Pennsylvania: Trainer Suspended 45 Days After ‘Failure To Provide Care’ To Horse With Broken Leg

by | 12.07.2017 | 4:44pm
Silent Ruler during his recovery from surgery

The Penn National board of stewards on Dec. 1 handed down a 45-day suspension and $500 fine to trainer Mario Rafael Rodriguez for “failure to provide proper veterinarian care” to his 6-year-old gelding, Silent Ruler.

Track officials were alerted to the son of Roman Ruler and veteran of 50 starts on Sept. 24, and he was found sweating in a stall in Rodriguez's barn, apparently in distress. Photos show his right front ankle was swollen to the size of a grapefruit.

According to a report submitted to the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission by Dr. Kate Papp, Papp was sitting around the corner in the shedrow of her husband, trainer Monti Sims, when she was approached by a woman she did not know. The woman, who had a day pass signed by Rodriguez, stated she was there to look at a horse she had found on the trainer listings section of CANTER, an aftercare organization. Papp helped her locate the animal, and could see that on the other side of the webbing, there was something wrong.

“From the outside of the stall you could easily see that the horse's nostrils were flaring, he had a very worried look in his eyes and was covered in drying sweat,” read Papp's report, submitted to the commission in early October. “He was mostly non-weight-bearing on his right front swollen ankle and was holding it up off the ground. When he attempted to move around his stall he would rock back onto his hind legs, squat down and skip his front end over without using that right front limb at all.  The left front limb looked sore and over-taxed.”

Papp contacted state veterinarian Dr. John Polowcyzk and took radiographs from outside the stall. The images showed a break in the right front sesamoid with multiple fragments pulled away from the bone. An additional veterinarian later confirmed the horse appeared to be in distress and either needed immediate treatment or euthanasia.

A CANTER listing indicated Silent Ruler “was recently injured in a race” but the exact nature of his injuries were unknown because “no diagnostics have been completed.” The racing commission confirmed the horse was added to the veterinarian's list after finishing sixth in a $4,000 claiming race on Aug. 26.

Per Papp's report, the group of people outside the horse's stall after she discovered Silent Ruler eventually included Penn National Racing Director Eric Johnston, commission employee Charles Anderson, and Humane Society of Harrisburg Director of Shelter Programs Patrick Noll.

Silent Ruler's leg in the days after racing officials found him on the Penn National backstretch

Rodriguez ultimately signed ownership of the horse over to Papp's rescue, Pennsylvania Racehorse Rehoming, Rehabilitation and Rescue. Successful surgery was performed to repair the fracture, and Silent Ruler is recovering well. Total cost to rehabilitate him to pasture soundness is estimated at $12,000.

Silent Ruler has spent much of his career at the claiming ranks, but did compete in the Grade 3 LeComte Stakes as a 3-year-old, where he placed seventh for different connections.

Rodriguez referred questions about the case to the commission and the stewards.

Multiple attempts to reach Johnston for comment were unsuccessful.

The Humane Society of Harrisburg declined comment on the incident.

Tom Chuckas, director of the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission's Thoroughbred Bureau, stated via email the commission had conducted an investigation into the matter, but declined to provide the Paulick Report with a report from that investigation.

Rodriguez has saddled 50 starters since Silent Ruler was discovered in his barn. He retains his stalls on the backstretch.

Rodriguez's suspension is scheduled to begin Jan. 1 and run through Feb. 14. Penn National will be closed for the first two days of his suspension, and run four nights per week after that.

“The Commission will not undertake additional actions,” Chuckas said.

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated Dr. Jerry Pack, association veterinarian at Penn National, was called to the horse's stallside. In fact, it was state veterinarian Dr. John Polowcyzk. The Paulick Report regrets the error.

  • Terri Z

    This is a person who needs to be permanently banned from racing. Thank goodness he’s a tough horse and survived.

  • flahorsedentist

    How did this guy ever get a license? More important, will he keep it?

  • Pamela J. Clark

    Should no longer be a trainer!

    • Mark up Tiny

      Let’s be clear. He never was a trainer.

  • Linda Daly

    “The Commission will not undertake additional actions,” WTF…this is what’s wrong. Why is he allowed to train?

    • Baloo

      That is the big question, isn’t it? Why can’t racing bring themselves to throw out the trash ? Could it possibly that they don’t know the difference? ;-)

  • Wendy Averill

    45 days suspension? Guess that shows how unimportant this horse’s well-being is. No wonder there is great distrust of horse racing. Lots of people care deeply and the few who do horrible things get a wrist slap.

  • Vivian Snow

    45 days… what a joke. Should lose his license, nationally. Actually, continent-wide, we don’t want him in Canada.

  • rockybudgeboa

    A mere slap on the wrist. He deserves to have his license revoked for life!!

  • bonniemcdo

    45 days!!!!!!! Why does he get his license back at all? And where are the animal cruelty charges? There are no words to describe how awful this is. And what about the owner! Just heart breaking. But thankfully the horse got to get the care he needed in time.

  • Jon

    Interesting paulick report reports this. Where was report of four suspended trainers from parx? Then the oh Aztec is so great post. Ray is no different than the people he claims not to be! All about the dollar! Delete that dictator ray.

    • Really?

      Some of the connections of those 4 trainers might be “connected”.

      • Jon

        Means nothing to me. This site dictates what they want you to read. Funny thing is these ” journalist” got the freedom of speech amendment. Oh they will argue for that. Throw rocks at Michael gill for being bad for racing. (I no connection with gill) but his buddy from iowa owner “all for the horses health” does same thing. delete this to ray

        • Billy

          You very right about the gill and moss situatuon….the nerve of that lady

          • Jon

            Thank you billy

    • Baloo

      You are obviously not very aware; this story will not see the light of day on any other site

      • Jon

        Huh, I’ll crawl back under my bank account then……

        • Tom in Chandler

          Karl, you been drinking? You posted on the PR article 10/26 on subpoenas going out to Parx trainers. You delirious from counting End Zone dollars?

          • Jon

            Love it. Not karl ask ray wrong time zone. Been sober 16 years, and proud of it!!

      • Jon

        Other sites reported the 4 trainers suspended in Pennsylvania not this site… so your right i’m not aware:)

        • Jon

          sorry for grammar police YOU’RE

  • jojo

    Trainer needs to be permanently banned from racing. This is what’s wrong with racing. Tracks are SO DESPERATE for participation and to fill races, that they can’t revoke his abusive trainer’s license, a 45 day suspension is a short vacation; while letting the horses be victimized over and over again. It’s quite DISGUSTING to me.

    • Erin Casseday

      The stewards and racing commission are no better if they consider this a fair punishment for what he did.

      • ziggypop


      • Vendettaroad

        FOR SURE ERIN!

    • ben

      This track needs to be banned, as too much things has passed there.

    • DawnStorm

      I wouldn’t trust these people with the life of a cockroach!

  • Rob B

    Par for the course at that place. If they walked around I’m sure they’d find another half dozen in similar condition.

  • thisismyonlypostonthesubject

    I can’t believe this horse survived.

    And I can’t believe most of what I am reading here.

    Maybe we are missing something. Please tell me we are missing something.

    • Bryan Langlois

      Not missing anything, sadly. The horse survived thanks to the heroics of Dr. Papp and Dr. Smith. And his own desire and will to live.

  • More Wildman Bill

    This guy is a piss poor excuse for a human being. He should never be around any animals for the rest of his sorry life.

    • Barrmorr

      The only PEOPLE he should be around for the rest of his life are the guards at whatever prison he should be in.

      • More Wildman Bill

        And he should be tossing their salads.

