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☛ Dual Peppy survives grizzly ordeal 9-22-14







By Glory Ann Kurtz
Sept. 22, 2014
Sept. 24, 2014 updated
It was an end to a horrendous discovery of a 18 dead horses and 10 more neglected, starving horses that brought an international outrage from horse lovers. It happened this evening when a press release from the El Paso Sheriffs Department was reported on that eight remaining horses had been examined by a veterinarian and seized from the property by the Colorado Humane Society, located in Denver, Colo., out of the El Paso County Police Department’s jurisdiction, who had earlier ordered the neglected horses remain in the same facility with those that had died and be cared for by the people who neglected them. The release continued that charges would be filed against those responsible.


Ironically, the horror started just three days prior to the start of the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Snaffle Bit Futurity, one of the industry’s leading sires was discovered in a barn with the skeletal remains of approximately a dozen horses, in the 5400 block of Burgess Road in Black Forest north of Colorado Springs, at approximately 3 p.m. on, Sept. 19.


Dual Peppy, owned by Dual Peppy Partners, consisting of Rick H. and Sherri A. Sproul Brunzell, who reportedly lived with her mother at 6655 Sproul Lane, Colorado Springs, Colo., was one of the 10 lucky ones (6 studs and 4 mares) that were found alive but malnourished with ribs and hipbones protruding.  With no water or feed in sight, the horses were obviously left to starve to death.  It was learned today that a financial firm has sued the partnership for $100,000 of the money they lent them to purchase Dual Peppy.

Dual Peppy ownership records from AQHA>>


Two women, who lived in a home on the same property as the barn, discovered the horses after Denise Pipher’s dog went into the barn and she and her daughter-in-law Diana Ragula followed to retrieve the dog.  A horrific scene and smell of dead and decomposing horses, along with alpacas met them. The women told KOAA News in Colorado Springs, Colo., that Sherri Brunzell, 62, a horse breeder, was boarding the horses there.  Ragula and Pipher said the owners “kept to themselves and denied their requests to help out or visit the horses.” However it wasn’t explained whether the owners were owners of the barn or the horses.

Click for KOAA article>>


The El Paso County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the property on Burgess Road on Friday evening, Sept. 19, and investigated the scene.  In a statement published Saturday night, Sept. 20, on, the Sheriff’s department said they were working with the owner of the horses who they said was cooperating with the investigation. They continued that they  “were not able to seize the animals, because while the appearance of the animals was visually disturbing, none of the horses were found to be in immediate danger and none of them had to be euthanized.”


They said that at this time it had not been determined how the horses died. As to why they didn’t have legal rights to take the horses the statement says, “Rest assured, had any of the animals been in immediate jeopardy, they would have been removed from the location.” 


In the hundreds of comments following the article on, one individual posted that the El Paso County Sheriffs Department “has decided to leave Dual Peppy and the other emaciated horses in the care of Sherri Brunzell (supervised by the department),” the owner whose “care” likely caused the death of 12 other animals. The HSPPR (Humane Society of Pikes Peak Region located at 610 Abbott Lane, Colorado Springs, Colo., was not involved or in control.


The Colorado Cruelty to Animals Statutes, Title 18. Criminal Code states: “(1) Abandon means the leaving of an animal without adequate provisions for the animal’s proper care by its owner, the person responsible for the animal’s care or custody, or any other person having possession of such animal.” Mistreatment means every act or omission that causes or unreasonably permits the continuation of unnecessary or unjustifiable pain or suffering and Neglect means failure to provide food, water, protection from the elements, or other care generally considered to be normal, usual and accepted for an animal’s health and well-being consistent with the species, breed and type of animal.”


On Sept. 22, published an article stating that they had gone to the owners’ home, with Rick answering the door and stating he didn’t own the horses, his wife did, but he helps with their care. He said the horses died last winter during the extremely low temperatures from colic and he and his wife were not in good health to move them. As for the horses still alive, Brunzell said they were in good condition and have fresh food and water. “My wife met with her vet there yesterday and they know those horses well.” However, Brunzell also said they were having trouble with one particular horse that was thin, Dual Peppy.

Click for article with Rick Brunzell statement>>


I decided to call the El Paso County Sheriff (Colorado Springs is in El Paso County) to find out what was going on so I looked him up on Google. To my surprise, dozens of articles sprung up and I soon realized that Sheriff Terry Maketa was already in a lot of trouble with the FBI and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation who were already investigating him on Federal and state criminal charges.


They were probing his office due to allegations made by the El Paso County commissioners, as well as former employees of Sheriff Maketa, for budget improprieties, sexual impropriety, discrimination, creating a hostile work environment, violating the civil rights of those who work for the Sheriff’s office, using intimidation to keep quiet about his misdeeds and removing almost all oversight of the Sheriff’s budget. The commissioners had asked him to resign and residents launched a recall campaign; however, his term ends in January. He has refuted all allegations. However, it’s interesting to note that the married Sheriff’s staff consists of all females: the undersheriff, the head of training for dispatchers and the controller.
Click for complaints filed against Sheriff>>


Another irony of this case may be that the Sheriff’s non-action regarding dead and starving horses could be his demise. This morning, Rick Dennis filed a report with Wade Stutz, AQHA Senior Director of Breed Integrity, Animal Welfare and Education concerning the Dual Peppy incident. At the conclusion of the meeting, Rick learned this incident is presently under review and investigation by the AQHA and its staff. There are also a couple of petitions on Facebook: one asking for the maximum penalty for the Brunzells, which needs 5,000 signatures and as of tonight have close to 3,700. If you are interested in signing the petition, click here:


Dual Peppy:

An emaciated Dual Peppy

Several individuals posting comments following the newspaper articles recognized Dual Peppy as one of the horses still alive from a photo of the emaciated horse and the famous GW,  Greg Ward’s  brand. There were also several offers to come and get him and care for him.


