Two incidents at an Arabian show at the beginning of September resulted in a prominent Arab Horse Society (AHS) judge and one handler getting arrested and two handlers being evicted from the showground.
On the Friday night of the show, which attracts entries from around the world, an argument between handlers Mark Hardcastle and Paul Harris turned into a fight. The management of the showground, Towerlands Equestrian Centre in Essex, ordered the pair to leave.
Essex Police became involved on the Sunday, and a spokesman says: “A 22-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assault on 28 August and has been bailed until 4 October.”
The following night, Emrys Jones, a judge and breeder, who was exhibiting but not judging at the show, allegedly attacked exhibitor Jackie Ware in the bar. Bystanders broke the pair up and police took Jones away the following day for questioning. His horses were shown in his absence.
A spokesman for Essex police said: “A 56-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assault and was released after receiving a police caution.”
One AHS member, who witnessed the incident, says: “Mr Jones barged through the bar and grabbed a lady by the throat. It’s a family show, with children about.”
The show’s organiser, David Angold, is looking into whether further action is appropriate. He will send a report to the AHS and the European Commission for Arab Horse Organisations.
“We’re trying to find out more, and will take action when we know the full story,” says David. “But everyone is keeping quiet. To have two incidents at one show was a bit over the top.”
A spokesman for the AHS says that the incident will be discussed at its next council meeting in November.