Double Olympic gold medallist event rider Sir Mark Todd allegedly hit a horse with a branch ten times to make it go through a water obstacle, a social media video claims.
The footage, which is believed to be two years old and has recently resurfaced online, allegedly shows the New Zealand horseman, 65, repeatedly smacking a horse with what appeared to be a stick.
The clip, shared to TikTok this week by horse rider Chloe T, shows a horse being hit by a man, alleged to be Sir Mark, as it refused to cross a water obstacle.
The horse jumps from side to side, but still doesn’t move forwards through the water obstacle, and the animal is hit ten times before jumping into the puddle, the footage shows.
Video footage, which is believed to be two years old and has now resurfaced on social media, allegedly shows Sir Mark Todd repeatedly smacking a horse with a stick
People can then be heard cheering as the horse trots through the pool of water. It is not known where the footage was taken.
Commenting on the clip, social media users slammed the alleged whipping as ‘abusive’ and ‘unacceptable’.
A caption read: ‘After seeing the full video anyone is still indecisive over there stance on this, IT IS abusive and IT IS unacceptable.’
Some viewers pointed out it could have been a dressage or lunge whip rather than a branch.
Meanwhile, equine and farm supply company Equiwarehouse shared the video to its Facebook page and said it would no longer be selling any Mark Todd products in response.
The company wrote: ‘With no regret at all, we will no longer be selling any Mark Todd clothing, horse wear or feed.
‘Mark Todd Eventing you should be utterly ashamed of yourself, vile ‘professional’ and disgrace of a human.’
Meanwhile, other social media users were quick to slam the alleged whipping as ‘heartbreaking’ and ‘disgusting’.
The horse jumps from side to side, but still doesn’t move forwards through the water obstacle, and the animal is hit ten times before jumping into the water, the footage shows
Sir Mark (pictured in 2010), who is one of New Zealand’s most celebrated sportspeople, retired from riding in 2019 to relocate back to New Zealand and focus on training horses
Taking to TikTok, one person wrote: ‘Absolutely heartbreaking to watch, i’m so sorry you both had to go though that.’
Another said: ‘I literally can’t even watch this. i have to pause it every time.’
A third commented: ‘That’s awful! I’m so sorry your horse had to go through that.’
And a fourth penned: ‘That is no way to treat any animal.’
When asked if she had sent the footage to the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI), poster Chloe said she was ‘scared of backlash’.
It is not known if the alleged incident has been reported to the sports governing body.
Sir Mark began his successful 22-year career as an event and show jumping rider after realising he was too tall to achieve his dream becoming a jockey.
His achievements include winning two Olympic gold medals at the Los Angeles and the Seoul Games, and taking the top spot at the World Championships in 1990 and 1998.
The esteemed rider, who was voted Rider of the 20th century by the International Federation for Equestrian Sports, has also won the Badminton Horse Trials four times and Burghley five times.
Sir Mark (pictured in 2017) began his successful 22-year career as an event and show jumping rider after realising he was too tall to achieve his dream becoming a jockey
His achievements include winning two Olympic gold medals at the Games in Los Angeles (pictured riding Charisma during the Games) and Seoul
He also competed at the Summer 2012 Olympics, becoming New Zealand’s second oldest Olympian to compete at the Games.
Sir Mark also went on to compete at the 2016 Olympics, which saw him set another record, becoming the first New Zealander to compete at seven Olympic Games.
During his legendary career, he earned a reputation for being able to achieve champion performances on unfamiliar horses.
Sir Mark, who is one of New Zealand’s most celebrated sportspeople, retired from riding in 2019 to relocate back to New Zealand and focus on training horses.
He also owns a boutique training yard, Mark Todd Racing, in Wiltshire, which currently has 15 horses in training.
The former Olympic champion also founded the Mark Todd collection, an equestrian and country brand which sells horse wear, clothing, tack and grooming supplies.
Sir Mark is married to Carolyn Berry and has two children, Lauren and James. He separated from Carolyn in 2009 before the pair remarried in 2014.
Sir Mark and his wife Carolyn have also been involved in breeding horses, including Tahamkke, a multiple racehorse champion in South Korea, and champions The Duke and Mexican Rose.
MailOnline has contacted Sir Mark’s representatives, Mark Todd Racing, the FEI, British Equestrian and the British Horse Society for comment.
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk