This is the moment a huntsman appears to lash out with his whip after being surrounded by chanting protesters.
The aggrieved horse rider was approached by a group of hunt saboteurs at his private airfield in Church Fenton, North Yorkshire, on Saturday.
Liverpool Hunt Sabs said they entered Leeds East Airport to monitor a meeting of the Badsworth & Bramham Moor Hunt to ensure no illegal hunting was taking place.
They claim a rider ordered them off the former RAF base then launched an unprovoked assault on one of their members as they were trying to leave.
The huntsman denies attacking anybody with his riding crop.
Video released by the animal rights group today shows a mounted huntsman riding towards a group of saboteurs.
Suddenly, he appears to raise his whip and strike a man over the head with it.
Circling them with his horse, he says: ‘You’re on private land, out.’
As the sabs start backing away towards the exit, the huntsman then appears to ride into the same man, shoving him to the tarmac.
He is helped to his feet by a fellow sab, and a woman shouts: ‘Oh, my God. What’s wrong with you?’
Pointing at the protesters with his riding crop, he replies: ‘Get off the private land. I own the place, you’re not coming in. Out of the gate.’
They stand their ground in the driveway and the huntsman rides at them, shouting: ‘I am the landowner. Now get off of my land.’
A female protester says: ‘Your poor horse, being used as a weapon. See what kind of a person you are already, the way he’s treating that horse.’
He responds: ‘Nothing wrong with the horse. Look, I’ll show you.’
He then rides out of the gate again, driving the sabs back.
The woman says: ‘Look at him. Petrified. Do you not think you’re stressing out your horse?’
He rides away, saying: ‘No, I’m not. Lovely horse.’
Leeds East Airport said in a statement: ‘Mr Makin was taking part in a lawful trail hunt on Saturday, January 27, when a significant number of unidentifiable people wearing balaclavas trespassed onto private land where the hunt was gathering.
‘The land is part of Leeds East Airport, an active airport with significant safety regulations. The trespassers sought both to disrupt the hunt and to create further disruption by accessing parts of the operational airport land.
‘Understandably in the circumstances, Mr Makin requested that those individuals leave that private property. At no time did Mr Makin strike any protester with his riding crop.’
Liverpool Hunt Saboteurs said in a statement: ‘We attended the meet with West Yorkshire Hunt Saboteurs and Sheffield Hunt Saboteurs to ensure no illegal hunting was taking place. Upon arrival we located the hunt inside the grounds of Leeds East Airport. We went into the grounds because we needed to see if hounds were present at the meeting.
‘A rider approached us and immediately began riding his horse into saboteurs. He then attacked one saboteur by striking him with his riding whip then proceeded to ride into him, knocking him to the ground and causing him to sustain injuries to his arm and foot.
‘At no point would we have tried to access any part of the operational airport land.
‘Violence against saboteurs is increasing and since the inaction of Sussex Police regarding Jane Goring – filmed hitting a saboteur with a whip 17 times – hunt riders have been given a green light by police to use their whips as weapons on saboteurs, knowing no action will be taken.’
North Yorkshire Police told MailOnline: ‘Police were contacted at 11.58am on Saturday to reports of an assault in Church Fenton near Tadcaster.
‘Police attended and are conducting enquiries to determine the circumstances around the incident. No arrests were made.’
A spokesman for Badsworth & Bramham Moor Hounds said: ‘The Badsworth & Bramham Moor Hounds operate within the law to comply with the Hunting Act 2004. The hunt does not condone violence or unlawful activity, even in the face of extreme provocation.
‘We are regularly confronted by balaclava-clad animal rights activists who deliberately enter private property and we endeavour to remove them lawfully and peacefully in order that we may continue our lawful activities without interruption.
‘We welcome a number of children and adults for whom this is their leisure activity and they are regularly intimidated by these individuals who target us.’
Note: Chris Makin is the managing director of Makin Enterprises which owns Leeds East Airport at Church Fenton.
Source : Mail Online