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☛ NCHA Tax Return Analysis 9-10-18

Posted by on Sep 10, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE ORGANIZATIONS, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

NCHA Tax Return Analysis

Clarification and Risk Analysis

 By Rick Dennis
Sept. 10, 2018

NCHA Tax Return Analysis

 

Clarification and Risk Analysis

 

The following Risk Analysis was performed by the WIND RIVER COMPANY LLC, Richard E. “Rick” Dennis, Analyst at the request of Mrs. Glory Kurtz Ann Kurtz, allaboutcutting.com, and encompasses the latest IRS 990 tax filings for the National Cutting Horse Association.

 

The National Cutting Horse Association is a 501 (C) (3) Nonprofit organization, organized in the State of Texas.  Therefore, the following Risk Analysis should apply whether the company is a for profit or nonprofit with the exception that a for profit pays corporate business taxes and the nonprofit doesn’t pay corporate business taxes. Any profits made by a nonprofit are kept to forward the vision and mission statement of its State business organization and bylaws.

 

What Is A Good Profit Margin?

 

Typically, an operating profit margin of a company should be compared to its industry or a benchmark index like the S&P 500.  For example, the averageoperating profit margin for the S&P was roughly 11% for 2017.  A company that has an operating profit margin higher than 11% would have outperformed the overall market. The National Cutting Horse Associations latest IRS 990 filing’s states on page 12 of their latest tax filing that total revenue is $24,026,610. Total expenses for this specific tax period is $22,941,841.  During this specific tax reporting period, the NCHA’s Income less Expenses is $1,084,769. A quick percentage ratio calculation revealed the NCHA’s Income less Expenses is approximately (4.5%).  This mathematical calculation revealed the NCHAis operating below S&P 500, or below market standards for operating efficiency, e.g., :

 

What Is Considered A Healthy Operating Profit Margin?

 

Operating profit margin is one of the key profitability ratiosthat investors and analysts consider when evaluating a company.  Operating margin is considered to be a good indicator of how efficiently a company manages expenses because it reveals the amount of revenue returned to a company once it has covered virtually all of both its fixed and variable expenses except for taxes and interest. Typically, a healthy operating profit margins ranges from 11% to 20%.

 

What Does Operating Profit Margin Tell Investors and Business Owners?

 

The operating profit margin informs both business owners and investors about a company’s ability to turn a dollar of revenue into a dollar of profit after accounting for all the expenses required to run the business.  This profitability metric is calculated by dividing the company’s income by its total revenue.  There are two components that go into calculating operating profit margins: revenue and operating profit. This metric was used in the forgoing to establish the (4.5%) NCHA Income less Expenses mathematical ratio.

 

Revenue is the top line on a company’s income statement.  Revenue, which is sometimes referred to as net sales, reflects the total amount of income generated by the sale of goods or services.  Revenue refers only to positive cash flow directly attributable to primary operations without withdrawing from a company’s savings or investment programs or loans to sustain operations.  When revenue ratios are low it can indicate a company that’s not very well run.  In a worst case scenario, it’s headed for a disastrous conclusion.

 

The Bottom Line.

A consistently healthy bottom line depends on rising operating profits over time.  Companies use operating profit margin not only to spot trends in growth, but also to pinpoint unnecessary expenses to determine where cost-cutting measures can boost their bottom line.  To gauge a companies performance relative to its peers, investors can compare its finances to other companies within the same industry.  However, this metric is also useful in the development of an effective business strategy as well as serving as a comparative metric for investors.  To learn more financial analysis, please confer with a certified public accountant, economist, or learn“How the Income Statement and Balance Sheet Differ?”

 

NCHA 990 RECAP

There’s a few important elements of this 990 tax return that requires explanation, e.g., :

 

NCHA IRS 990 TAX PERIOD:

 For the 2015 tax year, or tax year beginning 10/01/2015 and ending 09/30/2016.

 

PART IX STATEMENT OF FUNCTIONAL EXPENSES

 Number (7) Other Salaries and Wages:

$2,087,139.00

 

Program Services Expenses

$1,137,015.00

 

Management and General Expenses

$950,124.00

 

The key element to this category is that Management Expenses are calculated at the rate of (45.5%) of total salaries.  I don’t believe these salary quotes takes into consideration of perks to include, but not limited to retirement contribution, insurance, tax contributions, etc. If the foregoing Program services expenses are representative of the 42 employees then the average salary paid to the (42) excluding the management team would calculate to the average salary of being approximately $27,071.78 each.  Check with the NCHA for clarification of the computations.

 

Number (11) Fees for services (non employees)

b – Legal
$140,100.00

c – Accounting
$93,651.00

d – Lobbying

$150,000.00

 

SCHEDULE (O)

 The organizations board of directors has vested all powers of the board of directors in the Executive Committee, except the power to amend by laws and except as otherwise limited by the board of directors or by statute the Executive Committee manages the affairs of the organization between meetings of the board of directors at all times, the Executive Committee is subject to the direction of the board of directors.

 

Essentially, what this clause means is that the NCHA Executive Committee has total control of the NCHA – at all times, except when a meeting of the board of directors is called to order.  Their power is ONLY limited by statue or a majority vote of the board of directors.

Click below for NCHA 990 from Oct. 1, 2015  to Oct. 30, 2016

NCHA 990 for 2015-2016

 

 

 

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☛ The business of running a “business” 9-3-18

Posted by on Sep 3, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE ORGANIZATIONS, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 11 comments

THE BUSINESS OF RUNNING A “BUSINESS””

 

By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
September 2, 2018

 

On July 18, 2014, I authored and released an article, on allaboutcutting.net, entitled; “WHERE’S THE HORSE INDUSTRY HEADED?”  The article covers a myriad of topics that were plaguing the American horse industry back then, and in some degrees, with exception, are still plaguing the equine industry today. This article had the most comments ever, with 99 – all agreeing.

