Racing NSW boss Peter V'landys was "absolutely shattered" by an ABC broadcast which his offsider rated as a "10 out of 10" stitch-up, a judge has been told.
Graeme Hinton, who described his boss as a "leader in equine welfare", said he stepped outside of the Everest race gala dinner to watch the October 2019 show which exposed the slaughter of retired racehorses.
He returned to the Royal Randwick function to tell Mr V'landys: "It's not good. As far as a stitch-up goes it's 10 out of 10."
Mr Hinton was one of four reputation witnesses to give glowing evidence about Mr V'landys in the Federal Court on Wednesday.
Earlier, Mr V'landys told his defamation hearing that the journalist and producer behind the 7.30 program expose were "running an activist agenda".
But he said he didn't think "they were out to get me", noting that he did not know the "two young ladies".
He is suing the broadcaster over The Final Race report which featured graphic footage of retired racehorses being slaughtered at Queensland abattoir Meramist.
But Mr V'landys, whose sit-down interview was played in the program, says he was never shown the footage before or during the interview and was unaware it existed until after the report aired.
He says the ABC failed to make clear he had no jurisdiction over Queensland and therefore caused his reputation as a regulator to be undermined and his reputation to be brought into public disrepute, ridicule and contempt.
The ABC is defending all claims.
Mr Hinton said Mr V'landys had been a leader in the field of equine welfare and had pushed Racing NSW to do "more and more" in relation to animal issues.
After he told Mr V'landys of the "horrific" secret vision and of the way he was portrayed on the program, he said Mr V'landys became increasingly withdrawn and despondent at the dinner.
"I would describe him as absolutely shattered," he said, saying he had his head in his hands and was reading the string of ensuing comments on his phone.
Former Macquarie Radio CEO and Harness Racing judge Robert Loewenthal said before the broadcast Mr V'landys had an excellent reputation as a visionary "always ahead of the game" and as a man of honesty and integrity.
Mayor of Georges River and former NSW gaming minister Kevin Greene said Mr V'landys had been at the forefront of equine welfare, passionately promoting changes.
Donna Bentley, who worked with him at NSW Harness Racing Club, described him as someone of the "highest integrity", well respected as an administrator, a wonderful and loyal friend and a great father and husband.
Under cross-examination from the ABC's barrister, Sandy Dawson SC, Mr V'landys agreed he repeatedly told the interviewer he was talking about NSW, couldn't speak for other states and had no jurisdiction over Queensland .
"You, time and time again, say 'I can only talk for NSW," Mr Dawson said.
"Correct," he replied.
"Why would you expect to be shown that (Meramist) vision in your interview?" Mr Dawson asked.
"I think if you showed it to other parties on that video, you should show it to all parties," he replied.
Justice Michael Wigney will hear final submissions on Thursday.