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Queensland trainer Ben Currie suspended

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Qld trainer Ben Currie has been suspended after a show cause hearing into animal cruelty charges.

Ben Currie has been suspended after he failed to satisfy Queensland Racing Integrity Commission stewards he should be allowed to continue training after being charged with seven animal cruelty offences involving the use of jiggers and shock-wave treatment.

The suspension announced on Monday is immediate meaning Currie will need someone to take over the large stable he has in Toowoomba.

Currie, the state’s leading trainer, is expected to seek an urgent internal review which will then as a spin-off lead to application for a stay of the ruling.

The decision came after 10-hour hearing in which stewards denied an application for the hearing to be adjourned.

A spokesperson for QRIC said Currie’s suspension would take effect immediately until the hearing of the seven charges issued was resolved.

“Stewards made their decision in the interests of the integrity and reputation of the sport as it is paramount,” the spokesperson said.

“Stewards have ruled that all horses trained, owned, part-owned or leased by Currie shall not participate in any official race or trial, and shall not be allowed to nominate for any race or trial.”

The Toowoomba-based Currie has 10 days to provide for the welfare of the horses in his care while suitable arrangements can be made for these horses to be transferred subject to the approval of the chief steward.

Currie was charged with the seven offences of alleged animal cruelty including the use of jiggers last Friday.

Those charges are separate from 28 alleged offences arising from a raid on his stables in April and four positive swabs from other dates.

He had been training on a stay while legal matters regarding those charges were set to be resolved through the courts.

But Currie was told to front QRI stewards on Monday to show cause why he should not be suspended pending the result of the latest charges.

Currie was represented at Monday’s inquiry by barrister Jim Murdoch QC but the media was excluded.

It is understood Murdoch was allowed to appear because of the complexity of arguing a show cause issue.

Currie’s legal team applied for the hearing to be adjourned but that was denied.

“We will now seek an internal review under the current rules from which we will then have the opportunity to go to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal for a stay application,” Murdoch said.

Currie and his legal team will be in the Supreme Court on Friday to argue legal issues involving the other charges.

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