Animal rights activist charged for causing a disruption by running onto the track at Epsom

Getty Images

Police have charged a protestor who ran onto the track at the Betfred Derby.

A man was filmed jumping the fence and sprinting onto the course at Epsom as the race - which was won by the Aidan O'Brien-trained Auguste Rodin - began on Saturday.

He was pursued by police as the crowd jeered, with some shouting "get him", before officers tackled him and pulled him away.

Surrey Police confirmed on Sunday that Ben Newman, 32, from Hackney, east London, had been charged with causing a public nuisance.

The protest occurred after the Jockey Club, which owns the Epsom Downs course, was granted an injunction prohibiting the Animal Rising group from intervening in the event, claiming the organisation had made "explicitly clear" that it intended to breach security.

Newman is one of 31 people arrested on Saturday including 12 on the racecourse grounds.

They included two women who were arrested as they tried to climb the fence and get onto the track.

A police spokesman said: "A total of 39 arrests were made over the two days. Thirty-one of these arrests were made in connection with planned criminal activity at the Epsom Derby Festival, including two women who were quickly detained moments before they were able to get onto the track.

"Thirty have since been released on bail pending further inquiries."

Chief Superintendent Clive Davies, who was in charge of the policing operation for the Derby, added: "I am incredibly proud of every single officer, staff member and volunteer who worked in the run-up to the event and at the event itself.

"They played a vital role in protecting the public and preventing and responding to criminality."

After the Derby, the chief executive of the Jockey Club, Nevin Truesdale, praised the "swift and decisive" action of police in putting an end to the "deplorable and mindless actions" of the protesters.

Newman, who was named by Animal Rising on Saturday, has previously appeared on GB News.

He will appear at Guildford Magistrates' Court on Monday.

A statement from Animal Rising said: "Like most people, Ben cares deeply about animals. He made it onto the track yesterday to continue this urgent conversation about our treatment of not just horses in the racing industry, but all the intelligent, feeling animals who suffer unnecessarily in society.

"Before the race started it was clear to security and police that multiple people were attempting to get over the barriers, but organisers chose to steam ahead regardless and not only started the race, but failed to follow the British Horseracing Authority's 'Stop Race' procedures with Ben on the track.

"To protect the race, an additional £150,000 was spent on security alongside a policing operation that included facial recognition cameras, two house raids, and 30 pre-emptive arrests.

"The fact anyone made it on the track goes to show that people who care deeply will not be stopped by crackdowns on protesting, and we will continue to do all we can to ensure a safe, secure future for all life."

The article Animal rights activist charged for causing a disruption by running onto the track at Epsom appeared first on