On the night in question Australian racing Greyhound was told by sources close to the action that two connections of greyhounds who were nominated for NSW Greyhound Of The Year had an altercation that saw Ray Watson headbutt Wayne Lambourne.
Ray Watson is better known as the owner of NSW Greyhound Of The Year contender Miss Elly Mint, who had just lost the NSW award to Take The Kitty, of which Wayne Lambourne has a connection as owner.
Greyhound Racing NSW Stewards today conducted an inquiry into the alleged incident reported to have occurred during the Betfair Greyhound of the Year Awards conducted at the Hilton Hotel on Friday 12 February 2010.
Evidence was taken from licensed trainer Mr R Watson, licensed attendant Mr S Cork, Mr W Lambourne, Mr N Ellison, Mr B Ellison and Mr E Crawford.
Mr Watson was found guilty of a charge under GAR 86 (o) of having done a thing in relation to greyhound racing which, in the opinion of the Stewards, constituted misconduct.
The details of the charge were that Mr Watson, on or about 11pm on 12 February 2010, did, in the vicinity of the Grand Ballroom entrance at the Hilton Hotel, Sydney, and whilst attending the Greyhound of the Year function, strike Mr Lambourne to the right side of his forehead by use of a head butt to that area.
Mr Watson was subsequently disqualified for a period of six months. Under GAR 95 (5) the commencement of the disqualification was deferred until 12 March 2010 in order that Mr Watson divest himself of any interest in greyhounds.
In determining penalty consideration was given to the nature of the incident, Mr Watson’s unblemished record in relation to offences of this nature over a long period of involvement in the industry and the established factor that alcohol may have been a contributing factor in the incident.
Stewards rejected any assertion that self defence was an acceptable reason for Mr Watson’s conduct, pointing out that it was possible for Mr Watson to have vacated the area prior to the incident occurring.
Mr Watson was advised of his rights of appeal.