Police are investigating what happened in a alleged fight between a fox hunting party and hunting saboteurs, after images were posted allegedly showing a woman being attacked.
The Hunt Saboteurs Association tweeted three images that, they claimed, showed the woman being "kicked & punched while protecting a fox which had gone to ground", saying she was trying to sabotage the hunt.
Female East Kent Hunt Sab kicked & punched while protecting a fox which had gone to ground. pic.twitter.com/Tpi8pfcisf— Hunt Saboteurs (@HuntSabs) December 7, 2015
But it later emerged the woman was supporting the hunt and was not a saboteur, with photos of the hunt in Essex on Saturday showing her following the hunt.
@HuntSabs except for the fact that this is a hunt supporter being kicked by saboteurs— Camilla Swift (@millsswift) December 8, 2015
— Laura Victoria™ (@lauravic_xo) December 8, 2015
Other photos of the same hunt show the woman drinking a pint with hunt participants while smiling for the camera outside The Bull In Blackmore End pub and another shows her giving two thumbs up while on the quad with the hunt.
Lee Moon, a spokesman for the Hunt Saboteur Association, told The Huffington Post UK the woman was in fact a hunt supporter, saying the pictures showed she had been "dragged off" during a fight to protect the foxes. He said footage shot of what happened was now "with the police".
Essex Police said a man in his 40s was assaulted by an unknown suspect and a woman was reportedly injured. The identities of the man and the woman, or whether they were with or against the hunt, are unknown.
An force spokeswoman said: “Police attended reports of a disturbance in Blackmore End, Braintree, at around 11.50am on Saturday, December 5.
"Around 15 people were involved in an argument in the woods nearby. A man in his 40s was assaulted by an unknown suspect. A woman was also reported to have been injured. A drag hunt had taken place earlier that morning.
"Police enquiries are continuing. Anybody with any information about what happened is asked to contact Essex Police on 101.”
An ambulance spokeswoman said they treated a woman with a minor head injury. She was treated and discharged at the scene.
East Essex Hunt had not replied to requests for comment as this story went live.
The photo of the woman on the ground also triggered a nasty backlash.