Aussie horse trainer faces ‘serious’ charges
BRISBANE, Australia: Australian trainer Ben Currie has been charged with seven “serious animal welfare breaches”, including the alleged use of electronic devices to shock horses into running faster.
The Queensland-based Currie is also accused of unauthorised shockwave treatments and failure to report bleeding horses to stewards. It comes barely a week after Melbourne Cup-winning Australian trainer Darren Weir was banned for four years from racing in Victoria state for possessing similar electronic devices, known as “jiggers”. Queensland Racing Integrity Commissioner Ross Barnett said in a statement late Friday that an investigation into Currie Racing began in April last year. Currie, one of the state’s leading trainers, already faces 28 alleged rule breaches stemming from the probe and four alleged illegal substance breaches. “The very serious nature of the animal welfare allegations that have surfaced as a result of this investigation have left us with no choice but to act now in the interests of the Queensland racing industry,” said Barnett. Currie, who has so far made no comment, will face a steward’s inquiry on Monday to determine whether he should be suspended from training horses in Queensland. Weir, who trained 2015 Cup winner Prince of Penzance, did not contest three charges of possessing the Taser-like “jiggers”.