  • CEOmike

    Pennsylvania (and New Jersey racing) is a joke – don’t ever bet on races there as you have more chance at bingo. This is another reason why a National Horse Racing commission is needed with oversight and rules for all.

    • Dennis Brown

      I agree 100%

    • Hey don’t be knockin’ Bingo!! I’ve made some good money playin’ Bingo. And it’s not only for the very old either as many say it is. National Horse Racing Commission I agree it is necessary!! Come on down! Get er done!!

  • Good times

    How about the one that snapped a leg this morning?

    • really?

      not the same issue. An equally distasteful one, but not the same.

      • Kathryn Papp

        Same trainer tho

  • Minneola

    I’ll add my voice to the chorus of others who find it abhorrent that this trainer got such a light fine and light suspension — instead of a lifetime ban. But, I’ll go one step beyond that. The Penn National board of stewards are also very much to blame for allowing this. Any wonder why it has been so difficult for the racing industry to create a national governing board? It is because of individual tracks and jurisdictions not wanting to have anyone dictating to them how to operate racing and on a humane level. Shame on them all.

    But, let us not forget the good “guys” here. A great big thank you should go out to Dr. Papp and her rescue organization, Pennsylvania Racehorse Rehoming, Rehabilitation and Rescue. The least the stewards could have also included in their decision is that the trainer, Mario Rafael Rodriguez, be required to repay Dr. Papp for the $12,000 for the costs of the operation — before allowing him to race again on any track in that state. $500 fine is the biggest and most embarrassingly low fine for such an inhumane treatment of a horse.

    • Chris Lowe

      Play this track “rarely” now changed to “NEVER!”

      • Steve

        Absolutely will never look at Penn or Parx entries again. There’s a reason that Pennsylvania is considered the cesspool of racing

      • Vendettaroad

        Good !

    • NYTrainer

      Best comment ever

    • Billy

      Ms kathryn papp is a godsend for horses….bryan langlois parr the rescue the vet that graciously did the surgery and all the people that donated to saving this horses life derserve all the respect in the world because without them all im certain we could all figure how silent rulers life would have went….

      • Bryan Langlois

        Thank you for the kind words…but I was just involved in getting them the funds needed for this one. The real heroes here are Dr. Papp and Dr. Jen Smith at New Jersey Equine Clinic who did the surgery to save his life. Them and all who came together to donate what they could to make sure this horse had the shot at life his connections obviously did not care enough to even try to give him.

        • Billy

          While i accept your humbleness i know damn well what you do and what youve done you are every bit of a hero in your own right….while i love the horses bryan i can just never accept what the vast majority go through its not right and i will never accept it….we owe it to these creatures regardless of monitary value no form i repeat no form of athletics would ever tolerate any of this….and its occuring daily as im sure you know…. not a day goes by to where i dont think about racehorse no brakes wondering hoping praying hes living a good life

        • bonniemcdo

          Thank you for getting the funds for this horse. Without people like you I have no idea what would happen to the horse. The vet also has to be thanked. Hope people take the time to just contribute to his care and then we can someday rejoice when we see him in a paddock safe and happy.

    • Baloo

      Yes! I saw the horse and his progress on FB, but she probably couldn’t explain the circumstance – this is the kind of abuse that keeps the general public from visiting the track – they aren’t stupid; only the dim witted who think a 45 day suspension is acceptable think anyone is fooled by the emperor wearing no clothes

    • Diane


    • I second your comment, and would say not let Rodriguez race anywhere in the U.S. till he pays the Vet that 12K. $500. is nothing. And you are so correct, the commission and stewards who handed down this ruling should be ashamed. No wonder PA tracks have such a bad reputation.

      • larry outlaw

        Make the sorry puke pay the 12.5k, then hang him.

    • Barrmorr

      I agree that he should be made to repay the cost of the operation. Then again he might not have another $12,000 after likely bribing the racing commission to avoid a much longer suspension.

      • Bryan Langlois

        Unfortunately I don’t think the Commission or the Stewards have the legal authority to make him pay for vet costs. That can only come from a Humane Society investigation, which I am told was at least started but not sure where it stands. Then if found guilty the judge can make an order for restitution of medical costs, but I can tell you from years of experience in the welfare realm we almost never get a dime from the people. The other twist is that he signed the horse over to the rescue immediately, which often times absolves them of being responsible for further medical costs as at that point it was the decision of the rescue to proceed, and since they now owned him it is there cost to bear. I don’t like the set up….but unfortunately that is the way it is based on the law. Since the commission and the steward are technically regulatory agencies, they can’t demand more money than what they are allowed to fine an offender, and therefore could never mandate restitution of medical costs.

        • Minneola

          Can the rescue group sue the track and the trainer for this? Seems to me that if there is a jury, there is a very good chance that they may see this as an equitable means of justice. Or, perhaps, the track may agree to settle this out of court? If the track allowed the trainer to stay there, it seems that the track may be held partially responsible for what happens on their own grounds.

          • Bryan Langlois

            Technically anyone can sue anyone else for anything. I am not sure how a lawsuit like that would be allowed to proceed in any form. Since horses are considered just property, you in theory could only sue for the value of the horse, and maybe the cost of medical care, but that would only be if the horse was owned by yourself and you were wronged in some way. I don’t think legally you would have a case, unfortunately, since the wrong was already done and it was owned by the same person who neglected it. There is no real civil recourse I think in a case like this. I don’t think you could go after the track or the commission though because it is, again according to the way the law would see it, an isolated incident, and the track would say they merely provide the stall space, and are not responsible for the care of the horse in those stalls. I wish it were different, but I am pretty sure a case like that would be thrown out almost immediately, and even if it was allowed to proceed for some reason tossed on an appeal.

          • Minneola

            An isolated case? There hasn’t been issues of cases of neglect and/or abuse on that track or presented to the commission, before? If there has been, I believe that there may be sufficient grounds to file a legal complaint based on that. The only other option is to do nothing, which will continue to protect these individuals to continue being irresponsible and neglecting basic humane requirements of horse care. Find a good attorney and one can be surprised at what one can do, especially, if it becomes under the spotlight of public scrutiny.

          • Bryan Langlois

            I completely understand what you are saying…and I agree with you. The issue is would this be a class action type suit? Who is actually doing the suing and what damages are you claiming. I’m a sure there is some lawyer somewhere that would try it. What damages would a rescue be claiming against the track. I wish it would be easier. The real way to fix it is to get a ton of true investigators on the backside and have one in every barn. Everything gets properly monitored and inspected. The commission also needs to hire an equine medical director whose job it would be to protect the welfare of the horses on the tracks by installing proper basic medical protocols to be followed, such as following up on horses on the vets list and where their treatment stands.

    • robbie davis

      Let’s just be clear about one thing. There are NO “good guys” in racing. Horse racing is a mob based industry as it was decades ago just with a pretty veneer to keep the racing fans in their stupor. Just follow the money and you will find the corruption 100% of the time.

    • Vendettaroad

      Well said – if only it mattered

    • Crystal Harrison

      Another thank you to the CANTER organization that puts both trainers and horses on their watch list. Silent Ruler was only looked at because of that list. That is what alerted the initial viewing of the horse. All I can say is THANK GOD that he will be OK and will eventually be placed in a good home.

  • Shasta Sam

    Only goes to reinforce that the squalid Pennsylvania racing reputation is very well deserved.

  • Lisa D. Jeannette

    Anyone who is capable of allowing an animal to languish in pain and do nothing about it should never be allowed within a 5 mile radius of another horse. This is indefensible and for the PA horseracing commission to issue such a lame punishment and move on like they’ve done their jobs they should all lose theirs. How can we fight this? Maybe we should break his leg and let him stand in a stall without treatment…

  • Richard C

    This alleged track should be shut down.

