AN ACTIVIST was injured as he tried to help a hunt horse when it failed to make a jump over a wooden railing.

Members of West Sussex Wildlife Protection (WSWP) were monitoring a hunt meet in Shermanbury, near Horsham, on New Year’s Day.

They came across a hunt rider, believed to be from the Horsham and Crawley Hunt, who was trying to jump over a wooden railing.

However, the horse tripped over and got caught in the fencing.

Simon Wild, a member of WSWP, said: “The young hunt rider took a jump and the horse fell through the wooden gate and its neck and leg got caught.

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“Our group came over to assist the horse but it got up and ran off with the wooden gate still around its neck.

“The logs were about three metres long and they were heavy.

“My colleague put up his hand in an attempt to slow the horse down but the log came off the horse and it hit him on the leg.”

Mr Wild said his colleague was taken to hospital later in the evening.

He has been released and is now recuperating.

Mr Wild added: “He is still injured and will be incapacitated for some time.

“We see hunt riders do these jumps very often.

“Luckily that horse walked away with a limp on its back left leg and it had no serious injuries.

“However, if a horse breaks its legs they get shot.”

Horsham and Crawley Hunt was approached for a comment.

On December 31, Sussex Police carried out investigations after claims hunt hounds disembowelled and killed a fox in someone’s garden.

Fox hunting with hounds is illegal in England and Wales. But the ban, which forbids the use of dogs to hunt foxes and other wild mammals, did not end traditional hunts.

Many hunts now follow a scent trail instead of a fox, known as drag hunting.

They can also use dogs to “flush” out the fox so it can be caught by a bird of prey.

In the UK, people can be fined or jailed for hunting illegally or causing unnecessary harm to an animal.

Hunters can shoot certain species, for example game birds, but only during the shooting season. There are also different rules for hunting foxes, deer and other mammals.