Surrey Police Charge Animal Rising Activist for Running Onto Turf at Epsom Derby

  • Police charged Ben Newman with causing public nuisance after he ran onto the turf
  • Police arrested 31 protesters from Animal Rising at the Saturday race meet
  • Group said police were aware of the threat, but the organizer was under pressure to proceed
Animal Rising members at a march
UK police have charged the animal activist who ran onto the turf during the Epsom Derby with causing a public nuisance. [Image:]

Surrey Police have charged the man filmed jumping the fence at the Epsom Derby horse racing meet over the weekend and sprinting onto the course with causing a public nuisance.

32-year-old Ben Newman from Hackney, East London, is a member of animal rights activist group Animal Rising, which protested the Derby on Saturday. Animal Rising took to Twitter on Saturday night to accuse the Epsom Derby organizers of letting the race proceed despite police and security allegedly being aware of the threat:

Animal Rising added that organizers failed to follow horse racing industry rules for people on the track, claiming they were under pressure to run the race before television coverage switched to the FA Cup Final between Manchester City and Manchester United.

racegoers jeered at Newman and shouted for police to “get him”

Of the 31 people arrested Saturday, 12 made it onto the racecourse grounds and two were stopped while climbing a fence; only Newman escaped the cordon. Racegoers jeered at Newman and shouted for police to “get him” which they eventually did, tackling him to the ground and carrying him off by his arms and legs.

Officer in charge of the Epsom Derby Chief Superintendent Clive Davies stated he was “incredibly proud” of his charges, saying his police officers “played a vital role in protecting the public and preventing and responding to criminality.”

A spokesperson for Animal Rising said that Newman cared “deeply about animals” and ran onto the track to “continue this urgent conversation” about the treatment of horses and other animals. Newman will appear before the judge at Guildford Magistrates’ Court on Monday. 

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