Toowoomba trainer Mark Currie has been disqualified for two years after being found guilty of 16 charges involving race day treatment of his son Ben Currie’s horses.
Mark Currie is a licensed trainer in his own right but has been the effective foreman for Ben Currie, Queensland’s leading trainer on winners this season, in recent years.
The charges arise out of an inquiry which started after Queensland Racing Integrity Commission officers made allegations about activities at Ben Currie’s stables on April 7.
Mark Currie is the fourth person disqualified or suspended as part of the inquiry.
He was suspended on April 20, when he pleaded not guilty, pending the completion of the inquiry.
After a resumed inquiry held in camera in Brisbane on Monday, Currie was found guilty of all charges and disqualified for two years.
QRIC Commissioner Ross Barnett said the offences involved allegations at Ben Currie’s stables on April 7 and March 24.
“Mark Currie appeared to answer 12 charges relating to the administration of a medication to a horse on race day without the permission of the stewards and four charges relating to improper practice,” Barnett said.
“Stewards found Currie guilty of administering medication to Gully Command, Publishing Power, Hang, and Giveus A Cuddle on 24 March, the same day they raced at Doomben and causing With A Promise to be administered a medication that same day.
“Currie was also found guilty of causing Giveus A Cuddle, Gully Command, Publishing Power, Ruettiger, With A Promise and Boomwa to be administered with a medication on April 7, the same day they were engaged to run at Toowoomba.”
Barnett said the improper practice charges related to race horses Gully Command, Publishing Power and Hang on March 24 when they raced at Doomben.
The charges also related to Giveus A Cuddle on March 24 before it raced at Gatton and Boomwa, Giveus A Cuddle, Gully Command, Hang, With A Promise, Publishing Power and Ruetigger on April 7 before they raced at Toowoomba.
Barnett said they were serious charges and the rules of racing were clear in respect to race day treatment.
“While it is more than six weeks since the ongoing investigation began into suspicious activity at the Currie Racing stables in Toowoomba, it is expected to be sometime before it is concluded,” Barnett said.
Mark Currie is expected to appeal to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
Mark Currie and other Ben Currie employees, Greg Britnell (18 months disqualification), Cameron Schwenke (three months suspension) and Silde Canda (three months suspension) have been punished as a result of the inquiry.