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Horse-riding hunt participant filmed striking whip at cyclist

The footage was captured by a hunt saboteur, a "friendly and welcoming" hunt group insisting it is "not aware of any incident taking place"...

A horse-riding hunt member was caught on camera appearing to lash out, striking a whip at a cyclist as the hunting group passed during an event at the weekend in Kent.

The footage seen below was shared with Kent Online, and subsequently posted on social media. It was filmed by a hunt saboteur, Carly Ahlen, who was following The Kent Hounds' meet and reportedly shows the horse rider strike their whip at the cyclist following an earlier discussion between the parties.

The scene happened on Saturday afternoon on the B2067 Knoll Hill in Aldington near Ashford, Kent Police saying that it has not received a report regarding the incident.

Explaining that the cyclist was not part of the East Kent Sabs saboteuring efforts, the person who filmed the footage said it was "entitled" behaviour that is typical of "what we have become used to over the years".

"Hunt havoc is the result of being allowed to ride roughshod over the countryside due to loopholes and exemptions in the law. We need to do more to close the loopholes – and consign hunting to the history books," she said.

Kent Online says it has verified that the footage was filmed at 12.12pm on Saturday thanks to the "video's metadata", however a spokesperson for The Kent Hounds hunting group says it is "not aware of any incident taking place" and said many details remained unclear.

"The Kent Hounds is a trail hunting organisation which conducts lawful trail hunting activities," the spokesperson said. "The hunt officials are not aware of any incident taking place nor of any allegations that have been made against one of our supporters, but this matter will be looked into further.

"You'll appreciate that spurious allegations are regularly made to the media about hunts and their supporters to discredit hunting despite an alarming lack of evidence to justify such claims.

"It's impossible to identify the hunt, the location, the date, the context or any specific individuals in the video footage that has been provided. But of course, if there is proved to be any substance to these allegations, we apologise for any distress that may have been caused to those involved."

The location appears to be a bend on the B2067 (as seen in the picture illustrating this story) while the local press says it has verified the date and time.

According to the group's website, The Kent Hounds is a "friendly and welcoming group of people from all walks of life and we invite visitors and newcomers to experience a day trail hunting with us".

Social media posts from Saturday's "inaugural opening meet 2023" said a "massive thank you to all our landowners and farmers for your continued support despite the wet ground conditions. A super day had by all."

Dan is the road.cc news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined road.cc in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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59 comments

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bikes | 8 months ago
9 likes

That spokesperson's response doesn't do much for their image! 'We can't identify anything', rather than 'We're doing everything we can to find out who this person was.' Hardly a surprising response from people who enjoy chasing and tearing animals apart.

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brooksby replied to bikes | 8 months ago
2 likes
bikes wrote:

...people who enjoy chasing and tearing animals apart.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/nov/16/oklahoma-governor-kevin-...

The Grauniad wrote:

The Oklahoma governor, Kevin Stitt, has been soundly denounced by animal rights activists after making a video in support of a cockfighting organization.

Stitt made a video in support of the annual meeting for the Oklahoma Gamefowl Commission, a group that has been working to reduce penalties for cockfighting in the state.

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muhasib | 8 months ago
14 likes

At least the footage proves that despite wearing a helmet and hiviz you are at still at risk of injury from other road users while riding a bike.

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Geordiepeddeler replied to muhasib | 8 months ago
1 like

You're right, because as a cyclist myself I come across horse riders hitting me with a whip on a regular basis. This is disgusting behaviour from entitled snobs!

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Fair _Weather_Flyer | 8 months ago
1 like

I'm afraid the lesson is to stay well out of their way. The cyclist in the video did not and being whipped was not the worst thing that could have happened. Cycling near a combination of of 600kg horses ridden by a pack of people, with a gang mentality equals trouble. I was out a few months ago on my bike and a hunt was coming the opposite way, maybe 50 horses. So I just waited off the road for a few minutes. Why put myself in danger? As for hunting in general; seems like a very weird way to enjoy horses.

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Secret_squirrel replied to Fair _Weather_Flyer | 8 months ago
17 likes
Fair _Weather_Flyer wrote:

I'm afraid the lesson is to stay well out of their way. The cyclist in the video did not and being whipped was not the worst thing that could have happened.

I beg your pardon?  Not sure you meant it like this, but surely the lesson is that the Hunt needs to operate within the bounds of the law?

Now its an incomplete clip so its not clear if the cyclists was deliberately blocking due to an ongoing interaction or just got overtaken by events but neither path can justify an assault with a whip.

