A teenage girl’s complaints about harassment by masked “hunt monitors” have caused a storm of vitriol on a local newspaper website.
Kitty Gibson, 18, who has hunted with the Crawley and Horsham for seven seasons, wrote a piece detailing intimidation by antis towards children and adults for the Horsham District Post.
She described the meet on 5 January, when 30 masked saboteurs were aggressive and disruptive throughout the day. They blocked a jump the field was trying to negotiate.
“If a masked gang carrying sticks, blowing horns and shouting abuse was to rampage through Horsham town centre, there would be outrage,” Kitty pointed out.
“When the same thing happens in a field near Shipley, why then is it seemingly tolerated and ignored?”
But her piece, which was published in the paper and online, prompted outraged comments from antis on the paper’s website and angry replies in support of Kitty.
Matthew Wheeler, of The Post, told H&H: “We received an unprecedented and unmanageable level of comments online, which became increasingly offensive.
“We cannot allow our site to become a forum on which various parties write hateful comments or express their dislike for one another.”
A number of violent attacks have recently been made upon hunts in Derbyshire and South Yorkshire (news, 17 January).
This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (31 January, 2013)