Thursday, April 9, 2009

Paragallo: Time to pay the piper

The malnourished, neglected horses found on Ernie Paragallo’s upstate New York farm are in the care of the ASPCA and it appears only a matter of time before charges are brought against what is one of New York’s most visible racing figures.

Paragallo has long skated around the rules. Though Paraneck Stable is officially owned by his daughters, there is no doubt that Paragallo is the owner, decision maker and sole proprietor. For the record, he is the authorized agent for his daughters. His owner’s license was revoked in 2005 for financial irresponsibility. It is likely that he will lose the license he now holds.

Paraneck maintains an interest in Unbridled’s Song, among the nation’s elite stallions, Artax, who stands in New York, and has long maintained a large racing operation in New York, benefitting from the state’s breeder incentive program while laughing at regulators. Now, having provided the sport from which he has benefitted enormously with a black eye precisely at the time of year in which more attention is focused on racing than at any other, he is at the center of a heartbreaking story of inhumanity, cruelty and callousness.

If he is found to be responsible for the deplorable condition of the horses on his farm – and it is likely that some of his employees will share the blame -- Paragallo should suffer every possible consequence.

The outcry from every segment of the sport against him is loud and gaining momentum. The evidence is graphic. The good news is that the horses are again being fed. -- PM

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