Racing NSW Stewards today commenced an inquiry into a complaint lodged by licensed apprentice jockey Ms Crystal Conning against Ms Natalie Lye in respect of an incident that was alleged to have occurred at the Hawkesbury Race Club meeting on Sunday, 24 July 2016.
As this matter was the subject of a police investigation, the stewards felt it appropriate not to proceed with this complaint until the outcome of the court proceedings which were finalised on Friday, 29th April 2017 at Windsor Court.
Evidence today was taken via teleconference from Ms Conning, in the presence of her master Mr Mitch Newman, Ms Lye, Hawkesbury Race Club Operations Manager Mrs Joanne Price, Stipendiary Stewards Mr Raymond Livingstone and Teague McDonald and Hawkesbury Race Club Chief Executive Officer Mr Greg Rudolph. Licensed jockey Ms Jessica Taylor and Ms Natalie Lye provided evidence whilst present at the inquiry.
Ms Lye pleaded not guilty to the following charge issued against her under AR175(q), which states;
AR175(q) The Principal Racing Authority (or the Stewards exercising powers delegated to them) may penalise:
(q) Any person who in their opinion is guilty of any misconduct, improper conduct, or unseemly behavior.
The particulars being that Ms Lye at the Hawkesbury Race Club race meeting held on the 24 July 2016, whilst in the restricted area of the female jockey’s room between races 3 and 4, engaged in improper conduct by the way of her behavior towards Crystal Conning, an apprentice jockey who was riding at the aforementioned meeting, in that:
1) Ms Lye said to Crystal Conning words to the effect of, “Who do you think you are trying to steal my husband. You’re just a whore. When my shoulder is better and we are not at the races I’ll sort you out. You will never be able to go out again. You will always be looking over your shoulder thinking I’m going to kill you”.
2) Ms Lye slapped the right side of Crystal Conning’s face using your left hand.
3) Ms Lye forcibly pushed Crystal Conning against a wall and struck Crystal Conning in her left eye with your right fist, resulting in swelling and bruising to Crystal Conning’s left eye.
4) Ms Lye forcibly grabbed Crystal Conning near her throat and said to her words to the effect of, “Just wait until I catch up with you properly. If you go to the Stewards, you’ll be in trouble”.
Stewards acceded to a request from Ms Lye to have the matter adjourned to allow her to seek legal advice and to provide medical records in relation to an existing shoulder injury.
The matter was adjourned to a date and time to be fixed.