A confrontation between an English hunting club and activists against hunting took a bizarre twist as a woman rider was caught on camera using her riding crop to whip a masked man who was trying to grab onto her reins.
The clash took place between the Brighton Hunt Saboteurs and East Sussex & Romney Marsh Hunt Club on Saturday at the Pevensey Marshes. The video footage of the confrontation was posted on the Facebook page of the Saboteurs and quickly went viral.
The Saboteurs say the rider struck 17 times with her crop and charged at them with her horse, the Daily Mail reported.
Sussex police are asking for any witnesses to come forward.
A police spokesman said in a statement:
A third-party report of an assault has been made after a man was allegedly struck with a riding crop by a horse rider in Herstmonceux on Saturday.
The incident happened in a field off Church Road around 12.30 p.m. The victim was reported to have received a bruise and bump to the head, but did not require medical treatment.
The informant was not a witness to the incident, but police have now identified the alleged victim and an investigation is under way. Police are aware of a video reportedly showing the incident being available on social media.
The video shows the woman on the horse yelling at the man to “get back on the road.” She then seems to direct her horse toward a man recording the scene, pushing him back several feet. Then a second masked man moves in front of the horse and grabs hold of the bridle.
That spurs the woman to yell, “Get off my horse, get off my horse,” as she continuously strikes the man, who tries to shield his face while still holding onto the horse. He’s heard screaming, “Stop using it as a weapon!”
Another man shows up and pushes aside the masked man while shouting, “Get off the f*****g horse. Don’t grab f*****g horses.”
“A second clip then appears to show the same woman charging her horse at the saboteurs from behind,” the Mail reported.
Brighton Hunt Saboteurs say they were the victims of an unprovoked attack while trying to make sure no illegal hunting took place. They claim the woman simply “lost the plot.”
A spokesman for the East Sussex & Romney Marsh Hunt Club said: “We do not condone any form of violence even when faced with extreme provocation, personal harassment and other offenses.”