SIR Mark Todd has been allowed to resume training racehorses after serving a two-month interim suspension following the airing in February of a video clip which showed him using a branch to hit a horse to enter water at an eventing training camp in Scotland. The incident took place in August 2020 and while racehorses were not involved, Todd was charged with bringing racing into disrepute by his actions as a public figure.
He immediately apologised for his actions and stepped down as a patron of World Horse Welfare.
During its investigations into the incident, the BHA saw the full video which shows the horse trotting in and out of the water moments before the branch was used on the horse to enter the water again from a higher bank.
On viewing the full video, the BHA was satisfied that the horse was not stressed and its welfare was not compromised. An inspection of Todd’s racing yard also produced no equine welfare concerns.
On Thursday, Todd and his legal team told the BHA Disciplinary Panel that having to wait for a full hearing of his case in May, at the earliest, was having a major impact on Todd’s business and staff. A discussion between the two sides saw some common ground and the BHA took the unusual step of issuing a penalty without the need for a contested hearing. Todd was given a four-month suspension with two months deferred. As he has served eight weeks, Todd can resume training. Provided there is no further transgression in the next two months, the remaining two months will be cancelled.