COVID-19: Two charged after police horse punched during Sydney anti-lockdown protest

Two men have been charged after a police horse was violently punched during anti-lockdown protests in Sydney - one of whom was caught on camera.

They have been remanded in custody after they allegedly punched the horse, named Tobruk, as police worked to disperse thousands of unmasked protesters on Saturday.

NSW Police said the pair were due to appear in the Parramatta Local Court on Sunday.

"We would like to thank members of the community who continue to work with police and abide by the public health orders," a statement said.

The horse was safe and uninjured after the "awful" encounter, police said.

In total, police arrested 57 people during the protest with more under investigation - facing hefty fines and penalties.

Greater Sydney and its surrounding suburbs have now been in a COVID-19 lockdown for four weeks. On Saturday, New South Wales recorded 163 community coronavirus cases and one death.