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Man at centre of pony driver clash fired, evicted

A father has been left homeless and without a job after being involved in a heated row with Driving Horse and Pony Club (DHPC) President Arnold Manders, a long serving club member has claimed.

It is alleged that Vayne Waldron was fired and ordered to vacate his apartment by his former employer Daniel Greenslade who is the brother of Mr Manders' wife, Robin.

It is further alleged that Mr Waldron, whose teenaged son races Mr Greenslade's harness ponies, was arrested and detained by police before he was released without being charged for any wrong doing a few days after the row with Mr Manders.

Mr Waldron has declined an offer to comment.

However, a reliable source close to him has spoken on his behalf under condition of anonymity.

The source alleges that the September 15 row, which was broken up before police arrived on the scene, stemmed from tensions that had “built up over a period of time” between both parties who share stables owned by Mr Greenslade in Southampton.

It is understood that tempers flared after Mr Manders' wife ordered Mr Waldron to pick up her racing ponies.

Mr Waldron did not respond to the demand, actions which reportedly drew an angry response from her husband who has been partly blamed for starting the row.

“Arnold is the one that came out and started yelling and cursing,” the source alleged. “Vayne worked for Daniel at the stables where Robin and Arnold keep their ponies as well and they treated him like a second-class citizen up there.

“All of this really started up there and spilled onto the track. The night in question Vayne was on the other side of the track with the truck and trailer where he parks to let the ponies out to do their racing and all and that's where he packs up.

“Robin gets on the microphone and demands Vayne to bring the truck over. They wanted him to close the trailer and all and drive 100 yards around the other side of the track to open it up again when they could've walked their pony over to the trailer.”

Mr Manders denies he and his wife have mistreated Mr Waldron in the past. He also denies that he and his wife were responsible for starting the row. “We did not start it,” he insisted.

On the contrary, the DHPC boss accuses Mr Waldron of starting the row which threatened to escalate but did not elaborate.

During the heated row Mr Waldron is alleged to have threatened Mr Manders with a machete, a claim our source denies.

“The machete was never pulled out of the truck,” the source insisted. “Vayne went to the truck and when Charles Whited saw him go to the truck he went over to him and took the machete out of his hands.”

The source claims that Mr Waldron has since lost his job and apartment as a result of the incident.

“Three days later Vayne was let go from his job and given notice to get out of one of the Rayclan apartments,” the source contends. “Daniel Greenslade called him to the office and informed him that he is fired and has to get out of the apartment and no sooner the boy got outside to leave the police were there and arrested him for the incident that night.

“Daniel called Vayne around to Rayclan to give him his final paycheck and soon as he left there the police came from every angle to arrest him for the incident down there that night.”

Mr Greenslade could not be reached for comment while police have yet to confirm whether Mr Waldron was taken into custody.

DHPC were unable to impose sanctions upon Mr Waldron because he is not a member of the club.

The association has refered the matter to Bermuda Equestrian Federation who will determine what action, if any, to take.

Mr Manders has since apologised for his part in the heated exchange to his membership and even contemplated resigning as President.

“I wanted to resign but the committee and members wouldn't let me,” he said. “It was voted unanimously that I stay on and the club is one hundred percent behind me.”

According to our source, tensions have been mounting among club members who are disgruntled over the manner which Mr Manders and his wife, who is the club's secretary, conduct their business.

“It's been a lot of tension down there for the past couple of seasons and a lot of it revolves around Arnold and his wife,” the source claimed. “The tension is just getting tighter down there and the people that are running the sport are involved as well.

“If we had a committee of people with no interest on the track then it would be a beautiful thing. But at any given day whoever is judge has interests in at least one or two ponies on the track.”

Meanwhile, police inquiries are ongoing into a separate incident that marred last Friday night's harness racing at Bermuda Equestrian Centre.

Police were summoned to the Devonshire facility after an altercation broke out among rival drivers over a dispute. The incident is believed to have held up racing for some 30 minutes.

Arnold Manders

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Published September 24, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated September 24, 2013 at 9:34 am)

Man at centre of pony driver clash fired, evicted

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