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Epsom’s Animal Rising crackdown is welcome news – but sadly we have to learn to live with them

, Epsom’s Animal Rising crackdown is welcome news – but sadly we have to learn to live with them

EVERY autumn, when the weather starts to turn, I get a really annoying patch of eczema that comes back in exactly the same spot.

That’s too much information, I hear you say, but for the purpose of the upcoming segway I felt it was something you needed to know.

Animal Rising will try to disrupt the Derby next weekend

There isn’t much I can do about it, no matter what ointment or industrial strength cream I use, it’ll surface year in, year out. I’ve just learned to live with it.

We are going to have to do the same with Animal Rising, an even greater irritant than itchy, dry skin (how smooth was that link?).

As much as we’d love to fire the whole lot of them into the sun, they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

But what we don’t have to do is put up with their shenanigans, and I was thrilled when racing bosses promised to come down hard on them at Epsom next weekend.

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You see, the pink t-shirt brigade say they will be out in force at the Derby meeting with the aim of getting the big race called off.

The Jockey Club responded by applying for a court injunction, meaning anyone who trespasses at the track will be dealt with swiftly and harshly.

It’s hoped that the injunction, that was granted in the High Court yesterday, will also act as a deterrent to would-be invaders, who’d land themselves with a criminal record if caught.

This after the two sides, with a few BHA bigwigs in attendance, had a very cordial chat over a bag of vegan doughnuts in central London.

Though I’m reliably informed that no doughnuts were actually consumed (perhaps the racing delegation feared they were spiked!?).

Unsurprisingly, the two sides were unable to find a resolution, for all one of the Animal Rising brainboxes admitted in writing: “It is clear you are deeply and emotionally invested in the welfare of horses… you have genuine care for every human and horse involved.”

Thanks guys, every time you come spoiling for a fight in the future we will just keep reminding you of your own ringing endorsement for this great sport.

Anyway, short of deploying the army reserves, it sounds like the Jockey Club are going to do everything in their power to stop these glue-wielding eejits before they do serious damage.

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From discussions I have had with security staff, who have already been on site for several days at Epsom, their numbers are set to DOUBLE this year.

There would usually be around four to five hundred security guards during the Derby meeting, but they will be pushing close to four figures next weekend as they look to form a ring of steel around the track.

And just a word of warning if you are going racing – expect to have everything bar your cavities searched. And, whatever you do, don’t wear pink.

Let’s get one thing straight, the right to protest is non-negotiable.

But trespass, criminal damage and putting the wellbeing of horses and jockeys at risk is not acceptable.

, Epsom’s Animal Rising crackdown is welcome news – but sadly we have to learn to live with them
Officials are concerned protesters could delay the start of the big race

The main problem facing the police and security is the wide-open public spaces around and in the centre of the track – it’s going to be tough to stop the extremists getting on site this way.

Mind you, we all saw what happened when they got on the wrong side of the locals at Aintree last month when they caused the Grand National to be delayed.

Having been to Epsom dozens of times over the years, the punters that usually watch the Derby from the enclosure in the middle of the track aren’t the sort of people you want to p*** off.

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You never know, maybe the very thought will see them abandon their plans and instead spend the afternoon at the ‘vegan alternative festival’ outside the racecourse.

Animal Rising have announced several hours of ‘family fun’, including eggless spoon races (no unborn chickens were harmed in the making of this protest) and a fancy hat competition. Strictly no feathers, you understand.

In truth, I was reluctant to talk about them this weekend. I’ve had enough and don’t want to give them airtime if I can help it.

You can’t reason with them and racing is a convenient platform for them to get their actual message across, which is to turn the human race vegan.

But we can’t pretend they are not there and – just like that eczema – we just have to learn to live with them.

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