Pennsylvania: Vet’s Conduct on Notice, but Not Facebook Posts

by | 12.23.2014 | 1:29pm
On appeal, Dr. Kathryn Papp's 5-year ban was reduced to 90 days

A hearing examiner for the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission has ruled that public statements on Facebook or other social media may not be used by officials to determine whether a licensee's conduct is detrimental to the best interests of the sport.

Penn National officials said critical, vulgar, and threatening Facebook posts by veterinarian Dr. Kathryn Papp were among the reasons she was served with a five-year eviction notice following an incident earlier this year at the Grantville, Pa., racetrack. Papp appealed the ban, and the case was turned over to hearing examiner Suzanne Rauer, who conducted an evidentiary hearing in July. Rauer ruled on Dec. 17 that the racing commission “does not have the statutory or regulatory jurisdiction to review and/or adjudicate (Papp's) statements and opinion on Facebook or other social media” and said evidence in the case could only support a 90-day ejection.

Papp is an outspoken veterinarian who studied at Guelph University and testified before a Congressional subcommittee hearing on horse racing in 2012, saying that the “overuse and abuse of medication is rampant at our Thoroughbred racetracks and training centers.” Papp also was the subject of a critical examination of drugs in racing by NBC News earlier this year. She founded PA Racehorse Rehoming, a non-profit organization to rehabilitate, rehome and rescue ex-racehorses, and is prolific on Facebook, regularly posting animal welfare or anti-horse slaughter messages.


But she also has been involved in several incidents at Penn National and admits that she can be obnoxious or abrasive to people (she once sent a note to this writer asking, “Why are you such a dick?”)

The first incident brought up by Penn National at the July hearing was a 2011 domestic dispute with a former boyfriend in the stable area that was unrelated to racing. Papp was issued a disorderly conduct citation by state police.

The second incident, in September 2013, resulted from a “difference of opinion on the treatment and soundness of a race horse with trainer Allen Shuchman.” The hearing officer's report said both parties “were yelling vulgarities and insults” and that Papp “allegedly swung at Mr. Shuchman but did not make contact.” She received an initial suspension of six months and $500 fine, but the ruling was modified to a 15-day ban and $500 fine.

On May 8, 2014, a horse named Big Alan collapsed and died just past the wire after finishing last in a $12,500 claiming race. As Penn National track veterinarian Dr. Jerry Pack was tending to the stricken horse, Papp took pictures of Big Alan lying on the ground and was allegedly heard having a telephone conversation about ongoing deaths of racehorses at Penn National. Later that evening, according to the hearing examiner's order, Papp posted on her Facebook page “vulgar and accusatory statements regarding the health of horses at Penn National, causes of death, and implications that Penn National race officials are acting improperly.”

Pack, her “friend” on Facebook, saw the comments and apparently alerted Eric Johnston, Penn National's director of racing. Johnston called Papp in for a meeting, warning her that similar conduct and statements about Penn National officials could lead to disciplinary action.

The Penn National “Horsemen's Guide” includes a standards of conduct clause for licensees that says disciplinary action may result from, among other things, “conduct that creates a negative public perception of Penn National Gaming Inc. (the track owner), the racetrack, or undermines or puts at risk the integrity and reputation of pari-mutuel wagering and gaming in general.”

In her findings of fact, hearing examiner Rauer wrote, “Penn National desires to have its horsemen adhere to a set of principles and standards which Penn National has adopted, and which standards complement the Pennsylvania Rules of Racing.” She then added, “There is general public mistrust of the horse racing industry and a general public belief that horses may frequently be illegally drugged.”

On June 25, Bees in My Bonnet, a horse trained by Papp's husband, Monti Sims, and for which she is veterinarian, fell in the Penn National paddock during saddling and struck her head.  Pack and state veterinarian Dr. Diane Simoncini treated the horse, detecting blood in both ears, dilated pupils and other symptoms that suggested brain injury and possible skull fracture.

Papp, who said the horse was one of her favorites, came to the paddock and allegedly “disagreed with the treatment being given and got into a verbal altercation with Dr. Pack, demanding that she be allowed to treat Bees in My Bonnet,” according to the hearing examiner. Pack had Papp escorted from the paddock area, then allegedly gave her permission to return, which Papp declined to do so, mistakenly thinking the horse by then was dead. Bees in My Bonnet was subsequently euthanized.

The hearing examiner wrote, “Shortly thereafter, (Papp) again took to Facebook to criticize the actions of Dr. Pack with respect to his treatment of Bees in My Bonnet.”

On July 4, Penn National issued a notice of eviction for five years, based on “actions and behavior in the paddock area prior to the third race on June 25, 2014, including interfering with the actions of racing officials and horsemen, creating unsafe conditions by distracting those attempting to manage the events in the paddock and behavior unbecoming a licensee. Also in consideration of past history of disorderly conduct while on association grounds which include damage of personal property and being disrespectful towards other horsemen.”

