A man has been detained by police after running on the racecourse at the Epsom Derby.

A woman was also detained by officers after being pulled to the floor when she tried to invade the course.

It comes after 19 people – believed to be animal rights protesters – were arrested this morning over plans to disrupt the event in Surrey.

Sky’s Becky Cotterill, who was at Epsom, said: “I could see there was a guy that appeared to run on to the track and was quickly removed by security guards.

“The race had started at that point, but they seemed to get him off the track without causing any disruption to the race, so the horses carried on.”

The Animal Rising group had warned it would attempt to sabotage the event, despite a High Court injunction.

Surrey Police said 11 people were arrested at addresses in Mitcham and Byfleet in the early hours of Saturday, while eight were arrested around 10.20am after a vehicle was stopped in Burgh Heath, just south of Epsom.

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All were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit public nuisance and remain in police custody.

Dan Kidby, co-founder of Animal Rising, said the police operation was intended “to protect the interests of a multi-billion pound industry” and that “a horse dies every other day in racing”.

The group also accused police of “heavy-handedness” and “overreach”, referencing updates to the Public Order Act which give officers new powers to crack down on some protests.

Surrey Police Superintendent Michael Hodder said: “We have been clear in our approach that criminal activity will not be tolerated at the Epsom Derby Festival.

“As a result of intelligence, we have arrested 19 people who we believe were intent on illegally disrupting today’s events.

“Our officers will be at the event throughout the day to continue in keeping the public safe and preventing criminality.”

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Animal Rising confirm protests at Epsom Derby

Surrey Police had said it would not tolerate any risk to public safety and that anyone involved could be subject to contempt of court proceedings, fined or jailed.

An injunction sought by the Jockey Club during the week banned people from going on the race course and carrying out acts with intent to disrupt the races.

There was disruption in April when protesters managed to delay the start of the Grand National by around 10 minutes after they managed to get on the track.