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☛ Vogels and Dufurrena settle – Alvin Fults purchases Stevie Rey Von 2-10-18

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

VOGELS  AND ED DUFURRENA AGREE ON A PRIVATE SETTLEMENT OF LAWSUIT 

 

VOGELS RECEIVE AUSPICIOUS CAT, STEVIE REY VON AND CREYZY TRAIN;

AFTER PRIVATE SETTLEMENT, STEVIE REY VON SELLS FOR $2 MILLION

By Glory Ann Kurtz
Feb. 10, 2018

After close to eight years of disagreements and lawsuits, Ed Dufurrena, Gainesville, Texas, on Thursday, Feb. 8, agreed to sign over three horses to Don and Janie Vogel, Saint Jo, Texas, during a private settlement in the Fort Worth office of their lawyer Lew Stevens.

But these weren’t just any horses. They included Auspicious Cat , a 2005 stallion sired by High Brow Cat out of Lenas O Lady by Peppy San Badger, with over $333,000 in lifetime earnings;  Stevie Rey Von, a 2012 son of Metallic Cat out of Miss Ella Rey and the winner of the 2015 NCHA Open Futurity, earning over $340,000 and Creyzy Train, a trained cutting mare that is a 2012 daughter of Auspicious Cat out of Miss Ella Rey by Dual Rey with earnings of close to $14,000.

The venture started on March 29, 2011, when Janie Vogel wrote a check for $105,000 to Ed Dufurrena Cutting Horses for 49 percent of four horses. They included three (3) registered horses including Auspicious Cat for $49,000, Whata Sneaky Cat ($20,000) and Ozzum Cat ($3,500).  Ozzum Man (registration pending) was listed at $2,500.  Two embryos out of Miss Ella Rey by Auspicious Cat and Metallic Cat (which later turned out to be Stevie Rey Von, the winner of the 2014 NCHA Futurity) were listed at $15,000 each.  Also, a 2011 embryo out of Miss Hickory Wheel by Auspicious Cat was included for 100% of reproductive costs.

Among other things, the hand-written contract stated that the purpose of the alliance was to promote cutting horses through training, showing, breeding and sales for a potential profit. The agreement stated that the Vogels had purchased the percentage of those horses and embryos, which would be known as Dos Cats Partners. The owners would share all expenses, including board, vet care, farrier, advertising, training, showing, nominations, hauling, insurance and any other expense incurred in the care and promotion of horses proportionately. The horses would be managed by Ed Dufurrena, including training, showing and advertising.  Diufurrena agreed to use acceptable practices of animal husbandry in the care and condition of the horses – as well as being the stallion manager.

Asked how the couple got involved in the cutting horse business, Janie said, “Our vet got injured badly in an accident loading horses in a trailer on New Year’s Eve. After five months in the hospital, she sold her practice. So when we went to an auction and bought some breedings for stallions, someone gave me Ed’s number and Shona helped me get my three mares bred.”

“I’ve always been fascinated with cutting horse and went to their shows,” continued Janie. “I had some halter horses that I loved to death – but for a long time I really liked cutting horses.”

Her husband, Don, was born in Muenster, Texas and they lived in South Lake, where they owned a swimming pool concrete company.

“When we decided to retire, we sold the company and bought a farm in Saint Jo, Texas,” sad Janie.

VOGEL LAWSUIT:

However, in a lawsuit filed six years later on Sept. 27, 2017, the Vogels (the plaintiffs) sued Dufurrena (the defendant), stating that in the beginning, the partnership owned four horses; however, presently the horses remaining in the partnership were Auspicious Cat, Creyzy Train and Stevie Rey Von (at that time ann embryo by Metallic Cat out of Miss Ella Rey). The rest of the horses in the agreement had been sold by Dufurrena. The terms included all expenses being shared proportionately by the ownership interests of each partner; all earnings from any source were to be shared proportionately according to the ownership interests of each partner and the defendant would manage the horses.

Also, expenses were allegedly incurred in the partnership with Dufurrena  being responsible for sending an invoice to the Vogels, that was prepared by Dufurrena, or at the direction of him, providing a description of the expense and the proportionate share owed by the Plaintiffs.

Stevie Rey Von went on to win the 2015 NCHA Futurity, taking home over $300,000 – without Dufurrena paying the Vogels their proportionate share of the winnings. At that time Stevie Rey Von’s breeding fee was $4,000 plus a $650 chute fee.

The Vogels response was that they had  not received their share of the breeding fees, with Dufurrena responding by sending the Vogels “self-generated” invoices containing expenses. When the Vogels requested the expenses be substantiated, they claimed the defendant never complied. In fact, at the time of the lawsuit, none of the expenses had been substantiated by Dufurrena.

The Vogels also claimed gross misrepresentations of material facts by Dufurrena. For example, the number of breedings of the stallions. The Vogels learned that Dufurrena permitted at least 100 breedings to Stevie Rey Von, during that period. The Vogels anticipated that the same would be true for 2015 and 2017 for Stevie Rey Von as well as Auspicious Cat.

According to the lawsuit, at the time of the agreement, Dufurrena represented to the Vogels that Auspicious Cat had no physical defects, which was untrue as it was later learned he was a cryptorchid (only one testicle) and carried the HERDA gene. They claim Dufurrena also misrepresented expenses of the partnership, claiming expenses for things that had not incurred, as well as inflated expenses and some that were not authorized and/or excessive. They also claim the horses generated income but that the Vogels never received their share.

Also, Dufurrena did not include the Vogels ownership on the AQHA registration papers of the partnership horses in the name of the Partnership nor the name of the Vogels. Auspicious Cat was  not transferred to Dos Cats Partners until Jan. 16, 2008, even though the date on the sale was Dec. 30, 2006 and he alone pocketed the $345,000 paycheck for winning the Open NCHA Futurity.

According to AQHA registration papers, Stevie Rey Von was  bred and owned by Brandon Dufurrena (Ed and Shona Dufurrena’s son), but his AQHA registration shows the stallion was transferred to Edward L. Dufurrena on 12/1/15 – just in time for the pair’s win in the 2015 NCHA Futurity, but the ownership of the horse was not actually recorded by the AQHA until Feb. 4, 2016. Note: Stevie Rey Von had never been transferred into the Vogels’ names.)

Dufurrena represented himself as the sole owner of the stallion, which is a serious violation of the rules and regulations of the National Cutting Horse Association. Also, advertisements of the stallion also indicate that Ed Dufurrena was the sole owner. And when breedings were received due to the advertisements, Dufurrena kept all the money and did not pay the Vogels their proportionate share.