  • lastromntribune

    who owned this horse ? yes it was under the trainers name last start….but im thinking there was hidden ownership and the owner stiffed him for any money owed when the horse broke down. regardless the trainer is responsible especially that it was in his name….im guessing here but I think that’s what went down. well that’s what happens when you don’t play by the rules.

  • Buckpasser

    It’s terrible incidents like this with a subsequent slap on the wrist to the perpetrator that hurts horse racing and helps to fuel those who wish to end the sport. The PA racing commission is a joke and every action done there proves the truth Stuart Janney’s comments.

  • johnnyknj

    45 days for this. Reason number infinity racing in the U.S. is doomed.

  • Cheryl Kleist

    How about Silent Ruler giving him a hard kick where it would hurt him the most and make him a
    gelding, too! These stewards at Penn National are a joke. He should be banned from owning, training, or having anything to do with horses or other animals by the courts. The humane society
    should bring cruelty to animal charges and have him before a judge!

  • Bryan Langlois

    This is an absolute disgrace. I have personally been involved with the fundraising efforts to get enough money to give this horse a chance at life that apparently the trainer/owner could not be bothered to try and do. I have to thank the Pennsylvania Veterinary Foundation (6k donated), After the Finish Line (2k donated), Big Chief Racing (1k donated), and all of the other people who donated what they could (mostly 10 and 20 dollar donations) to get the 10-12k needed to give this horse the surgery he needed to live. “Silent Ruler” is an amazing horse who just had that will to live and persevere through it all. A huge thank you as well to PARR and Dr. Papp who initially saved his life by stabilizing him on the backside, and then Dr. Jen Smith at New Jersey Equine Clinic who did the arthrodesis surgery needed to save his life. She is a phenomenal surgeon and one that is not very well known in the area. It really took a community of people to come together to save this horse. THANK YOU ALL!!!
    For those that are as sickened as I am about this and DEMAND that the Commission take further action, please write the commission and make your voice heard. I will surely be bringing it up at the next meeting during the public comment section. You can email your letters directly to me at [email protected] for me to forward onto them. I will make sure they are seen by the Commission. If you want to send them directly to the Commission the address is PA State Racing Commission, 2301 North Cameron Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110. If you can show up at the next meeting and make your voice heard as well that will help.
    We need to keep fighting to show we will not stand for this in PA anymore.

    • Barrmorr

      First off I want to thank you for your efforts in this case. That being said I don’t see how dealing with the PA Racing Commission will do any good. The corrupt members of that group are a large part of the problem and none of the solution. I believe it will take a concerted effort by the public with phone calls, letters and emails to the governors office to get any action on this issue. In my opinion racing in PA needs to be shut down. While I realize this is a drastic idea I don’t believe the racing commission will ever be capable or willing to do their job.

      • Bryan Langlois

        I agree it may come to that, but I want to at least make sure we go through the proper chain of command so to speak first. I don’t want to have it where anyone on the commission or otherwise can claim “Oh…I didn’t know” if they are approached by a higher authority on it.

    • Billy

      The commission has already stated no further action will be taken the track obviously has no care and is doing nothin no stall revocation no barred from the entry box…..seems street justice is the only way…..i myself am going right to the source tellin mario how i feel man to man face to face good or bad doesnt matter and yes i hope i push him to the point he wants to fight me fed up

    • billshaner

      Bryan thanks for your efforts and for the contact info. Such a travesty. I would like to help in any way possible to see that Rodriguez pays a heavier price.

  • CigarsMom

    Please tell me I have missed something and this horse did not go a month before he got treatment. Last race 8/26, and date in question is 9/24. I really hope I am wrong about this. $500 fine? Penn National might as well well put up a sign saying “we don’t care either”.

    • Kathryn Papp

      Im sorry. You really arent missing anything. Mario was the owner and trainer legitamately of this horse and he in fact had another horse break down in training at penn this very morning

      • Yes Master

        I hope you continue to push the stewards and Pa commission to take effective and meaningful action against a a dirtbag like this. A breakdown this AM, get his A$$ out of there permanently

      • Billy

        Do you have a name of the horse ms papp

        • Kathryn Papp

          Need to ask my husband. I was just told it was one of Mario’s because he is stalled in the same barn as Monti.

          • Billy

            Would it be too much to ask if i can call you this weekend or email you heck ill even come muck some stalls while we chat i know ya got plenty of horses to take care of….there are a few things that i would like to speak with you about and it wont be allowed on here thanks for your time

          • Kathryn Papp

            Please do. I will be here working at the farm almost all weekend now that Awesome Wink is here. Cell is 802-238-0094. Text always best ahead of any calls so i know to answer:). Look forward to it

  • nikoniko

    This is outrageous and beyond egregious . I am a fan of racing, and a supporter , however the inaction shown here by the Racing Commission’s Thoroughbred Bureau demands extreme and prejudicial action. Not only have I alerted PETA( whom I personally despise) I pledge to make it a personal mission to share this out among my groups ( some of which have over 50,000 + members, Facebook pages And will submit it to all my local broadcast news journalists . Racing talks a good game but the game breaker here is the lack of disciplinary action.
    The Harrisburg Humane society will be hearing from me also. I will share this story nationally and internationally as well .

  • Sunstreaker

    “Rodriguez’s suspension is scheduled to begin Jan. 1 and run through Feb. 14. Penn National will be closed for the first two days of his suspension, and run four nights per week after that.“

    So, a free pass then? They should have had him banned for 45 racing days, much like a bank takes three working days to do certain things (whereas weekends are not counted). This jerk should also be required to pay $12,000, the total estimate cost to heal him to pasture soundness PLUS whatever the adoption fee will be set at, NOT a measly $500.00!!! The horse was suffering from a serious injury! This wasn’t the trainer being caught with illegal race day drugs. The horse was hurt! They insult the horse’s pain and suffering.

    If I was feeling particularly Jigsawish, if this loser of a trainer ever broke a leg or ankle, he wouldn’t be able to get any medical attention for the same amount of time as he had denied this horse.

  • nikoniko

    And are you freaking kidding me!!! How many backstretchers turned a blind eye to this? They are all culpable . I am
    Done apologizing for and supporting horse racing. Through this story I have learned my lesson— it really is a horrible abusive use of horses .

    • really


    • CEOmike

      Before you quit watch the Cal Cares video, this is a problem with state control where some states are simply corrupt. California, New York, Ontario, Arizona, Florida all look after their horse. Notice I left Kentucky out, generally they are great but I worry about recent business moves by CD.

      • Topi

        CHRB is the most corrupt and crony organization in horse racing. No investigation ever done on all those “sudden fatalities “ from big name stables. White hair gets you a pass, especially now that horses are tested for cobalt and warfarin

  • Vancouver Derek

    Sick bastard!!

  • Marlaine Meeker

    Revolting! Just shut the place down.

  • Darlene Brabant

    That amount is to little he should be banned for horse racing for ever. To let a animal suffer like that for days is just cruelty

    • Billy

      Days it was a month until he was found

  • really

    45 days. Any racing in Pennsylvania should be shut down immediately wtf is going on there?

  • Kitty

    Yet another reason why I HATE racing! Rat bastard

  • Watcher

    A nauseating disgrace.

  • Jamie Coughlin

    A horse with a broken leg untreated and they guy gets a slap on the wrist. And then they wonder why Animal Rights Organizations target horse racing.

  • William McAlevy

    I’m an Animal lover so looking at any animals neglected makes me sick to my stomach. Thank god for the care that Papp gave to Silent Ruler. I’m sure this happens alot at these smaller tracks. The suspension is pathetic. Let someone break this trainer’s leg and leave him there to suffer. Sad, this probably happens more than we know, trainers running horses that know can’t win, hiding injuries with drugs, especially the low level claimers. Scott Blasi is in charge of Gunrunner and in Peta video he talks of these claimers and trying to get other trainers to claim there injured horses by masking.

