Sir Mark Todd Allowed To Resume Training After Two Months' Suspension - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report
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Sir Mark Todd Allowed To Resume Training After Two Months’ Suspension

Todd, pictured during a warm-up session at the 2014 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event

Sir Mark Todd began serving an interim suspension imposed by the British Horseracing Authority on Feb. 16, after a video went viral on social media, showing him striking a horse with a tree branch after the animal balks at a water obstacle. On Thursday, April 14, an independent BHA disciplinary panel imposed a suspension of four months, with two months deferred. If Todd has no breaches during the next two months, the second two months of his suspension will disappear.

Since he has already served two months' suspension during the interim period, Todd is allowed to resume training immediately.

“We are grateful to the Disciplinary Panel for their time in considering this case and acknowledge the penalty handed down this afternoon,” the BHA said in a statement. “As Sir Mark has himself recognized in public statements since the video emerged and in accepting that he was in breach of Rule (J)19 [conduct prejudicial to the good reputation of horseracing], his behavior on this occasion fell short of the standard expected of all licensed individuals and ran contrary to the values of care and respect for the horse that underpin British racing.”

Todd, 65, is best known for his career as a professional eventer but stopped riding event horses professionally in 2019 to train racehorses and maintains a yard in Wiltshire.

A native New Zealander, Todd won Olympic gold twice in eventing in the 1980s, and has a total of five Olympic medals. He has won the Badminton Horse Trials three times and Burghley five times. He retired from the upper levels of eventing once in 2000 before returning in 2008. In the interim, he trained racehorses in New Zealand, including Group 1 winners Bramble Rose and Willy Smith.

Todd told Horse & Hound: “It's been a very tough two months, particularly on my family and myself. I would also like to express huge thanks to my family and my staff, and especially the owners who have supported me and stayed with me through all this, and also to the many people who have sent messages and letters of support throughout the period.

“I am looking forward to doing what I enjoy doing best, caring for horses and getting out there and winning more races.”

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