THE LEGAL BATTLE:

The Vogels hired Lisa Bennett, of the law firm of Adams, Bennett, Duncan and Henley in Gainesville, Texas, who on Sept. 27, 2017 filed a lawsuit against Ed Dufurrena.

The lawsuit filed by Bennett, claimed that Dufurrena had committed conversion against the Vogels by selling partnership property without the right to do so and against the benefit of the Plaintiffs. Also Dufurrena had sold partnership property without paying the Plaintiffs their proportional share or permission of the Plaintiffs. This property included breedings from Stevie Rey Von, the prize winnings from the NCHA Futurity (over $340,000)  and by invoicing “paid for” expenses that had not been incurred or were not for the benefit of the partnership.

The suit also included the producing of documentation that Dufurrena had committed forgeries, breached the duty of loyalty owed to the Plaintiffs under the law and terms of the Partnership and using Partnership property for  his own personal gain and to the deprivation of the Plaintiffs, stating that the Vogels were billed expenses to Dufurrena wrongfully – expenses that never existed or were improperly applied or grossly inflated. Also that Dufurrena improperly titled Stevie Rey Von’s ownership with the AQHA in his own name only.

Also, when the Vogels demanded an accounting from Dufurrena, they said Dufurrena refused, breaching his fiduciary duty to the Plaintiffs.

The Vogels sought a dissolution of the Partnership, demanding an accounting from Dufurrena, all monies due them be paid from him and that a receiver be appointed for the sale of all partnership property, including, but not limited to, Steve Rey Von.

The suit claimed that Fraud had been committed on the Plaintiffs and that a points in Vogel’s pleading be filed against Dufurrena within the jurisdiction of the court.

The judgment directed Dufurrena to account for all profits earned on the transactions that are a subject of the suit; prejudgment and post judgment interests as provided by law, an order directing Dufurrena to surrender the records of the Partnership to the Plaintiffs for inspection, appoint a receiver to take custody and control of Partnership property for safekeeping and sale; appoint a receiver to take custody and control of Partnership property for safekeeping and sale; that proceeds from the sale of partnership property be placed in the registry of the court, as well as costs of the suit and any further relief to which the Vogels are entitled.

On Oct. 2, 2017, the Vogels made a motion for the appointment of a receiver, stating that if the assets of the partnership were not immediately placed in a receivership and liquidated, irreparable harm will ensue to Plaintiffs. The present assets of the partnership are the three horses, with Stevie Rey Von being the most valuable since he had won the 2015 NCHA Cutting futurity, giving him a value of $1 million. Auspicious Cat was valued at $160,000 and Creyzy Train at $8,000.

Also the suit claims that Dufurrena has insured the horses, with his and his wife’s names being the beneficiaries and when the Vogels insisted that they be included in the ownership interest in the policy. Dufurrena failed to do so.

The Plaintiffs requested the appointment of a receiver to have authority after the hearing, immediately taking possession of the horses, safe keep and maintain the horses and sell them at public auction. They submitted that Jeremy Barwick of Western Bloodstock Company would be an appropriate person for that since Western Bloodstock put on the big NCHA Futurity sales in December. But since the case was not closed before the NCHA Futurity sales, that never happened.

DUFURRENA FILES COUNTERCLAIM AGAINST VOGELS:

On October 7, 2017, Dufurrena filed a counterclaim suing the Vogels, who were 66 (and considered elderly by the court*) at the time of the partnership agreement, and their company Jandon Ltd., a Texas Limited Partnership, for disclosure, stating that “over the years the Vogels had placed 10 horses with Dufurrena and were not current with their account, accumulating an unpaid balance of approximately $340,000. On Feb. 6, 2017, when the Vogels came back to pick up their horses, it was discovered that Dufurrena had a possessory lien under Texas law as agisters, requiring the person in possession of the horses to retain possession so that it may be sold to apply the prices of the sale to the unpaid balance of the charges subject to the lien.

The lawsuit also claimed Dufurrena had received a $100,000 check from the account of Jandon LLC which was “no good” and did not clear the bank despite multiple requests by the plaintiffs that the check be covered. He claims the defendants have refused to make good on the check and unpaid balance of the invoices. Dufurrena claimed damages of $340,000, exclusive of attorneys’s fees, costs and pre-judgment interest.

Dufurrena was represented by Bryan H. Burg of Siebman, Burg, Phillips & Smith, LLP, Plano, Texas, who also represented him in a previous lawsuit regarding Auspicious Cat. Brandon Dufurrena was represented by Larry Sullivant, a Gainesville, Texas lawyer.

* If a criminal case were filed in this case and the party suing losing are considered “elderly,” the penalty is 3 times the damages.

PLAINTIFF’S RESPONSE TO DUFURRENA:

In an October 20 response to Dufurrena’s counterclaim, the Vogels requested to see Dufurrena’s records of the Partnership, including the bills but Dufurrena failed to comply. Thereafter, through 2017, the Vogels said they requested documentation from Dufurrena and he always had a reason for not complying. As partners, they demanded they be allowed to inspect the records.

What the Vogels saw was a gross misrepresentation of material facts. A number of breedings to Stevie Ray Von were misrepresented by Dufurrena. He said that Stevie Rey Von had 40 breedings in 2016 (foals would be born in 2017), when the Vogels learned that Dufurrena actually had 100 breedings to Stevie Rey Von during the period. The Vogels said in court documents that they anticipate that the same was true for 2015 and 2017 for Stevie Rey Von, as well as for Auspicious Cat. (AQHA does release  the number of breedings to a stallion in a given year; however, they do release the number of foals registered from those breedings.)

The Vogels also claimed that Dufurrena did not title the Partnership horses in the name of the Partnership nor the name of the Vogels, with the exception of Auspicious Cat. Dufurrena titled Stevie Rey Von’s ownership papers originally in the name of his son Brandon and then in his name – never in the name of the partnership. Also, he never informed the Vogels of the ownership papers of Creyzy Train’s ownership papers in the name of his son and never informed the Vogels of his actions.

During the lawsuit, a Risk Assessment/Risk Analysis was performed by Richard E. “Rick” Dennis in this matter. Rick is a former Professional Drug Enforcement Agent and a Law Enforcement Officer. Since 1986, he has been involved in the private security industry as an entrepreneur and currency is the managing member of the Wind River company. His company specializes in providing private security, personal protection, security consultation as well as employee drug and alcohol testing and risk management services to the private sector including Risk Assessment and Risk analysis.