    • Erin Casseday

      How soon they forget and are forgiven. As much as things change, it all really just stays the same.

  • Tom in Chandler

    Why wouldn’t this be a criminally-charged animal cruelty case?

    • Lehane

      Agree. Plenty of evidence to charge him.

    • Bryan Langlois

      I am working on keeping pressure on the Humane Society to make sure the case is followed through with charges. I hope there will some more movement on this one soon.

  • Bill

    This is disgusting. This guy is known to run horses repeatedly with little or no break until they eventually can’t run anymore. He is a rat that needs to be removed from Penn and every other racetrack.

  • Erin Casseday

    Seriously? 45 days and a $500 fine? That is his punishment? And just think, if I took a baseball bat to him and broke his leg I would go to jail. It might just be worth it though……. And then I would take the bat and take a couple of good swings to the stewards and the commissioner…..

    PS, I would make sure they were all locked in a room with no medical attention.

  • SusanKayne

    “The total cost to rehabilitate him to pasture soundness is $12,000” and yet the Penn National board feels a slap on the wrist is sufficient for the trainer who caused this pain and suffering. Why wasn’t this trainer ruled OFF for life? Unconscionable. Indefensible. The Penn National board members who made this decision should be terminated for dereliction of duty.

    • Barrmorr

      Chances are the corrupt and inept PA Racing Commission was paid off at least as much as the cost ($12,000) of treatment for this horse. That amount is a bargain for this crooked trainer to avoid a longer suspension. The trainer should be in jail with animal cruelty charges against him and the members of the racing commission should be charged with aiding him. Overall, this is just another example of why in my opinion racing in Pennsylvania should be shut down. Hopefully someone will give this horse a good home after he recovers. He did nothing wrong. The same can not be said for the people involved.

      • Larry Ensor

        If you think this only happens in Pa then you are clueless. No snark intended. What is surprising is the fact they guy didn’t put the horse out of its misery not long after it happened. They usually hustle them out the gate in the dark of night right after the injury.

        • Barrmorr

          I am very aware that PA is not the only place stuff like this happens. On the other hand it seems to occur regularly in PA more than anyplace else. This trainer should not be banned for life. He should be put away for life and left to rot like the piece of human garbage that he is. I’ll stand up for the animal over a pile of excrement every time. The corrupt practices of the PA racing commission are well known and anyone who frequents any track in their jurisdiction deserves what they get.

          • Larry Ensor

            I pretty much agree. But to say that PA is the low of the lowest is a bit naive IMO. Pa is, has become the post child and I don’t think it entirely deserves it. I’ve been in the business a LONG time. Been to just about every “backside” in the country. A number of which are no longer around. Pretty much the same BS can be found at every one of them. Some are just a better, some a lot better of keeping their “dirty little secrets” out of the public view. Regardless of the business, not just picking on racing.

    • Lehane

      Agree…..sack the board, the whole damn lot of them.

  • Why is this trainer given any suspension? He needs to be banned. That is entirely what the tracks I’ve worked at, would call this trainer, an undesireable to compete or train at their racing venue. Rodriguez should be brought up on charges for animal cruelty! This is just insane what PA. is letting this man get away with. $500.? Why doesn’t he have to pay that Vet bill? Geez, you people in PA. don’t give a hoot in hell about the horses, do you?

    • Billy

      You really think its just a pa thing cmon jock maybe not things like this but in the bigger picture of things the corruption is alive and well…when theres money on the line the horses always pay the price in the end a vast majority of times have seen and read entirely too much from the industry itself to think otherwise

      • Oh Lord No, I don’t think that at all. I’m aware there is widespread corruption, and many other bad things and illegal things happening at all the tracks across the country. But for myself, I’m not there or exposed to the racing there in PA. but hear horrible things about it all the time from those who do live and race there, and most of what I hear is really bad. So, I’d mentioned their bad reputation is all. I’ve never seen or heard of a trainer doing something so negligent as this is many years of racing from east to west.

      • Lord no, I know better than that Billy. But this happened in PA. and the ruling is so light it makes room for doubt as to what or how much the officials there care about. Looks as though they don’t care at all. Wasn’t referring to the whole state. Only this specific case in fact, does make this PA. track look very poorly in my eyes, This isn’t about corruption and those bigger picture issues. It’s one man who abused and neglected his injured horse. And the stewards and commission that are allowing him to continue on. It’s not right IMHO. And you’re correct, where there is money there’s gonna be corruption. It’s rampant in the U.S. from one end to the other. I’m not blind to the facts.

        • Billy

          This isnt the first time this happened in horse racing…injured horses show up at auction with their racing plates on frequently…this isnt even the first time a horse was left in a stall with a broken ankle at penn its happened before that was more of my point

          • I’ve worked at tracks from East to West and have never heard of anyone treating a horse this badly before. That was my point. And for the PA. officials to treat this incident with such a light hand just sickens me beyond,… Yes, I know horses from the track are frequently sold at auctions. This has nothing whatsoever to do with this case. I was being specific, not generalizing. That is my point.

          • Billy

            While you might not have seen specifically a horse with a broken ankle left in a stall to fend for himself…..saying ive never heard of anyone treating a horse this badly before leaves alot to be desired… for the pa officials they just dont give a crap i call them the ostrich club because they are forever running around with their heads in the sand id like to say more say the real truth but that will never be allowed and we should all already know clearly

          • Billy

            Id like to get the jocks together and ask them to boycott riding for this guy since that seems to be the only way to get a guy off the track….well it worked in the past i should say

          • Should I just lie then and say it’s common place on the racetracks, Billy? I have not ever heard of anyone on the track ever treating a horse this badly before. Not ever! Not to this extreme, and this is very extreme! If my comment leaves a lot to be desired,… TOO BAD! I’m not gonna lie and say I’ve seen worse. Because that’s not what is true. For me,… this incident is unfathomable to me. I can’t even imagine what this poor horse was feeling, both physically and mentally! So, if you don’t think I’ve been forthright in my comments, then don’t read ’em. I don’t know what else to say to ya. I spoke the truth. Nothing more, nothing less. Well maybe less. I could say a whole lot about the tracks,… but not on this subject matter. I can only give you my explanation as I see it. I never worked for this type of trainer. My employers were very good to their horses,… every single one of ’em. That’s not to say others don’t do horrible things to horses. I’d just been fortunate enough to work for the better ones, that don’t abuse their trainees. If my comment leaves a lot to be desired, oh well and too bad. I’ll not lie for anyone to make it sound worse than it actually is. Far as these officials and their ruling? I’ve got no words right now that wouldn’t be deleted as soon as they made it onto this page. Why bother? I am disgusted, to the extreme just as others are here!

          • I understand this too Billy. I’d not heard of any other time this has happened at Penn. It’s sickening, why don’t they care more for the horses there in PA.? I don’t get it. I’d like to hurt this Rodriguez guy myself. I’m not usually violent at all. But he makes me want to be!!

          • Billy

            Google racehorse slade….you will find his story on horseracing wrongs…..i personally know the lady that wrote the story….i live close to the penn really close….its a horrible place for horses best way i can say things on here….i agree i would like to hurt this guy myself and it might just come to that….im usually non violent myself but from what i know and seen in horseracing it just brings out the worst in me

          • Lehane

            You are absolutely correct. Have witnessed what you talk about where I am.

  • Mark E Gory

    Break his ankle with a bat and don’t let him go to a hospital! Then give him a year suspension.

  • mike

    this guy should be one and done. no excuse, no second chance.

