Trainer who threatened to administer electric shocks is banned General, Horse / Thursday, June 27th, 2019 It’s always sad to discover that racehorse trainers have been employing dubious methods to enhance the performance of their horses. But these days, the authorities are on the case and it is hard to get away with cheating. Australian trainer Ben Currie has found himself charged with fraud by police having allegedly been engaged in doping. He had already been banned for threatening to use electric shock treatment! This is clearly a man with no morals who will try anything to get ahead of the game. Crooked trainer caught by his own texts Ben Currie had been banned for four-and-a-half years in May after an investigation by the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission. He was charged with improper action relating to the use of electric shock devices which are sometimes referred to as jiggers. These are known to improve equine performance. The Commission had intercepted the trainer’s text messages in which he threatened to use the devices. Rehoming the horses Stewards directed Mr Currie to feed, water and care for his horses, exercising them by hand walking or on a walking machine before finding new trainers for them. He was given a deadline before which he had to remove all horses from his care. New trainers had to be approved by stewards of the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission. Currie’s four-year ban was the same penalty that has been handed out to Victoria’s leading trainer Darren Weir in February after he was found guilty of possession of electronic devices. Currie tweeted that he would prove his innocence, but things were about to get worse for him. Doping charges After instituting the ban, the Commission then examined claims that Currie had been involved in administering banned substances to horses. The horse supplements he was claimed to have used have been designed to enhance race performance while circumventing current testing methodology in Queensland thoroughbred racing. How sneaky! After a 14-month investigation conducted by the Queensland Police Racing Crime Squad, Currie was charged with aggravated fraud. The charges related to the horses Massive Attack in 2015 and Said Written in 2016, when Mr Currie was their trainer. The Racing Integrity Commission responded with a further ban. He is now serving a seven-and-a-half-year ban from racing and he is only 28 years-old! Court appearance to answer charge Currie will appear in court in July to answer the fraud charge. The Racing Crime Squad’s case will be bolstered by technical advice from the Racing Science Centre’s chemists. It is hard to see how Currie could ever work as a trainer again after these sorry episodes. Currie had been a rising star, having burst onto the scene with a breakthrough season in 2016-17. He had trained a total of 663 winners since his first success with Pacific Express in 2010 and accrued almost A$13,000,000 in prize-money. He is now in disgrace and it is hard to imagine that the police would have proceeded to court if they weren’t comfortable that they had sufficient evidence to make the charge stick.