Racing NSW boss Peter V'landys has told a court he feels deceived and angry by an ABC report on horse welfare he alleges made out he was responsible for the slaughter of horses in Queensland.
Mr V'landys, who also chairs the board of rugby league's governing body in Australia, entered the witness box on Wednesday afternoon as part of his claim that the public broadcaster defamed him in an October 2019 animal welfare expose.
The Final Race, a 48-minute special edition of the 7.30 program, aired 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.
"I feel deceived, I feel conned, I feel angry - a multitude of feelings," he told the court on Wednesday.
"Naturally, I was appalled with what happened at Meramist."
He had believed the interview's purpose was highlighting Racing NSW's efforts to rehome retired racehorses and other initiatives, he told the court.
"I believe we have a brilliant system so I didn't have a problem defending any problem that was presented to us," he said.
Mr V'Landys alleges the report unfairly undermined his reputation as a regulator and brought his reputation into public disrepute, ridicule and contempt.
The ABC denies the claimed defamatory meanings were conveyed and maintains a copy of the episode and transcript on its website.
It is yet to open its case.
Wednesday was the first time Mr V'landys had watched the report in full - a decision he said was "probably because of my mental health".
"(A staffer) told me it was 10-out-of-10 stitch-up ... so I chose not to watch it as it would affect me," he said.
Opening the sporting tsar's case on Wednesday, Bruce McClintock SC said the ABC "at a senior level" had decided to keep Mr V'landys in the dark about the Meramist footage.
"They had an agenda to make the racing industry and my client to look bad," the barrister told Justice Michael Wigney.
He said they "succeeded" in their effort to "trash and destroy" Mr V'landys' reputation.
A selection of crude emails Mr McClintock read out on Wednesday typified the "firestorm of abuse" that beset the racing chief after the program's airing, he said.
"These people are saying - at least two of them are saying - that they want Mr V'landys sent to these abattoirs himself," he said.
"His powers stop at the Tweed and the Murray and he can do nothing about what happens in Queensland."
Mr V'landys is expected to continue giving evidence when the Federal Court trial resumes on Thursday.