Papp appealed and continued to practice at Penn National, having another altercation, this one on July 12 with trainer Marcos Zulueta, who claimed a horse from her husband. “(Papp) exchanged heated words with Mr. Zulueta during the claiming procedure,” the hearing examiner wrote, adding, “Shortly thereafter, (Papp) once again took to Facebook and threatened Mr. Zulueta with physical abuse and made accusations about how Mr. Zulueta treats and trains horses.”

In her analysis of the case, hearing examiner Rauer said the “findings of fact clearly establish that (Papp) has a history of inappropriate conduct at the track and disrespectful behavior toward other horsemen,” adding that such behavior is “wholly unacceptable.” Rauer also concludes that it is not a “'defense' to her inappropriate conduct, vulgar language and disrespectful behavior that she was/is concerned with the health and well being of the horses involved.”

Rauer, however, concluded, “It was ultimately (Papp's) Facebook posts criticizing Dr. Pack and Penn National that got her ejected from Penn National” and that while Papp “certainly must learn to temper her behavior and her language when dealing with other veterinarians and horsemen at Penn National, to destroy her career and her livelihood by ejecting her from Penn National for a period of five years because of Facebook posts is excessive. This does not mean, however, that similar behavior at Penn National and its racetrack enclosure in the future must be tolerated. (Papp) is on notice that further disruptive behavior will not be treated by this Commission with such leniency.”

In other words, Papp and other licensees will be judged by the Commission for their behavior and actions at Penn National and not by what is said on Facebook or other social media.

“While the Commission certainly understands Penn National's concern with (Papp's) ongoing disrespectful, vulgar and derogatory statements on Facebook and/or other social media, the (Pennsylvania Racing Act) only empowers the commission to review the licensee's ‘conduct' – not her speech.”

Papp was represented by attorney Alan Pincus.

  • mike

    America hasn’t been America for a long time!

    • 4Bellwether666

      Sad to say but it will never come close…

  • yes master

    Go Girl!

  • guest

    Forget the Facebook activities……I’ve never seen any vet on the backside of a track behave in such a manner as reported here. She seems to lack self control and any sort of professionalism that should go with her degree.

    • Barbara Bowen

      ‘Rauer also concludes that it is not a “’defense’ to her inappropriate conduct, vulgar language and disrespectful behavior that she was/is concerned with the health and well being of the horses involved.”’ #Boom.

      • guest

        Amen to that, Ms Bowen!

    • Gina Powell

      WRONG. She is a caring and honest Vet who is outspoken about the abuse that goes on at racetracks. Anytime a woman speaks out the old boys club jumps in and negatively labels us. I experienced the same thing as a Trainer. The system wants you to keep your mouth shut while the same multiple drug violating cheaters win all the Stake Races year in and year out. The only female Trainers that make the top ten are usually the ones that stay silent, rewards or participates in the cheating. I’m speaking from direct experience. Just look at the Trainer stats. Rarely do you see a female Trainer. There’s the proof. Discrimination against women is rampant in the horse racing industry.

      • Racing Fan

        I think she is also caring, but in my opinion she is not reliable on a day to day basis to show up so does that make her fully caring?

      • Mike Hummel

        Being caring and honest is no defense to being boorish, violent, and disrespectful of others. Nor is her gender a defense either.

        If you wish to fight against animal abuse and sexism, I’ll join hands with you in your fight. If you want to scream obscenities, yell insults, and assault people – you’re own your own.

        • Beach

          Um, do I take this to mean that all the men on the backside are choirboys, with the only things coming out of their mouths spring flowers and butterflies?!! Gina Powell, good on you. :) :)

        • Vudu

          Obscenities are the straw that broke the camel’s back!
          Oh my.

          I dunno, “House,” the garrulous doctor series was mighty popular for a number of years on TV.

          • guest

            this is not a TV show

      • Fast Filly

        Trainer stats go wins..if you can’t win then you don’t make the list..you are putting women in a group and calling them cheaters..Discriminations…really..I thought it was fast horses and knowing when and where to enter your horses..keeping them sound, working on legs, …are you saying that all the top trainers are cheaters? thats silly…good horses win races..horses don’t care if you are a woman or a man…

        • Really?

          True but to win races you have to own or be given horses. It is true that it is tougher for women as the perception is that they are more compassionate and not “squeezing the sponge”. Owners tend to give horses to the flavor of the month high percentage guy. Women are also more likely to have horses claimed off of them if they are running ok as people may think they are not doing “everything” to win.

          So yes all you have to do is win races but you need stock.

          • Jay Stone

            Women are at a disadvantage in this game. Men have a distinct advantage because it is easier for them to be political and promote themselves. It has nothing to do with the lack of talent or work ethic as I’ve been around some women who were very good trainers but eventually gave up because they couldn’t recruit owners.

          • roseann cherasaro

            Sad this is still true.