  • Anthony Spinelli

    My interest in Pa racing has gone from two days a year to none. Never had much respect for it, now have none. When governing bodies hand out rulings like this one they are proving themselves to be less trusted than some of the horsemen who race in that state.

  • Mark E Gory

    A nice 45 day vacation in the winter. He should be banned for life ! This is why PETA and many others ,have problems with horse racing

  • ziggypop

    Kicked out of racing permanently!!! And charged with abuse!!!

    No wonder people have turned on horseracing.

    • Larry Ensor

      yup, pretty much sums it up.

    • nikoniko

      You better believe it . I stood by racing but one too many stories like this take the cake. And what about all the other backstretchers aware of this horse’s suffering and just going about their business. That , right there, reeks of collusion, corruption and moral ROT.

  • Mark Up Tiny

    Congratulations Jenny Bowman and Eric for allowing this animal on your backside. But we all understand he runs them every 7 days so he’s of value to you. He had a mare named Mark up Tiny that ran several times in a month once.

    If you DO CARE about your reputation don’t give this animal stalls.

    • Billy

      Check him out on equibase he runs all his horses into the ground hes far from the only one too

  • Mark Up Tiny

    This is par for the course for Scott Campbell, the steward who wears a Steeler jersey to work and drove a car with flames on it.

    • nikoniko

      What a jackass

    • Can you explain? I don’t get it! What would what he wore or drove have to do with the price of meat in Safeway?

  • Kathy Young

    Interesting that the Humane Society of Harrisburg “declined comment.” They need to consult their attorneys, dot the i’s, cross the t’s and make a “comment” soon. As for the $500 fine, that should just be the first (and smallest) of many payments from the trainer. Set an example for all.

    • whirlaway

      Animal abuse laws and penalties are quite simply not tough enough in the U.S. heck a majority of human laws and penalties are not tough enough.

  • Genellen

    Penn National. Of course. Garbage track of the country.

    I’d like to break this guy’s leg myself, and leave him to suffer.

    • You are not alone!!

  • Susan

    Ban him for life from all tracks – unacceptable for a trainer to ignore any cut, scrape, heat or swelling

  • Kentucky Breeder

    Agree, this industry continues to turn a blind eye on those that should never ever be part of it. Industry mavens wonder why our industry can never get good PR. Until we start self policing the way other major institutions do we will be having this conversation way too often.

    • Sara swope

      The only way to save the Sport Of Kings in this country, is to repeal para-mutual wagering. It’ a ponzi scheme, & the horses & race riders pay the biggest price. I know it’s a pipedream, and I’m afraid horse racing will go the same way as dog racing. Lap & Tap anybody?

  • Maurice B. Quirin

    jojo is right … $500 is a joke. Permanent ban.

  • Gary Barndollar

    Heartless s.o.b. Doesn’t seem as if the punishment fits the crime. Someone that cruel and indifferent to animals in their care should be banned from training for life.

  • Hamish

    Thank you Dr. Papp.

  • Larry sterne

    Trainer and owner demonstrated lack of financial responsibility and actions that degrade the integrity of the sport. And trainer gets a measley 45 days suspension? Another clear example Penn racing has their head up wherever and they they degrade the integrity of the sport.

  • FastBernieB

    The fact this horse was in the trainers barn for a month means that a lot of people knew about it and did nothing. Shame on them all regardless of their reason for remaining silent.
    Unfortunately, the guiltiest parties in this unfit trainer mess are the owners who have and will continue to send horses to Mario Rodriguez. Even though it wasn’t their horse, they still had to know what type of trainer they were dealing with.These types of owners (and trainers like MR) are not just a disgrace to the sport but a disgrace to humanity. May they and their families be left to walk around for a month on a broken leg and then fall and break the other one.

    • That’s not the truth FastBernieB. Some trainers don’t allow anyone in their barns at all. And usually when people do walk through someones barn they don’t normally stop to look or check out their horses. So to say it means a lot of people knew about this horse is not the case at all. Probably nobody knew or they’d have done just what Dr. Papp had done. Act in the animals best interest.

      • FastBernieB

        Unless MR operates a true sole proprietorship, at a very minimum there would be barn staff and they would have to have known. Only the trainer knew? Sorry, but I’m not buying.

        • Well if he owns most of the horses he trains as I understand he does and does have minimal help if any at all, then it is indeed possible nobody had known. I know many trainers with stables at the tracks and they do all the work themselves and don’t hire any but ex-riders to do the loping. They have up to 8 horses some of them. I don’t know how many MR trains, but it is possible he is doing it alone. I was just trying to show it’s possible. I’m in TX. I can’t know much for sure from here. Just sayin’.

  • Sara Swope

    The horse is the most abused animal in the world. A sane & rational judgement, would have been permanent revocation of this blantantly sadistic man’s racing license. But proof, once again, is that most so-called “horse people” do not have the horse’s best interest @ heart. I personally don’t think many even have a heart.

  • whirlaway

    The entire U.S. is way too soft on animal abuse everyday, so tired of it from everyday pet owner to this type of violation no matter what type of animal it is laws must be tougher. This is animal abuse and if the racing world is too weak and soft to handle it with a tough penalty then it should be handled as an animal abuse case and bypass the racing world.

    • nikoniko

      Agree. This is ridiculous and reprehensible. I bear the everlasting shame of living in this noxious pit of a state . It was once beautiful but on top of everything else they are cracking it into oblivion and giving the extractors ENORMOUS tax breaks . PA stinks

      • whirlaway

        Sadly this has happened to more than a few states. In 1998 I moved to NH and our new governor has set out to toughen animal abuse laws. But what can we expect the laws for crime against humans are just as dysfunctional. This trainer should never be allowed to touch any animal much less train horses. Unfortunately one of my traits is for certain things I am not very forgiving.

        • Nor most I would think about such a case as this one Whirlaway. I’d have a hard time holding my tongue and my fists in this mans presence, and I don’t know him at all. Nothing excuses this man for he’d done to this horse. There is nothing that he could say to me to make me feel like I forgave him for his act. Or the lack thereof. Animal cruelty is a crime in all states. He should be charged accordingly and face a Judge in court.

          • whirlaway

            I do not forgive him or others like him. The NFL fans had no problem to give the player that ran the dog fighting ring another chance, the fans I personally knew explaining he had done his penalty and deserved another chance, sorry not in my opinion, I had a friend that would say about abused animals “who will be their lawyer
            if we do not speak up”. Complaining to each other in a post will do nothing.

          • Right on Whirlaway!! I didn’t give that player Michael Vick a chance in hell at making a comeback. But I was wrong in my thinking. I didn’t believe the NFL would ever let him come back. And they shouldn’t have either.

            I’d have been too ashamed to return or show my face in public again, had I been in his shoes. No way would I fight to make any comebacks. But he is gone now, isn’t he?
            I’m not big on forgiving people that are intentionally cruel or unintentionally cruel when it goes this far.

          • whirlaway

            He never really played that well upon his return. Americans need to stop with this marshmallow mentality no free rides with me and I don’t want to hear excuses.
            My family was not rich and I did not get everything in my childhood I wanted but no
            excuse for bad behavior and no free rides. Excluding animals and a small segment of the population I am tough on humans. Little if any pity, I save that for those that really deserve it.

          • Erin Casseday


          • Ida Lee

            I can hardly think about that Michael Vick person without thinking of the horror of what he did to those poor dogs….I’ll never forgive or forget ….and the NFL has some nerve to take this person back because he paid his dues to society….no he did not…some of us still have nightmares…I’ve never been able to understand why some people hurt other living things especially when they can’t defend themselves ….