He has a total of 47 years experience in his fields of representation and is the author of two books: THE AMERICAN HORSE INDUSTRY, AVOIDING THE PITFALLS AND CROSS TRAINING 101, Reining, Cutting, Cowhorse and is a freelance writer and contributor for AllAboutCutting.com.

Ricks Response 2-10-18

ENTER NEW LAWYER LEW STEVENS:

Lisa Bennett, the lawyer defending the Vogels, felt the case needed to be co-counseled by someone who specialized in horse cases. Rick Dennis, thought Lew Stevens, a Fort Worth lawyer who not only specialized in horse cases, but was also personally involved in the horse industry, and had  a lot of experience in it and the legal aspects of the law, was perfect for the job. Lew then teamed up with Lisa Bennett.

“We had a lot of people and curious friends tell us we ought to go to Lew, which we did,” said Janie Vogel, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease. “We were happy when he said he would help us.”

After seven years had gone by in this case, Stevens, in his first day of a formal appearance by Janie Vogel (that had been set up for her deposition), got the defendants to agree to an out-of-court settlement.

The settlement had just eliminated additional months and possibly years of payments to lawyers by the Vogels but Lew didn’t want to take all the credit. In an interview, he said, “A case is never settled by one person. Everyone has to work toward a common goal.”

“I thought we were going to Lew’s office for depositions,” said Janie Vogel. “All of a sudden I was caught by surprise of a settlement.”

THE PRIVATE SETTLEMENT:

The private settlement included the Vogels receiving Auspicious Cat, Stevie Rey Von and Creyzy Train, who are all at Jo Ellard’s Stallion Station and training facility in  Whitesboro, Texas. Both Auspicious Cat and Stevie Rey Von will be standing at the Ellard facility which has 24 x 14 stalls and an underground tornado shelter for the valuable stallions.

The legal case will show up in court records as “case closed.”

Auspicious Cat (High Brow Cat x Lenas O Lady) will be standing for $3,650, which includes the farm fee and Stevie Rey Von (Metallic Cat x Miss Ella Rey) will stand for $4,650, which includes the farm fee.

Janie Vogel said the plan is to get Creyzy Train, who is a trained cutting mare with close to $15,000 in earnings, to be shown.

She continued, “We’d like to stay in the cutting horse business and ‘dabble’ in it.’ ”

THE VOGELS SELL STEVIE REY VON FOR $2 MILLION:

And “dabble” Don and Janie Vogel can, as less than 24 hours after the settlement, it was announced that Alvin and Becky Fults, Amarillo, Texas, who previously owned Metallic Cat, the sire of Stevie Rey Von, had purchased Stevie Rey Von for $2 million.

Asked about their relationship with Dufurrena, a gracious Janie said, “We’re just going to try to get along with them. I don’t want to be enemies with anyone.”

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☛ Correction to Sex offender article posted 1-19-18

Posted by on Feb 6, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

CORRECTION TO THE ARTICLE: SEX OFFENDERS AND BACKGROUND CHECKS POSTED 1-19-18.

 

SEX OFFENDERS AND BACKGROUND CHECKS

 

DO YOU KNOW ALL THERE IS TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR ASSOCIATION’S OFFICERS OR HALL OF FAME MEMBERS?

By Glory Ann Kurtz
Jan. 19, 2018

Now is the time when horse organizations accept suggestions from their membership so they can honor some of their members to be in their respective Halls of Fame. Usually suggestions are made by members, with transcripts that include their great accomplishments in their particular industry. But do they really know all the information about the person they are suggesting be given the honors?

That’s kind of how our members of Congress are chosen and we know how that turned out. Or maybe it’s about the businessmen or women or film stars who have been highly successful, in great demand and are very wealthy. A group gets together and decides which of them should be honored … whether it be in film, music or business.  Or maybe it’s the news media who decides which businessmen have accomplishments worthy of some recognition. We also know how that all turned out.

That leads to the big question: “What DON’T we know about these individuals?” That’s been a lesson learned the hard way recently when several members of the U.S. Congress, as well as the top echelon of ownership and management of U.S. companies, who had to step down when they were accused of sexual harassment and assault. A majority of them didn’t even deny the allegations; they simply resigned to “being unmasked” as their female victims had finally came forward, saying  the sexual harassment had been going on for years. That includes the doctor at the Olympics who recently  had to face  his victims in court, with the parent of one of them revealing how her daughter had committed suicide after the sexual assault.

Sexual harassment and assault has also been going on in the horse industry for years – but in a much smaller scale than in the business or movie world as there are not many media outlets trying to seek out the perpetrators and unmask them to the industry. It’s easier to prove horse abuse than it is women or child abuse as usually there isn’t a lot of physical or court evidence available. It’s simply a woman’s or child’s word against the perpetrator’s and usually they are too ashamed or scared to report it in the first place. Personally, I know of instances where young girls have been abused for years and were too frightened of the perpetrator to report it.

However, the web site “RateMyHorsePro.com,” recently unmasked a National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) long-time member who is a trainer, clinician and a member of their Hall of Fame, who has a conviction for “rape by force or threat.” The site published a state of California rap sheet of him, including a photo and his offenses that took place in 1963. The website, that also does background checks on individuals, stated that the information “was obtained through the public domain and in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act.”

As a result, Les Vogt, 75, of Paso Robles, Calif., was exposed as a convicted felon through California’s Offense Code 261.3 Rape of Drugged Victim in 2002.

Click for Megan’s Law sex offender law in California>>

Recently California passed SB384, which is a new bill regarding sex offenders. However Vogt is still under the rules of the old bill as his offense was in 1963.

SB 384: California’s new 3-tiered sex offender registration system>>

According to his website, Vogt is “one of the horse world’s premier trainers, teachers and innovators, having won 15 World Champion Reining and Working Cow Horse titles, as well as countless other championships.

I REGRET THAT THE FOLLOWING SENTENCE WAS IN ERROR: He has been a member of the NRCHA Hall of Fame since 2004! Two years following his conviction for being a sex offender.

