The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has come down hard on the protestors who had assembled at the 2023 Epsom Derby and did not mince words on the fact that they had ended up behaving extremely irresponsibly. They also mentioned the fact that there could have been severe repercussions.
The protestors duly arrested at the site consisted of over thirty people indulging in sloganeering on matters related to the ill-treatment of animals. They were representing a group called Animal Rising. The incident that appeared to have crossed the line was a single individual who managed to enter the racecourse itself but could not disrupt the race due to the presence of police officials who could restrain him quickly.
It was just a month ago that the Jockey Club, which oversees the Epsom Downs Racecourse, obtained a High Court order in terms not allowing any kind of protest to take place at the racing track arena. The rules laid down were that the protestors should desist from hurling alien objects onto the race track as well as entering the track themselves. There was also the issue of not stepping into the parade area.
People who did not comply with the rules laid down were liable to be penalized. Despite all of this, the slight disruption that was caused irked the BHA Chief Executive, Julie Harrington, who criticized the entire event and vented her anger.
She mentioned the fact that she was deeply disappointed with Animal Rising, as the organization had repeatedly committed to the fact that there would be no disruptions of any sort from any of their members. She was, however, extremely grateful to the security team that was present at the site and commended them on a job well done in controlling an ugly situation that could have gone worse.