          • whirlaway

            There are certain circumstances i am not forgiving and if others do not like it so be it. Abuse of animals,children, and elderly I do not tolerate and no free pass. BTW the NFL has a commissioner and extremely bad behavior is accepted just as bad as in racing so don’t put much faith in a commissioner to clear up all problems as many feel, it could be a start but not the full answer.

          • Ida Lee

            I think the Commissioner just signed a new $200 million, 5-year-extension on his contract…..which proves that incompetence is not a barrier to enormous monetary success…..I stopped watching any football a long time ago except for the Super Bowl….and I won’t be watching that either until they start showing some respect for the things we hold dear ….

          • whirlaway

            I stopped watching football my first year of high school. My cousin like my Dad played football in college for my cousin, military school for my Dad. My cousin was a teacher and coached football for a rival school of my school. I understand the game
            but just never liked it. Never watched a Super Bowl just bits and pieces over the years. More than enough. Your right so many overpaid people but can’t blame them
            it is the fool’s that pay those kind of crazy amounts of money which is also the new
            way of pro sports and endorsements.

          • Ida Lee

            Amen to that …

          • I’m just glad you stated it!

          • whirlaway

            I call it as I see it, not very difficult to determine right from wrong and In my family there were consequences if you made the wrong choice. My parents did not believe in hitting us but preferred to remove priveliges that meant something to us and they sure worked. A few times I had to watch my Dad leave for a day at the track or something else that mattered but being punished I had to stay home. I learned pretty

          • In my family, there’d been some whippings, I’ll admit. None undeserved I’m sure. My Mom never would have hit any kid at all. My Dad whipped us with a belt. Hurt like hell too!! Then after he whipped us, he’d remove whatever privileges he deemed appropriate. Restricting us was big on his list of punishments. But I never felt like he abused his children. I have two sisters that’d disagree with me. But I thought we had deserved each whippin’ we ever got. Least I did. This wasn’t something that happened often. But even once teaches ya pretty good. My Dad when I was just barely a teen. I miss him a lot and regret he never got to see me win a race.

          • whirlaway

            Well sounds like we both grew up just fine. Sometimes today I don’t know who are the children and who is the parent they seem to be one and the same. My Mother would say I am not your friend I am your Mother but we were a close family and worked as a team through hard times, Bless my parents they were married 65 yrs. I would like to believe your Dad was looking down when you crossed the wire in victory saying ” That is my son riding those race horses to a win”. 🐎

          • Erin Casseday

            Don’t even get me started on that topic. Just one more reason not to watch the over paid NFL.

          • whirlaway

            Definitely overpaid and there are a percentage that can barely string a sentence together. I always felt like this and I knew about their behavior but you will be furious
            if you search crimes by NFL players even negative me was rather shocked. Jockeys
            face just as much serious injuries including head injuries and they risk their lives all year long with little time off unless seriously injured and constant weight battle. While they may not be perfect they are far behind what I saw in the NFL and jockeys are not near the salaries and have no front office backing from a team.

          • Erin Casseday

            Didn’t you know, it is a “right” to play football not a “privilege”! LOL

        • Erin Casseday

          You are not alone.

      • nikoniko, don’t need to be ashamed of the state. PA. is a beautiful state with a lot of wonderful people and terrific things there. I love your state. Been many times there, and always was welcomed with warmth and friendliness.

        Be angry at this man who’d done this horse wrong, maybe complain to the officials who’d made this ridiculous ruling, and let ’em know the punishment was too damned light for someone who shouldn’t be around animals at all. Maybe your voice there can make a difference for other animals in this guys care.

    • Absolutely correct Whirlaway it should have bypassed the racing officials, and gone before the state as an abuse case. Maybe the court would’ve handled this better,… or one can sure hope anyway.

      • whirlaway

        One can only hope, time to get tough with these cases and keep it straight about who is
        the victim here and it is not the human. No matter the reason the animal was left in this condtion it is obvious the trainer has no common sense or aptitude to make a correct decision or be entrusted with his position and the penalty is not appropriate. My
        only question is what is so difficult for the Penn National board of stewards to understand that. Now that I am retired I would be free to explain to them if necessary.

        • yeah me too!! LOL!! I’m also retired from racing now, and kinda glad of that too. Since now people don’t think badly of me online. Before would almost blame me for whatever they’d read online about racing. Or it sure did seem so for awhile. I find most don’t even understand animal care forget about horses!

          • whirlaway

            Many do not understand animal care is a definite, but I guess I should not be surprised by that look at what we see with children and how parents take care of them sometimes, I just don’t know what to think about some situations.

          • Of course, we can’t understand things we’d never imagine doing ourselves. That’s a thing we will never understand. Don’t even try to understand. It’s just wrong on every level. Rodriguez has made a tragic and horrific mistake. I don’t think this incident is gonna go away too easily either. Now that the incident is out in the public domain. He may get run outta town. I’m hoping this is what will happen. People tend to not forget these type cases too readily. I hope they don’t forget this one. Time to put pressure on the officials there at this track to change their rulings.

          • whirlaway

            I wish I felt confident there would be bigger consequences but not sure how that will
            happen in this case. Every owner should be moving their horses quickly to another trainer along with running checks to see what kind of people to entrust their horses to.

          • Unless there is a whole lot of public outrage over this ruling and their allowing this man to continue training, then nothing else will happen. Get on your phone as I’m gonna be doing tomorrow. Let the track officials know you’re angry! You don’t find the ruling appropriate for the crime. It’s all you can do right now.

          • whirlaway

            I have no problem doing that and for all posting here that think it is so terrible here is
            a chance to make your feelings known. I send letters or I should say emails to politicians regularly and recently stopped something from happening in my state by contacting my local politicians along with others. Actually local is where you really want to watch as that often can really have an effect on your life.

          • Good for you Whirlaway!! I’ve been fighting horse slaughter myself for more than 10 years now, so I talk to politicians every week day. Begging them to not allow slaughter in the U.S. again. We’re fighting but who can tell what’s gonna happen with this one? Anyway,… i appreciate you trying to better the situation for the animals in your state. Thanks for all you do to help others!!

  • Mike Oliveto

    That $500 fine will definitely teach him a lesson. How about garnishing all of his purses until the $12k is paid off? What an oversight embarrassment by PA.

  • Kevin mcdermott

    I’m a trained myself with 1600 lifetime wins in the standabred business how can this horrible human being ever be allowed to look at a horse again boy this business needs to do something before it’s all over

    • where do you race Kevin? I agree the guy shouldn’t be allowed to look at any animals in his lifetime. Certainly not a horse!

  • Elsa Gaebl

    This is exactly what’s wrong with racing today! How can you expect people to back and or embrace a sport that treats its primary attractions like this! I grew up in this sport and I am ashamed to see this. How many others are on that backside that are in the same shape? This goes beyond cruelty to sadistic, with social media the way it is today if said trainer and I use that word with regret, couldn’t afford to help that poor animal then start a go fund me page, he would have had the money in no time! Oh wait, he would not have been receiving the day money for the horse! There should be no discussion that trainer should be ruled off! Animal cruelty is becoming the face of horse racing especially in Pennsylvania!! This is disgusting

    • Elsa, not fair to generalize so widely as you have here in your comment. It offends me personally. The sport doesn’t treat the animals in such a way. Only a handful of really awful, heartless people do this. I worked on the tracks most of my life, I’ve never seen anything close to this in my life. You make it sound like this kinda thing happens all the tracks, and it doesn’t! It’s pretty rare in fact.

      • Sara swope

        Have to disagree w/ you there jock. The # of horses that are destroyed @ each meet is ever increasing. Same w/ the # of horses sold to the kiler buyer.

    • Sara swope

      I concur.

  • Pennsylvania: The Arm Pit of Horse Racing.

