Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Paragallo farm impounded

The New York State Police in Catskill today executed a search warrant at Center Brook Horse Farm, town of Coxsackie, Greene County, in an investigation assisted by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board into reports of neglected horses on the property.

A contingent of troopers and Greene County Sheriff’s Department deputies were joined by volunteer veterinarians with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, along with Columbia-Greene Humane Society officials. The veterinarians reported that all 177 horses located on the property showed varying stages of malnourishment. They also determined the animals had inadequate shelter and lacked proper veterinarian care and vaccinations.

State Police commenced the investigation on April 4 after a complaint was received of numerous horses being malnourished. Based on information investigators obtained during the inquiry, a search warrant was signed by Town of Coxsackie Justice Thomas Fori.

A Racing and Wagering Board investigator accompanied the law enforcement personnel who entered the farm today. The RWB is conducting a separate but related inquiry into the fitness of a thoroughbred authorized agent licensee who is associated with the farm, Ernest Paragallo, to keep the license he now holds.

As a result of today’s investigation, all of the horses were seized and will remain on the farm, under the supervision and care of the ASPCA, according to State Police Senior Investigator Scott Youngblood.

In a related development, Racing and Wagering Board Chairman John D. Sabini has successfully convinced the New York State Breeding and Development fund to freeze any and all financial awards to Mr. Paragallo, Center Brook Farm and Paraneck Stable, pending the outcome of the RWB’s ongoing review of Mr. Paragallo’s status as a thoroughbred licensee.

“I’m very gratified by the swift action of the State Police, the ASPCA and the Humane Society today because I know all New Yorkers – not just fans of thoroughbred racing – have zero tolerance for the neglect of horses,” Chairman Sabini said.

The State Police investigation is continuing.--SRWB

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