          • guest

            Getting the stock is part of being a trainer. Talking to owners is part of being a trainer. Being a woman is not a disadvantage unless you walk around thinking of yourself as less than a man. Owners place horses with trainers they think will do a good job, get results, and take care of their animals. If you are on the backside participating in domestic disputes, and throwing punches at other trainers, you probably are not getting much business because of that behavior and not because you don’t stand up when you pee. Just sayin……

      • Tom Trosin

        While I don’t disagree with the heart of your sentiment Ms. Powell, it is a shame that you don’t see that Dr. Papp hinders your cause more than helping it. This is a person who has earned a doctorate degree, which would imply that she should be intelligent beyond the necesssity to use vugarity to enforce her points.

        • Lorey Sandison Gillam

          She is intelligent beyond the necessity which is why they should shut up and listen to her!

      • guest

        Actually I disagree. Penn has had tons of female trainers, riders, and some vets since the early 80’s. More than other work places you are judged by what you do and how you act instead of your gender or your race at the track. I’m speaking from direct experience too. Someone can be caring, honest, and outspoken while still maintaining some degree of professional behavior. Her demeanor hinders her cause, it doesn’t help it. Her behavior is the issue here not her gender.

      • MBA Woman

        Goodness, trainer gender has nothing to do with which horse wins a race and nothing to do with training. You need to be a good horseman, know which races your horses can win, and market yourself and recruit owners. And then it is still really really really hard to make a great living by training race horses. Blaming a lack of success as a trainer on gender is ridiculous.

      • guest

        Sorry, Gina, as a woman who has worked at the racetrack for over 15 years, that’s just not true.

  • Sinking Ship

    Alan Pincus surfaces yet again.

  • togahombre

    once protected speech crosses the line making it libelous a whole different set of rules apply, when she goes there, then she’ll really have something to get “disrespectful,vulgar and derogatory” about

    • WOW that made sense. 1st grade dropout?

      • togahombre

        and a joyous holiday season to you too don

  • Public complaints — posted on the Facebook site of the people/corporation you are complaining about — can be deleted by the recipient. Are the riffraff complaining? “Off with their posts!”

    Do the same thing on Twitter. They stay there forever. All of a sudden, miraculously, your phone calls & Facebook messages (ignored) get returned.

    • Concerned citizen

      If this woman is so against medicating of horses and such, why did she tap a horse that was injured to get it to the races that subsequent
      Y broke down and was euthanized. She is quite a Hippocrates. She can’t bad mouth how others conduct their business while she is doing the same thing. She is a joke. Not only is she a bad person, she is a bad vet…..wish she got 90 years..not 90 days

  • Boknows

    I think we see a very caring Vet that wants to right all wrongs herself and takes it upon herself to do so. Knowing that no one else will Stand up and do so, she feels she is the only one between the safety of the horses and the owners, trainer other vets or the track itself. Yes she is young but she feels deeply about the horses she treats and see’s what goes on the back side of the race track! She took an Oath just like MD’s do and she tries to live up to it! Her approach may not be the best, but it gets the attention she would not get any other way! God Bless her we need more like her weather they be men or women, this is really the only way things will change in the sport and protection of the horses is the first concern!!!!

    • My side of the story

      Everyone has a different idea of “caring” I guess. I can tell you for fact because of direct
      dealings “her idea” and “my idea” are complete opposites. Like a lot of “professional” what she cares most about is her bottom line. IMO and DIRECT experience
      this person has some serious emotional issues. Not too sure she is playing with
      a full deck and or is drinking too much “cool aid”. A bit of a Jeckll & Hyde IMO.

      • Jay Stone

        Sounds like a scary individual but I always knew her husband to be a good horseman when he was at Calder and in Ocala.

        • My side of the story

          I wouldn’t say she is “Scary” but I have never dealt with her in a “one on one” situation at the track. I am sure I have come off like a complete jerk from time to time to some of the people that have worked here.
          This is the second “thread” about her on the PR. What she states about her idea on the “order of things” and what she practices are not one and the same. IMO her sense of “righteousness” is completely self-serving. I did not comment on the first “thread”. I figured I would let her have her “15” minutes but no more than that. I do not know her husband nor have I heard anything, good, bad or indifferent.

      • Gaye Goodwin

        Sounds to me like the “authorities” at Penn don’t want their dirty laundry aired, and they made her go away. Anyone would be emotional about a horse they cared about (referring to the paddock incident), and if she is the trainer’s vet, she should have been allowed access. to the horse.
        Funny, isn’t it, how Scott Blasi can have every other word out of his mouth be a vulgarism, but the industry people rushed to his defense for his potty mouth. And here is a woman, exhibiting similar behavior and you call her crazy.

