A WOMAN has defended her actions as “harmless fun” after riding a horse into a supermarket and downing a drink as part of new craze sweeping the internet.

In footage posted on Facebook, Inky Ralph can be clearly seen entering Tesco, in St Helen Auckland, Bishop Auckland, yesterday on the back of her horse Harvey much to the shock of staff and shoppers.

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The stunt was a NekNomination, the name for a new social network craze thought to have originated in Australia which has now become a hit in the UK and Ireland.

It involves friends nominating each other to do challenges and finishing it by downing a drink, usually something alcoholic, before posting their exploits on the internet.

However, concerns have been raised about the extreme lengths people are going to after it was linked to two deaths in Ireland following excessive drinking.

The Northern Echo:
Miss Ralph with Harvey

Miss Ralph, 21, said: “I think it (NekNomination) is fairly safe as long as you take careful consideration into what you’re doing. I believe this was linked to excessive drinking. I don’t drink so I stuck to Pepsi Max.”

It emerged today that the deputy headteacher of Richmond School, Jenna Potter, has written to parents highlighting concerns over NekNomination after discovering a number of students had got involved with challenges.

Facebook, which celebrates its 10th birthday today (Tuesday), has rejected calls to ban pages linked to NekNominations, but Helen Goodman, MP for Bishop Auckland, said encouraging it on social networks was “totally irresponsible”.