DUE TO LANGUAGE BEING INADVERTENTLY LEFT OUT, THE SENTENCE SHOULD HAVE READ: He has been a member of the NRCHA Hall of Fame since 2004! Two years following the release and unmasking of his FOIA public criminal arrest, conviction and “Sex Offender Registration” and internet dissemination by Rate My Horse Pro in 2002 regarding his conviction for being a sex offender in 1963. (The information in bold face print is what was left out.)
Les Vogt | NRCHA Hall of fame

Vogt’s website states, “As a teacher and clinician, Les lectures extensively in the United States, South America and Western Europe. His clinics welcome both professional and  non-pro students and every clinic is tailored for the participants.”

Vogt’s site emphasizes that his clinics focus on various aspects of the Western performance spectrum with special sessions available for reining, showmanship, working cow horse and young horses/young riders.  Vogt has 13 clinics planned for 2018 due to his success in the National Reined Cow Horse Association.

Vogt was also included in the film “Down The Fence,” regarding the reined cow horse that is promoted by the NRCHA and is now available on Netflix or can be purchased on Amazon.

WHAT CAN BE DONE PRIOR TO AN ASSOCIATION MEMBER’S NEW POSITION?

While there’s not much an association’s Board of Directors can do to make sure all their fellow members are not sex offenders, it is possible to assure that the members of the board and/or individuals who are honored or voted in as officers or Hall of Fame members and who are role models for their members – especially the youth – are not sex offenders or have any felony  convictions on their record. A conviction of being a sex offender is a felony. As of yesterday, I checked with Megan’s List in California and Vogt is definitely still on the list and is, therefore, a sex offender and a felon.

Click for Sex Offender Registry FBI>>

An association’s Board can make it mandatory that anyone running for an office or the board of directors or are nominated for a Hall of Famhttps://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/sex-offender-registrye or another honorary position at a equine association, have a “background check” before they are moved into that position. If you don’t control who your officers and Hall of Fame members are, and you know that they have a felony on their rap sheet, the Association could be liable for the actions of these honorary members of that association as the honors given to them by the association usually signifies they are trustworthy as clinicians.

However, Jay Winborn, the Executive Director of the NRCHA  was given a copy of this article prior to it being published, and after consulting with the Board of Directors of the NRCHA, he made the following statement: “NRCHA is an equine association that promotes and produces reined cow horse events and does not comment on situations involving the personal lives of our members.” He also asked that several statements be eliminated that he had previously made.

It is interesting to note that to be an AQHA Professional Horseman in the Trainers Directory, the individuals have to go through a background check.

Also, the NRCHA, along with several other horse organizations, including the NCHA and APHA receive city, state and federal money for their events held at the Will Rogers Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas. There is a possibility if there were a lawsuit filed by a victim of a sexual assault at one of these events, that the facility, city, state or federal government could also be included in the lawsuit. That could be the tipping point to get a background check on the board and officers of each of those associations. At the very least, if it was discovered that some of the individuals on these association’s board of directors had felony convictions for sex offenses, these governmental departments may not want to participate – as well the event’s sponsors.

According to the NRCHA, as of Oct. 23, 2017, nominations were being accepted for the next election cycle for the NRCHA Board of Directors for positions for nomination currently held by Sandy Collier, Brad Barkemeyer, Amanda Gardiner and Dan Roeser. Positions remaining in office for 2018 include Todd Bergen, Paul Bailey, Jake Telford, Joe Carter, Jim Lane, Trey Neal, Diane Edwards and Jon Roeser.

Attached is a copy of the NRCHA 2018 Election Notice, which interestingly includes in disclosure and eligibility requirements: (iv) full disclosure of any felony convictions on record and signing the NRCHA Code of Conduct and Confidentiality agreement.

Click for NRCHA 2018 Election Notice>>

However, there is no known check or penalties in place to make sure those signing it are being truthful, other than, “If discovered, they will be immediately suspended from the ballot or later from the board.” No mention of the loss of their membership in the NRCHA.

WHO ELSE SHOULD HAVE BACKGROUND CHECKS?

Also, another group of members of horse associations who have access to women and children are the horse trainers who have clinics on a regular basis, teaching, among others, such as women and children, how to ride and show horses. The NCHA, AQHA, APHA and NRCHA all have a Trainer’s Directory, so it would be easy to make a background check one of the requirements to be in the Trainer’s Directory, especially if they are training the riders. The cost of the background check could be up to the trainer, or part of their membership fee to be included in the association’s Trainer Directory. Several trainers are having their clinics at their own facilities.

However, according to my legal sources, if you’re not the trainer putting on the clinic, individuals or associations who are putting on clinics should check with the Sex Offender National Registry or the Sex Offender Registry in the state the clinician is living in to see if they are on the sex-offender list. If they fail to do that, the person or people, including associations, putting on the clinic could be involved in a lawsuit if the trainer they hired is accused of a sex offense during the clinic, should there be a complaint regarding sexual harassment or assault.

Also, if you are a horse facility owner and employ a trainer, if you do a background check on them, you can be assured that they are not sex offenders before they have the run of your facility and customers. If the trainer is coming from out of state, that state’s sex-offender registry should be checked if you don’t find them on the National Sex Offender chart. This could also help to alleviate any legal action against you.

Click for National Sex Offender chart>>

By today’s heightened awareness of sexual predation in our society, it seems prudent for 501 C 3 nonprofit organizations to design standards of care and rule adoptions to insure the safety and well being of its members and is especially prudent when an individual is a role model for new and upcoming generations. It would also be relevant for associations to have a hotline where victims can call into the association without being exposed as to who they are.

If you have any further questions regarding this problem, it is covered in Rick Dennis’ book “The American Horse Industry – Avoiding the Pitfalls,” available from Dennis at WIND RIVER COMPANY LLC, Richard E. Dennis, Managing Member

Phone: (985) 630-3500, Email: windrivercompany@gmail.com, Email – Personal: windrivercompany.rd@gmail.com, Web Site: http://www.windrivercompanyllc.com, or from online sources such as Amazon.com.

WHERE TO GO FOR BACKGROUND CHECKS:

The first question most people ask is, “Where do I go to find someone to do a legitimate background check on upcoming officers or members of the Hall of Fame?” You can do a lot of research yourself by Googling “background checks” for a variety of choices. If you would rather have an outside service do the checking for you, Rate My Horse Pro, who did the background check on Vogt, does background checks as well as do most private investigators. It may be one of the best investments your company, facility or association can make.

