THE husband of the huntswoman accused of attacking a saboteur has defended her actions – calling the demonstrator a terrorist.

Police are investigating after Brighton Hunt Saboteurs said a woman whipped one of their group 17 times with a riding crop.

Yesterday the husband of the woman at the centre of the dramatic footage defended her actions.

He said she had acted out of fear branding the saboteurs “hooligans” and “terrorists”.

He told a national newspaper: “She was scared, the horse was scared. She was surrounded by terrorists.

“’She was very scared and she still is. She was frightened.

“I know that it is getting too much for her and she wants nothing more to do with it.”

Saboteurs from the Brighton and South East groups attended the East Sussex and Romney Marsh Hunt on Saturday where they said they came under attack near Herstmonceux.

The saboteurs filmed video footage which appeared to show one huntswoman repeatedly hitting a saboteur with a riding crop after he appears to grab her horse’s reins as it rears towards him.

The female rider is heard shouting “get off my horse, get off my horse” as she repeatedly whips the man.

A spokesman for the South East Sabs group said: “It was assault. She assaulted the sabs, using her horse as a weapon and then beat the sab 17 times with her whip.

“We are hoping that this assault was so unprovoked and overt that she will be prosecuted.”

The Brighton saboteur who called 999 during the incident, said: “This was a brutal attack.

“The man who was hit luckily wasn’t injured too badly.

“He has a nasty welt on his arm but his cap protected his head.

“When the police arrived they interviewed the huntswoman before speaking to us about the allegation against them, so they should have her details.

“She claimed we charged at them, which you can see from the video isn’t true.”

Brighton Hunt Saboteurs said they attended the meeting to make sure no illegal hunting took place.

A spokeswoman for the East Sussex and Romney Marsh Hunt said they “do not condone any form of violence even when faced with extreme provocation, personal harassment and other offences”.

She said: “The hunt acts lawfully within the confines of the Hunting Act 2004 and takes every measure to ensure the law is adhered to.”?

A spokeswoman for Sussex Police said: “A third party report of an assault has been made after a man was allegedly struck with a riding crop by a horse rider in Herstmonceux on Saturday.

“The victim was reported to have received a bruise and bump to the head, but did not require medical treatment. Police have now identified the alleged victim and an investigation is under way.

“Police are aware of a video reportedly showing the incident being available on social media.”

The Countryside Alliance, which campaigns for the repeal of the 2004 Hunting Act, argues that fox hunting is a central part of rural life and a treasured British tradition that should be legalised and that hunting helps control fox populations.

However the RSPCA maintains there is little evidence to support the argument that hunting with hounds is necessary for controlling the fox population.

The League Against Cruel Sports says autopsies reveal hunted foxes are not killed quickly, but endure numerous bites and tears to their flanks and hindquarters – causing enormous suffering before death.

An Ipsos Mori survey revealed 84 per cent of those polled say hunting with dogs should not be made legal again.