The interpretation of slang language is likely to be a central issue when trainer Ben Currie defends animal cruelty charges in future hearings.
Currie was in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal on Thursday when he was successful in a stay on a suspension handed down by stewards on Monday.
Scott McLeod QC, for the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission, said Currie faced seven serious charges based on a series of text messages uncovered after his phone was confiscated by investigators.
“There are harping charges, a shock-wave charge and a bleeding charge,” he said.
Currie’s counsel Jim Murdoch QC said there was no direct evidence to link the texts with any offence.
“(For instance) harped up could have a multitude of benign meanings,” Murdoch said.
He said no jiggers or devices had been found at Currie’s stables or anywhere else even though the stables had been raided, were under covert observation and CCTV had been taken from them.
Murdoch said shock-wave treatment could be a perfectly legal application to a horse for injuries as long as administered in a legal timeline.
One of the charges against Currie involved selling a horse that had bled without telling stewards it had bled.
But Murdoch said if the horse had a bleed from one nostril that was something not reportable to stewards.
McLeod disagreed with some of Murdoch’s interpretations leading QCAT Member Robert Olding to say he could not make a decision without hearing expert evidence.
Neither side thought it was necessary to call expert witnesses on the meanings in the stay application.