Some 25 people have been arrested after animal rights activists stormed Ayr Racecourse, Police Scotland has said.

A number of protesters from Animal Rising had managed to make their way on to the South Ayrshire racecourse ahead of the Scottish Grand National in a bid to stop the £200,000 race.

Assistant chief constable Tim Mairs said they had “climbed under and over fences and made their way towards the track”, but that a “prompt and professional response by stewards and Police Scotland” stopped any disputation to the event.

“Following this, there was a further attempt to disrupt a later race involving a smaller group of protesters,” he said.

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“Both incidents resulted in people being safely removed and no injuries have been reported.

“Overall, there have been 25 arrests so far across the day and inquiries are continuing.”

Animal rights activists said two horses, Mighty Thunder and Oscar Elite had died at Saturday's meeting.

Ayr's managing director David Brown praised the swift action of the police and security teams on course.

He 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."

The Scottish Grand National was run at Bogside in Irvine until the mid-1960s and has been held at Ayr ever since.