        • guest

          Scott Blasi is an uneducated worker. This woman is a professional, a veterinarian, and male or female, should be expected to behave as such; we should hold her to a higher standard.
          Private veterinarians are not allowed to minister to horses during the races, that is the state veterinarians jurisdiction. In addition, being emotional in a situation where an animal is hurt does not help the animal, a veterinarian needs to keep her head together to act in the best interest of the animal.
          And it would at least be understandable if Papp would throw these tantrums in defense of the racehorse, or to bring to light the dirty laundry, but she seems to only direct this bizarre and unbalanced behaviour at ex-boyfriends or trainers that claim horses from her husband.

  • Doc

    The presence of blood in the ear canal, or canals, is pathogenic for skull fracture and indicates a hopeless prognosis for life.

    • Doc

      pathogenic should be “pathognomonic”

  • LongTimeEconomist

    She should mature first before returning to any racetrack.

    • Gaye Goodwin

      but let 16 year olds control a half a million investment.

  • Beach

    She should consider learning that you might get more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. Or, if not honey, at least a more calm demeanor. That said, I know she deals with some tough characters, so I’m not surprised she would be tough herself. BUT, the doctor or her conduct notwithstanding, the PA tracks should consider the fact that, because of what I have read and witnessed, albeit secondhand, I refuse to visit said tracks, bet on any of their races, patronize them at all, and when said races are even featured on TV I either flip right by or turn the TV off. Wonder how many other people are just like me. Improve what goes on there and I might change my ways and tune. Wouldn’t a larger fan base be a good thing?

    My spouse likes to say that, although someone’s delivery of their point may change the way their point is taken(or not), one’s demeanor can easily be independent of whether or not the point is TRUE. So, with a calm and non-profane demeanor, would anyone care to weigh in on whether or not the doctor is RIGHT? What exactly is the quality of care, veterinary, training, or otherwise, for horses that race in PA? I haven’t been too impressed with what I’ve seen. The story of Big Alan is bad enough–and how many other Big Alans have there been who did not get any press?

    • Bryan Langlois (ShelterDoc)

      Beach,
      I do frequent Penn National when I can on some weekends as I am only about 40 minutes away. Usually don’t bet too much but just go as a racing fan. I have not been to the backside so can’t really comment on treatment of horses there. I too hear things secondhand about horses that apparently look as lame and stiff as anything in the mornings miraculously appearing perfectly sound and “dancing on their toes” come race night. Again, I have not seen this firsthand…so can’t verify it, but if it is true, then it raises a lot of suspicion of some sort of medications being used improperly and management perhaps turning the other way on a lot of it.
      I have heard of Penn National and tracks like it referred to as “beginning and ending” tracks, meaning that horses often will begin their career there and end it there as well if they can’t make it on the higher circuits. I would think sheer economics would dictate that horses can not get the same level of care as they do at say a NYRA of Gulfstream track. However, whether that care they get falls below what would be considered the minimum standard is open to interpretation and opinion I suppose. I can say that all horses that die or are euthanized on the track in PA as a result of injury are supposed to get a full necropsy done and I believe the trainer is also interviewed by the commission about it, but I could be wrong on the second part. Whether that is truly done in every case would take some investigative work and freedom of information requests of the commission I suppose.
      I love this sport with all my heart and have been a passionate fan for the last 20 years. However, I also feel that the sport does need to change its ways, based on science for the betterment of the breed and the sport, in order to survive. It is going to be very ugly if a lot of what is alleged does come out to the surface and turn out to be true, but it will be the only way to move forward in this sport.
      Finally, just following the way things have been going with casinos and such, I can guarantee you that, while they will never publicly admit it, Penn National Gaming would be just fine with getting rid of the racing entities it has…as they would rather pump the money back into just the casinos. While I do see the point about the sport needing to survive without subsidies, it still angers me to see this a lot of the time, as the casino managers knew the only way to get a foot in the door was through racetracks…and then they just kicked them to the curb once they got what they wanted.

      • Beach

        Thank you Dr. Langlois. My point will be so simplistic compared to what you wrote. I too love the sport, and also find the greed and opportunism of the casinos on this score appalling but not surprising.

        I admit my priority is the correct care of the horses, and I believe they can be cared for, basically if people give a damn, whether they are low claimers or the KD winner. It’s true that I don’t own or train so I don’t have the burden of being worried about all the economics of it.

        I do not want to see thoroughbreds go away as a breed, and I have seen them in a starting gate just as happy and eager as dogs about to play with balls–so many of them LOVE to run and do what they do. But, even if she goes about not stating it very prettily, I agree with Dr. Papp that the horses have to be cared for in the right ways WHILE they do what they do, want to do, or are bred to do. Why does it have to be so hard to rest instead of drug, not run them when they are sore, or find them a home when they are finished racing? So many of us who love the sport love the horses–and I will not, or do not, love the sport when I see the horses neglected, discarded, or abused.

