Unfortunately there is a group of very vocal, prominent and self-important people who have always been very anti-cycling in the Forest. They are the ones who banned cycling completely in the late 80's, and only opened up the current permitted gravel tracks after strong lobbying from local cycling groups.
They also claim a local journalist in their set, hence why so much distorted and bigoted coverage in the Southampton & Bournemouth Echo's and Lymington Times.
The same group of people are members of the Commoners Defence Association, Verderers, New Forest Association and New Forest Equestrian Association, so it sound like a lot of groups are anti-cycling when in fact its the same small group of people.
These are the ones who ripped down signs, spread tacks on the road and recently spread mud on a road to disrupt sportives.
The latest fuss is because the ancient and historic 'drift' or roundup of ponies 'had' to be cancelled - despite the Verderers having over a years notice of the Wiggle sportive, and only fixing their dates and locations for the numerous drifts quite recently. Hmm, nothing suspicious there then.
Wiggle offered to change dates or accommodate the drift, but of course that would have spoiled their plan to whip up more daily-mail-esque fervour through the local press.
ps I live just off the route and have never been affected, and have not heard of anyone who has been affected by events other than having to negotiate a few cyclists. The site in question is where they hold the New Forest Show which causes mayhem and congestion for a week every year, much more so than any sportive.