  • swatkins

    You have seriously got to be kidding me!!! AND these stewards and commission personnel AND the racing director actually get paid???????? Thank you to Dr. Papp!!!

  • Stalking Horse

    45 days suspension = joke
    Lifetime ban would be more appropriate for blatant disregard of taking care of Silent Ruler!

    Decisive industry action is needed. This is what is wrong with racing, and cases like this give racing a bad name.

    Where are the owners??

    • Billy

      He owns most of the horses he races to my knowledge

  • Deb

    Thank goodness for people who care. This trainer should not be allowed anymore horses and the ones they have should be removed from them. This is just so very sad for this horse.

  • travkarjeff

    This is why I quit the racetrack many years ago.

  • Sara swope

    The horse is the most abused of animals. Terribly pathetic that Mr. Rodriguez is free to abuse more horses. Truly dispicable that people who claim to love horses, ignored this innocent animal’s suffering.

  • Susanne Conway

    Thank you Kate

  • bill landes

    Add to Penn’s culture of corruption, culture of neglect. Trainer needs lose license, track needs to inspect closer the backside inhabitants(human and equine)

  • Mambo

    Seems you get more days, “time” for alcohol and other illegal substances, even fighting. Why when an animal is suffering at our fancy as “horse folks” does one only get a slap on the wrist?

    • Sara swope

      Because a lot of those who are the racing commission, have horses in training w/ the offending trainers.

  • KateDscM

    Take away his trainer’s license and his owner’s license. How this poor horse has suffered… may his courageous spirit help defy the odds against him, worsened greatly by the neglect of those responsible for his care. Please update this story.

  • KateDscM

    I don’t think we are to post links on this forum, but please, if you are moved as I was by the fact that the PA Racehorse Rehoming, Rehabilitation and Rescue not only took in Silent Ruler when his situation must have appeared near hopeless, but is also attempting to rehabilitate him to pasture soundness, I urge you to check out their website and perhaps make a small donation. Merry Christmas and God Bless everyone who provides a soft landing for our beloved Thoroughbred warriors.

    • Bryan Langlois

      Thank you Kate. I might be able to beat that can’t post links here by doing it this way. the website is www dot paracehorse dot org

  • JustJoe

    This is an easy one, remove Mario Rafael Rodriguez from the grounds.

    For life!

    • Bryan Langlois

      Apparently, if what Mr. Chukas says is true and the Commission will take no further action, the only one who can do that is Eric Johnston by ejecting him from Penn. He of course could have the right to appeal that ejection to the Commission, which would make for a mighty interesting decision on their part.

      • Lehane

        If Eric Johnston has any integrity whatsoever he must take action and eject Mario Rodriguez from Penn. The Commission must dismiss the appeal. Such decision being the only one to make given the indisputable evidence of Silent Ruler’s abhorrent suffering over a long period of time.

        • This is the same Eric Johnston that used to be here in TX. at SHRP you’re talking about?

      • Hamish

        Didn’t PA recently pass an animal abuse law that included equine cruelty concerns? Perhaps trying to sell or transfer a broken down horse is covered and punishable, but not sure by what body/organization?

        • Bryan Langlois

          Yes…and I am still working on that end of it to make sure the case is fully investigated from that end of things. The neglect alone would be chargeable under the cruelty statutes. I have to see where that investigation stands as it is separate from the one that the commission did.

        • Billy

          He should be able to be punished through the newly passed libres law its known as hb 1238

  • Ida Lee

    It’s taken this long for me to read this article cause quite frankly, just reading the headline makes me want to bang my head against a wall….that his trainer is allowed to be anywhere near another horse or any animal for that matter, is mind blowing….I give up …

    • Don’t give up Ida Lee, the horses need everybody’s voice if things are to ever change!

      • Ida Lee

        I was upset earlier this week cause I noticed my dog’s nails were too long and I feel terrible that I haven’t gotten him to the vet to get his nails trimmed….but you can look at this poor animal’s leg and see this swelling and not do anything….it just blows my mind….I won’t really be giving up…I was still pretty upset when I wrote the above comment….animals can’t protect themselves….they need us to do it….

        • I’m so glad to read this, Ida Lee! I’m a real stickler when it comes to my dogs nails too! But it’s the better way to be than neglectful of the little things! Thank you for all you do for the horses and other creatures!

          • Ida Lee

            Thank you jock….but those fuzzy little (and big) creatures ??? they do much more for me than I can ever do for them….

          • Same here! when I tell people, I prefer my animals to most people I know. I’m not trying to be insulting or offensive to anybody at all. It just happens to be what is true is all. In fact, I know many people who prefer their pets company to that of human company. I don’t see anything wrong in this at all. Some people are wired more towards animals than humans. Each of us is so different in our own ways, but it doesn’t mean those of us who are a little more different is wrong. Just means we’re different. Horses for me are the very best companions ever created, and then my dogs too! When Jim bought Big’n for me, he said, now I’ve done it, haven’t I? You’d sooner get rid of me than that horse! Oh, I said, at least you realize this going forward. LOL!!

          • Ida Lee

            LOL….there’s no better therapy than a fuzzy-faced baby loving you up when you’re feeling down……Cat Story to follow: as soon as I finished putting up my Christmas tree, the most important part of my Christmas Village decor, it went down in one huge bang….the guilty culprit was my gorgeous Siberian feline who stood next to my fallen masterpiece with a ….yeah, that’s right ….I did it…..see you later…I’m going to nap …..and walked away all fluffed up looking as only a blue-eyed, long-haired , silver colored gorgeous Siberian can look, walking over and around half the decorations on my previously beautiful and now pathetic-looking tree which was now sprawled in the middle of my living room and half of it’s decorations all over the floor and reaching the kitchen ….it’s now permanently bent and I’ll need a new one next year….if a human had knocked down my precious tree, I would still be fuming….but since it was my gorgeous Marshmellow….well, it’s become another cute story I have about my rascal feline….

  • BreederOwner

    POS needs to be ruled off for life!

  • robbie davis

    Really a 45 day suspension and $500 fine!!!!! What a sick reprehensible f’in joke. This savage should be banned from racing for his lifetime, NEVER allowed to train or own another horse… that’s the wonderful self governing world of horse racing for you!!!! May he burn in hell with 2 broken legs.

    • Sara swope

      …Amen. But it’s not just in horse racing. Show barns & rodeos aren’t much better. I’ve witnessed it.

  • Richard Holmes

    God bless the people who got involved and saved this horse. He is a beautiful horse! It is pretty disgusting that this trainer allowed the horse to suffer and did not provide him with any medical care. If he can’t afford to provide proper medical care, then he should not own horses.

  • Vendettaroad

    All the people who are suppose to protect the horses, the bettors, and the integrity of the sport – go silent or are MIA.
    Their as lowdown as the TRAINER (cgh, cgh) that turned his back on the innocent animal.
    [will never play a race in that State]

  • HappyHarriet

    This truly sickens me.

    What about all the other personnel in that barn, or around that facility? Are those individuals not ethically and professionally expected to put the horse’s health as a top priority? Shouldn’t THEY be held to a higher standard? I realize that it’s tough to go into your boss and essentially tell him/her that they are incompetent, but at some point, aren’t there higher expectations that should be in place in this situations? WHAT A TRAVESTY.

    But wait! The OWNER needs to be investigated as well. Give the horse away with a BROKEN LEG? What damned fool thought that up?

    This is personal to me because I have a Roman Ruler mare that is a winner on the track, and whom I adore, and her “fate” on the backside was extremely unfortunate but the trainer got away with it. So this is my mare’s half brother, which makes this “family” to me. And it makes me very unhappy.

