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Violence towards Hertfordshire and Northants Hunt Saboteurs at Pytchley Hunt in Northamptonshire following incident involving Cottesmore Hunt former member kicking horse

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Hunt saboteurs have been subjected to violence after their filming of a primary school teacher kicking a horse went viral.

The video, posted by Hertfordshire Hunt Saboteurs, showed a Somerby Primary School teacher, who is also a member of the Cottesmore Hunt in Rutland, hitting and kicking a horse on Saturday, November 6.

The Mowbray Trust, which runs Somerby Primary School, has confirmed that the member of staff has been suspended pending formal investigations into the incident, and she has also been banned from the hunt group.

The RSPCA, with assistance from Leicestershire Police, is currently investigating.

After the incident, it is believed the Cottesmore Hunt group decided not to go out on Saturday (November 13). Instead, the Hertfordshire and Northamptonshire Hunt Saboteurs went to monitor the Pytchley Hunt in Northamptonshire.

A spokesman for Hertfordshire Hunt Saboteurs said: "Two of the Cottesmore regular stewards were either called in by that hunt or went looking for hunt monitors to cause trouble.

"They both targeted the sab who had filmed the pony kicking incident the previous week.

"They repeatedly kicked the door of the vehicle and attempted to break in after the doors were locked.

"They also damaged one of the group’s video cameras used to gather evidence of illegal hunting."

He added that hunts across the country have stopped using stewards because of their 'association with violence' and questioned why these hunts hadn't followed suit.

However, the incident at the weekend has not been reported to police so no investigation is taking place.

A spokeswoman for Northamptonshire Police said: “Our Rural Crime Team officers are aware of a video circulating online about an alleged incident of criminal damage in relation to a recent meeting of the Cottesmore Hunt, but as yet the force does not appear to have received a report about it.

"We continue to encourage anyone who is a victim of any form of crime to report it promptly to us so it can be properly investigated.”

The Cottesmore Hunt has condemned any violence used by hunt members.

A spokeswoman for the Cottesmore Hunt said: "We do not employ stewards.

"People are free to do what they do, when they wish as they are not our employees."

The Pytchley Hunt was contacted for a comment but has not responded.

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