A Facebook post, or maybe better described as a ‘Facebook rant’, aimed at NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and her handling of the current NSW-wide lockdown has landed Albury trainer Norm Loy in hot water.
Loy was made to attend a Racing NSW steward’s inquiry at the Albury race meeting on Friday, facing the charge of breaching rule AR 228 (a) Conduct detrimental to the interests of racing in that:
A person must not engage in conduct prejudicial to the image, interests, integrity, or welfare of racing, whether or not that conduct takes place within a racecourse or elsewhere.
Loy pleaded not guilty but was slapped with a three-month disqualification.
“I think I was harshly done by and anything I post on Facebook is my own personal space,” Loy said.
“The steward said that I brought racing into disrepute because I have got 2700 friends on Facebook.
“I said ‘I can’t help it if I’m popular’. The population of Australia is 23 million people and I’ve got 2700 friends, so I found that laughable.”
Initially, Loy was not going to appeal the Racing NSW decision, but after seeking the advice of prominent lawyer Damian Sheales and considering his current circumstances, the border trainer will now fight the charge.
“I wasn’t going to fight it, but my youngest Josh is just starting out as an apprentice and three months would hold him up and it would hold up my young horses,” Loy said.
“I’ve secured the services of Damian Sheales to appeal this decision and he thinks we have a pretty good case. He thought the charges were laughable.
“I am pretty sure Damian has called Marc Van Gestal and requested a stay (of proceedings) so we have time to present our case.”
While Racing NSW are quite within their rights to come down hard on participants bringing the sport into disrepute, it does beg the question; how do Loy’s comments, directed at the NSW Premier, bring the sport of thoroughbred racing into disrepute?
Loy didn’t post the status on his ‘Norm Loy Racing’ Facebook page either, instead posting the status on his private Facebook page, only for the post to be reproduced by another disgruntled industry participant without Loy’s knowledge or permission.
Loy has until Tuesday to file his appeal.