Jenny - Clean


The Deputy Chairman of Stewards on the Northern Rivers plans to pursue a wrongful dismissal action against Racing New South Wales after being sacked for allegedly fraternizing with local jockeys and licensed persons.

Tate Hudson, 20, was dismissed on the spot on Monday afternoon by Racing NSW Chairman of Stewards, Ray Murrihy. He was allegedly told to leave his car keys, binoculars and mobile phone on the desk then depart the stewards’ offices immediately.

Mr Murrihy might not make too many visits to the Northern Rivers these days, but when he does, things certainly happen, the Grafton Daily Examiner reported.

Late last week Murrihy suspended comeback jockey Matt Dracos for 12 months in the wake of a positive test to a prohibited drug and followed up on Monday with the controversial sacking of Hudson, who had only been in the job for six months after spending over a year and a half as a cadet steward in Sydney.

Racing NSW refused to comment on the sacking but The Examiner interviewed Hudson and has learnt that he was found guilty of allegedly fraternizing with local jockeys and licensed persons.Stewards are not permitted, under their Code of Conduct, to socialize with anyone involved in the racing industry.

A distressed Hudson told the Grafton Examiner that on this occasion there were mitigating circumstances involved and claimed that these were not taken into proper consideration by Racing NSW.

“I will be closely looking into an unfair dismissal case and I hope to speak to a solicitor as early as tomorrow (Tuesday) about it,” Hudson said.


The key piece of evidence against Hudson apparently involved two young Grafton apprentices, Ben Looker and Adam Hyeronimus, visiting his home and staying the night in June this year.

Hudson told The Examiner that he had just spent four-and-a-half days in hospital on a drip and had only returned home that day when the two jockeys dropped in to cheer him up.

“They'd been out for dinner together and thought it was a good idea to come around and see how I was going,” he said.

“Quite frankly, it could have been the devil at the door and I would have invited him in to chat, I was feeling so low. Mind you, it now seems as though I might have invited the devil in because I have lost my dream job.”

Looker and Hyeronimus had a number of beers that night at Hudson's home so the young steward told them not to drive and to stay over and just go straight to trackwork the next morning.“They were intending to drive back to Southgate and I thought I would do the right thing by them,” he said.

Murrihy questioned Hudson at length about his friendship with the two young jockeys and even went through his mobile phone records.

“I told him that I did consider them as friends, but I had always maintained a professional distance between them and myself and as such hadn't breached the rules of my profession. Obviously Murrihy didn't agree with me.”

Hudson said that he had been placed in a position of high responsibility in the Northern Rivers and admitted that he really didn't have the credentials to do the job (of Deputy Chairman of Stewards) properly.

“Most deputy chief stewards are 40 years of age and they have had plenty of life experiences to call from,” he said.“I was really dropped off in Grafton and told that chief steward Bill Fanning would teach me what to do and that was it. Bill was great and I learnt a lot, but even he will say I still had plenty to learn.

“I now feel like I have been abandoned by Racing NSW after they over-promoted me. I wanted to be a racing steward all my life, I just love it. But my dream has now been crushed.”


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