POLICE officers have issued an image of a woman they would like to speak with following an assault on a man during a hunt near to Sturminster Newton. The attack happened late last year but police have only just released the picture and appealed for information.

It happened at about 3.25pm on Wednesday December 19 during a Portman Hunt event in the area of Crate Hill in Fifehead St Quintin. A 63-year-old Somerset man was watching the event when he was approached by a woman on a horse and struck round the head with a riding crop, police officers said.

PC Patrick McLoughlin, of North Dorset police, said: “Following extensive enquiries we are now able to release a photo of a woman we would like to track down and speak with in relation to this incident.

“This was an unprovoked assault on a man at a prestigious Dorset event, and we are very keen to find the person responsible.

“Luckily the victim did not require any hospital treatment, but was obviously left shaken by the ordeal.

“The rider’s horse is quite distinctive in that it has a white mark just above its eyes and also on its nose."

Witnesses and anyone with information can call Dorset Police in confidence on 101 quoting incident number 19:275.