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☛ AQHA requesting delay of ELD Mandate 2-1-18

Posted by on Feb 1, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE NEWS, HORSE ORGANIZATIONS, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

AQHA REQUESTS DELAY OF ELD MANDATE

Press release from AQHA
Feb. 1, 2018

The American Quarter Horse Association is involved with requests to delay the impending Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) electronic logging device (ELD) mandate for one year. The mandate went into effect on December 18, 2017. At that time, livestock haulers were granted a 90-day waiver to comply with the mandate, and that waiver will expire March 18, 2018.

The rule limits the amount of time a commercial truck driver can drive and mandates a specific amount of off-duty/non-driving time, and requires the use of electronic logging devices to track the driving and non-driving times.

While there are some exemptions from the ELD mandate for farm and agricultural hauling, many of the rigs used for hauling horses and the activities horse owners participate in may not be exempt.

AQHA and other livestock organizations are concerned about the regulation requiring 10 consecutive hours off duty and how that will affect the welfare of animals being transported. Livestock industry guidelines recommend that drivers avoid stops when hauling livestock, as stopping for long periods of time would have a detrimental effect on the animals being hauled.

AQHA Executive Vice President Craig Huffhines commented on the National Pork Producer Council’s request to United State Department of Transportation for a waiver and exemption from the ELD mandate for livestock haulers. AQHA supports the exemption and is pursuing a one-year delay to address the additional issues created by changes to 49 CFR Part 395.

“AQHA members are involved in showing, racing, ranching, rodeos and recreation, and it is common for AQHA members to haul their horses interstate over long distances (much like other livestock haulers),” Huffhines said in his letter to the DOT. “We encourage the Department of Transportation to grant a one-year enforcement delay followed by a waiver and limited exemptions from compliance with the December 18, 2017, implementation date for the final rule on ELDs and hours of service. This will allow the department the opportunity to take appropriate steps to alleviate any unintended consequences that this mandate may have on the hauling of horses or other livestock.”

Read the full letter sent by Huffhines on behalf of AQHA and the Association’s members.

Overall, the Association believes more time is needed to reach out to the horse industry and ensure that industry education programs include ELD compliance and use. A one-year exemption will provide the horse industry the opportunity to educate members and allow the opportunity for the FMCSA to develop livestock-specific solutions to the ELD and underlying hours of service concerns of the industry.

What can members do?
Currently there is language in the House passed Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill that would delay the implementation of electronic logging devices for commercial motor vehicles transporting livestock and insects. Please contact your Senators and Representative to support the ELD one-year delay to give the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration time to make the necessary adjustments to hours of service rules to address animal welfare concerns. (Their contact information can be found here.)

Additionally, you can tune-in the American Horse Council webinar about the ELD mandate at 2 p.m. Central on February 12. The webinar will address the details of what the ELD mandate includes and who is required to have an electronic logging device. Register for the webinar here. If you can’t watch the webinar on February 12, it will be recorded and posted on the AHC website. To read more about the implementation of electronic logging devices, visit www.fmcsa.dot.gov and search “ELD Rule.”

To read more about the implementation of Electronic Logging Devices, visit www.fmcsa.dot.gov and search “ELD Rule.”

View brochures created by the American Horse Council for more information on the Electronic Logging Device Mandate and Commercial Drivers Licenses.

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☛ Lonnie Allsup passes at age 84 – 1-29-18

Posted by on Jan 29, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE NEWS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

LONNIE ALLSUP, FORMER NCHA PRESIDENT, PASSES AWAY AT AGE 84

 

THE OWNER OF ALLSUP’S CONVENIENCE STORES OWNED AND SHOWED THE GREAT LITTLE BADGER DULCE

By Glory Ann Kurtz
Jan. 29, 2018

Lonnie Allsup riding Shiney Shorty in 1997.

In 1956 the Texas-native Lonnie Allsup and his wife, Barbara, borrowed $6,500 to open Lonnie’s Drive-in Grocery in Roswell, N.M. While Barbara did the bookkeeping in their bedroom, Lonnie implemented features like cooked food, extended business hours and top placement for high-traffic items. The high school sweethearts were married in 1950.

As business boomed, Allsup expanded into other small cities during the opening decade of what we now call the convenience-store industry, making the Allsups millionaires. However, even though the Allsup chain of convenience stores will still go on, Allsup passed away at the age of 84 on Sunday, Jan. 28 at the Allsups’ home in Clovis, N.M.

Growing up in Morton, Texas, Allsup attended Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene, Tx. from 1952 to 1953 and after a short stint in the Air Force, it was fast-forward from then on when he purchased that first drive-in grocery that lead to a huge success in the convenience store industry.

In 1964, Allsup sold his 12-store chain to 7-Eleven owner Southland Corp. of Dallas in a deal that netted him $250,000 and due to an extremely weak non-compete clause, he was able to restart his business a few years later 100 miles away in Clovis, N.M.

 

Lonnie Allsup in front of an Allsups store with an unidentified girl.

According to financial articles, as one convenience store chain after another took Chapter 11 bankruptcy, including 7-Eleven, Circle K, Stop ‘n’ Go, Allsup prospered through niche marketing and a careful attention to costs. Part ownership of a co-operative food warehouse allowed him to sell goods at slightly lower prices. In 1996 and still growing, his stores numbered 310 in New Mexico–including several in Roswell, as well as Texas and Oklahoma. According to Allsup, at that time revenues were at $180 million.

 

While Lonnie ran the chain, the company is more than a one-person band. Barbara is the corporation’s financial vice president, while his son Mark is the chain’s operations manager.

 

Besides being the founder of Allsup’s Convenience Stores, Inc. he served as its President and Chief Executive Officer. He also served as Allsup also served as Treasurer and Director of Affiliated Foods, Inc. and President of Allsup Enterprises, Inc. He has been Principal of Zia Broadcasting, Clovis, N.M. since 1971 and as Principal of El Cid Land and Cattle Co Inc., a cutting horse operation in Crystal City, Texas since 1986.

Lonnie Allsup and his wife Barbara owned the highly successful Allsups Convenience Store chain.

However, many in the cutting  horse industry knew the Clovis, N.M., resident as the owner of top-bred cutting horses, with his trainer Pete Branch.

Beginning in 1980, Allsup entered cutting horse shows as an owner and rider. According to Branch, he viewed the sport as a great escape from managing his by then 310 stores in 160 towns from Gallup, N.M., to Pilot Point to San Angelo.

“I just love the touch, the smell and the brightness of a horse,” he said in an interview. “Cutting horses appeal to me because they’re bred smart, and they’re very exceptional athletes.”