If I was the lady involved I'd be reaching out to the Sabs for more footage....

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Fair _Weather_Flyer replied to Secret_squirrel | 8 months ago
1 like

He didn't whip her, he whipped the bike. If I was the lady involved I wouldn't be reaching out to anyone. I'd be having a think about how I came to be in the middle of the road, broadside with a hunt coming through. As, a long time cyclist and country dweller, I know that horses can be unpredictable and are dangerous to riders and those near by. I think that was the unfriendly message being sent to her. The cyclist to the right had the right idea, off the road, aware of the situation.

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Rendel Harris replied to Fair _Weather_Flyer | 8 months ago
18 likes
Fair _Weather_Flyer wrote:

He didn't whip her, he whipped the bike. If I was the lady involved I wouldn't be reaching out to anyone. I'd be having a think about how I came to be in the middle of the road, broadside with a hunt coming through.

He appears to me to be quite deliberately striking at her legs, in fact. In terms of why she came to be in the middle of the road, we can't tell; she is apparently not a hunt saboteur so perhaps she was just cycling along, got engulfed by the tide of horses and stopped in panic? The horse riders have just as much responsibility to safeguard the cyclist as vice versa, they appear to be completely ignoring this responsibility by taking the full width of the road and cantering, riding both sides of the cyclist; once they saw her they should have slowed down and prepared to stop, just as a group of cyclists should if they saw a horse there. The fact that the rider has chosen to strike her or her bike with a whip demonstrates that they are deliberately being aggressive.

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Fair _Weather_Flyer replied to Rendel Harris | 8 months ago
1 like

All fair point; but personally I think he whipped the bike on purpose. Judging by the similar bike and attire to the (sensible) guy at the side of the road, I'd say she is with him. Certainly, Mr Whipper, is an idiot and next time he goes out hunting or riding he will still be an idiot. But, if she is to enjoy and survive riding a bike in the country she is going to have to sharpen her survival instincts a bit and learn from this. In my experience, horses and farm machinery (driven by young labourers) are the big dangers of cycling in the country.

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brooksby replied to Rendel Harris | 8 months ago
8 likes
Rendel Harris wrote:

...The horse riders have just as much responsibility to safeguard the cyclist as vice versa, they appear to be completely ignoring this responsibility by taking the full width of the road and cantering, riding both sides of the cyclist...

But a lot of hunts act like that.  My wife's aunt lives up in the Cotswolds, and has lots of stories to tell of hunts jumping hedges and crossing roads at speed, or riding through people's gardens, etc etc.  This crowd of 'trail hunters' (yeah, right) is no different.

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didsthewinegeek replied to Fair _Weather_Flyer | 8 months ago
5 likes

Are you wise?

He whips her below the shoulder on the arm. Her body clearly is inbetween the bike and horse.

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Clem Fandango replied to didsthewinegeek | 8 months ago
6 likes

Umm, so was he not doing the equivalent of "touching my motaaaahh"? Which as we know form various interactions with the law abiding gammons of the world, is a flagrant act of criminal damage & infers the right on the victim to seek immediate and violent vengence.

Either way, surely the OP is not condoning a deliberate act of violence intended to inflict damage, toward either the person or their property?

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chrisonabike replied to Clem Fandango | 8 months ago
3 likes

Perhaps if you do so with politeness and courtesy...

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Clem Fandango replied to chrisonabike | 8 months ago
1 like

indeed

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Geordiepeddeler replied to Fair _Weather_Flyer | 8 months ago
3 likes

You saw the cyclists head move as the whip struck her. Clearly the entitled snobs think they have the right of way as per usual.

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Jimmy Ray Will replied to Geordiepeddeler | 8 months ago
1 like

To me it looks as though the whip strikes the front wheel on a down and back movement. This moves the wheel to the left. The cyclists movement is correcting the movement of that wheel.

 

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Rendel Harris replied to Jimmy Ray Will | 8 months ago
13 likes

All this debate (in which I admit I participated) is beside the point, if a hoodlum in the street slashes at you with a knife is it OK if they meant to miss you? The fact is that a large man rode a very large and dangerous (in this context) animal at a small woman on a bike and slashed in her direction with a whip. Whether or not he contacted her, her bike or missed both has little relevance, it was clearly intended to cause fear and as such is criminal assault under the Criminal Justice Act 1988 Section 39 (the defendant caused the victim to fear that immediate physical violence would be used against them) and is punishable by up to six months imprisonment.

