HSA news release 4th February 1995

Hunt calls in Paras to attack saboteurs
Five saboteurs injured in mob attack at Hunt

Five saboteurs were injured at the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Foxhunt at Petworth Park, Sussex, at about noon today when hunt followers and Paratroopers being used as security launched a series of vicious assaults on protesters.

The trouble started when a group of up to a dozen paratroopers, hired by the hunt to act as hunt "stewards", surrounded a van containing saboteurs and threw a lorry jack threw the windscreen, showering the occupants with glass and injuring a passenger. The squaddies then followed up by battering the sides of the van with hammers and beating the occupants of the van through the windows. Four people sustained serious injuries in this attack and a woman sustained serious leg injuries in a separate incident when a hunt supporter drove his vehicle at her, knocking her down.

The police have refused to act against the hunt so far, but it is believed the paras have been taken to Chichester police station.

The hunt have been using Paratroops, based at the Parachute regiment at nearby Aldershot, as stewards since their former security firm RKR withdrew following bad publicity when the trial of a hunt supporter for a baseball bat attack on saboteurs at the hunt last year revealed RKR employees had joined in the attack with iron bars and pickaxe handles. The hunt was also at the centre of controversy last year when it was revealed that serving members of the Irish Guards had been acting as stewards, in contravention of the Queen's Regulations.

This latest vicious attack shows that the hunt's enthusiasm for using military yobbos to beat up protesters continues unabated. It is horrific that trained combat troops can be brought in to attack peaceful protesters and that Sussex police seem happy to stand by and allow this to happen.