        I fully realize that you can care for an animal perfectly and still things don’t work out the way you’d like. I know you see that all the time as a small animal vet–I see it myself as an owner of “multiples”–losing cats last year to ceruminous gland adenocarcinoma(she would never have tolerated the aftercare of the TECA), wet FIP(what other option is there besides “hang the crepe”), and feline panleukopenia in a cat I tried to save when an idiot on intake in a shelter never gave him his FVRCP shot. We would have done anything to save these animals, but they were un-saveable. I know that despite perfect care there will still be breakdowns and racing accidents–but more, or even some, of the preventable stuff has got to stop. Otherwise I think racing will preside over its own demise. And you wouldn’t believe all the people I know who are horse-crazy, but cannot stand to see abuse, dumping, slaughter, or neglect. Until it improves, you won’t see them at ANY track, sadly. Thanks for your reply.

      • Havier

        Yes the casino would prefer to dump racing in Pennsylvania on
        the basis that it doesn’t make money. Their
        sole goal is to make money and understanding that is the key to building a
        better racing industry in PA. If horse
        racing turned profitable then I see a different tone. Yes, there is poor casino management when it
        comes to racing and that effects revenue but the horseman are also at fault. Pennsylvania tracks have been used by the
        HBPA and a select group of horsemen to pump money out of these tracks and are
        only concerned with how much money they can get out of them in the short
        term. No one is looking to improve the
        industry for the future. I am sure that all parties are seeing this and
        know that if nothing changes, racing will eventually end. Nothing is going to improve until all parties,
        Casinos, Commission, and horsemen being actually represented by the HBPA, come
        together and work on the future of racing in the state.

      • Racing Fan

        There are a lot of excellent horseman at Penn National and a lot of horses who are cared for in an excellent way. At any track there are scum and at any track you can find good honest horseman who take excellent care of their horses. I can name a dozen gips who have skinny horses who are stabled at Belmont. It’s the person, not the location.

  • Lisa Haymaker

    Oh please, she fits right in. And no, not the first vet to behave really inappropriately, but apparently not popular enough to get away with it.

  • Lexington 4

    Wow. If this is an accurate portrait of what this woman is like in her 20’s or 30’s I can’t even imagine her 50’s or 60’s. She is going to be an internet legend.

    Yikes.

  • Bryan Langlois (ShelterDoc)

    It is a very interesting story and trail of “evidence” so to speak. While I know full well the passion that can be envoked in the veterinary field when something happens to an animal or it is a issue we as vets feel strongly about, taking swings at people is not exactly the best method of getting a point across, at least in my opinion. While sharing ones opinion about things is their right, I have never liked it when vets will bad mouth other vets when they were not necessarily right there when an issue occurred. I can completely understand the emotion she must have felt when Bees in My Bonnet suffered that injury, but emotion like that will cloud even the best of judgement, and it is best to let others attempt to handle the emergency in that instance. I too think this is something she will learn to better control with maturity and experience (Looking back I have made some comments or posts that I know now I never should have). Lets hope this is the start of something positive.
    Oh…and I am no hearing officer nor do I know their schedules…but umm…hold the hearing in July and not issue a ruling till now?? The Supreme Court has a better turnaround time than that!! All of these things need to be handled and ruled on far more quickly.

  • Jay Stone

    The first amendment guarantees us Freedom Of Speech. I’ve always been an ardent defender of this. What she says on social media shouldn’t have any bearing on what she does in public unless her threats are taken seriously by authorities. My problem with all this recently is when the line between Freedom Of Speech and public safety is crossed. Watching people marching and calling for violence against police is an example as is watching self serving Al Sharpton call for similar.

    • Al Sharpton has never ever called for or advocated violence against police. District attorneys throughout America have given cops a pass on murder, America by and large is fed up with cops killing young black men of color and they have taken to the streets. The chickens, as they say, have come home to roost. Al Sharpton is not Jesse Jackson. Al Sharpton is nobody’s fool.

      • Jay Stone

        Barry, this isn’t a place to debate political issues but in the case of Sharpton I totally disagree with you. He has only become “important” because he is a race baiter who immediately comes into play when issues of race surface. He incites situations that lead to needless violence.

        • If you don’t want feedback, don’t bring it up in the first place. You cannot have it both ways.

          • Jay Stone

            Your right on that point.

        • Vudu

          Nonsense.

      • Herewego

        Barry how many drinks did you have before you went on this rant?
        What does any of this have to do with Sharpton?
        2015 will be the year that the racing industry by and large is fed up with you making ridiculous and under informed posts on every racing website.

        • Read what Jay Stone wrote about Sharpton. I know there are people that would love to see me recede into the woodwork but it is never going to happen. Sorry you nameless boob. FYI, I have never consumed alcoholic beverages nor experimented with recreational drugs at any time in my life. I’ve looked at your posts here on the Paulick Report and you are against everything that is progressive and meant to upgrade our sport in America. Your days are numbered pal, not mine. Thereyougo.

          • Herewego

            My apologies on the drinking comment Barry. Your idea of progress and mine clearly differ. I will continue working on increasing total purses, wagering and field size in my state and you continue to work on whatever it is you are working on. Happy Holidays.