 

However, we haven’t seen much progress in two of the focal points of the article, directly contributing to a loss of membership, investors, and participation in the industry: bad horse trainers and the mismanagement of a 501(C)3 Nonprofits. It’s been established that equine nonprofits are very reluctant to intervene in helping to eradicate immoral, unethical, abusive and downright bad horse trainers from the industry, except for animal abuse.

☛ Where is the horse industry headed? – 7-18-14

Well ladies and gentleman, what about member abuse? During my tenure in the horse industry, I’ve witnessed an increase in civil litigation involving horse trainers and their client or clients battling it out in the court system over a fraud dispute that usually emanates from some horse trainer’s bad, unethical, and in some cases just outright – bad and illegal business practices. In fact, there’s a large populous of unsuspecting newcomers to the horse industry who are victims of unscrupulous horse trainers, on an annual basis. The sad commentary to this ever-increasing problem is, that every time these victims turn to the 501(C)3 nonprofit for assistance or relief, the victim hears the same old pathetic excuse: We Don’t Have a Rule For That ! ”

 

Perhaps it’s time for the “Powers-That-Be” running these struggling multi-million dollar 501(C)3 non-profits, to get together and design and adopt specific rules to govern its horse trainers, as well as, in some cases, their illegal and unscrupulous bad business practices. After all, investors and members are the backbone of any 501(C)3 nonprofit horse organization and not the horse trainers, as they often recite. I know these facts to be self-evident because I’ve been involved in a myriad of unethical business practices in the industry, committed by horse trainers,  from a “Risk Analyst’s” perspective.

 

When appropriate and where probable cause exists, I have on more than one occasion recommended a further review by law enforcement to ascertain whether or not prosecution for specific law violations are warranted and as a result of my Risk Analyst determinations. However, a 501(C)3 nonprofit doesn’t have any problems asking members for free time and donations to support these “over-priced” individuals occupying management positions within the organization.  For doing what?  protecting bad horse trainers and their unethical conduct and actions, which usually results in running good people out of the business!

In my opinion, when a horse organization doesn’t establish rules and regulations to protect innocent and unsuspecting members, investors and newcomers to the industry, then they are essentially condoning these types of unethical business practices. They are ostensibly going right along with the bad actors!

 

Case-in-point, when a horse trainer is sued in court by two separate horse organization member Plaintiffs and accused of fraud involving hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages, my question is, “Why is this individual being sued still a member of any horse organization?” Or better yet, “Why isn’t this individual in jail and being prosecuted?”

 

For the record, I’ve been in business, in the private sector, since January 28, 1984.  Since inception, my company has been registered in the state of organization, both my Federal and State taxes have all been filed and paid on a recurring annual basis – when necessary, all business licenses are up-to-date, issued 1099s are accounted for and my company has an A+ business rating with the Better Business Bureau. If I have to comply, why shouldn’t everyone else calling themselves a business owner?  Especially, the ones operating with a 501(C)3 nonprofit organization and using a business moniker such as “Incorporated,” Limited Liability Company,” “Sole-Owned-Proprietorship,” a “Doing Business As (dba)” or “an assumed name?”

 

In business, we call this being fiscally responsible. In addition to being fiscally responsible, I also have another prudent business practice: “I offer a “100 percent, full-satisfaction money-back guarantee” on all of my business products and services, including “horse training.”  It’s just “good business practice.” However, there’s one difference that separates my company’s clientele from the horse industry. It’s referred to as “over-sight.” Unlike 501(C)3 nonprofits in the horse industry, that don’t exercise any or very little “over-sight” of horse trainers except horse abuse or issuing a bad check, my clients demand “over-sight” and I either adhere to compliance protocol or I find another place to work.

 

Obviously, that’s the difference between governmental agencies like the Department of Defense and the petrochemical industry versus the unregulated horse industry. Another major difference between my business criteria and the horse industry is by example: background checks, criminal record checks and drug and alcohol tests. Alone, these criteria strictly separate the good from the bad so-to-speak. The latter is also the criteria, which is lacking in the horse industry and allows individuals with criminal records to infiltrate and seemingly blend in with the overall good and excellent horse trainers in the industry, who bad horse trainers and their unscrupulous and often times “illegal” business dealings, give a bad stigma also.

 

Therefore, until the “powers-that-be” take the “reins of responsibility” and move to enact membership rules to “counteract” unscrupulous horse trainers and their diabolical practices, I’m afraid the horse industry is going to continue to experience a significant decline in membership, participation, investors and sponsors.

 

In the mean time, there are a lot of changes that 501(C)3 nonprofits can enact to enhance the viability of an organization, i.e., 1) term limits for how long and how many times an individual can occupy a seat on an organizations executive committee, 2) the removal of horse trainers from the Executive Committee and decision-making status, 3) a financial restructuring to reduce employees and overhead expenses (i.e., expenses and salaries for executives and employees, to come in-line with available cash-flow), 4) and enacting rules to address fraud and unscrupulous acts committed by its members.  After all, the horse industry is suppose to be fun and not a legal exercise in a courtroom because of fraud and illegal business practices.

 

As a professional reined cow horse trainer, my job is to train horses, students and prepare them for the show ring. I’m a big believer that businesses should be run by successful business people with expansive business experience and logic – not by horse trainers whose primary mission is to protect their food source “so-to-speak,” as well as other horse trainers when necessary, as we’ve all seen in the past. A horse trainer’s job is to train horses, bring new customers into the industry and represent themselves, their clients and the association in an ethical business manner and atmosphere. As we see today, well-run organizations, like the National Reined Cow Horse Association are flourishing, while others that are not practicing prudent and fiscally responsible business practices, are on a rapid decline in members, sponsors and investors.

