Equestrian: NZ Olympic great Sir Mark Todd apologises after social media video emerges of horse being whipped with stick

NZ Olympic great Sir Mark Todd has apologised for a social media video of him beating a horse.

In a video posted to TikTok, a man alleged to be double Olympic gold medallist Sir Mark is seen striking a horse repeatedly with a stick, after it stops in front of a water obstacle.

The original video, which has since been deleted and replaced by a shorter clip, was captioned, "After seeing the full video, anyone is still indecisive over there [sic] stance on this, IT IS abusive and IT IS unacceptable", by TikTok user chloet.eventing.

The footage shown in the post is understood to be two years old.

In a statement to UK outlet The Express, Sir Mark has apologised for his actions.

"One of the main things I preach is about establishing a mutual respect between horse and rider, and that patience and kindness is the best way to get results," Sir Mark says.

"I believe this is one of the main attributes, along with a great empathy with animals, that has enabled me to have a long and successful career in eventing.

"I am very disappointed in myself that I did not adhere to that in this case."

Sir Mark, 65, was the first New Zealander to compete at seven Olympic Games, winning five medals.

He represented New Zealand at the Olympics eight times, and missed only Athens 2004 between 1984-2016.

He won individual gold at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and again at the 1988 Seoul Games, both riding horse Charisma.

Sir Mark also won team bronze at Seoul 1988, Sydney 2000 and London 2012, and retired from competition in 2019.