Protesters in France mounted up and took to the streets of Paris on horseback Sunday to call for the rejection of a proposed tax increase on riding stables. Thousands of horseback riders from across France along with scores of pedestrian marchers took part in the protest against the proposal to bump up the VAT tax from 7 percent to 20 percent. Radio France Internationale said the march past the Bastille square included a side story. The European Commission has been pressuring France to bring its regulation of horseback riding into line with the rest of Europe. Riding is the third-most popular sport in France and the tax is predicted to close 2,000 equestrian center and result in the slaughter of as many as 80,000 horses.