 

NON-PROFIT INSTABILITY

 During my tenure in the horse industry I’ve witnessed a lot of regime changes over the years, but one in particular stands out: the National Cutting Horse Association.  When I first came into the industry, Jeff Hooper was the Executive Director, next came Allen Stein then Jim Bret Campbell. The next interim Executive Director was Ernie Beutenmiller, then Chuck Smith and now the interim Executive Director is Louis Wray. It’s my opinion that when these many executive employee changes transpire in such a short period of time, it’s usually a result of inexperience within the executive staff.

 

However whatever the cause, instability with upper management within an organization exhibits nothing else but unsound business experience within the rank and file of upper management, a fight for power dominance within the organization and subsequently translates in the long run into a reduction in membership and loss of sponsor revenue. The tragedy in this “helter-skelter” ring around the rosy of Executive Director roles is that it’s a very expensive proposition for the nonprofit, especially when they have to pay a former Executive Director the full amount of his employment contract financial agreement – even after the individual has left employment with the organization before his full tenure is up. This is not a very good, sound or prudent business practice!

 

Over-all, now’s the time for 501(C)3 nonprofits to perform a little “soul-searching” and determine the best course of action for them to viably sustain the organization in the future. Remember, horse trainers are not the backbone of an organization.  The real money that makes the “world-go-round” comes from investors, METF funds, members and sponsors. Without these entities, nonprofits wouldn’t exist and neither would horse trainers. As my contribution to the horse industry I wrote a book many years ago entitled: THE AMERICAN HORSE INDUSTRY, Avoiding The Pitfalls which was written to provide members in the horse industry with common-sense business practices to avoid the pitfalls inherent in the industry and some of which are covered in this article. If an individual really wants to know how financially responsible your 501(C)3 nonprofit is doing, you can go to Guidestar.org, enter your nonprofit’s name and research a specific year’s IRS 990 tax filing to see exactly what’s going on financially with them, including the amount of salaries being paid and who they are paid to.

 

“Until Next Time, Keep ‘Em Between The Bridle!”

 

WIND RIVER COMPANY LLC
Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
Managing Member
Freelance Writer and Author
Office/Mobile: (985) 630-3500
Email: richardedennis51@gmail.com
Web Site: http://www.richardedennis.net

 

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☛ AMERICANA to be held in Augsburg, Germany Sept. 4-9, 2019 – 8-27-18

Posted by on Aug 27, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, MAJOR EVENTS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

AMERICANA TO BE HELD IN AUGSBURG, GERMANY SEPT. 4-9, 2019

 

EVENT TO HAVE $150,000 TOTAL PURSE

 

Augsburg, Germany
August 27, 2018

Want to see the best in Western events in Europe? Make plans now to attend Europe’s Premier Western Event, AMERICANA, scheduled for Sept. 4-9, 2019 in Augsburg, Germany. With a total purse of about $150,000, it is one of the best endowed shows of Europe and is called THE meeting point for Western horse fans from all over the world.

During 2017, AMERICANA celebrated the Western horse and 98 per cent of the 51,300 visitors said they would return the next time. The 331 exhibitors were enthusiastic and 72 percent spoke of excellent or good sales. Nowhere else in Europe will the Western horse fan find such a variety of everything concerning horses and riding as well as lifestyle.

 

Events will include World Cup cutting and the Bronze Trophy Reining. Both offer a huge purse and have gained worldwide fame.  The ERCHA Open Cow Horse Futurity finals will also be held as well as  numerous fine show acts.

 

For further information on this event contact: AFAG Messen und Ausstellngen GmbH, Winfried Forster, phone +49 (0) 821-5 89 82 – 143 / fax +49 (0) 821 – 5 89 82-243 or winfred.forster@afag.de / www.americana.de. Ticket sales start at the beginning of November 2018.

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☛ NCHA gives Janie Vogel 3 years probation 8-21-18

Posted by on Aug 21, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE LAWSUITS, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 14 comments

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

 

NCHA GIVES JANIE VOGEL, THREE YEARS PROBATION FOR “AIDING AND ABETTING” RIETA TO RIDE STEVIE REY VON IN NCHA FUTURITY

 

By Glory Ann Kurtz
August 21, 2018

 

In a recent meeting of a chosen NCHA committee that was to determine blame in the Ed Dufurrena/Don & Janie Vogel case, it’s plain to see that the NCHA protects its trainers. The committee, almost unanimously, determined that Janie Vogel had “aided and abetted”theDufurrenas because she “allowed” Rieta Dufurrena to ride one of the Vogel’s horses in the 2015 NCHA Futurity.

 

Records indicate that Rieta Dufurrena a total of $14,145 when she won the NCHA Non-Pro Limited Class at the NCHA 2015 Futurity on Stevie Rey Von, collecting $9,145 and $5,000 in the Non-Pro. For the record, Stevie Rey Von was the 2015 NCHA Futurity Champion, ridden by Ed Dufurrena, for take-home pay of $200,000.

 

Yet, in reality, in a recent conversation with Janie Vogel, who is in ill-health, she told me she didn’t even know that the NCHA Futurity was going on or that one of her horses was showing in it. The first she knew about it was when a friend in attendance called her and told her that one of her horses made the NCHA Futurity finals. The only thing she did know was that Ed Dufurrena was training several of her horses – including Stevie Rey Von. When she called Shona, who received no penalties for aiding and abetting her kids riding in the event, to ask her about the win, Shona replied, “Oh, I thought you knew!”

 

The problem becomes even more exasperating, when the actual facts surrounding the Dufurrenas and the Vogels are delineated and the real facts are known in this continuing saga of nightmarish events that started long ago.

