Woman filmed 'kicking and slapping' horse during Cottesmore Hunt removed from Pony Club

Video appears to show a woman hitting a horse after it runs into a road

A woman who was seen on video appearing to kick and slap a horse has been removed from her volunteer position as a team organiser with the Pony Club.

The club is a group for children interested in riding and the woman had been a volunteer at one of its branches.

The video was shared on social media on Sunday by the Hertfordshire Hunt Saboteurs, an anti-hunting campaign group.

The woman, alleged to be a member of the Cottesmore Hunt, based in Rutland, appears to hit the horse after it canters into a road.

Hertfordshire Hunt Saboteurs called the footage "shocking", while the RSPCA said it was "upsetting".

The woman in the footage had held a voluntary leadership position at the Pony Club.

But on Tuesday, the organisation announced it had let her go after seeing the video.

A statement read: "We are aware of the video circulating showing unacceptable treatment of a pony and we wholeheartedly condemn this behaviour.

"The welfare of horses and ponies is of the utmost importance to The Pony Club, therefore the lady in question has been removed from her voluntary position as a team organiser for a Branch.

"The Pony Club is a youth membership organisation and as such, she is not a member of The Pony Club."

In a statement released earlier in the week, Cottesmore Hunt said it did not condone the actions shown in the video "under any circumstances".

"We will be reminding all of our supporters that this will not be tolerated,” it added.

The Cottesmore Hunt, pictured here in 1997, is one of the oldest packs in the country. Credit: PA

The incident has also been condemned by the Hunting Office, the UK's national body for hunting.

The Hunting Office said it "expects the highest level of animal welfare at all times - both on and off the hunting field - and condemns the actions taken by this individual, who is not a member of the hunting associations.”

The RSPCA, which is investigating the incident, said: “This footage is really upsetting. We will always look into complaints made to us about animal welfare. We would urge anyone with first hand information about this incident to contact us on 0300 123 4999.”