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☛ From the Editor 9-26–17

Posted by on Sep 26, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, FROM THE EDITOR, HORSE ABUSE, HORSE HEALTH, HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 1 comment

FROM THE EDITOR

By Glory Ann Kurtz

Sept. 26, 2017

I always seem to pick the worst times to be away. The past few months have been crazy. But I have sold my horse facility and I and my animal menagerie of animals including Cougarand, a 31-year-old champagne stallion sired by Peppy San Badger, out of an own daughter of Doc Bar, and my little dog Billie, will be moving into my new home in Grandview, Texas, with my daughter.

After 37 years in one place, it was a huge move, as well as being rather heart-wrenching. My Mother and my husband, Bob, both died in that house and it had many memories of buying and selling hundreds of horses, as well as raising hundreds of babies, as well as a little bit of showing.

Its also stressful to decide what to take and what not to take. And the “what-nots” need to be more things than you ever dreamed of getting rid of. But a statement I heard during my move helped: “If you’re not going to be using it, get rid of it because your kids don’t want it.” Good advice and very true I’m sure!

It seemed my most valuable possessions were horse magazines and horse sale catalogs: the Quarter Horse Journal, The Cutting Horse Chatter and Quarter Hsorse News.  I had some of them back into the 1970s and I finally got the nerve to throw some of them away, most interestingly enough, the more recent ones.

I gave my Chatters to Gala Nettles, as she is doing some historical articles on the National Cutting Horse Association. I advertised that I would give away my Quarter Horse Journals, dating back into the 1970s and had one phone call – a woman who wondered if I had the November 1973 issue of the Quarter House Journal as there was an article about her horse in it, I did have it and sent it to her free of charge. That’’s the only call I got. I guess I should have charged for them and I’d have had more takers! That’s usually the case.

But I realized that the summer was about gone. My daughter and I took a trip to North Dakota for my 60th class reunion, which was a blast.  We have them every five years and I don’t miss them – but they miss Bob as he brought that Pennsylvania home brew that his friend Bobby George made, and he enjoyed them even more than I did and it was my reunion!  I’m sorry to say that Bobby George also passed away a couple of months ago.

Also, I had only spent a couple of weeks in the mountains of Colorado. so I dumped my furniture and boxes, as well as Cougarand, off with my daughter to care for and headed to Colorado for what was left of the summer. Only days later, he got cast in his stall. She got the help of one of her employees, they tipped him over and got him up. When he started chasing the help’s dog, they knew he was OK.

Today, the aspens are all turning red and yellow, the morning and evening clouds are lowering themselves into our valley, it is freezing some at night and there is snow on the mountains. In fact, as I speak, it is raining now after a gorgeous day. I Guess I better think about coming back to Texas for the winter!

I’m still planning on continuing my site: www.allaboutcutting.com to keep you updated on interesting things going on in the horse industry. I know some of you will love that – while others will hate it; however, guys and gals, that’s life and I’m going to enjoy it to the fullest!

I have to thank Rick Dennis for helping me keep up my site by writing many interesting articles and forwarding news to me. If you haven’t read the articles on cell phones – you need to. It will enlighten you about the item that EVERYONE has to have. The articles give valuable information on the cell phones themselves, as well as the carriers. Also, as a risk analyst, he has written several articles about the horse industry and kept me up to date.

Following are a couple of articles of interest in the horse world:

TOMMY MANION SUES NCHA FOR SUSPENSION AND FINE

The latest news in the cutting world, is that Tommy Manion has sued the NCHA for suspending him for two years, putting him on probation, fining him $15,000, and also giving him a five-year probationary period to be served after his suspension, for violating the NCHA’s Zero Tolerance Policy. At an NCHA cutting in July, Manion was videoed when he shot his stallion with a BB gun “to calm him down from his aggressive and anti-social actions.”

The stallion, Smooth Maximus is a full brother to Million Dollar sire Smooth As A Cat. He said he did it because the stallion was “kicking at people and horses, trying to bite people and horses, rearing up and trying to charge at other horses, Manion said he couldn’t approach the stallion safely, so he shot him with a BB gun.” The incident was all filmed on a cell phone and sent to the NCHA,

I reported how the NCHA Executive Committee, as well as Grievance Committee found that he was guilty of the association’s Zero Tolerance Policy.