 

The events started when Ed Dufurrena was sued in a prior lawsuit entitled: Minshall vs Ed Dufurrena, et al, with the Plaintiffs claiming advertising fraud by Dufurrena for advertising “Auspicious Cat” as HERDA Negative when, in fact, the horse is HERDA positive.This fact was confirmed by AQHA registration records. For the record, advertising fraud was proven in court, during the Hartman trial, and the jury assigned 60 percent responsibility for the damage to Dufurrena. The Minshall lawsuit alleges the Dufurrenas concocted a fraudulent advertising scheme which resulted in their foal by Auspicious Cat being HERDA positive, thereby, causing permanent injury and damage to the foal which requires enumerable funding during its lifetime for maintenance costs.

 

The curious nature of the Minshall lawsuit is that it also included the “Dos Cats Partners” being sued along with all of its members, except the Vogels – who were never mentioned. Perhaps, the reason the Vogels were never mentioned is that no one knew about the Vogels and the second “Dos Cats Partners” and perhaps by Dufurrena design.

 

Again, and for the record, the Vogels entered into what they thought was a “hand-written contract” named “Dos Cats Partners,” which was the identical (dba) or “an assumed name” used in the Minshall lawsuit that the Dufurrenas executed on March 25, 2011, between the parties and in consideration of the Vogel’s $105,000 investment.

 

 However, my investigation proves the Vogel’s were duped into investing in an unregistered Dufurrena business entity, operating without registration or legal status as required by Texas business law. Further, the Dufurrena’s duped the Vogels into investing in an unregistered Texas business entity called “Dos Cats Partners” when, in fact, Dufurrena had already sold shares in the business which was revealed in the Minshall lawsuit.

 

The simple fact is that if the Vogel’s would have been told by the Dufurrenas that “Dos Cats Partners” wasn’t in compliance with Texas Business Law and there were other pre-existing investors in the bogus business entity of the same name, I’m sure it’s safe to say they would have saved their money!

 

More specifically, how is it feasible or possible for the Dufurrenas to sell a 49 percent share to the Vogels when a 49 percent share had already been sold to the “Dos Cats Partners” identified in the Minshall lawsuit? A good question and perhaps the NCHA would like an answer too! That is, if the TRUTH can be determined. One sure fire way to figure this out is by an IRS audit, an Investigation by the Texas Attorney General’s office or a law enforcement investigative agency in Cooke County. I’m sure they could clear all of this business maneuvering by the Dufurrenas right up.

 

UNREGISTERED DUFURRENA BUSINESS ENTITIES

 However, the problem for the Dufurrenas in this matter, that is perhaps a little tricky for the NCHA, is that NONE of Dufurrena’s dba’s or “an assumed name” business entities were legally registered in the State of Texas at that time, as required by law, including Ed Dufurrena Cutting Horses, Dos Cats Partners, Dufurrena Cutting Horses and “Dos Cats.”  According to the Texas Secretary of State filings, the foregoing listed dba’s or “an assumed name” Dufurrena business entities had never been registered with the State of Texas, as required by law.  Yet Dufurrena is allowed to participate in NCHA cutting events and even earn money. Therefore, according to the Texas Businesses Practices Act, this is an unconscionable contract.

 

For the record, Dufurrena received a check for some $200,000.00 for winning the 2015 NCHA Futurity on Stevie Rey Von and Rieta won $14,145 for a total of $214,145. However, reviewed documents, including Dufurrena invoicing, indicate the Vogels were 49 percent vested interest partners in Stevie Rey Von when the horse won the Futurity, yet the Vogel’s have never received a dime of the winnings.  In fact, to illustrate how enlightened the Vogels were, they didn’t even know the horse was in the NCHA Futurity or the Finals until they were tipped off by a friend who was at the event.

 

However, the NCHA allowed Dufurrena to change the ownership records on Stevie Rey Von from Brandon Dufurrena to Ed Dufurrena in the middle of the 2015 NCHA Futurity, or right before the finals on Dec. 1, 2015,, so that any earnings checks would be distributed to Ed Dufurrena (ONLY) and thereby bypassing the Vogels completely. The Vogels did not get Stevie Rey Von transferred into their company name, Jandon Ltd., until Feb. 6, 2018, during their meeting with the lawyers. But the Vogels hit back, as on Feb. 10, they sold the stallion to Fults Ranch Ltd., Amarillo, Texas, for $2 million.

Stevie Rey Von AQHA ownership record

 

The unfortunate aspect of this Dufurrena “Shell Game of Horse Ownership Records” is that the NCHA “aided and abetted” re-enactment of this “Shell Game” at the NCHA Summer Spectacular, when at the last moment Brandon Dufurrena was allowed to transfer ownership of his horses, to his mother – Shona Dufurrena, in-order for them to be shown, as by then Brandon had been suspended from the NCHA. (Tom Dvorak rode the horse attaining the NCHA Open Finals)

 

Of course, the horses were gifts to Shona Dufurrena – if you can believe that?  My questions is, when did the NCHA become an agent for the AQHA? My information is, that the AQHA transfers and the money were held at the NCHA office while the horses were showing. For the record, ownership transfers aren’t in full force and effect until AFTER AQHA records them in their data base which is accomplished during usual and customary business hours.

 

Also, my business records investigation proved:  NONE of the Dufurrena (dba) or “an assumed name” business entities have ever been recorded or registered with the Cooke County Clerks Office, as required by law.Therefore, NONE of the Dufurrena (dba’s) or “an assumed name”  business entitieswere in compliance with “LEGALLY” operating a business in the State of Texas.  I wonder if the NCHA knows that?

 

An even better question is: How is Dufurrena going to file taxes on business earnings or business entities that are unregistered and don’t exist by lawful requirements and standards?

 

Info-Secrertary of State – Aug 15, 2018

 

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT

According to Texas Law, an individual operating an unregistered (dba) or “an assumed name” business entity in the State of Texas is ONLYallowed to answer or defend a lawsuit brought against him or her, NOT institute one. Therefore, the problem for Dufurrena, in this “Shell Game of Mystery and Intrigue” of who he is “from day-to-day” is that filed court documents indicate that he has brought legal action against individuals under the unregistered business name of “Ed Dufurrena Cutting Horses” which is contrary to Texas State Business Law. According to my information, these individuals have the legal right to bring a “counter-action” against the Dufurrenas for filing an “unlawful lawsuit.”