          • This just in: 2015 hopefully will be the year Ray Paulick steps up to the plate and forces people to post with their own names. Then this board will earn the complete respect from our industry that it deserves. Allowing people to post anonymously does very little to further any discussions because it allows weak people and PR-hired posters to throw a lot of crap against the wall hoping that some of it sticks. Racing is on the verge of being completely marginalized. The only way to prevent it from disappearing is to make it less of an insiders’ game and rid the sport of cheaters so that we can be proud of our product. We need to “Hong Kong” this sucker before drug cheats run it into the ground.

          • Racing Fan

            says the white-shoes wearing rich guy who would never have to worry about a racetrack selectively eliminating you from their racing program. There are handbooks, Barry, which preclude people from telling the truth their names associated with it. Wake up and smell the manure.

          • Racing Fan, what “handbooks” are you writing about? Clue me in. As for your reference to Indian Charlie, why bring that into this? As for the white shoe, that is IC’s dumb-ass reference, playing on the name Barry White. Once again, he misses the mark, because I have worn a pair of white shoes maybe once or twice in my life. There are only 2 reasons I can think of to post anonymously: 1) poster is under age and 2) they want to take pot shots at people without have to be responsible for their attacks. I am guessing you fall into category 2.

          • togahombre

            allowing people to post anonymously protects people from retribution because of the content of what they offer to the public, it’s a very selfish wish mr irwin

          • Jay Stone

            Have to agree with Barry because while it may protect a few with valid info it allows way to many to anonymously make up whatever they want.

          • togahombre

            jay, i respect your view on this, the fantasy posts get to me sometimes also, as does the juvenile name calling, it’s ray’s site it’s his call, happy holidays

          • You obviously missed some civics lessons in school about what it is to be an American. If I wanted to be selfish, I would join the spineless wimps that post anonymously.

          • togahombre

            if your referring to advocating for restricting an open dialogue while wrapping oneself in the flag; yeh, i must’ve missed that day

          • Daniel Jividen

            Barry Irwin is right about one thing at least: “racing is on the verge of being completely marginalized.” Racing industry needs to develop a strong, comprehensive policy regarding PEDs and win back public confidence. Not sure whether Dr. Papp’s method is the way to do this though.

          • 4Bellwether666

            They better get RID of the crooked trainers/vets and the ‘Hopped Horse Syndrome” first and fore most…Fixing any Horse race and you are locked up and banned for life…Period…

          • Gaye Goodwin

            Amen to THAT!

          • Gaye Goodwin

            But look how easily they dispatched her. There is a “circle the wagons” mentality on the backside, where the honest horsemen are too afraid of this kind of retribution to make any waves. At least she had some big brass ones when it came to standing up for the athletes ( yes, that would be the horses ).

          • guest

            But that’s just it! She does not stand up for the athletes when she goes on a vulgar, unbalanced rant!

        • Jay Stone

          I’ll take the blame for the Sharpton, freedom of speech digression. Barry was just answering.

      • bobjonestwo

        While young black men have been the most affected by unwarranted shootings, all races of people have been affected greatly by the militarization of police and the shoot first training too many police forces have enacted. That being said, the high percentage of police do a very good job in a tough situation. Also interesting to note than many police departments will not hire anyone with an IQ over 100, they just want cops who will follow orders. Sounds crazy, but there have been many lawsuits over this practice. By the way, I just recently watched a news video of Al Sharpton at a rally where everyone was chanting, “what do we want,… dead cops,… when do we want it,… now,… what do we want,… dead cops, and on and on. Al and Jessie have been race baiting pimps for decades.

      • johnnyknj

        Right on Barry. Al, as a matter of fact, has become a card carrying member of the Establishment.

    • Tiznowbaby

      The First Amendment guarantees that there will be little to government intrusion into free speech. It does not guarantee there will be no consequences from your friends, your enemies, or your place of employment for what you say.

    • Vudu

      I agree that what gets said on Social Media needs to get a small pass, depending upon what sort of Facebook page she has; whether its personal, or business-related.

      Maybe she has a mood disorder going, or she’s just excitable.

      Now she is “in league” with Al Sharpton? What the hell does that mean?
      That’s some limb you climbed out on.

      Jeez. everybody’s doing a lot of hand-wringing about one vet at one track.

  • Truthhurts

    Mr. McErlean has never enforced anything. Rules only apply to certain people. Conduct at Penn National has been disgusting. If you fix races, carry handguns, deal drugs, etc, you are considered a quality tenant with Mr. McErlean. Just anpther degenerate gambler slithering around Penn National.

  • My side of the story

    I have had my dealings with this vet. She is NOT what she makes herself out to
    be. I promise you. Quite by accident she came up in conversation today with
    someone who worked for her and her husband. (This person does not read the PR)
    She quite for several reasons, their horses were ill mannered border line dangerous. This person is an accomplished horseman. She did not agree her “treatment” practices and in her opinion borderline abusive. She was at the races and knew the horse involved in the paddock accident, the horse did not fall it flipped while being saddled, while walking because it could not be done in its saddling stall. Blood “detected” from what I understand it was pouring out. Her interference involved pushing people away and trying to get the horse to stand up.

