The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) has granted Toowoomba Trainer Ben Currie a stay of proceedings against a February 18 2019 Stewards decision to refuse to accept nominations of horses trained by Currie Racing.
The Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) opposed the stay at a QCAT hearing today, Thursday April 18 2019, however the stay was granted to Mr Currie, permitting him to continue to train in Queensland.
Racing Integrity Commissioner Ross Barnett said that he is aware of the impact of this investigation on Queensland’s racing community.
“The Commission operates within the appeals system of internal review and QCAT as set out in the Racing Integrity Act.
“While multiple charges have been laid against Mr Currie and have been vigorously pursued by the Commission, Mr Currie has exercised a range of legal rights that have delayed the finalisation of those matters.”
The investigation of trainer Mr Currie has been ongoing since 7 April 2018 and has already resulted in disciplinary action, including heavy suspensions and disqualifications of up to 18 months handed out to employees of Currie Racing for race day treatment offenses.
The investigation has involved the seizure and analysis of CCTV footage, computer and telephone records, and has led to multiple charges against Mr Currie that relate to race day treatment, providing false evidence, obstructing Stewards investigations and animal cruelty offenses.
Mr Currie is also facing 5 charges relating to the presentation of horses that have returned positive swabs for a range of banned substances.
“A Stewards inquiry into two new charges commenced this week, will resume next Wednesday April 24, and will continue until concluded.
“The hearing of other charges pending will continue throughout the coming weeks and we will continue to pursue and resolve these as soon as possible,” Mr Barnett said.
“We remind the racing community that QRIC and racing in Queensland must operate within the disciplinary frameworks set out by the Rules of Racing and the Racing Integrity Act.”