An amateur showjumper has lodged an official complaint with British Showjumping (BS) alleging a show centre manager assaulted him during a row over parking.

Joe Maher was competing at Addington Manor last week (April 12) when he was spotted parking on the grass rather than the hard standing at the side of the outdoor ring.

The rider was called to the judges’ box where he alleges he was subject to a torrent of abusive language before being grabbed “by the scruff” by the centre’s leaseholder Tim Price.

Joe explained he had dashed from work to jump the last class of the day and had arrived to find competitors already walking the course. He quickly parked his car on a grass verge at the edge of the ring where it later became temporarily stuck in the soft ground.

He admitted he was “stupid” to have not considered the wet conditions and offered to pay for any damage.

“My opening statement to him was ‘Tim, I was stupid, I’m really sorry’,” he added. “His response was not appropriate and I will stand up to it.

Joe is a regular competitor at the venue and previously qualified there for the young horse championships at Lanaken.

“That was the highlight of my career and I won’t have the opportunity to do it again because he has now banned me. I have an owner who I will be letting down but I wouldn’t want to go back there again as long as he is in charge,” he said.

Tim told H&H that the allegations were “making a mountain out of a molehill” and that he had three witnesses to the fact no assault took place.

“I try to keep the place tidy and neat and it was an abuse not to use the hard parking at this time of year,” he explained. “I was judging and I saw [his car] being pushed out and it made a mess. People have got to respect the place.

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“He will not be allowed back unless he apologises.”

BS said it was unable to comment at this time but H&H understand a complaint has been received.

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