    As to my mare, whom I owned in partnership, I reported her situation to the Investigators at the CHRB (an almost totally useless group by the way in my opinion). Needless to say, I won no friends on the backside. However, I did save my horse’s life, which was my only goal.

    And having just evacuated her from her ranch due to fire, one might say saving her life is a repeating theme apparently in my relationship with her. She seems to have a hex on her – she just never catches a break. In her smallish ranch of 30 horses, hers was the only stall that was burned to a crisp. BUT AT LEAST SHE WASN’T IN IT!

    45 day suspension and a few bucks in penalty for this dodo bird who gets away with calling himself a TRAINER? Again I say, WHAT A TRAVESTY. If ANY person leaves a horse in his barn, SHAME ON YOU FOREVER.

    • Lehane

      Exactly…. the other personnel in Silent Ruler’s barn! Shame on those jerks.

  • Fairy Gold

    This is a late post on this article but important to say: Contrast this “trainer Mario R Rodriguez” with trainer Martine Belloq’s efforts to save her 6, I said 6 horses, in the San Luis Ray fire. She is in a medically induced coma with burns on 50% of her body. How she must have loved those 6 horses.

    • Bryan Langlois

      So…So…So True. Hoping she is able to make a miraculous recovery from this…

  • Convene

    If anyone looked at that horse and didn’t clue in something was majorly wrong, he or she would have to be – sorry to be blunt – an idiot. This is sickening! The punishment seems mild for someone who’s supposed to be a qualified horseman. One has to wonder what charges may come from the Humane society. I will be watching for updates on this case and hope I will not be disappointed. Blessings for Silent Ruler. I hope his recovery is successful.

  • Tom in Chandler

    Dauphin County District Attorney: 717-780-6767, or go to their web site. Demand an investigation of a prima facie case of animal cruelty, a felony in Pennsylvania.

    • Lehane

      Believe me if I was an American citizen, I’d be taking this action.
      The DCDA needs to be swamped with demands for an investigation NOW!

    • Does it matter if we don’t happen to live in PA.?

      • Billy

        I doubt it….i would say it would speak volume if someone such as yourself would call from tx….hopefully they would get the point on what a major deal this is

        • Will do then Billy, thanks for the advice, and I’ll make a very big deal about it when I speak to someone there about this incident. Also will respond to other posts of yours in this thread when I have more time. Gotta go work now for a couple of hours. Thanks for the tip.

          • Billy

            Yes i appologize i havent had the time to respond to your other posts but i most certainly will have a good day

  • DawnStorm

    Any updates on Silent Ruler’s condition?

    • Bryan Langlois

      Silent Ruler is doing very well and in the end stages of his stay at New Jersey Equine Clinic under the watchful eye of the amazing surgeon Dr. Jen Smith who did his surgery. All is going well from what I understand and he soon will be discharged and on his way to much greener pastures…in fact…a pasture to call his very own for life.

  • Condor

    Break Rodriguez leg and leave him to sweat and tremble. The fact somebody like him is allowed around any animal is sick.

  • Michael Castellano

    About as low as a man can go. Should be in jail for animal abuse and have his trainer’s license revoked permanently.

  • BethK

    This horse languished with that injury for a month and NOBODY thought to do anything about it in all that time? What a cesspool of a track. The trainer and workers who let this happen and the stewards and racing commission all need to be banned for life. This is the kind of stuff that drives people away from racing.

  • ctgreyhound

    This sport needs to clean up its act & what better place to start than with this callous disregard of meeting the needs of an injured horse in your care. How can horse racing hold its head up high & let this trainer get away with no more than a mere inconvenience of suspension at one track. I’m appalled at everyone involved – from trainer to the Penn State Horse Racing Commission to the Penn National Board of Stewards – lack of sincere concern.

  • Brent T

    I’d advise everyone that really cares to take 10-15 minutes of your time on Monday or one day this upcoming week and voice your concerns to the following places about the fine/suspension and the horses welfare…. The more calls the better:

    Penn National RaceCourse – (610) 373-2400
    Pennsylvaina Racing Commission – (717) 787-1942
    Peta (This may do the most good) – (757) 622-7382
    The Jockey Club of America – (212) 371-5970

  • Brent T

    I’d advise everyone that really cares to take 10-15 minutes of your time on Monday or one day this upcoming week and voice your concerns to the following places about the fine/suspension and the horses welfare…. The more calls the better:

    Penn National RaceCourse – (610) 373-2400
    Pennsylvaina Racing Commission – (717) 787-1942
    Peta (This may do the most good) – (757) 622-7382
    The Jockey Club of America – (212) 371-5970

  • Becky Russell

    Why was this trainer’s license not taken away?

  • Billy

    Hb 1238 now act 10: an extension of libres law reads:Animal Cruelty:

    Rather than a single section (5511(C)) lumping together every form of cruelty, the legislation breaks down the penalties for different grades of cruelty and different penalties based on the egregiousness of the conduct and how many prior offenses there have been. Here is a quick breakdown:

    Section 5532 Neglect of an animal – failure to provide necessary food, water, shelter or veterinary care
    Penalty: Summary offense – up to 90 days in jail and/or a $300 fine.
    Penalty: if neglect causes bodily injury or places the animal at imminent risk of serious bodily injury – Misdemeanor of the second or third degree – up to 1 year in jail and/or $2,000 fine.
    Section 5533 Animal cruelty – intentionally, knowingly or recklessly illtreats, overloads, beats, abandons or abuses and animal and the treatment causes bodily harm to the animal.
    Penalty: Summary offense – up to 90 days in jail and/or a $300 fine.
    Penalty: if neglect causes bodily injury or places the animal at imminent risk of serious bodily injury – Misdemeanor of the second degree – up to 1 year in jail and/or $2,000 fine.
    Section 5534 Aggravated cruelty – torturing an animal or violating either of the above sections and causing serious bodily injury or death of an animal.
    Penalty: Felony of the third degree – up to 7 years in jail and/or a $15,000 fine……IT IS UP TO US THE PEOPLE LIBRES LAW WAS MADE FOR ONE REASON PUBLIC OUTRAGE DO NOT LET THIS GUY WALK

    • Thank you Billy for sharing this info on here. I’m surprised it takes a Felony to get hard time or get fines that would be enough to put a dent in someones pocketbook before Abuse is taken seriously. This is crazy to me how our animals are viewed with such light laws for them. What a shame this is. Very sad!

  • Tom in Chandler

    Today I filed a crime-stoppers tip through the Dauphin County DA website, and followed up with a phone call to the Detective Division. I did speak with a DC detective there this afternoon, who acknowledged receiving my tip, and indicated their office is aware of the situation with Silent Ruler. Penn National is within their jurisdiction, and a detective is reviewing the case. I don’t mean to speak on their behalf, but the detective I spoke with assures that the situation is being reviewed.

    • Bryan Langlois

      Thank you for taking the time and initiative to do this.

      • Tom in Chandler

        Just really reluctant to use the detective’s name, but he was very patient, listened carefully, and was very sympathetic. I believe your posts indicate that pressure is already on to charge this case criminally, so let’s hope Silent Ruler has some justice.
        And so glad to see in the post that Silent Ruler is doing well.

    • Thank you Tom in Chandler!! You just rock!! This is a brave thing for you to have done, and I sure hope it doesn’t come back to you with negativity attached. Kudos for doing the right thing for this horse!!

  • What a joke. 45 day suspension and $500??? He should be banned permanently and forced to pay the $12,000 in medical costs for letting that poor horse suffer like that…

  • Pat Boats

    I want to know what gives Rodriguez the right to do this to a claimer horse that has raced plenty to be treated like garbage. Cold hearted neglect.

Twitter Twitter
Paulick Report on Instagram