The 1992 stallion was bred, raised and shown by famed reined cow horse trainer and showman Greg Ward, Tulare, Calif., and his wife Laura.  Greg has since died of cancer shortly after winning his last NRHA Snaffle Bit Futurity in 1998 riding Reminics Pep.


Dual Peppy, sired by one of the performance horse industry’s leading sires Peppy San Badger, was out of the great mare Miss Dual Doc by Doc’s Remedy. He was shown in cutting, reined cow horse and reining competition.


On Jan. 30, 1998, horseman Pete Bowling orchestrated the sale of the great stallion for over $600,000 to the Brunzells. In 1998 he had won the Open Senior cutting at the All-American Quarter Horse Congress and was the 5 & 6-year-old Classic Open Champion with a 225 score. In 1998, 1999 and 2001, he qualified for the Sr. Cutting at the AQHA World Show and in 1999 he earned his American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Register of Merit (ROM) in Performance with 24.5 Open Performance points. He earned over $88,400 in NCHA earnings, and earned his NCHA Certificate of Ability (COA) and Bronze Award as well as being honored by the NRCHA with his Superior Cow Horse Award.


Dual Peppy in his “hay day”

But his greatest success is as a sire. He has sired 315 foals, with 120 of them being performers. During 2014, 51 of those foals are still performing.

Click for AQHA Sire Summary of Dual Peppy>>


The Wards test bred him as a 2-year-old and in 1995 he had one foal: Dual Train, a mare out of Nics Train by Reminic, with the bottom side going back to King Fritz. The filly went on to become the high money-earning horse sired by Dual Peppy and competing in three events: cow horse, reining and cutting.



Dual Train and Reminics Pep were the last two horses trained by Greg Ward and were shown at the 1998 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity in Reno, Nev. Dual Train won the Paso Robles Futurity while being shown in the non-pro division by Greg Ward’s daughter, Wendy Ward Lorenco and the pair went on to be non-pro finalists at the 1998 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity.


Rick Dennis made arrangements to buy the mare in 1998 but couldn’t complete the sale until after the 1998 Snaffle Bit Futurity in order for Greg to show one last time with his son John and daughter Wendy, which was Greg’s wishes and Rick’s concession.


In January 1999 the sale was completed and Rick and Dual Train went into training at the Ward Ranch in Tulare, Calif., and they continued to show and train from the Ward Ranch for the next three years, winning thousands of dollars in maturities, derbies and qualified and competed in the 2000 AQHA World Show in cow horse  and later shown by Rick in the Bosal, Two-Rein and Bridle. He showed the mare at stock shows in reining, cutting and cow horse, earning championships and money in each category. They later returned to Rick’s ranch in Louisana where the pair continued to show and win.


Dual Train is the dam of “Johnny,” the reined cow horse that Clayton Edsall rode to win the cutting division of last year’s NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity, and was on his way to win the whole event when in the finals, the cow tripped the horse on the fence and both the horse and rider took a tumble. A friend jumped into the arena, caught the horse and finished the pattern and still received a check in the finals.


The high money-earning offspring of Dual Peppy, showing in just two events, was Dualin For Me, a 1997 stallion out of Me O Lena by Doc O’Lena, who earned over $81,000 in NRCHA competition and just over $33,000 in NRHA reining competition for a total of over $114,000. The stallion reportedly later sold for $250,000 to Arcese Quarter Horses.


According to AQHA records, Dual Peppy sired 315 foals with an astounding 120 (38%) performing. Currently 51 are performing. His largest book was in 2001, the year he had 43 foals, followed by 39 foals in 1996 ad 38 in 2002. In 2003, Dual Peppy had 32 foals but then they dropped to 18, 13, 8,7,3,2 in 2004 through 2009, when he had only two foals.

Click for AQHA records of performing offspring of Dual Peppy>>


Other brothers of Dual Peppy include the great sire Dual Pep, who reportedly sold as a yearling for $100,000-plus to Bobby Pidgeon; Dually Pep, selling to Pete Bowling for $450,000 and Mr Dual Pep, selling for $4 million to Sheila Head. (the above prices are not official as private sales are not documented, but they are well-known in the industry).


After reading the comments following the articles, I have sent Sheriff Maketa a Freedom of Information request, inquiring if there had been any past complaints about the Brunzells and their horses. I have never covered an event that changed by the hour for three days and I’m sure by tomorrow there will be more news to report. As soon as I receive more news, I will be publishing it – all the while hoping it will be good news – especially for Dual Peppy!!!







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  1. Great article Glory Ann Kurtz!
    Sharing this on the ” Justice for Dual Peppy” FB page and my timeline!

    Thank you!

  2. Thanks for that very informative article, I’m following the story mostly on facebook since Friday from Canada along with many many horselovers all over the world.

  3. such a shame to see a Great horse like dual Pep..having to go threw what i have alway’s feared would happen to one of my horses if i ever sold them…..and at his age..who know’s if they can bring him back now…
    God Bless you Peppy, we are all praying for you

  4. Please keep updating this story as it unfolds. There is a possibility that the Brunzwll’s could get all of these hoses back, including Dual Peppy. This should NEVER be allowed to happen!

  5. Thank you Glory Ann Kurtz for such a well researched and written article. I had forgotten the connection with Dual Peppy and Greg Ward. The amazing response by horse people to this awful situation has been heartwarming to say the least. Maybe he is getting a little help from some Cowboy Angels. God bless ~

  6. Thank you for making the open records request. As a prosecutor for over (20) years, I am constantly amazed how lazy law enforcement officers can be when called to investigate a crime on a Friday after 5:00 pm.

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