 

Reddish

Claudon lawsuit

 

 

DUFURRENA INVOICING

 

During my investigation, the sound of bad invoicing rang out loud and clear from my interviewees. Each individual, separate and apart from each other, clearly outlined a business operation, i.e., Ed Dufurrena Cutting Horses invoicing that were so convoluted and filled with inaccuracies that Einstein couldn’t make heads or tails of them. However, one common denominator existed with all of the interviewees: inflated billing information. Another common denominator with the Dufurrena invoicing is that they were sporadically submitted, with some invoicing dates being monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, annually and even exceeding annually.

 

To further illustrate Ed Dufurrena’s invoicing dilemma, the Vogels claim that they have never received any portions of any earnings check from the Dufurrenas, not even any part of the NCHA Futurity earnings for Stevie Rey Von. Could the NCHA have some culpability by allowing these unorthodox business practices, especially, by a trainer who is entrusted with supposedly operating lawful business practices within the association.

 

Also, its been reported that the Dufurrenas issue “training credits” instead of cash to eliminate the necessity of issuing year-end IRS 1099s. Again, we all know how and why that one works. It eliminates 1099s from being in the IRS system for tax auditing purposes as well as bringing attention to a specific business entity.

 

For the record, the Vogel’s – as did the Minshalls – reached an out-of-court settlement with Dufurrena with the Vogel’s paying a sum total of $1,150,000for Stevie Rey von and two other horses and Dufurrena’s allegedly 51 percent interest in an unregistered Dufurrena Texas business entity – “Dos Cats Partners.”

 

Since the NCHA has aProfessional Trainers Standing Committee, with Morgan Cromer being the Chairman and Bret Davis the Vice Chairman, what has their role been in this fiasco? As I understand it, this group is suppose to make sure the trainers are treating the horses they have in training as well as their ownerscorrectly. Do they not have any authority? I haven’t heard a word out of them. Are they afraid of Dufurrena?

 

 

ED DUFURRENA VIOLATES SUSPENSION AT NCHA SUMMER SPECTACULAR

 

According to an article I’ve previously released on my site, Ed Dufurrena violated the provisions of his suspension by being in the practice pen that required the aid of law enforcement to remove him. According to the anonymous source letter, a written complaint was signed and submitted, by an NCHA member, who  adamantly opposed Dufurrena being in the NCHA practice pen.  However, the problem for the NCHA in this matter is multiple issues, e.g., Ed Dufurrena shouldn’t have been in the practice pen or on horseback for that matter, as NCHA rules of suspension say he is only “allowed to sit in the stands.” NCHA President-elect Ron Pietrafeso wrote on my Facebook page that Dufurrena wasn’t in violation of NCHA rules, when in fact and according to the filed and signed complaint he was, and now the NCHA is strapped with the arduous task of adding six months to Dufurrena’s suspension time for this act according to the NCHA rule book.

 

 

Now, my question is – “Exactly why is NCHA aiding Dufurrena to show horses and why are they protecting Shona?” My next question is – “Exactly why is the NCHA President Phil Rapp insulating Ed Dufurrena?”

 

Ladies and gentlemen, this is how you run valuable, investing members out of the horse business – which the NCHA just did – and keep the trainers who ran them out.

 

 

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☛ The ABCs of hiring a professional horse trainer 8-12-18

Posted by on Aug 12, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 5 comments

THE ABC’S OF HIRING A PROFESSIONAL HORSE TRAINER

 

DON’T BE A FOOL WITH YOUR MONEY!

 

 

By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
Aug. 12, 2018

 

So, you’ve made the decision to enter the horse industry. Your reasoning may include a myriad of ideological thought processes, including for an investment purpose, just to enjoy the equestrian life, a reenactment with the Old West lifestyle, or simply your love of horses and the ability to engage with one of the most marvelous animals on planet earth.

 

Regardless of what your reasoning is, one of the most important investment decisions the equestrian will make, besides the horse, is locating and retaining the right professional horse trainer. However, and for the record, the horse industry, unlike other professions requiring either a college degree or a degree from a vo-tech school, professional horse trainers occupy a unique niche in our society: “a niche that’s virtually unregulated and likened to the unregulated society of the Wild West.”

 

In a sense, horse trainers are unique in that they learn their trade on a generational basis, i.e., the training techniques are passed down from generation-to-generation. However, and contrary to popular belief, horse trainers aren’t Gods and they can’t walk on water! In some cases they think they are lawyers but a majority percentage dictates they aren’t one of those either.

 

Another satirical moment in history has taught us that some horse trainers think they can run a multi-million-dollar 501(c)3 nonprofit but they can’t do that either.

 

However and for the record, there are a lot of really good horse trainers out there; however, the corrupt, immoral, fraudulent and imbecilic individuals operating within the industry, as well as the ones causing the abhorrent abuses and fraudulent activities, are unfairly stigmatizing the honorable ones. For the record, not all horse trainers are created equally or share the same moralistic values of trust, duty of loyalty, honor and country.

 

Therefore, there aren’t any degrees to obtain, either from an accredited college or a vo-tech school, to vouch for their training. And there aren’t any governmental or 501(c)3 non-profit horse organization licensing requirements that I’m aware of, except the Thoroughbred racing industry, which is designed to regulate a horse trainer within a specific industry, as well as the AQHA Professional Horseman group. Unfortunately, in today’s society and especially in the performance horse industry, the only requirements for an individual desiring to be a professional horse trainer is to hang out his or her shingle and proclaim, “Today, I’m a professional horse trainer.”

