Police have charged four Warrnambool identities with committing illegal activities within the racing industry, including serious animal cruelty offences.
Detectives from the Victoria Police sporting integrity intelligence unit on Wednesday charged the men on summons.
Trainer Darren Weir, 49, of Baringhup, Yangery trainer Jarrod McLean, 38, former Warrnambool stablehand Tyson Kermond, 27, and former jockey Billy Hernan, 31, of Warrnambool, have been charged and will appear at Melbourne Magistrates Court on October 23.
Racing Victoria late on Wednesday announced stewards would open inquiries with McLean, Kermond and Hernan on Thursday. A statement said an inquiry with Weir would also be opened at a date to be fixed.
The police charges come as Warrnambool Racing Club chairman Nick Rule rejected calls to remove a plaque outside the club's committee room honouring Weir's efforts at the 2017 May carnival. Weir was in February disqualified from the sport for four years for possessing electronic devices known as jiggers that shock horses.
He trained 14 winners including, the Galleywood Hurdle, Wangoom Handicap and Warrnambool Cup.
"I've got no intention of removing the plaque at this stage," Rule said.
"It's a historical achievement training 14 winners. My view is to leave the plaque there, but we've not discussed it at committee level. That's my personal opinion."
The charges follow a number of warrants that were executed at properties in Miners Rest and Warrnambool on January 30.
A number of items including a firearm and what is believed to be conducted energy devices (jiggers) were also seized from the properties.
Detectives from the sporting integrity intelligence unit have also been assisted by Racing Victoria during the investigation.
A Darren Weir, 49, of Baringhup, has been issued with nine charges, including six animal cruelty offences, possessing a firearm, using a controlled weapon without an excuse and conspiracy to defraud racing stewards.
The animal cruelty charges relate to engaging in the alleged torturing, abusing, overworking and terrifying of a thoroughbred race horse and causing unreasonable pain or suffering to a thoroughbred race horse.
Jarrod McLean, 38, of Yangery, has been issued with 16 charges, including six animal cruelty counts as well as multiple counts of engaging in conduct that corrupts or would corrupt a betting outcome. He was also charged with using corrupt conduct information, possessing cocaine and conspiracy to defraud racing stewards.
Warrnambool man Tyson Kermond, 27, has been issued with seven charges, including six counts of animal cruelty and one count of conspiracy to defraud stewards.
Former jockey Billy Hernan, 31, of Warrnambool, has been charged with one count of using corrupt conduct information.
Anyone with information about illegal activity is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report to www.crimestoppersvic.com.au
Racing Victoria chief executive officer Giles Thompson said the stewards' inquiries would determine its next move.
"These are serious charges and the nature of the alleged conduct described within the charges is distressing to all within the racing industry, as well as the general community," he said.
"Upon the issuing of charges today, our stewards have immediately opened inquiries and ordered three persons to attend tomorrow afternoon to answer questions in relation to the charges. Those inquiries will dictate our next steps."
On January 30 this year Victoria Police confirmed four locations in Warrnambool and Yangery were raided by investigators.
They said they were investigating the use of electronic shock devices known as "jiggers" and corruption in racing.
At the time Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson said stables on McGregors Road, at the city's racecourse and a Belmore Road property in Warrnambool and two properties at Yangery - Conns Lane and Caramut Road - were searched.
Weir was later disqualified for four years by the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board after pleading no contest to four charges, three of them in relation to the possession of the electronic apparatus on his licensed premises and the other for conduct prejudicial to the image of racing.
Weir trained a Commonwealth record number of winners last season from stables in Ballarat and Warrnambool described as an industry juggernaut.
It was a Warrnambool-trained 100/1 chance that put him on the international map when Prince Of Penzance, ridden by Michelle Payne, won the 2015 Melbourne Cup.
McLean was charged by Racing Victoria with possessing an electrical apparatus, known as a jigger and conduct prejudicial to the image of racing.
He has previously said he would fight the charges. The case has been adjourned several times for legal reasons. Last month the matter was re-scheduled for late October.
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