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☛ A letter to readers of 8-11-18

August 6, 2018

To: Readers of

Let me start by saying thank you to Executive Committee for addressing the concerns that my colleagues and I have raised in the past. The changes in personnel that you have made were very positive and much needed. However, the way the Dufurrena fiasco has been handled has been an unbelievable disgrace to the image of the NCHA and horse industry in general!


I spent MANY days at the Summer Spectacular visiting with many people, and the talk of trainers, owners, and spectators is how lenient the penalty was for the Dufurrena family! As we all know, the non-pro ownership rules are considered to be some of the most sacred rules of our association, and are not meant to be bent, much less broken. And if broken, the penalty in the past has meant lifetime suspensions. In some of my conversations with fellow directors and committee members, I found it appalling to learn about how our president, Phil Rapp, was strongly lobbying for no sanctions to be brought against the Dufurrenas, and Committee member Kathy Daughn suggested only a 30 day suspension!?!?

REALLY?!?! Thankfully, Frank Diehl was not complicit in this attempt at a miscarriage of justice, and stood his ground for appropriate sanctions. Furthermore, in stead of feeling lucky for the light punishment they received, Ed brazenly ignored the suspension rules by being an “Agent” of horses showing at the Spectacular, and also violated suspension rules by trying to work horses in the practice pen and flag, two separate times, even to the point that required the police asking him to leave!…However, he did get his horse worked…by our president, Phil Rapp. Now, ask yourselves, “How Stupid does that look?”


We are in a time where the association desperately needs to convince its members and the public that there is a new commitment to establishing credibility, fairness, and professionalism. Instead, we look like a group of mentally challenged cowboys! But wait, there’s more!…On the website,, our president elect, Ron Pietrafeso, comments that there were no suspension violations involving Ed, and it was no big deal, when in fact, there was a formal complaint filed and signed by a prominent member.


These infractions can NOT be ignored or swept under the rug!! If the penalty is not assessed as prescribed in the suspension order, this will be looked upon as a new all-time low, and carry with it a protracted campaign to make our entire membership aware of the many nuances that are at play here. With our president receiving free breedings from the Dufurrenas to Stevie Ray Vaughn, lobbying for no sanctions, maintaining that Brandon and Rieta knew nothing of the fraudulaent ownership (before there were even any hearings), working Ed’s horse for him, and our president elect’s claim that there were no suspension violations when there has been a signed formal complaint in front of witnesses, leads to utter discust in how our association is being run.


The above, when taken in totality, clearly demonstrates the effort being made to protect the Dufurennas. It also raises the question as to what Ed Duffurenna has over our governing body. Nonetheless, everyone whom I spoke with, is demanding that the cover up by our “leaders” is stopped, the NCHA enforces their own rules, and the ship is righted! In all my years in the Cutting horse business and as a Director, I never thought I would see our principals crushed, our reputation marred, and our integrity questioned. I am sad to say that I am embarrassed right now to be a member of our association, and I am sickened about our state of affairs. Can someone help?…This is an emergency!!

Name withheld due to retaliation against those who speak the truth!

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  1. If what the letter writer said is true, the NCHA is as a failed organization and I am ashamed to be a part of it as a life member.
    It seems money talks and the good old boys network is more important than the welfare and good name of the association.
    Those people should have been permanently suspended from the NCHA, and AQHA too.
    Crooked people like these getting away with crime and rule breaking are why this organization is rapidly shrinking.
    Chris Bukowski, NCHA life member

  2. Glory Ann, agree with you completely. Remember Millie Kay Bogett was suspended for life!

    Editor’s note: Thank you but I didn’t write that letter, I just received it and posted it.