 

In an abundance of caution, the investor or newcomer to the industry should also be aware that there’s absolutely no way for an individual to know whether or not an horse trainer has a prior criminal history or an existing criminal record of wrong doing, unless you ask, or the trainer agrees to a background check. Don’t rely on the 501(c)3 nonprofit to assist you in this matter because, to my knowledge, there’s no rule in their rule books to address pre-existing criminal record exclusions, except for “horse abuse.”

 

In my line of work, as a security consultant and risk analyst, I have to undergo an annual background check, including a urine drug screen, fingerprints check and a financial checkup, just to stay within my licensing requirements.  Therefore, my question is, “If I have to undergo those checks to operate within my jurisdiction, why shouldn’t horse trainers have to be subjected to the same scrutiny, especially in lieu of the fact that in some cases, horse trainers operate using millions of dollars of other peoples’ money?”

 

WHAT IS NOT REQUIRED OF TRAINERS?

Individual background checks are essential in maintaining safety standards within certain industries of our society; however, unfortunately it’s not a requirement with performance horse trainers in the reining, cutting or cow horse industry. Equally, it’s also not a requirement for an individual to be subjected to pre-access, random, probable-cause, or post-accident individual drug and alcohol screening requirements.

 

WHAT IS REQUIRED OF TRAINERS?

However, there are governmental licensing and taxing requirements for the individual proclaiming to be a professional horse trainer. More specifically, the professional horse trainer has to adhere to the taxing requirementsof the state he or she operates in, as well as the federal government taxing requirements for both the individual and the business name he or she is operating under. For example, in the event the professional horse trainer’s name is John Doe and he is operating a (dba) “doing business as” or “an assumed name” business, i.e., John Doe Cutting Horses, then, he or she has to register his or her business with the secretary of state that he or she is operating in, as well as the county the business is located in. This is also the same for partnerships.

 

In the absence of legal registration requirements, the owner of the (dba) or “an assumed name” doesn’t have the legal protections provided by the legal requirements or have the state’s authority to operate a business in the state of the domicile; nor does the owner or operator have the legal authority to engage in contracts or enforce contracts while being unregistered, such as filing or maintaining lawsuits within a specific legal jurisdiction. Furthermore, the individual operating an unregistered or non-legal business has to absorb all of the liability for operating an unregistered business, by his or herself.

 

Each state and county has their own licensing requirements, so the best avenue for obtaining this information is through either the Secretary of State’s office or the County Clerk’s office of your county.

 

RESEARCH:

Therefore, your only available option is left up to you to conduct your own research.  For the record, an individual’s failure to register a (dba) “or an assumed name” when required to do so, could result in fines and penalties to the trainer, which also can include incarceration, prosecution and imprisonment upon a guilty verdict.

 

One essential element, which appears to have escaped most 501(c)3 nonprofits, is the absence of enforcement rules to govern the moral behavior of certain individuals in the industry. This has also contributed to the withdrawal of existing members and is perhaps stymying new investors and members. Therefore, this analytical reasoning can be deduced as one of the “direct causes” to the rapid decline of participants and members in the specific performance horse groups.

 

Your Research:

The due-diligence doesn’t end after you locate a prospective training facility and horse trainer. The next step is to gather as much background or intelligence information as you can on the training facility itself, as well as the trainer. This can be done by:

 

  1. Ask for references. An excellent place to start is talking to prior or existing customers to find out what their experiences with a specific trainer have been. This can be done by asking the professional horse trainer for a list of references.

 

  1. Check with the Better Business Bureau. If any complaints were filed against an individual or his or her company over the years, this information will be located with this agency.

 

  1. Check with your state, county or parish licensing agencies for a particular business license requirement. Ascertain whether or not this particular individual’s business is currently registered and up-to-date, if required.

 

  1. Check with the local sheriff’s office or the SPCA to ascertain whether or not your potential trainer has ever had an animal abuse complaint filed against him or her. If so, obtain the judicial disposition of the case.

 

  1. There are two ways to research an individual’s background.1) Do it yourself or hire someone to do it after you obtain a signed release from the trainer, or 2) simply go to the local civil records section of the court house yourself and ask the clerk of court in the civil records section for all public arrest and filed lawsuit records for a specific individual. After all, arrest and lawsuit records are public documents.

 

B – Business Contracts and Insurance Policies

 

         The Business Contract:

 

  1. One of the most vital aspects of any business arrangement in today’s society is reducing the business arrangements to legal and notarized writings. A competent attorney at law should be used to draw-up the particulars for you.

 

  1. NEVERexecute or sign a “hand-written” contractual document with anyone. This type of scribed document is suspect in the first place. You may be signing a scheme to defraud, which has been proven factual in certain filed legal documents and circumstances. After all, you need all the legal protection you can muster-up in the event a dispute arises and you require an attorney at law to enforce a specific performance clause in the contract.

 

  1. A contract keeps everything clean and neat.If a trainer won’t sign a contract, this is a “red flag,” simply walk away and find someone who will.

 

         Business Insurance:

 

  1. Unfortunately in today’s marketplace, we all need insurance to protect our valuable assets. This is especially true with a horse.As my old veterinarian use to say, “A horse is just an accident looking for somewhere to happen.”  Therefore, common sense tells us “We all need to insure our horses while they’re in training.”

 

  1. Common sense also tells us, that the training facility, where the horse is boarded, as well as the trainer, should also have a liability insurance policy in the unlikely event that an incident happens and client damages can be recouped for injury, illness, or even death to a particular horse, while under trainer care, custody and control.

 

  1. As a Risk Manager, I feel two of the most important aspects of any insurance liability policy are: a) having the client named as “additionally insured” on the trainer’s liability policy and b) an “error and omissions” clause. Still another important aspect, is to have the insurance company notify the client in the event of policy cancellation and/or at least (30) days in advance of the cancellation date. This provision can be included in the business contract between the parties.

