The Daily Mail wrote up an article about Nicole Richie skipping presenting the Golden Slipper trophy to the carnival winner due to other commitments “despite being the international ambassador for event.”
While Nicole Richie’s appearance at the Tooheys New Golden Slipper Day racing carnival at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday added glamour to proceedings, she failed to carry out one of the most important parts of her expected duties.
Richie made a quick exit just as the coveted Golden Slipper trophy was being presented to the winner, Gai Waterhouse, with a source believing the Hollywood star’s entourage whisked her away over concerns about the stage due to overcrowding.
However, according to event organisers, pink-haired Richie was unable to present the trophy in her role as the international ambassador for the Autumn Racing Carnival event ‘due to timings and additional commitments’.
As part of her job, 33-year-old Nicole was in Sydney for three days, partaking in interviews and photoshoots in preparation for the race day at the Royal Randwick Racecourse.
On the day she was introduced to the waiting crowd and took part in a Q&A interview while on stage, and also judged Myer’s popular Fashions On The Field competition alongside former Home And Away star Jodi Anasta.
Richie was listed as being the presenter of the coveted Golden Slipper trophy, the race won by Vancouver for trainer Gai Waterhouse and jockey Tommy Berry.
However when the time came for the gold horseshoe-shaped award to be presented to the thrilled winners, the young fashionista was nowhere to be found.
According to a source who was at the presentation ceremony, Richie was brought on stage to await the trophy presentation.
There were up to 15 or so very happy people crammed onto the small stage but as official proceedings began she was gone, spirited away by her minders.
‘Her female PR was overheard on the phone saying “we had to get her away from there”‘ the eyewitness told Daily Mail Australia.
Believing the PR was concerned about crowding on stage, the eye witness also said ‘It was busy but by no means out-of-control or a risk to anyone.’
The source claimed the adopted daughter of Lionel Richie was paid a ‘considerable’ amount for her part in the big day and said the Australian Turf Club ‘would be unimpressed’ with her untimely exit.
Organisers of the event told Daily Mail Australia that Nicole had other commitments on the day and due to the event running behind schedule, she was unable to hand the trophy over.
‘Nicole did retrieve the Tooheys New Golden Slipper trophy, however due to timings and additional commitments, Nicole was unable to present it to the winner,’ organisers said.
‘It was a commitment outside her ATC commitments and it was only due to the fact that things were running behind schedule, however like I said, Nicole was there to retrieve the trophy and was also there to watch the race.’
Australian Turf Club spokesman Brett de Vine said the club was not disappointed with Richie’s departure before the trophy presentation and claimed she was outstanding over the course of the three days.
‘She was there right up until the presentation but with some of her timings she couldn’t actually physically hand it over,’ Mr de Vine told Daily Mail Australia.
‘She did an extraordinary amount of work, the social media following was incredible and her media appearances were extraordinary.
‘The fact that she wasn’t there for the last five minutes to hand the trophy over in no way takes away from what she actually did or achieved,’ he said.
Mr de Vine said Richie had travel commitments on Saturday and there was only a certain window of opportunity for her to leave.
‘That all said, considering the amount of events and time she spent doing stuff for the ATC, it in no shape or form makes us disappointed with what she did for us,’ he said.
Rodney O’Connell, regional director at Lion Co. had to step in and take over from Nicole.