Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Darren Weir has pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges.
The incidents took place back in 2018 alongside assistant Jarrod McLean and stable employee Tyson Kermond, with all three man pleading guilty in Warnnambool Court on Wednesday to three counts of animal cruelty.
It is alleged that Weir used an electric jigger on three of his horses Red Cardinal, Yogi, and Tosen Basilc, and despite initially pleading not guilty back in 2020, the men have now changed their pleas.
CCTV footage was shown in the court of Weir using a jigger on the horses and the charges has been asked to be re-worded from ‘torture’ to ‘abuse’ by Weir’s attorney.
Weir is also pleading guilty to a separate firearms charge, while McLean has admitted to possession of cocaine. A number of other charges have been withdrawn.
The former trainer, who helped guide $101 shot Prince Of Penzance to victory in the 2015 Melbourne Cup, was banned from the sport by Racing Victoria back in 2019.
Weir’s suspension was set to finish in February 2023, although it is uncertain what impact the criminal charges of animal cruelty will have on his future in racing.