 

C – Maintaining Contact With Your Horse While It Is In Training:

 

As a Risk Manager, I believe in the practice of, “seeing what you getand what you’re paying for.”  Since, you’re paying the bills, it’s a good practice to make regular trips to see your horse while it’s in training. That way, you can see for yourself exactly how the horse is being trained and how the horse is progressing during training with the trainer. If you aren’t satisfied with the horse’s progression, it’s a good idea to speak to the trainer about it.

 

NEVER, get caught in the trap of being a victim or a life donator to a trainer’s 401 K retirement plan, especially with a horse that’s never going to make it in a specific performance horse discipline in the first place. It is a fact of life that not all horses are destined to become “superstars” no matter what the breeding sheet tells you and no matter how long they are in training. Therefore, your only reliance on this fact is in the opinion of your horse trainer’s credibility. That is, unless you’re an experienced horseman yourself, as well as being a good judge of horseflesh and training methods. So live by this rule: “Trust But Verify.”

 

Making regular visits to the horse-training facility will allow you to judge that for yourself. If your horse trainer objects to your regular visits to ascertain how your horse is being treated and trained, simply find another horse trainer. The plain truth is: Your trainer is going to know in very short order whether your horse is a worthy candidate or not for a specific horse discipline or event in the performance horse industry. It’s not going to take a year or longer.

 

D – Money Earnings Split:

 

NEVER engage in a practice where a horse trainer is allowed to have a winning’s check issued in his or her name and NEVER opt for a deal with the trainer to maintain control of your share of earnings and apply it to your bill balance. The “pitfall” of this accounting method is that you’re relying on the horse trainer to act as your accountant. This is exactly how financial disputes arise in the first place. Be smarter than that!  Essentially, the horse trainer is your “contract laborer,” not an agent for your accountant.  The proper way to handle the “money/split” is for the client to receive the earnings’ check, pay the trainer his or her portion and issue the trainer an IRS form 1099 form at the end of the year for the tax filing purposes of both parties.

 

The client should always pay their board, training and entry fees separate and apart from money-earning check payouts. At the end of the year, it’s the client’s responsibility to issue the IRS form1099 to the trainer, which includes what you paid him or her – not, vice-versa.

 

E – Fraudulent Acts:

 

If at anytime you determine your trainer is “padding” invoices, i.e., adding expenses that aren’t usual and customary, this is a red flag! Immediately address this with your trainer and refuse to pay the bill until it is rectified. If this practice persists after the initial finding, fire the trainer and find someone else. Beware, of a facility that desires to provide you with multiple months’ billing all at once – or even on a quarterly, semi-annual, bi-annual or annual basis. This should raise a serious red flag to the client as it relates to the accuracies of the contents identified as billable services.

 

Another avenue available to the individual, who has been the victim of a fraudulent act, is to consult with law enforcement, rather than a lawyer, for asset recovery. In my opinion, those identified as operating fraudulent business practices should be evicted from the business on a permanent basis.

 

F – Money-back Guarantee:

 

If the trainer you pick is the really “fire-bang wizard” he or she proclaims, then speak to them about a “Money-Back Guarantee” on their training. At my company, I offer a “Money-Back-Guarantee” on all of my business products and services, including horse training. The guarantee states: “If a Client isn’t completely satisfied with my products or services, they’re entitled to a full refund, or a “money-back guarantee.”  If the trainer balks, you might want to find another trainer. To date, I haven’t returned anyone’s money and I’ve trained a lot of horses in my time. This separates the really confident trainers from the wanna-be’s, “so-to-speak.”

 

Overall, the bad trainers in the industry are making the good trainers and the industry suffer. That’s a sad commentary for the industry. In recent years I’ve seen highly publicized increases in animal abuse cases among trainers, as well as an increase in lawsuits, because of business dealings that have gone bad or have been fraudulent.

 

One trainer to avoid is the one who always wants you to engage in some sort of partnership with him or her. This is just another way for them to use your money. From what I can tell, most of those partnerships don’t have happy endings. Therefore, be frugal with your money, diligent in your research and prudent in your business practices and you’ll more than likely be happy in the industry.

 

Another option for guidance is to purchase my book: “THE AMERICAN HORSE INDUSTRY, Avoiding the Pitfalls.”  This book was written to address the many “Pitfalls” the equine enthusiast may encounter in the industry, as well as the ways to avoid them, including the ones in this article.

 

Until Next Time, Keep ‘Em Between the Bridle!

 

WIND RIVER COMPANY LLC

Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
Managing Member
Professional Reined Cow Horse Trainer.
Freelance Writer and Author
Office/Mobile: (985) 630-3500
Email: windrivercompany.rd@gmail.com
Web Site: http://www.richardedennis.net

DIVISIONS:
Wind River Security, Personal Protection, Risk Management, and Analysis.
Wind River Employee Drug and Alcohol Testing Consortium Services.
Wind River Stock Horses – Breeding Training Exhibition and Sales.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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☛ When is a gift really a gift? 8-7-18

Posted by on Aug 7, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, EQUI-VOICE, HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, RODEO & BULLRIDING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 5 comments

WHEN’S YOUR GIFT, REALLY A GIFT?

 

Which Gifts Are Taxable and What Can Be Excluded?

 

By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
Aug. 7, 2018

 

Have you given or received a large gift? Do you know what the tax consequences are? You may be subject to the 40% Federal Gift Tax.

 

According to the IRS, a gift is “Any transfer to an individual, either directly or indirectly, where full consideration (measured in money or money’s worth) is not received in return.”

 

The gift tax is the responsibility of the person who gives a gift (i.e., the donor), and the amount of tax due is based on the value of their gift. The person who receives a gift (i.e., the donee) is generally not responsible for paying the gift tax. However, if the donor does not pay the gift tax, the donee may have to pay the tax instead.