However, the latest is that in his lawsuit, he is asking that the NCHA’s disciplinary action be voided and that he receive more than $1 million in monetary relief.He has also asked the judge to issue a temporary injunction to block the NCHA from enforcing the action while the civil case is pending.

The NCHA contends that it  has a right to suspend Manion or any other member for the association’s rule violations.

When I get back to Fort Worth (after a quick jaunt to Nebraska to attend a friend’s wedding, who was a former employee of mine at Quarter Horse News), I will make a mad dash to the Tarrant County Courthouse and get the court documents and publish them.

I usually don’t report hear-say; however I did hear that the SPCA checked out the situation and let Manion off the hook if he gelded the stallion, which he did. If they would have charged him, that would have been a felony and he could have faced a severe financial penalty as well as serve some time in jail.  Also, I heard the stallion was owned by a syndicate and that the syndicate members are upset and thinking of suing Manion as they didn’t know anything about the incident or the gelding the stallion. I’ll also check that out when I get home,

ANIMAL ABUSERS COULD HAVE TO REGISTER AS SEX OFFENDERS

On a side note about cruelty to animals, On Tucker Carlson’s TV show, he reported that several jurisdictions may soon consider motions to create registries for animal abuser the same way sex offenders are documented, He said Tennessee is currently the only state that has such a registry but such legislation has been passed in Cook County, Ill, which is home to Chicago. Also Massachusetts and Arizona are also considering legislation to create such lists.

Carlson said that “animals are helpless in the hands of humans and that it is up to us to treat them fairly, Your relationship with them is governed only by empathy and if you hurt an animal, it says a lot about how you treat people.”

That statement has been proven by the FBI, as I previously wrote an article about that.Those kids who torture and kill animals are more likely to do the same to people later in life.

To wrap this up, I had a telephone call from a Senior Editor of the Star Telegram who are covering the Manion incident and he told me it has morphed into an “animal abuse” article. He wanted to interview me about that; however, I had such poor phone coverage that I told him that would be impossible until I get home.

I should be home next week and if I can find my computer and printer, I will continue to try to give you more ”horsey” news!

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☛ Tommy Manion on camera shooting stallion with BB pistol 7-20-17

Posted by on Jul 20, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, EQUI-VOICE, FROM THE EDITOR, HORSE ABUSE, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 28 comments

TOMMY MANION CAUGHT ON CAMERA SHOOTING AN UNRULY STALLION WITH A BB PISTOL AT AN NCHA-SANCTIONED SHOW

 

BESIDES NCHA SANCTIONING, COULD HE AND/OR NCHA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS BE GUILTY OF STATE OR FEDERAL LAWS VIOLATIONS?

By Glory Ann Kurtz
July 20, 2017

I have now heard from a credible witness, that they knew the well-known Non-Pro who was at an NCHA Cutting in Whitesboro, Texas, on Saturday, July 15, and shot a tied-up unruly stallion multiple times with a BB pistol. Another witness had taken a video of the event and it was soon in the hands of the NCHA. The witness assured me that the Non-Pro  in question was NCHA Non-Pro Tommy Manion, who at one time had the pistol under a jacket draped over his hand and dropped it on the ground and bent over to pick it up – all of which is on the video.

After receiving and confirming the reported horse abuse by Manion, I reached out to Rick Dennis, a Threat Assessment/Risk Analyst who is also a former Drug Enforcement Agent, for clarification of penalties resulting from Manion’s actions – for Manion, those who witnessed the event and the NCHA. Essentially, Rick informed me there are two laws in play here, one Federal, the other state, as well as two NCHA rule infractions.

There is a little-known Federal Law entitled 18 USC 4 – Misprision Of A Felony, which specifically states:  “Whoever having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.” Animal abuse is now a Federal Felony with hefty fines and prison sentences.

