POLICE were called to a charity sheep race after angry animal rights protestors targeted children.
The ugly incident happened when a group of woman in the crowd began shouting at participants – including young children.
Onlookers said the kids were clearly upset at the event which was held to raise funds for a local church.
Organisers of the charity sheep-racing afternoon at Little Horsted, East Sussex, called police when they feared animal rights protestors could get out of hand.
More than 400 people attended the event at South Brockwells Farm, which had been organised to raise money for the restoration of St Michael and All Angels Church in Little Horsted.
Trouble flared when the women began shouting at participants – including young children.
Sarah Robinson, whose sister Chrissy Wells runs the farm with husband Arron and father David Douglas, said: “They weren’t part of any organised group but they were quite vocal and upsetting.
“They were opposed to livestock farming in general. If they have something to say, my sister would be very happy to listen, and talk to them.
“Their interruption was not welcomed. Police were called and the afternoon continued uninterrupted.”
Police calmed the situation and no further action was needed.
Mrs Wells, added: “The RSPCA visited on Saturday and were enormously supportive.
“Our vets, the Uckfield-based Blowey, Wood and Turrell even sponsored a race.
“We were delighted the afternoon was such fun and a huge success.
“We aimed for about £500 but finally raised more than £2,000.
“The children had been training the lambs which loved being the centre of attention.
“Interruptions were unpleasant but failed to disrupt the day.
“If only people realised, we have to jump through such a lot of hoops regarding animal welfare. Our welfare standards in the UK are higher than anywhere else in the world. We really care for our animals and do our bet for them.”