 

The gift tax was implemented in order to stop people from dodging the Estate Tax by giving away all of their money before death. While most individuals don’t need to worry about having to pay the gift tax, there are a lot of people who neglect to file the proper paperwork.

 

Seven things you should know about the Federal gift tax:

 

  1. Gifts to Family Members Count. The gift tax and exclusion limit (below) apply whether you are making the gift to a complete stranger, a nephew or your own children. The only person you can give a gift to that is exempt from the gift tax is your spouse. Gifts to your spouse qualify for the marital deduction.

 

  1. There Is an Annual Gift Tax Exclusion.You do not have to pay tax on gifts that are less than the annual exclusion limit, which generally changes every year. Currently, the annual exclusion for 2018 is $15,000 per recipient, up from the previous $14,000 exclusion limit. In other words, you can give up to $15,000 to each of your children this year without having to pay any gift tax. However, anything of value given as a gift and the amount exceeding the exclusion limit is taxable.

 

  1. There Are Also: Educational and Medical Exclusions. Payments that you make on someone’s behalf for qualified tuition or medical expenses do not count toward the annual limit for gift tax purposes. However, your payment(s) must be made directly to a qualifying educational organization or medical care provider in order to qualify for the exclusion. You can also place funds directly into a 529-education savings plan to avoid the gift tax — but note that certain rules apply.

 

  1. You May Need to File a Gift Tax Return (Form 709). In general, you must file a Federal gift tax return (IRS Form 709) if you gave someone more than $15,000 during the 2018 calendar year. In some cases, you are required to file Form 709 even if your gift was below the $15,000 annual exclusion. Note that only individuals are responsible for filing gift tax returns — corporations or trusts that make gifts will pass the filing and payment responsibilities onto their individual stockholders or beneficiaries. Additionally, a married couple cannot file a joint gift tax return.

 

Form 709 is an annual return that is due by April 15 of the year after the gift was made. While this is the same deadline as the individual income tax return (Form 1040), the gift tax return must be filed separately. You can request a 6-month filing extension for your gift tax return with Form 8892 (Application for Extension of Time to File Form 709 and/or Payment of Gift/Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax). Furthermore, if you use Form 4868 (Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return) to obtain a tax extension for your 1040 return, you will automatically receive an extension for Form 709.

 

  1. Married Couples Can Give Twice As Much.Spouses can each give up to $15,000 to the same recipient and still stay within the annual exclusion threshold. Together, a married couple can give $30,000 to each donee without incurring the gift tax. Most tax professionals recommend that married couples give money in the form of two separate checks, and each signed by one of the spouses, to avoid any confusion.

 

  1. Each Donor Has a Lifetime Exemption.This refers to the total amount that an individual can give away during their entire lifetime. If your gift exceeds the $15,000 annual threshold, it must be reported as a taxable gift on Form 709 — however, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have to pay the gift tax. Instead, you can apply the gift toward your lifetime exclusion from the Federal estate tax.

 

The “basic exclusion” (also known as the “unified credit”) represents both the lifetime gift tax exemption and the estate tax exclusion, signified as a total amount of $5.34 million. The current law allows individuals to give away up to $5.34 million over their lifetime without having to pay gift or estate taxes.

 

But keep in mind; any portion that’s used to avoid the gift tax reduces the amount that will be exempt from estate tax. For example, if you used $2 million of the exemptions to make taxable gifts during your lifetime, you will only be able to exclude $3.34 million from the estate tax. If you surpass the $5.34 million limit, you (or your heirs) will have to pay up to 40% tax.

 

You can give someone $15,000 per year and it won’t affect your lifetime exemption (because gifts below the annual threshold are not considered taxable). If you exceed the $15,000 annual gift tax threshold, you must file Form 709 and report the amount that counts against your lifetime exemption. You should also hold onto any relevant paperwork so your heirs can properly compute the estate tax later.

 

  1. Promotional Gifts Aren’t Considered “Gifts.”If you receive a gift as part of a promotion — for example, a car is given away to every member of the studio audience — then it does not count as a “gift” by IRS standards because the giver is getting something in return, namely self-promotion. This means that the tax burden for a promotional gift falls on the recipient (because it increases their wealth) and is not eligible for the annual gift tax exclusion. Example, if you give a horse as a gift for promotional purposes it may be disqualified under the gift tax law and may not be considered a gift at all, e.g., if the horse is excluded from showing under certain circumstances, and providing it as a gift is your alternative to allow promotion to continue, it may not qualify as a gift under IRS tax law.  Check with your CPA or the IRS.

 

By the same token, if your providing a gift to someone for a “self-serving purpose,e.g., a house – in the event an individual has IRS tax issues, then this may be considered tax evasion and the one who knowingly receive such a gift under this circumstance to avoid a tax lien or seizure may be considered a co-conspirator.  Therefore, its imperative for the recipients of a large gift to be fully cognizant of any and/or all prior motives the donor may have in providing the gift.  It’s especially important for the recipient to have a fully executed and notarized IRS form 709 in his or her possession, and upon taking possession of the gift.  IRS requires a form 709 to be filled out for each gift whose fair market value exceeds the $15,000 exclusion.

 

In closing, please be advised that it’s always prudent business practices to have a thorough understanding what your getting yourself into before you do it.  Always, “Trust, But Verify.”

 

“Until Next Time, Keep Em Between The Bridle”

 

WIND RIVER COMPANY LLC
Richard E. “Rick” Dennis CPP
Managing Member
Freelance writer and author
Office/Mobile: (985) 630-3500
Email: windrivercompany@gmail.com
Web Site: http://www.richardedennis.net

 

Divisions:

 

Wind River Security, Personal Protection, Risk Management and Analysis.

Wind River Employee Drug and Alcohol Testing Consortium Services.Wind River Stock Horses – Breeding, Training, Exhibition, and Sales.

 

 

 

 

 

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