    As I said this all came up by condense because I was showing her a nice filly that the good doctor complete screwed on by not giving her a complete by the book examination and treatment. Can you spell inject. Inject with this inject that, keep training. I pay the vet bills, I talk with the vets at the track and spell out how things work with my horses. I am not an absentee owner, I breed, raise, break, train and then send to the track. There are to let me know if anything out of the ordinary is going on. I will pick them up check them out at my farm and bring them to one of the best Vet clinics in the country with diagnostic equipment that is not available to track vets. I have no problem taking the time and expense of giving a horse some R&R and or proper re-hab. She KNEW this but said newer called.

    Her billing is erratic so I didn’t receivethe bill for this filly for over two months and it was a hefty one. My trainer said she was “doing right” on and off lameness. I picked her up, had one of my vets come and check her out, jogged her, and did an ultrasound of her hind leg.
    Pulled suspensory which looked like it had been going on for a while. One the verge of catastrophic. Looked over her bills everything else had been done to her mostly with needles but no ultrasound. I ripped her a new one. She screwed up to other nice horse also. Too much to go into.

    Obviously I am not a fan of hers. I am by far not the only one. But what I have stated is
    not biased but facts. I know a quack when I see and or talk to one. Have been on the horse side of the game my whole life. I think people would be hard pressed to find a vet that doesn’t respect my horse skills and would say I am not a very fair and easy person to work with/for.

    The racing commission got this wrong. Like most things. I am sure they are good
    well intentioned people but I have found most people appointed to racing commissions are way under qualified. I could care less what she said on FB. It was shocking that she was chosen to “testify”. Another reason why I have one foot out of the “racing door”.

    This is the first time I am not using my name on the PR but have my reasons.

    • Bristling

      Finally someone that knows the truth.

    • Barbara Bowen

      Why did you use the “quack” in the first place? I learned the very hard way to vet my vets. I would think you would do the same after this long in the game?

      • My side of the story

        My trainer hired her as is the norm. As is the norm for me by and large, after receiving my first invoice I gave her a call to discuss things in general and how I expect things to be handled. All invoices are to be detailed and reasons behind anything out of the “norm”. Any x-rays, scope, diagnostics are required to be emailed to me with a detailed report of their findings and recommendations if they want to get paid. I want them on record.
        Our phone conversation was pleasant enough and quite “chatty”. The fact she has her own horses/farm gave her “bonus points”. I let her know that even though she “technically”works for the trainer I let her know that I write the checks and she also works for me and I have the final say in things. I also told her what I tell my other service providers, appreciate the fact that NO ONE is doing me a favor that I am writing a check to. Please show respect for that fact, the same respect I have for my clients who send me horses. From what I understand she had/has only been working at Penn for a short period of time then.

  • just an observer

    I guess their motto is “don’t let the facts influence the decisions”

  • Ray, I want to laud you for not taking that slippery slope by writing a headline that included the phrase Papp Smeared.

  • 4Bellwether666

    Better to be called a dick than the opposite of one for the male spices!!!…

  • “(she once sent a note to this writer asking, ‘Why are you such a dick?’)”

    Doing business with SONY’s Amy Pascal, or are your remakes just happy to see me?

    Merry Christmas, Ray and to everyone else staring at the results charts 350 days a year. I don’t know how you can do it, but all of you get it done.

    Anyone heard from Brad lately?

  • “…(she once sent a note to this writer asking, “Why are you such a dick?”)”

    Did you answer her?

    Hahaha, just kidding :)

    • Dee R. Eff

      That made me laugh. Although I’m sure Ray didn’t answer her, I’ll bet he laughed too.

    • Larry Ensor

      I would have said, my name’s Ray not Richard

  • Guest

    Shhh, you’re not supposed to know there’s an “anti-slaughter policy”. As long as you don’t slaughter your horse and cook it over a bonfire on the backside, you’re good as far as the “policy” goes.

  • Emmy

    Shhh, you’re not supposed to know there’s an “anti-slaughter policy”. As long as you don’t slaughter your horse and cook it over a bonfire on the backside, you’re good as far as the “policy” goes.

    • billy

      Brian Moore pos killbuyer punchin that guy we ever come face to face

  • Bill Steele

    Ray, so what was your answer? Re: ‘why are you such a dick”

    • Daniel Jividen

      If Ray Paulick were not a complete gentleman it might have crossed his mind (though it did not) to answer Dr. Papp’s vulgar question with another vulgar question: Why are you such a c***?

      • Vudu

        Uh. This is his site & he can speak to it, if he feels he must.
        We don’t need anyone to bait him & put words in his mouth.

        Must be nothing on TV today.

