The Newcastle fan seen in the video above punching Bud the police horse square in the face during the fighting that broke out in Newcastle's city centre after Sunday's Tyne-Wear derby has apologised.
Magpies fan Barry Rogerson, 45, claims he is not a serial horse hater and only thumped Bud across the snout because he panicked when the shire horse suddenly lunged toward him after being spooked by a firecracker.
Mr Rogerson told the Daily Mirror:
“I reacted stupidly but I did not go out to attack a horse. I love animals. I’ve got three dogs, a fish pond out the back and I feed foxes across the road.
“I am on medication and had been drinking, but that does not excuse what happened. [The footage] looks far worse than it was but that’s no excuse.”
Aha! The tried and trusted "some of my best friends are animals" defence.