Showjumping Ireland faulted for breach of competition law
The Competition Authority has awarded three faults against Showjumping Ireland after feisty Cork businessman Noel C Duggan complained that the organisation had broken competition law.
The 79-year-old businessman, who runs the famous Green Glens Arena in Millstreet, Co Cork, raised issue with Showjumping Ireland over its rule 299N, which prevents show jumpers from participating in "unaffiliated events" like the Millstreet Show this week.
"The success of show jumping events depends, to a significant extent, on the ability of organisers to attract, in sufficient number, quality riders," the Competition Authority found.
"Article 299N means that unaffiliated shows find it difficult to attract such riders."
"It's a victory for the small man," said Mr Duggan from his Green Glen's Arena last week, where he runs show jumping events and concerts.
Ronan Corrigan of Showjumping Ireland said as a result of the ruling his organisation will not be implementing the rule until the matter is thrashed out by its executive committee.
The row between the colourful Cork entrepreneur and Showjumping Ireland came about after a disagreement about insurance cover in 2007.
Because of the dispute there was no show at Millstreet in 2009 and last year it was "unaffiliated", therefore many of the top riders were precluded from taking part in it.
As a result Mr Duggan took the case to the Competition Authority accusing the Irish show jumping authorities of "penalising" members who competed in unaffiliated events.
Duggan's Millstreet Horse Show begins next Tuesday, with 5,000 entries and over 800 horses stabled on the site. A huge audience is expected at the Co Cork venue.