Horse Owner Unsure Whether Seized Mare is Dead or Alive

Horse owner Virginia Stack of Quakertown, Pa., wasted no time responding to requests for identification information about her Thoroughbred mare, Sharp Gal. The mare was residing at Norcrest Farm in Troupsburg, N.Y., when authorities with the Finger Lakes Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) seized 82 allegedly malnourished horses from the farm Aug. 29-30. But in the days since the seizure took place, Stack has been unable to get an answer on whether her mare is among the five dead or the 77 now residing in foster homes.

"The SPCA called and asked me for proof of ownership, photographs, and veterinary bills for 2006 through 2008," Stack said. "I immediately sent them all the information they requested, and I still don't know whether my horse is dead or alive."

According to published reports, Geraldine ("Gerry") Trupia, the farm's operator, has been charged with five counts of animal cruelty in connection with the case. Her attorney, J. Timothy Embser, was unavailable for comment, as were SPCA Director Vicki Mosgrove and Steuben County Assistant District Attorney Patricio Jimenez.

According to Stack, Gerry Trupia picked up Sharp Gal at Stack's Wishful Thinking Farm in mid-June and took her to Norcrest Farm for breeding. Throughout the summer the women exchanged telephone calls and e-mails in which Stack was assured her mare was doing well. Stack learned about the seizure while reading coverage of the case on

According to the SPCA, about 30% of the seized horses belonged to out-of-state owners, and efforts to match horses with their owners are under way.

But Stack's daily inquiries to the SPCA about Sharp Gal's status have gone unanswered.

She intends to keep trying.

"I'm calling every day until I learn something," Stack said. "If they would just tell me what happened to her, at least I'd have some peace of mind."

Read more about this case.

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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