Click for Misprision Of A Felony>>

Also, the State of Texas Animal Cruelty Law, which rates animal abuse as a Felony, states those prosecuted could be punishable by two years in a state jail and/or a $10,000 fine.

Click for Texas Animal Cruelty laws>>

Therefore, since the NCHA has already been notified of the animal cruelty case, along with being supplied with a video of the act, Manion has placed the association in a precarious spot, as whoever doesn’t report this gross violation to law enforcement in accordance with the provisions set forth in the USC 4 Code -Misprision of a Felony – is in direct violation of the federal law and could be subjected to arrest and prosecution at a later date. This includes Russell McCord, who received the phone call, as well as the Executive Director and the entire Executive Committee who met last night after being informed of the incident and determined their association’s punishment for the offense – and possibly even the lawyer who was informed of the infraction and gave the Executive Committee advice, as well as show management.

Difference of penalties between NCHA and governmental agencies:

The other curious nature of Manion’s act is the two violations in the NCHA Rulebook pertaining to animal abuse and cruelty and how they differ from Federal and State laws.

More specifically, the NCHA Rulebook states “if show management or a judge at any NCHA-approved or sponsored event discovers inhumane treatment or abuse of a horse, they may immediately bar the responsible party and contestant’s horse from further competition in the event and the judge will give a score of zero. The Executive Director must be notified within seven (7) days of the closing date of the show involved and the complaint will be referred to the appropriate NCHA Committee for investigation and consideration. Note: the Federal law says “as soon as possible It must be made known to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States and (the person) is to be fined or  imprisoned for not more than three years.”

Click for NCHA Standing Rule 35>>

While the NCHA disciplines animal cruelty by offense with a fine ($1,000 to $10,000), probation and/or suspension, the State of Texas Animal Cruelty Laws say that the perpetrator could be punished by two years in a state jail and/or a $10,000 fine.

Also, the NCHA should make sure that the abused animal is made available as soon as possible to a licensed veterinarian for any damage that has been done, especially since the person who described the incident to me said the when the BBs hit the stallion, he crouched and his body shook in fear.

On May 15, 2015, Rick Dennis wrote an article addressing this very problem called “Horse Abuse Part IV.” There are many good and devoted trainers in this industry; however, unfortunately we do have our share of abusive Open and Non-Pro trainers that should be removed. Click here for a copy of this article.

What’s the  hurry?

Why did the NCHA Executive Committee jump on this animal abuse case so quickly. I feel it is because they just tried to strengthen their animal abuse penalties due to the fact that PETA might come down on them and the sport of cutting if they waited. A smart move!

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☛ From the Editor 7-20-17

Posted by on Jul 20, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, FROM THE EDITOR, HORSE ABUSE, INDUSTRY NEWS, MAJOR EVENTS, REINING NEWS, SALES INFORMATION, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

FROM THE EDITOR

By Glory Ann Kurtz
July 20, 2017

Yesterday I sent out a notice in “Latest News” that a “well-known horse owner shot a tied-up unruly stallion multiple times with a BB pistol at an NCHA cutting in Whitesboro, Texas. An update to that information is that the show was held on Saturday, July 15, rather than July 8. Also, that well-known horse owner is a top non-pro. NCHA’s Director of Judges Russell McCord was called and told what was going on and he told the caller to do whatever it took to stop it and make the person shooting the horse leave, which he did.

A bystander did take a video of the shooting which is now in the hands of the NCHA, and I understand that they have initiated the process against the person that did the shooting, as it is definitely against’ the NCHA’s highly advertised zero tolerance “horse-cruelty” policy. Still no mention of that person’s name but I do know that that person is a Non-Pro and a large advertiser in the Cutting Horse Chatter, giving the NCHA some hard choices.

I was given the name of the perpetrator; however, that person who told me about the shooting was not at the show and heard the information from someone who was. I would like to hear it from anyone who was present at this cutting who knew who the shooter was. I will not reveal your name. Call me at 940-433-5232 or 940-393-1865 or e-mail me at glory.kurtz@gmail.com. Since the NCHA has taken action, If that person’s name is not revealed sooner, I’m sure the perpetrator’s name will show up eventually in the Chatter under “Suspensions,” or possibly (but hopefully not) under “Probations.”

