Clash between landowner and hunt saboteurs

This footage shows the moment a landowner on horseback was involved in an ugly confrontation with a group of hunt saboteurs.

In the video a man, believed to be George Winn-Darley, the owner of Spaunton Moor, a 7,000-acre estate in North Yorkshire, repeatedly shouts ‘go back to the highway’ while leading his horse at activists.

The West Yorkshire Hunt saboteurs were on the estate as they claimed to have seen a fox fleeing a hunt group minutes before the incident unfolded on Saturday.

The video showed the landowner appearing to lead his horse at the West Yorkshire saboteurs

The video showed the landowner appearing to lead his horse at the West Yorkshire saboteurs

The video showed the landowner appearing to lead his horse at the West Yorkshire saboteurs

In the video a man, believed to be George Winn-Darley, the owner of Spaunton Moor, a 7,000-acre estate in North Yorkshire, repeatedly shouts 'go back to the highway' at the activists

In the video a man, believed to be George Winn-Darley, the owner of Spaunton Moor, a 7,000-acre estate in North Yorkshire, repeatedly shouts 'go back to the highway' at the activists

In the video a man, believed to be George Winn-Darley, the owner of Spaunton Moor, a 7,000-acre estate in North Yorkshire, repeatedly shouts ‘go back to the highway’ at the activists

The man thought to be Mr Winn-Darley, a member of the Moorland Association for the North York Moors, was seen astride his horse whose head clashed with a saboteur.

While screaming ‘go back, go back’ he appeared to kick another in the stomach. 

One of the masked activists could be heard shouting: ‘Hey, that’s assault – you could very easily kill him with that horse…calm down we’re going.’

As the landowner continued to push the saboteurs back with his horse he said: ‘It’s not assault, it’s reasonable force.’

The man thought to be Mr Winn-Darley, a member of the Moorland Association for the North York Moors, was seen astride his horse whose head clashes with a saboteur

The man thought to be Mr Winn-Darley, a member of the Moorland Association for the North York Moors, was seen astride his horse whose head clashes with a saboteur

The man thought to be Mr Winn-Darley, a member of the Moorland Association for the North York Moors, was seen astride his horse whose head clashes with a saboteur

Violent clashes between hunters and saboteurs have become increasingly frequent as hunt protests are now often recorded and the footage circulated on social media.

Foxhunting was banned in 2004 but trail hunts for artificial scents remain legal. But hunt saboteurs believe trail hunts are a pretext to hunt foxes.

Bret Pocock, 39, was one of the group from the West Yorkshire Hunt saboteurs who were on the Spaunton Moor estate on Saturday.

He claimed the group had seen a fox fleeing a hunt group ten minutes before the incident.

He said they were voice calling and spraying citronella to put hounds off the scent of the fox.

Mr Pocock claimed he was headbutted by the landowner’s horse in the video.

Violent clashes between hunters and saboteurs have become increasingly frequent as hunt protests are now often recorded and the footage circulated on social media

Violent clashes between hunters and saboteurs have become increasingly frequent as hunt protests are now often recorded and the footage circulated on social media

Violent clashes between hunters and saboteurs have become increasingly frequent as hunt protests are now often recorded and the footage circulated on social media

He said: ‘It was quite scary because the guy seemed like he had lost the plot to me.

‘He was behaving in a very dangerous manner. He was holding a whip as well and seemed completely out of control.

‘It was one of the craziest situations I have seen in my several years as a hunt saboteur.

‘I found it extremely intimidating to be ridden at by someone on a horse while not being able to move – what he was doing was incredibly dangerous.

‘The fact is we were about to leave his land when he told us to – but he kept riding his horse at us and we could not go anywhere.’

He said the incident came to an end when the saboteurs retreated to a main road nearby.

Mr Pocock said: ‘It’s not just animal protection activists who have been shocked by this.

‘Horse riders are not happy with the way the horse appeared distressed.’

A spokesman for The Moorland Association said the organisation had no connection with foxhunting so it would not be appropriate to comment on the video.

MailOnline have contacted Mr Winn-Darley for a response. 

North Yorkshire Police have also been approached for a comment.  

The West Yorkshire Hunt saboteurs were on the estate as they claimed to have seen a fox fleeing a hunt group minutes before the incident unfolded on Saturday

The West Yorkshire Hunt saboteurs were on the estate as they claimed to have seen a fox fleeing a hunt group minutes before the incident unfolded on Saturday

The West Yorkshire Hunt saboteurs were on the estate as they claimed to have seen a fox fleeing a hunt group minutes before the incident unfolded on Saturday

Last month the West Yorkshire Hunt saboteurs had rocks hurled at them by masked yobs on a quad bike.

Two rocks collided with the saboteurs’ windscreen before the balaclava-clad men sped off from the scene in North Yorkshire.

During that incident they had been protesting against the Badsworth and Bramham Moor Hunt.   

The video emerged on the same day as footage of a huntswoman whipping a saboteurs during an event by the East Sussex & Romney Marsh Hunt Club. 

Richard Goring, 79, later identified his wife Jane Miller, 56, as the rider who was filmed in the furious clash with anti-hunt activists. 

He claimed she had been provoked by a balaclava-clad ‘hooligan’ and was ‘very scared at being surround by a load of terrorists’.

 

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