Trainer Ben Currie found guilty of two charges
BEN Currie has been found guilty of two charges relating to the alleged intention to use an electrical device by Queensland Racing Integrity stewards today.
The verdict comes after three days of deliberations from the stewards' panel, after Currie's submissions were presented to stewards on Monday.
Stewards found the trainer guilty of engaging in an improper action following an investigation into text messages relating to the intention to use an electronic apparatus capable of affecting the performance of two horses.
The breaches relate to the horses Massive Attack in 2015 and Said Written in 2016 when Currie was their trainer.
Currie has been told of the guilty finding and has now been asked to make submissions on penalty.
Guilty findings under this rule can attract a disqualification.
Currie was issued with two charges in early April under AR175(n) or in the alternate AR175(a).
After initial submissions from Currie's legal representatives, stewards decided not to pursue 175(n), which states stewards may penalise "Any person who in their opinion commits or commissions an act of cruelty to a horse, or is in possession or control of any article or thing which, in their opinion, has been made or modified to make it capable of inflicting cruelty to a horse."
Instead, they pursued the alternative charge of 175(a): "Any person who, in their opinion, has been guilty of any dishonest, corrupt, fraudulent, improper or dishonourable action or practice in connection with racing."
It is this charge on which Currie has been found guilty of the two counts.
This is the first guilty finding by stewards against Ben Currie since the investigation into his stable began in April last year.
In total, there have been 37 charges levelled at the trainer and these are the first two that have been determined.
There are also five swab irregularities that remain unresolved.
Separate to the stewards inquiry being conducted by the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission, Currie has been blocked from racing horses this weekend by Racing Queensland, who have invoked AR55, which says a Principal Racing Authority can refuse nominations if they desire.
It is expected this case will go the Supreme Court, where the trainer will seek a judicial review.
Currie said this week he doesn't believe RQ has the jurisdiction to use that rule and he has maintained he is innocent of all charges.