World Horse Welfare after a video emerged showing him hitting a horse with a tree branch. The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) said it was “reviewing” the footage.

    Last week, a horsewoman posted a clip on TikTok as chloet.eventing, which was allegedly recorded at a clinic in 2020. She then posted a longer video on Instagram. Footage showed the horse refusing to jump a step in the water and Mark Todd hitting him multiple times with a branch. He also gave verbal encouragement to the horse and instructions to the rider.

    A longer video shared on YouTube shows the horse trotting twice through the water going down a slope and up a small step, then hesitating before jumping off the small step into the water as Mark gives instructions and waves the branch behind the horse. It then shows the horse jumping off the smaller step with more confidence, before refusing to jump off the larger step.

    A World Horse Welfare spokesperson described the horse’s treatment as ‘disturbing and unacceptable’, and added that to Mark’s ‘credit’ when the video caught his attention he contacted the charity and voluntarily resigned from his role as World Horse. Patron of well-being.

    “There is no place in the horse-human partnership for such a use of force. Mark agrees his behavior was wrong and we welcome his apology. Mark is an accomplished rider, who cares deeply about horses and people. their well-being but, in this case, either by losing patience or acting out of frustration, he has let himself down badly,” the spokesperson said.

    “We all have to take this episode into account. If equestrian sport, which we actively support, is to continue to maintain public acceptance – its social license – there can be no tolerance for unacceptable practices, regardless of the experience of the rider or trainer.

    Mark, who has won six Olympic medals, announced his retirement from eventing for the second time in 2019 and is now focusing on training racehorses. A BHA spokesperson said the footage had “rightly provoked anger and anger” within the equestrian community and beyond, and that the BHA was “investigating the incident”.

    “His behavior, for which he apologized, fell far short of the standard of care that we expect of those made redundant and which we know are provided to the overwhelming majority of horses in training in Great Britain every day. Britain,” he said.

    An RSPCA spokesman said H&H the charity was ‘aware’ of the incident, but received information suggesting it happened in another country (Scotland).

    Mike Flynn, Scottish Chief Superintendent of the SPCA, said H&H the way the horse was treated is “totally inappropriate”.

    He added: “In Scotland, animal welfare cases are statute barred. This means that any evidence must be less than six months old when it is submitted to the tax attorney. This video is older than that so we have no reason to act.

    A spokesperson for British Eventing said the organization was “aware” of the footage.

    “We are disappointed with the content and would like to emphasize that we consider the welfare of horses to be paramount in all that we do and that we expect our members, as well as the equestrian community at large, to defend the same values,” he said.

    British Horse Society welfare director Gemma Stanford said the welfare of horses should always be “paramount”.

    “Runners at this level have an increased responsibility as they are role models and should also set an example for the next generation who come through our sport,” she said. “The behavior displayed by Mark Todd was totally unacceptable and should be thoroughly investigated.”

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