Police investigate hunting clash

  • Police are investigating claims that a master of the Old Surrey Burstow with West Kent Foxhounds was dragged from his horse by anti-hunt protesters while out hunting on Saturday (24 January).

    Graeme Worsley was out hunting with his wife and two young children when the incident occurred in West Peckham near Tonbridge. Three hunt saboteurs are alleged to have approached the hunt master’s children and issued threats. Graeme and his wife Georgina were attempting to prevent the verbal abuse when Graeme was pulled from his horse by two of the protesters, pulling the horse over with him.

    When Georgina Worsley jumped from her horse to rush to her husband’s assistance, the two horses escaped, bolting onto the busy A20. They were eventually caught an hour-and-a-half later, 10 miles away.

    A Hunt Saboteurs Association (HSA) spokesperson issued a statement dismissing these claims as “lies” and said: “Hunt saboteurs are motivated by compassion for animals and are present to prevent harm to animals.”

    The HSA has alleged that Mr Worsley “was trying to whip protesters when his horse reared up. He lost his balance and fell off. He then carried on to attack saboteurs joined by other members of the hunt.”

    Graeme Worsley was quick to refute these allegations, and has challenged the HSA to produce the video evidence of the incident, which it claims to have in its possession.

    Mr Worsley told HHO: “I challenge them to come out from behind their balaclavas, and if they are alleging assault, submit the allegation with video evidence to the police. If such a video exists, it will serve to prove that at no stage did I retaliate to this violent attack.”

    The Countryside Alliance has responded vehemently to the incident, emphasising that those involved attack showed “total disregard for the safety not just of the people following the hunt but the public as well”.

    Kent police have confirmed that they are investigating reports of assault, alleged to have occurred on Saturday at Hadlow, but were unable to comment further on the matter as police inquiries are continuing.

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