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Barraob1 replied to Rendel Harris | 8 months ago
5 likes

Exactly this! The hunter has no right to do this

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Barraob1 replied to Fair _Weather_Flyer | 8 months ago
5 likes

Are you sure you're on the right site? Is thw hunting weakly comment section closed?

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Barraob1 replied to Fair _Weather_Flyer | 8 months ago
2 likes
Fair _Weather_Flyer wrote:

He didn't whip her, he whipped the bike. If I was the lady involved I wouldn't be reaching out to anyone. I'd be having a think about how I came to be in the middle of the road, broadside with a hunt coming through. As, a long time cyclist and country dweller, I know that horses can be unpredictable and are dangerous to riders and those near by. I think that was the unfriendly message being sent to her. The cyclist to the right had the right idea, off the road, aware of the situation.

A horse with a bad temperament is one, a rider with a sense of entitlement is another. Rode horses for years and only came across a couple of "unpredictable ones" a poor rider will make a good horse skittish.

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Robert Hardy replied to Fair _Weather_Flyer | 8 months ago
1 like

Horses should have been in single file in full control, reckless riding, endangering other road users. A horse and rider weigh more than all but the heaviest motorcycle and rider, they need proper testing both human and horse and licencing if they are to use the public highway.

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Clem Fandango replied to Robert Hardy | 8 months ago
3 likes

Don't forget MOTs, insurance, horse helmets & hi-viz.   The free loading blaggards....

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hawkinspeter replied to Robert Hardy | 8 months ago
3 likes
Robert Hardy wrote:

Horses should have been in single file in full control, reckless riding, endangering other road users. A horse and rider weigh more than all but the heaviest motorcycle and rider, they need proper testing both human and horse and licencing if they are to use the public highway.

I don't think it's a good idea to change the historic rights of horse and riders to use roads. Any change in the law would be used to promote motor vehicles over them and likely there would be more backlash against cyclists and pedestrians (e.g. a jaywalking law).

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chrisonabike replied to Robert Hardy | 8 months ago
5 likes

Clem Fandango is quite right, lots of them come as standard in dark colours.

It's the space they use up bothers me.  Not just while moving (2 abreast!) but all the public realm given over to stabling and hitching posts while they're charging them (with oats).  Plus the road damage (what's the kerb weight of the average horse these days?).

Then there's the pollution aspect...

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mark1a replied to chrisonabike | 8 months ago
4 likes

I always give horses a wide berth when out on a bike.

700kg, one horsepower, no steering, no brakes, capable of autonomous operation... 

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chrisonabike replied to mark1a | 8 months ago
0 likes
mark1a wrote:

I always give horses a wide berth when out on a bike.

700kg, one horsepower, no steering, no brakes, capable of autonomous operation... 

I try not to pass them (moving) if I can at all - just don't want to be the source of someone else's misfortune.  In my experience animals behave perfectly reasonably ... until they don't.  Then all bets are off.  (That includes humans too - as videos here show...)

I believe they're not keen on surprises, nor things approaching them from behind.  Presumably they get car training and cars make a noise in advance so they cope better with those?  I have also heard that recumbents are more likely to send them frantic.  If on an upright I slow right down if approaching from the front; on the recumbent I stop and maybe dismount so they can see it's just a human not some terrible unknown low-slung predator.

I've never had any issues but since it's only rarely and on recreational rides I meet them I don't mind an abundance of caution.  If I lived next door to stables, that might be different of course...

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Clem Fandango replied to chrisonabike | 8 months ago
4 likes

I was out for a (bike) ride the other day and got held up behind 6 of the jodhpur brigade (horse) riding 2 abreast.  At 2mph.  For 15 miles.  I wouldn't mind but they don't pay road tax or have insurance.  My ride to the cafe was delayed.  Swines!

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chrisonabike replied to Clem Fandango | 8 months ago
2 likes
Clem Fandango wrote:

My ride to the cafe was delayed.  Swines!

Anyone riding a boar, I'd say fair enough...

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Barraob1 replied to Fair _Weather_Flyer | 8 months ago
5 likes

Yes, blame the victim. I've cycled around horses many times without issue, I respect the riders and they respect me. This was an unprovoked attack. You're also blaming the victim after a few seconds of footage, you don't know what happened before the incident.

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Bee Seas replied to Fair _Weather_Flyer | 8 months ago
6 likes

As both a horse and bike rider I can tell you that using a whip on another person or person's vehicle is a criminal offence. It doesn't matter if you're in a horse rider's way deliberately or not.

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