Animal Rising planning ‘Vegan Epsom Derby’ – including ‘eggless spoon race’
Barmy protestors are planning to hold an eggless spoon race as part of an alternative to Derby Day at Epsom – and no, we're really not yolking!
Animal rights group Animal Rising caused widespread disruption at the Grand National last month, delaying the start of the race after storming the track at Aintree. Now they're targeting the Derby at Epsom with similar disruption tactics, which include holding a "Vegan alternative" at the front of the racecourse.
The plans, which look like they come straight from cloud cuckoo land, include an eggless spoon race, a fancy hat competition (without feathers, obviously), and a running race, providing an alternative to the equine action on the course.
READ MORE: Animal Rising protesters force their way onto track at Scottish Grand National
In a post on their official Facebook page, Animal Rising insist the demonstration will be "peaceful and joyful," with the aim of "bringing attention to the suffering and exploitation of the animals in the horse racing industry, whilst actively demonstrating an alternative".
However, the group's website suggests they could also employ more underhand tactics akin to what viewers saw at Aintree, with a promise to "disrupt the Epsom Derby to continue the conversation we started at the Grand National".
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Potential disrupters are able to fill in a form to "join Animal Rising on the tracks" and "make history and achieve meaningful change for all life".
Animal Rising has boasted Epsom is "almost unpoliceable", owing to the downs in the middle of the course which are public common ground, meaning racegoers cannot be charged a fee to enter.
The Jockey Club, which owns Epsom Downs, are alive to the threat of the group and says Animal Rising have made it "explicitly clear" they intend to breach security at the racecourse.
On Monday, the Jockey Club applied for a High Court injunction to stop protesters disrupting the festival, which is due to take place on the same weekend as the FA Cup final.
"If the injunction is granted, individuals acting in breach of the court order could be subject to proceedings for contempt of court, which may lead to a fine and/or imprisonment," the Jockey Club said in a statement.
It added the injunction would in "no way threaten the right of anyone to protest in a peaceful and law-abiding way". Animal Rising have been offered an area near the entrance to the racecourse to protest on the day of the event.
Jockey Club chief executive Nevin Truesdale added: "We respect everyone's right to peaceful and lawful protest and, with that in mind, have offered Animal Rising a space for this purpose directly outside the racecourse during the Derby Festival.
"However, Animal Rising have made it explicitly clear that they intend to breach security and access the track itself in an attempt to stop racing taking place and it is our duty and obligation to do everything we can to protect everyone's safety and prevent a repeat of the illegal and reckless protests we saw at Aintree in April."
A total of 118 arrests were made following protests at the Grand National last month.
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