Bike and horse in the New Forest
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New Forest cycle event criticised by horse owners

Organisers of mass cycle ride events have dismissed criticism of their use of the New Forest, as "baffling".

Horse owners are among those claiming commercially-run rides, some with up to 2,000 cyclists, are creating "no-go zones" for other forest users.

But UK Cycling Events said events like their Spring Sportive were safe, environmentally friendly and boosted the local economy.

The National Park Authority said it would "actively monitor" such events.

The Wiggle New Forest Sportive is expected to attract about 2,000 people on both Saturday and Sunday.