A Perthshire businessman is threatening legal action against the organisers of the Blair Castle International Horse Trials after he was the victim of an alleged assault at the weekend.
Property developer Steven Caldwell claims he was left bruised and battered after an attack by a security guard on Saturday night.
Police issued a formal warning following the incident.
However, the security firm involved denies its employee was to blame and insists it was him who was assaulted in an altercation outside a bar during the prestigious event.
Mr Caldwell, 46, from Auchterarder, was at the trials as a sponsor of an equestrian team.
He said an employee of WH Management Group grabbed him by the throat in an unprovoked assault as he approached the bar after dinner.
Mr Caldwell said: “We showed our wristbands and immediately one of the members of security staff grabbed me by the throat and dragged me round the corner to where the portable toilets are.
“There were another three security staff there, all surrounding me, and this guy was shouting at me while grabbing my throat, it was really intimidating.
“Even now I can’t think for the life of me why it happened. It might have been a case of mistaken identity or something but I definitely didn’t do anything to antagonise anyone.
“You don’t expect something like this to happen anywhere, but especially not at a prestigious event and to someone who is there as a sponsor.”
He now intends to seek legal advice about a civil action against the security firm and Blair Castle Horse Trials.
He has also complained to the Security Industry Association.
A spokesman for WH Management said its staff had a different version of events, and claimed Mr Caldwell had “pushed his way through” a queue of people before the security guard tried to defuse the situation.
“The male accosted one staff member who was on the door, who challenged his behaviour which resulted in the male grabbing him and our member of staff subsequently ejected him and returned to his position,” he said.
“Our staff member then suffered a second assault by an associate of the male, which he was able to deflect.
“We believe after undertaking our own investigations and speaking to witnesses that our member of staff acted professionally in taking the actions that he did to diffuse the situation and to allow the rest of the public to enjoy their evening which went off without any further incidents.
“We totally refute any allegations and we will consider if we appeal the police warning.”
Police confirmed officers had issued a warning but said further action was unlikely.
Andrew Bruce Wooton, general manager Atholl Estates, said: “A member of the public made a behaviour-related complaint last night.
“The police spoke to the parties involved and we understand that no action will be taken.
“Atholl Estates will conduct its own internal review into the matter.”
Source – the courier