    • Danny Gonzalez

      Ray is not a dick even though i called him that once myself he is a great writer and gives people like us a forum to talk

  • No comment

  • Mimi Hunter

    I think that whether or not she is a good, caring vet is completely buried by her actions and demeanor. Anyone who is inclined to listen and maybe help would be completely turned off by the violence and the language.

  • Reuben Cain

    There are plenty of women trainers in penn national , this women is a violent foul mouthed bad for the industry vet.. She verbally abused somebody who claimed a horse off her boyfriend, I wonder how many claims he has made but that’s not important she has a sense of entitlement

    • 4Bellwether666

      Sounds like u are talking about 80% of the folks on capitol hill and politicians coast to coast!!!…

  • Black Helen

    Anyone remember the Woman Veterinarian Janice Runckle??
    She treated Pleasant Colony during his Derby/Preakness wins.
    Found her dead floating in a lake around Belmont time and the horse doesn’t win the TC.
    I’ve always thought those “cement shoes” friends of Campo’s did her in.

    • 4Bellwether666

      Well after reading and seeing the flick about the Phar Lap’s death NOTHING would surprise me when it comes to Horse racing in the past or the present…Just read the story about the Jones brothers when they had “The Immortal Citation” up in Chicago once upon a time…

  • Goldencrest

    That team valor guy is nothing but a bully. Why all the put downs? And how much money did you loot of of your scam of a stable

  • Vudu

    “Why Are You Such A Dick” requires context.
    These days, that’s hardly an overt statement on the web.

    It may not be uh, “lady-like” to be rude without cause, but in the scheme of things should she be so roundly criticized for actually speaking her mind & doing so under her own name?

    Whatever domestic flap she had with a boyfriend is not a big part of the picture.

  • Danny Gonzalez

    She needs to stay out of racing. While i understand people can get emotional yelling and cursing at state officials who are working at the time SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED AT ALL we have enough real problems in this sport without needing to worry about another idiot

  • SusanKayne

    Well, at least Ms. Papp has the courage and conviction to post her opinions using her real name. I’d be interested to know why this isn’t a requirement of the PR … it would certainly lend more credence to the comments.

    • Vudu

      Indeed, she did.
      Too much hysterical mock outrage about this, imo.

      People appear to need to get a good mad on, and waggle fingers at other people to feel alive. (SHE can’t blow a little steam, but some commenters piss themselves over what the C Chrome connections said after the Belmont loss, etc., as though for the public good and decorum they must fall on a sword in silence).

      Reading comments here, some people have extrapolated, or fabricated new information that weren’t in the original article. (Crosses arms, stamps foot & marches away).

      There is a downside to either option, anonymous or “post your driver’s license”:
      There are ways to get around it.

      • Gaye Goodwin

        Yes, but it would prevent the useless trolls who have nothing better to do than undermine others without any real debating skills or without any particular knowledge of the issues. :-)

  • elkton stable

    Scrapping Katie Papp is one of my favorites. She is an extremely competant vet from my limited experience. She is however a passionate banshee under certain circumstances. I have collected a similar reputation at some tracks so I sympathize to a degree. Kathryn does listen to reasonable arguments, but if you dont have one be prepared to be pushed aside. Dr Papp has zero tolerance for poor ethical standards and is quite ready to take it to where ever she thinks it must go. There is some justification in what she says. Temperance in fighting the malaise she despises in racing will serve her better than a right hook in the kisser that she is capable of delivering. Despite her transgressions and disagreements with her kack of tact or accusatory posture, I have to love and admire her firey conviction. This is the vet you want to be there when it comes time to save your horse’s life. I hear bag pipe music in the background and Katie isnt even scottish I believe. Scrappin Katie Papp, a fixture in the colorful world of horse racing.

  • Ilovereddobes

    Dr Pack, Dr Wade Wisner from Green Glenn , these track vets are despicable. They know exactly what they’re doing to these racehorses. Dr Papp may be out of control, but she’s right.

  • Lorey Sandison Gillam

    She may not act like everyone wants her too but he’s there for the horses. NOT. The trainers or the track. I would think tracks would be happy to have a vet like her. HONEST!!! She got a larger punishment for cursing than trainers do for drugging and putting horses at great risk. That says it all right there!

  • Chrissy

    Dr. Papp is an excellent veterinarian. She is outspoken and fights for what she believes in with conviction. I think it is safe to say that she cares a whole lot more than most track folks.

  • Rob B

    That place is a joke. Trainers get away with murder but don’t you dare forget to have your horsemen ID on you when going into the paddock or forget your regular ID going into the casino despite the fact your 37 years old. My partners and I claimed a few from there and they were both cripples, one of which had a slab that was rumored he was working on for a “while”. Now this can happen anywhere and was my fault for picking these horses but its much more likely to happen there then most if not all other tracks in my opinion.

    • billy

      The last thing penn national cares about is horses their track record speaks for itself what do you think happens when you mix a compationate vet and a trainer that could care less because soon enough it will be someone else’s problem

      • Rob B

        I know

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