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A judge who appeared to have been drinking while judging at the British Show Pony Society (BSPS) summer show in Lincolnshire has resigned.

Experienced judge Peter Thompson, from Anglesey, was reported by spectators for appearing to be drunk and swearing at a competitor in the small breeds mountain and moorland class on Friday, 22 August at Arena UK.

A spectator, who didn’t wish to be named, told H&H: “He was having to be held up. It was a public spectacle.”

The same female spectator said Mr Thompson — who has been judging for over 25 years — swore loudly at a competitor.

Mr Thompson, 69, told H&H that the medication he takes since suffering a near-fatal accident reacted with some wine.

He said: “I only had two glasses. I’m in pain most of the time and I had extra pills that day. One and a half hours in the ring was too much for me.”

BSPS summer show director Mike Hall removed Mr Thompson from the ring.

Mr Hall said: “The following morning he came back very humble and resigned.”

BSPS chairman Alan Hall said he was sad about the incident.

“Peter Thompson is a very likeable person and has been a very good judge for us for years.”
The BSPS, National Pony Society and British Show Horse Association have rules on alcohol or drug use by judges.

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (4 September, ’08)