Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) Stewards have today suspended Toowoomba trainer Mark Currie, the father of leading QLD trainer Ben Currie.
The resumed inquiry into breaches of the rules of racing concerning race day treatment of race horses at trainer Ben Currie’s Hursley Rd Toowoomba stables took further evidence from his father Mark Currie.
Mark Currie has now been charged with; 12 counts of Race Day Treatment under Australian Rule of Racing 178 (E) and four counts of Improper Practice under Rule 175 (a). Mr Currie has entered a plea of not guilty to the charges and the matters have been adjourned for hearing to a date to be fixed. Mr Currie has had his licence suspended until the matters are determined under AR8 (Z).
QRIC Commissioner Ross Barnett said the QRIC will allege that race day treatment of race horses occurred at the property on two separate occasions on the morning of Saturday 7 April 2018.
“The first treatment allegedly occurred pre-dawn that morning and the second was the suspicious activity the QRIC Integrity Investigations Team (IIT) members witnessed while monitoring the premises.
“It was also alleged that race day treatment occurred at the same stables before Ben Currie trained horses were transported to race at Doomben and Gatton on Saturday 24 March 2018.
Commissioner Barnett said two ‘Currie Racing’ stablehands have been suspended as a result of this investigation and the QRIC has now identified some of the individuals involved in the alleged race day treatments but enquiries into the possible involvement of other people was continuing.
“Today’s outcome is not the end of the investigation, the focus of these continuing and protracted enquiries is the involvement of other racing industry participants and the outcome may not be known for several weeks,” he said.
“I expect further disciplinary action may be taken as QRIC continues to analyse items seized from the stables including CCTV, saliva, urine and blood samples and phone records.
“The rules of racing stipulate that any race day treatment of a racing animal, including administering legal substances without the permission of the stewards is prohibited.”
The Commission will continue to keep the Queensland racing industry informed.