Sports Digest: Equestrian champ gets training license suspended for hitting on horseback

EQUESTRIAN

Mark Todd, a two-time Olympic equestrian champion and now notable racehorse trainer, has temporarily lost his training license pending an investigation into a video showing him hitting a horse with a limb.

The British Horseracing Authority imposed the provisional suspension on the 65-year-old New Zealander on Wednesday, saying it prevented him from racing horses in Britain or abroad. In a video posted to social media, Todd is seen repeatedly punching a horse that refused to jump into the water during a training clinic in 2020.

Todd accepted the suspension, the BHA said, having already admitted to being the individual in the footage and apologizing. Todd is one of New Zealand’s most famous Olympians. He competed in seven Summer Games from 1984 to 2016, winning eventing gold medals in 1984 and 1988 as well as three bronze medals.

He was knighted in the New Zealand New Year Honors in 2013 and has since become a racehorse trainer.

Todd has stepped down as boss of World Horse Welfare over the incident, which comes a week after Premier League footballer Kurt Zouma was fined and lost a sponsorship deal with Adidas for animal abuse . Zouma was filmed kicking and slapping his cat.

PREPARATORY SCHOOLS

BOYS HOCKEY: Michael Belleau and Cooper St. Hilaire each had a goal and an assist, and Aidan Farion stopped 20 shots as North Yarmouth Academy beat Berwick Academy 4-2 in Dover, New Hampshire.

Nathanel Peretz scored his league-leading 29th goal of the season and Nolan Pecora also scored for NYA.

DIFFUSION

BARKLEY PLANS TO RETIRE: It looks like Charles Barkley is sticking to his plan to step down from TNT when his contract expires. During a conference call on Tuesday, Barkley said he has two years left on his contract, which will run until the end of the 2024 season. After that, it’s goodbye television, so the former big NBA can spend more time playing golf.

“I just don’t feel the need to work until the day I die,” Barkley said. “I’ll be 61 if I finish my contract, and I don’t want to die on TV – I want to die on the golf course or somewhere fishing. I don’t want to sit next to old (expletive) Shaq and drop dead.

Barkley joined TNT in 2000 after retiring from the NBA and considered retiring on several occasions. In 2019, Barkley said he was seriously considering quitting his role on TNT’s popular “Inside the NBA” before his contract expired.

Barkley’s comments come as he and longtime TNT colleagues Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Shaq prepare to host an alternate broadcast of Sunday’s NBA All-Star game on TBS in the style of the popular Manningcast of ESPN.

“We have no idea what we’re doing on Sunday, to be honest with you,” Barkley said Tuesday. “We’re just going to go on TV and have fun like we normally do.”

GOLF

RAHM HONORED: Jon Rahm was voted European Tour Player of the Year for the second time in three seasons on Wednesday.

The top-ranked Spaniard won the 2021 award after a year in which he won his first major tournament – the US Open – and spent 27 weeks at No. Europe in the Ryder Cup, with 3½ of its five matches and finished in the top eight in the other three major tournaments.

Rahm, the 2019 Tour’s Player of the Year, also received the new Seve Ballesteros award after a vote by his fellow pros.

“It’s very unique to be recognized by your peers like this,” Rahm said. “It’s a real honor to be able to win this award for the second time.”

SOCCER

SPAIN LIFTS RESTRICTIONS: Spanish health authorities have decided to allow football stadiums and other sports venues to return to full capacity, Health Minister Carolina Darias said on Wednesday.

Restrictions limiting fan attendance will be fully lifted on March 4 as the latest wave of the pandemic caused by the omicron variant subsides.

Spain closed its football stadiums to the public last season as this campaign started with stadiums at 60% capacity. He allowed a full siege in October, only to drop it to 75% in late December when the more contagious omicron strain sent infections skyrocketing.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: After 75 minutes of caution – even boredom – the quality and pressure of six-time European champions Liverpool eventually led to a 2-0 victory over Inter Milan in the round of 16.

Roberto Firmino drifted near the far post to eye a header from Andy Robertson. A free-kick also produced the second goal in the 83rd minute after Virgil van Dijk nodded from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s free-kick and Mohamed Salah was started unmarked in the center to fire low into the net.

• Kingsley Coman scored late to save Bayern Munich’s 1-1 draw at Salzburg in the round of 16.

Bayern, who came from behind to win 6-2 in their previous trip to Salzburg in the group stage last season, were forced to do it again after Chukwubuike Adamu’s 21st-minute opener for the Austrian champions.


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