Lonnie and Barbara own a 2,300-acre ranch near Farwell, just across the border from Clovis, N.M., that includes a 160-acre equine facility.

“On many days, he’s at the ranch by 6 a.m. and stays up to three hours. The ranch is a haven for him,” said Branch, who, according to NCHA has won more than $3.6 million in NCHA earnings.

“Lonnie is very competitive, and of course his business has gotten to be high-stress,” Branch said. “His cutting horse activities feed his competitiveness and gets him away from the stress of the workplace.”

Little Badger Dulce with Pete Branch in the saddle.

His highest money-earning horse was a mare named Little Badger Dulce, who earned $668,460 during her career, which included a Reserve Championship title at the 1992 NCHA World Championship Futurity, ridden by Branch. In 1993, she won the NCHA Super Stakes, with Branch in the saddle. The pair then went on to win the 4-Year-Old Open at Abilene with a whopping 226 score. The pair also were NCHA Open Reserve Champions twice.

Following her aged-event wins, the great mare carried Allsup to the NCHA 1996 Non-Professional World title. Showing how serious he was about his “cutting horse hobby,” in July of 1996, Allsup was in Fort Worth, where his younger horses were competing in the Summer Spectacular, but he also had Little Badger Dulce entered in a weekend show at Dodge City, Kan. He flew to Dodge City, made his 2 1/2-minute run, then flew back to Fort Worth. He made the round trip three times. Allsup’s current lifetime earnings in the NCHA top $555,000.

The great mare was put down in August of 2016 at the ripe old age of 26.

The Allsups also owned Ms Peppy Cat, the winner of the NCHA World Championship Open title in 2008 and 2010, with Branch in the saddle.

Also, in the 1990s, Allsup, who at that time was serving a term as the president of the NCHA, conducted a successful aged event at his Farwell facility that drew many of the sport’s heavy hitters.

In later years, with cutting horses becoming a business for Allsup, he found solace in fishing with his grandchildren.

Jeff Hooper, NCHA Executive Director at the time said, “He’s been very influential. He’s been involved at every level from being a world champion to owning top open horses. He’s one of the premier breeders, and Allsup-bred horses have a big impact.”

At press time, funeral arrangements had not been announced by Muffley  Funeral Home in Clovis.

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☛ Sex offenders and background checks 1-19-18

Posted by on Jan 19, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 7 comments

SEX OFFENDERS AND BACKGROUND CHECKS

 

DO YOU KNOW ALL THERE IS TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR ASSOCIATION’S OFFICERS OR HALL OF FAME MEMBERS?

By Glory Ann Kurtz
Jan. 19, 2018

Now is the time when horse organizations accept suggestions from their membership so they can honor some of their members to be in their respective Halls of Fame. Usually suggestions are made by members, with transcripts that include their great accomplishments in their particular industry. But do they really know all the information about the person they are suggesting be given the honors?

That’s kind of how our members of Congress are chosen and we know how that turned out. Or maybe it’s about the businessmen or women or film stars who have been highly successful, in great demand and are very wealthy. A group gets together and decides which of them should be honored … whether it be in film, music or business.  Or maybe it’s the news media who decides which businessmen have accomplishments worthy of some recognition. We also know how that all turned out.

That leads to the big question: “What DON’T we know about these individuals?” That’s been a lesson learned the hard way recently when several members of the U.S. Congress, as well as the top echelon of ownership and management of U.S. companies, who had to step down when they were accused of sexual harassment and assault. A majority of them didn’t even deny the allegations; they simply resigned to “being unmasked” as their female victims had finally came forward, saying  the sexual harassment had been going on for years. That includes the doctor at the Olympics who recently  had to face  his victims in court, with the parent of one of them revealing how her daughter had committed suicide after the sexual assault.

Sexual harassment and assault has also been going on in the horse industry for years – but in a much smaller scale than in the business or movie world as there are not many media outlets trying to seek out the perpetrators and unmask them to the industry. It’s easier to prove horse abuse than it is women or child abuse as usually there isn’t a lot of physical or court evidence available. It’s simply a woman’s or child’s word against the perpetrator’s and usually they are too ashamed or scared to report it in the first place. Personally, I know of instances where young girls have been abused for years and were too frightened of the perpetrator to report it.

However, the web site “RateMyHorsePro.com,” recently unmasked a National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) long-time member who is a trainer, clinician and a member of their Hall of Fame, who has a conviction for “rape by force or threat.” The site published a state of California rap sheet of him, including a photo and his offenses that took place in 1963. The website, that also does background checks on individuals, stated that the information “was obtained through the public domain and in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act.”

As a result, Les Vogt, 75, of Paso Robles, Calif., was exposed as a convicted felon through California’s Offense Code 261.3 Rape of Drugged Victim in 2002.

Click for Megan’s Law sex offender law in California>>

Recently California passed SB384, which is a new bill regarding sex offenders. However Vogt is still under the rules of the old bill as his offense was in 1963.

SB 384: California’s new 3-tiered sex offender registration system>>

According to his website, Vogt is “one of the horse world’s premier trainers, teachers and innovators, having won 15 World Champion Reining and Working Cow Horse titles, as well as countless other championships. He has been a member of the NRCHA Hall of Fame since 2004! Two years following his conviction for being a sex offender.

Les Vogt | NRCHA Hall of fame

Vogt’s website states, “As a teacher and clinician, Les lectures extensively in the United States, South America and Western Europe. His clinics welcome both professional and  non-pro students and every clinic is tailored for the participants.”

Vogt’s site emphasizes that his clinics focus on various aspects of the Western performance spectrum with special sessions available for reining, showmanship, working cow horse and young horses/young riders.  Vogt has 13 clinics planned for 2018 due to his success in the National Reined Cow Horse Association.

Vogt was also included in the film “Down The Fence,” regarding the reined cow horse that is promoted by the NRCHA and is now available on Netflix or can be purchased on Amazon.

WHAT CAN BE DONE PRIOR TO AN ASSOCIATION MEMBER’S NEW POSITION?

While there’s not much an association’s Board of Directors can do to make sure all their fellow members are not sex offenders, it is possible to assure that the members of the board and/or individuals who are honored or voted in as officers or Hall of Fame members and who are role models for their members – especially the youth – are not sex offenders or have any felony  convictions on their record. A conviction of being a sex offender is a felony. As of yesterday, I checked with Megan’s List in California and Vogt is definitely still on the list and is, therefore, a sex offender and a felon.

