Hunt Saboteurs Face Off With Screaming Landowner

5 December 2017, 11:14 | Updated: 28 October 2019, 15:21

A horse-riding landowner has angrily confronted a group of saboteurs in a screaming row, instructing them to get off his land.

This is the moment a landowner on horseback is involved in an angry confrontation with hunt saboteurs - leaving one of them winded.

In the video a man, believed to be George Winn-Darley, owner of a 7,000-acre grouse shooting estate, shouts "go back to the highway" repeatedly while leading his horse at activists.

The saboteurs were trespassing on the estate - claiming to have seen a fox fleeing a hunt group just minutes before the drama unfolded on Saturday (November 2).

The sabs face off with a man believed to be George Winn-Darley
The sabs face off with a man believed to be George Winn-Darley. Picture: SWNS

At one point the man believed to be Mr Winn-Darley, a member of the The Moorland Association for the North York Moors, is seen astride his horse whose head clashes with a saboteur.

Then, while screaming "go back, go back," he appears to kick another in the stomach.

One of the masked activists, an onlooker, is heard shouting: "Hey, that's assault - you could very easily kill him with that horse.

"Calm down we're going."

As the landowner continues to push the saboteurs back with his horse he says: "It's not assault it's reasonable force."

Bret Pocock, 39, was one of a group from West Yorkshire Hunt Saboteurs on Mr Winn-Darley's Spaunton Moor estate in North Yorks., on the day.

Bret claims he and others had seen a fox fleeing a hunt group ten minutes before the incident at a hunt meet in the area and were voice calling and spraying citronella to put hounds off the scent of the fox.

In the video he is shown being head-butted by the landowner's horse.

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."

Bret said eventually the incident came to an end and the saboteurs retreated to a main road nearby.

He 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 fox hunting so it would not be appropriate to comment on the video.

George Winn-Darley has been approached for comment.