Police have confirmed 24 people have been arrested and charged after animal rights protesters stormed the track at Ayr Racecourse in a bid to stop the Scottish Grand National.
Activists from campaign group Animal Rising climbed under and over fences at around 3.20pm, ahead of the £200,000 race, and invaded the grounds.
The group said they were: “Attempting to attach themselves to jumps and gates.”
But the protest failed to delay the event, with the off time in the 18-horse race recorded as 3.38pm.
Jack Tudor-ridden Kitty’s Light went on to win.
Police said the two dozen arrests were all in connection with a breach of the peace. All 24 people have since been released but are due to appear at Ayr Sheriff Court on Monday, June 5.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Following the conclusion of the operation at Ayr Racecourse on Saturday, April 22, 2023, the total number of people arrested and charged is 24.
“All are in connection with a breach of the peace.
“They have all been released, and are due to appear at Ayr Sheriff Court on Monday, June 5, 2023.”
Assistant chief constable Tim Mairs said that a “prompt and professional response by stewards and Police Scotland officers prevented this group from causing any disruption” and that after there was “a further attempt to disrupt a later race involving a smaller group of protesters”.
Last week, Animal Rising activists managed to make their way onto the track at Aintree, delaying the Grand National by about 15 minutes.
Ayr’s managing director David Brown said: “The race went off to time, there was no notable delay and the professionalism of the team up here in Scotland was a credit to them, they dealt with it in a very efficient manner.
“What a great race it was and a great story, for (trainer) Christian Williams to win it for the second year in a row with Kitty’s Light, after he finished second last year. I think for me this is Scotland’s showpiece race and it all ran to time.”