  3. Totally correct the ncha good days are gone, No one is there to handle these leaders no Zack. We are in bad shape, I had great respect for phil, but if this is true he is no better than the rest, I`m sure his dad is looking and said what did I raise,and Kathy if she had not catch ride a horse she wouldn`t be where she is at. the ncha is over . I told a new employee last year not to look at this job for retiredment, because the rate we`re going I`ll be surprised, we are still here in 8 years,

  4. This is Not the first time this has happened. There has always been a different set of rules for trainers!!

  5. Come over to the Hunter-Jumper world of USHJA, they have Cookies!! (And a woman President with balls, to go with the USEF President who also has balls, for real, and takes no prisoners) They just suspended Jimmy Williams for life … posthumously.

  6. When I was at the Derby two weeks ago, everyone I talked to thought the Dufurrena’s got off too easy. Especially Ed.

  7. My husband was on the first hearing committee with a tougher “sentence” (although still too lenient imo) before the Appeal.. at least they revoked Brandon’s NP card permanently .. with longer suspension time for Ed and Brandon.

  8. Wow, just wow. A copy of this letter needs to be sent to each Executive Committee member because perhaps these issues haven’t been brought to their attention.

    BS on Brandon and Rieta not knowing about the fraud. They are not children – they are adults and should know whether or not they own the horse. Another thing I haven’t seen address is this: why isn’t Shona on suspension? She’s the office manager and the one who does all the paperwork: billing, registrations, transfers, show entries, so you can bet she knew what was going on and even though she wasn’t listed as a part of the Dos Cats Partners, she signed the document along with her husband and the Vogels. She should not go unpunished and then to be able to “own” horses so they can show in the Open is appalling.

  9. That pretty much sums up our feelings here in Colorado.

  10. I dropped my membership in NCHA last year after about 20 years.

  11. When money and sport mix, sport always suffers!

  12. Wonderful article. thank you very much for speaking such important truth. Any other association, those people would be thrown out. Keep up your good work.
    Carol Rose

  13. I am amazed that with as many readers as Glory has we don’t have but 12 responses. I’ve been a member since 1960, was a member of the NP committee for 15 years, wrote the NP casebook, director for over 20 years and a judge for over 50. Not that that qualifies me for anything, but I am truly dismayed at the behavior of Phil Rapp. I knew Jerry and am acquainted with Nancy. Jerry would literally roll over in his grave if anything mentioned in the above letter is true. Very un-presidential Phillip, and it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if you resigned.


  14. I am totally amazed that with the readership Glory has that we only have about 12 responses. I have been a member since 1960, a member of the Non-Pro committee for 15 years, wrote the original Non-Pro Case book, was a director for over 20 years and a judge for over 50 years. Not that that qualifies me for anything but I am truly dismayed at the behavior of our President. If anything is true in the above letter, Jerry would roll over in his grave; how un-presidential. I don’t think Nancy is very happy either. Shame on you Phillip and it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if you resign.

    • Thank you for saying what so many others would like to say but don’t have the gumption to do so.

  15. Something really needs to be done. This association has turned out to be “Who you know.”

  16. I find it hard to think that the President Elect, Phil Rapp would think that it is permissible to work a horse for a friend of his that is a ‘Suspended’ person. I thought the rules would even prohibit the horse being on the grounds of an NCHA sanctioned show! How many rule does Mr. Duffurrena have to violate to show his ‘Total’ lack of respect for the NCHA, its rules and integrity?

  17. I find it hard to think that the President Phil Rapp would think that it is permissible to work a horse for a friend of his that is a “suspended” person. I thought the rules would even prohibit the horse being on the grounds of an NCHA sanctioned show! How many rules does Mr. Dufurrena have to violate to show his “total” lack of respect for the NCHA, its rules and integrity?

  18. I totally agree with Lois. Shona knew and knows damn well what went on. Then to have horses transferred to her name and shown is disgusting. American Cutting Horse Association looking better all the time.

  19. I agree with the letter writer the NCHA is in trouble . I dropped our membership 4 years ago . Any association that will not show the accounting book to anyone that ask is full of problems. I love the sport but will not play on uneven field

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