The trial of owner-breeder Ernie Paragallo on animal cruelty charges began Feb. 23 in Greene County Court in Catskill, New York, about 20 miles south of Albany.
According to the Associated Press, Paragallo faces up to two years in jail and $35,000 fines if found guilty of the misdemeanor charges in the non-jury trial.
Paragallo was indicted Aug. 6, 2009 on 35 counts of animal cruelty as a result of an April 2009 raid on his Center Brook Farm by New York State Police and animal protection officers from the Columbia-Greene County Humane Society. They determined that more than two dozen hoses at the farm were found to be suffering from malnourishment and other neglect. Paragallo denied that the horses had been abused.
Paragallo’s license to race was suspended by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board following the raid and most of his horses were turned over to equine relief organizations.