Ernie Paragallo

Ernie Paragallo

Anne M. Eberhardt

Paragallo's Horse Farm Inspected April 8

Owner is under scrutiny for the care of his horses.

New York state police and animal protection workers went to the Climax, New York farm of owner Ernie Paragallo April; 8 toi inspect the condition of the horses there, according to the Albany Times-Union.

The newspaper reported on its Web site that as of 1:45 p.m. (ET) no horses had been removed from Paragallo’s Center Brook Farm.

Paragallo is under investigation by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board and under scrutiny from The Jockey Club for the care of horses he owns, some of which have reportedly ended up being rescued from slaughter. The newspaper reported the farm owner was unavailable for comment and a person answering the phone at the farm said all employees were at lunch.

The NYSRWB s examining the circumstances under which the horses were given away by Center Brook Farm in upstate New York, as well as ownership questions of the horses that have arisen. The investigation includes a subpoena that will require Paragallo to answer questions about his knowledge of the matter.

The New York Times reported April 4 that the neglected former racehorses and mares were among 20 horses given away by Paragallo four months ago from his Greene County farm located a half-hour south of Albany.

“It is my total responsibility,” Paragallo was quoted as saying April 4 at Aqueduct. "I should have made sure who the hell I was dealing with. It's a major screw-up. I don't feel very good about it."

The Jockey Club board of stewards held a regularly scheduled meeting April 7 and unanimously endorsed the following statement from Ogden Mills "Dinny" Phipps, chairman of The Jockey Club. It is being issued in the wake of the Paragallo situation.

Said Phipps: "The Jockey Club fully supports and assists law enforcement agencies, the courts, and racing regulatory authorities in the investigation of matters involving animal cruelty.

“Furthermore, pursuant to Section V, Rule 19A (4) of the Principal Rules and Requirements of The American Stud Book, The Jockey Club reserves the right to deny any or all of the privileges of The American Stud Book to any person or entity when there is a final determination by a court, an official tribunal, or an official racing body that such person has killed, abandoned, mistreated, neglected, or abused, or otherwise committed an act of cruelty to a horse.

“The Jockey Club has invoked this rule in the past and will not hesitate to do so again when appropriate. The Jockey Club maintains a long-held conviction that owners are responsible and should be held accountable for the care, well-being, and humane treatment of their Thoroughbred horses.”