Click for Sex Offender Registry FBI>>

An association’s Board can make it mandatory that anyone running for an office or the board of directors or are nominated for a Hall of Famhttps://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/sex-offender-registrye or another honorary position at a equine association, have a “background check” before they are moved into that position. If you don’t control who your officers and Hall of Fame members are, and you know that they have a felony on their rap sheet, the Association could be liable for the actions of these honorary members of that association as the honors given to them by the association usually signifies they are trustworthy as clinicians.

However, Jay Winborn, the Executive Director of the NRCHA  was given a copy of this article prior to it being published, and after consulting with the Board of Directors of the NRCHA, he made the following statement: “NRCHA is an equine association that promotes and produces reined cow horse events and does not comment on situations involving the personal lives of our members.” He also asked that several statements be eliminated that he had previously made.

It is interesting to note that to be an AQHA Professional Horseman in the Trainers Directory, the individuals have to go through a background check.

Also, the NRCHA, along with several other horse organizations, including the NCHA and APHA receive city, state and federal money for their events held at the Will Rogers Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas. There is a possibility if there were a lawsuit filed by a victim of a sexual assault at one of these events, that the facility, city, state or federal government could also be included in the lawsuit. That could be the tipping point to get a background check on the board and officers of each of those associations. At the very least, if it was discovered that some of the individuals on these association’s board of directors had felony convictions for sex offenses, these governmental departments may not want to participate – as well the event’s sponsors.

According to the NRCHA, as of Oct. 23, 2017, nominations were being accepted for the next election cycle for the NRCHA Board of Directors for positions for nomination currently held by Sandy Collier, Brad Barkemeyer, Amanda Gardiner and Dan Roeser. Positions remaining in office for 2018 include Todd Bergen, Paul Bailey, Jake Telford, Joe Carter, Jim Lane, Trey Neal, Diane Edwards and Jon Roeser.

Attached is a copy of the NRCHA 2018 Election Notice, which interestingly includes in disclosure and eligibility requirements: (iv) full disclosure of any felony convictions on record and signing the NRCHA Code of Conduct and Confidentiality agreement.

Click for NRCHA 2018 Election Notice>>

However, there is no known check or penalties in place to make sure those signing it are being truthful, other than, “If discovered, they will be immediately suspended from the ballot or later from the board.” No mention of the loss of their membership in the NRCHA.

WHO ELSE SHOULD HAVE BACKGROUND CHECKS?

Also, another group of members of horse associations who have access to women and children are the horse trainers who have clinics on a regular basis, teaching, among others, such as women and children, how to ride and show horses. The NCHA, AQHA, APHA and NRCHA all have a Trainer’s Directory, so it would be easy to make a background check one of the requirements to be in the Trainer’s Directory, especially if they are training the riders. The cost of the background check could be up to the trainer, or part of their membership fee to be included in the association’s Trainer Directory. Several trainers are having their clinics at their own facilities.

However, according to my legal sources, if you’re not the trainer putting on the clinic, individuals or associations who are putting on clinics should check with the Sex Offender National Registry or the Sex Offender Registry in the state the clinician is living in to see if they are on the sex-offender list. If they fail to do that, the person or people, including associations, putting on the clinic could be involved in a lawsuit if the trainer they hired is accused of a sex offense during the clinic, should there be a complaint regarding sexual harassment or assault.

Also, if you are a horse facility owner and employ a trainer, if you do a background check on them, you can be assured that they are not sex offenders before they have the run of your facility and customers. If the trainer is coming from out of state, that state’s sex-offender registry should be checked if you don’t find them on the National Sex Offender chart. This could also help to alleviate any legal action against you.

Click for National Sex Offender chart>>

By today’s heightened awareness of sexual predation in our society, it seems prudent for 501 C 3 nonprofit organizations to design standards of care and rule adoptions to insure the safety and well being of its members and is especially prudent when an individual is a role model for new and upcoming generations. It would also be relevant for associations to have a hotline where victims can call into the association without being exposed as to who they are.

If you have any further questions regarding this problem, it is covered in Rick Dennis’ book “The American Horse Industry – Avoiding the Pitfalls,” available from Dennis at WIND RIVER COMPANY LLC, Richard E. Dennis, Managing Member

Phone: (985) 630-3500, Email: windrivercompany@gmail.com, Email – Personal: windrivercompany.rd@gmail.com, Web Site: http://www.windrivercompanyllc.com, or from online sources such as Amazon.com.

WHERE TO GO FOR BACKGROUND CHECKS:

The first question most people ask is, “Where do I go to find someone to do a legitimate background check on upcoming officers or members of the Hall of Fame?” You can do a lot of research yourself by Googling “background checks” for a variety of choices. If you would rather have an outside service do the checking for you, Rate My Horse Pro, who did the background check on Vogt, does background checks as well as do most private investigators. It may be one of the best investments your company, facility or association can make.

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☛ God, Guts, Guns and Taxes – 1-5-18

Posted by on Jan 5, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 15 comments

GOD, GUTS, GUNS AND TAXES

By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
Jan. 5, 2018

 

by Richard E. Dennis

The American Horse Industry, Avoiding the Pitfalls by Rick Dennis.

While growing up in Alabama in the 1950s, my grand father always stressed these four premises to live by:  “Always put GOD first in your life, have the GUTS to take on life and live successfully, keep a GUN handy in case you need it and always pay your TAXES.”

Paying taxes is a phrase resonating with every working American this time of the year simply due to the fact April 15 is the time we either file our taxes or file for an extension. Like the old adage, “There are two certainties in life: Death and Taxes!”  No one gets out alive and with new tax laws, Uncle Sam can and will tax you in the grave.

However, there are steps we can take to minimize the amount of taxes we pay by simply taking advantage of the built-in deductions and write offs included in the IRS tax code.

In my opinion, one fact of certainty is: “The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) seems to hate horses.”  In my book THE AMERICAN HORSE INDUSTRY, Avoiding The Pitfalls, I devoted an entire chapter to identifying whether your horse operation is a business or a hobby. One of the included items in this book is a chapter that stresses the importance of determining whether or not your horse operation is a business or a hobby as well as other necessary factors to successfully survive an IRS or State audit of your horse operation and yourself.

 

Case-In-Point:

In June 2016, I opened a new bank account at Chase Bank in Covington, Louisiana.  According to the information supplied by the bank officer who opened my account, new Federal and State tax regulations and laws require the financial institution to be the first line of defense in identifying fraudulent money laundering or illegal operations by account holders. Essentially, the bank opens your account with the information you supply them including providing your name, social security number, business name and business Tax Identification Number (TIN), along with a copy of your completed financial questionnaire to Federal and State taxing agencies for verification, authentication of your citizenship and to check for any outstanding tax bills, liens, etc.

Further, the brief financial questionnaire generally encompasses annual income, expenses, net profits for a given period, tax filings, assets and liabilities. In essence, and in my opinion, this is used for a comparison by the Federal and State taxing agencies to perform a brief audit of prior tax filings to determine the accuracy of your prior tax reports, among other items of interest. According to the Chase Bank officer, this is a requirement to open a bank account with Chase Bank. No completed financial questionnaire = no bank account!

 

Maintaining Immaculate Financial Records:

Another aspect stressed in my book is the importance of maintaining immaculate financial records for both your personal and business financial reporting. For the record, I’m in the horse business and I file a Schedule C, along with my personal 1040, which represents my Limited Liability Company’s financial records. In my case and after opening the bank account, I received an arbitrary tax assessment from the State of Louisiana for a tax bill of $41,589.73 for the 2015 year.

Knowing that I didn’t owe the proposed tax liability, I contacted the Louisiana Department of Revenue and inquired about the certified letter I had received and I was informed that an unnamed source had provided to the State that I made $701,400.00 in 2015. I informed the State of Louisiana tax representative that the figure she quoted me was more than my gross annual income. In fact, it was a well-documented and IRS-approved 20-year “carry-forward casualty loss” from Hurricane Katrina back in 2005.

However, I was told I had two choices: 1) Protest the arbitrary assessment through the tax process or 2) pay the amount assessed plus interest and penalty.

If I did not file an objection, I would also be assessed a taxable amount by the IRS to include interest and penalties. The worst that could happen if I didn’t address this scenario is: I would be charged with tax evasion, my bank accounts would be seized, tax liens would be filed on my property and I would face prosecution.

I elected to fight the proposed tax liability and requested a hearing. On the day of the hearing, I represented myself “in-proper-person,” essentially meaning I was my own lawyer. This is not a recommendation that I would make to everyone.

I figured that since I knew my tax records better than anyone, I would be the best person to explain my case at the hearing. On hearing day, I was armed with my Federal and State tax filings from 2005 forward, which completely documented the $769,000.00 20-year carry-forward loss as well as the very well documented IRS approval of the loss. At the hearing I explained, that whoever their “erroneous source” was, he or she failed to recognize that there was a minus sign in the front of my 2015 tax filing amount and the -$701,400.00 carry forward to my 2016 tax year had a minus sign, not a plus sign. Therefore, the amount was a loss and not income.

 

Resolution:

On Jan. 2, 2018 I received a letter from the Louisiana Department of Revenue dated December 29, 2017 stating, “The outstanding liability for the above referenced period(s) has been cancelled based on the information provided. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.”

Over all, we all have to pay taxes.  My suggestion to all readers of this article is to keep and maintain immaculate financial records with every annual tax filing. I keep all of my annual tax filings instead of merely the three years suggested by the IRS.  If I hadn’t had all of my tax filings readily at hand, the outcome of this saga might have resulted in an ominous ending.

Click for tax letter from state of Louisiana>>

 

Another Happy Ending:


Recently I received a Federal Tax ruling entitled UNITED STATES TAX COURT, Finis R. Welch and Linda J. Waite – Petitioners Versus Commissioner of Internal Revenue – Respondent.  This tax ruling is an extremely good read and involves another individual in the cutting horse industry which resulted in the cancellation of millions of dollars in proposed tax liabilities due to their immaculate records retention.

Click for Stunning Tax Court Victory>>

Click for Center Ranch Tax Ruling>>

Certified Public Accountant (CPA):

For the record, I’m not a certified public accountant. However, I’ve been in business for 33 years with a 48-year professional background including: Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions, Forensic Audit, Risk Management and a 19-year history as a professional in the horse business but I highly recommend the incorporation of a certified public accountant in your life to formulate your tax filings.

 

Determining Whether You’re A Business Or A Hobby:

The key to operating a successful horse business is to determine whether you’re in the horse business for fun or to make a profit as a business owner doing something you love. If the former is your answer, go have fun. If the latter is your answer and you’ve decided to enter the equine industry as a business owner, then I suggest you perform a self evaluation of your proposed or existing business to determine if all of your bases are covered: For example:

1. What is your business entity: a Corporation, Limited Liability Company, Sole-Owned Proprietorship, Partnership, etc.,?

2. Does your business have its own Federal Tax Identification Number (which you should have), or are you using your social security number for this?

3. How are your bank accounts set up? In order to avoid the “co-mingling of Funds Rule,” i.e., mixing personal non-business funds with business funds, you need to have separate bank accounts: one for your personal and one for your business.

4. If your business is like mine, where I receive checks in the mail for services rendered as well as cash payments, are you incorporating the use of a cash book to keep track of these funds, especially if you aren’t depositing the cash in the bank?  If not, I suggest you incorporate one and each time you spend from this “stash of cash,” make a record of it along with maintaining a receipt for spent funds.

5. Are your accounting books immaculate? If not, seek the advice of a Certified Public Accountant to assist you in this matter.

6. Does your horse business have a written “Business Plan?”  If not, I suggest you consult with a Certified Public Account and write one.  Essentially, your business plan is your survivability insurance in the event of audit.  After the key phrase used by the auditors is, “Are you in business to make a profit?”

7. “Intent To Make A Profit” is your key phrase you should memorize in all of your business affairs. During an audit, this separates you and your horse business from being identified as a hobby versus a viable business. It’s OK not to make a profit if you truly intended to make a profit during an annual period. However, you need to consult with a Certified Public Accountant to further explain this aspect of the tax code.

In setting up your business, always show an intent to make a profit by using advertising. I suggest to all business owners that they should have a web site to promote their business on the internet. Also, it’s an impressive marketing tool for prospective clients to evaluate your services.

An immaculate and accurate set of books will allow your tax preparer to utilize all of the items available to you as a business owner to minimize the amount of taxes you pay during an annual tax filing cycle as well as a defense in the event of a tax audit.

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

WIND RIVER COMPANY LLC

Richard E. “Rick” Dennis

Managing Member

Phone: (985) 630-3500

Email: windrivercompany@gmail.com

Email – Personal: windrivercompany.rd@gmail.com

Web Site: http://www.windrivercompanyllc.com

 

 

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