NCHA SUMMER SPECTACULAR NEWS:

The second go-round of the Open Classic/Challenge was completed yesterday, with those 26 scoring a 435.0 and above, advancing to the finals. Jon Burgess, riding Littlemak (Starlights Gypsy x Just a Swinging), owned by Anderson Cattle Co., Victoria, Texas, topped the two go-rounds with a 440.5 total score.

Grant Setnicka, not only finished a close second by scoring a 440.0 riding Ichis My Choice (Cat Ichi x My Little Abra), owned by J Five Horse Ranch Mgmt, LLC, Weatherford, Texas, but was the only rider to qualify three horses for the Finals. Also tying for second with a total score of 440.0 was Ed Flynn, riding Play Miss Boonsmal (Peptoboonsmal x Play Miss) for Danny R. Jones of Canada. The Open Classic/Challenge Finals is scheduled for Saturday,July 22, following six sets of the NCHA Derby Amateur and UnlimitedAmateur first go-round.

The Non-Pro and Limited Non-Pro in the Classic/Challenge  go-round is being held today. Also, don’t forget that the Western Bloodstock Summer Spectacular Sale,with 145 consignments, will be held Saturday, July 22, in the Watt Arena, starting at 9 a.m.

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☛ Where have I been lately? HOT news! 7-18-17

Posted by on Jul 19, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, FROM THE EDITOR, HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, RODEO & BULLRIDING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 1 comment

FROM THE EDITOR

By Glory Ann Kurtz
July 19, 2017

I have had several individuals question whether or not I am continuing with my website www.allaboutcutting.com, as lately my news has been rather scarce and for that I am sorry.

My answer is “Yes,” I am continuing with my website; however, lately I have had several distractions which have cut back on my time to write articles. These include the following:

1) I was in the process of selling my horse operation since my husband passed away 9 years ago and I am unable to physically and financially keep this facility going. I recently solved that problem as I have sold my Boyd facility and purchased a much smaller place in Grandview, Texas. I will be moving the end of August but in the meantime I have to pack over 30 years of possessions and memorabilia.

2) Many of you old timers may remember Lee Dale, who created the pedigrees for sale catalogs, including the NCHA sales. Some 20 years ago she had a stroke and has been paralyzed on one side of her body and bedridden in nursing facilities ever since. Over the years all of her relatives have passed away and just before her sister died, I  agreed to take on her medical power of attorney. However, lately, Lee has gone downhill and though she has been in a nursing home for years, during the last few weeks she has been in the Wise Regional Hospital in ICU and currently is in Hospice at Senior Care in Decatur. Her mind is still pretty good and she remembers all you old-time cutters and all the stories that go with them!!!

3) On July 4, fireworks were going off in the middle of the highway in front of my place. The one horse I have left, Cougarand, a 31-year-old champagne son of Peppy San Badger out of a daughter of Doc Bar, is used to highway noises and even fireworks, but one must have come into his pasture and probably even hit him, which in the dark sent him into a pipe fence covered with wire where he fell with a leg getting stuck under the sucker rod at the bottom of the wire. I found him there the next morning and got him up; however, he had obviously injured the hind leg that was under the fence and was lame.

Even though I haven’t had a need to call a vet for some time, I called three different vets in the area – only one called me back; however, he didn’t show up. After doctoring Cougarand myself for a couple of weeks, I remembered my old friend and miracle worker – an equine kinesiologist and chiropractor named Laird Burke. He came and looked at Cougar and couldn’t believe what good shape he was in at 31 years of age – but most of all, he was surprised he hadn’t died lying under that fence all night.

After working on him for about 20 minutes, he said, Turn him loose and he will be just fine tomorrow.”Today is tomorrow – and like Laird promised – Cougarand is just fine, walking normal! In fact, when Laird got done working on him, I took his halter off. He usually runs off when he discovers he is loose; however, this time he followed me until I got out the gate. I guess he thought I had fixed his pain!

Laird has been a friend of Bob and me for many years and has “fixed” many horses that have had accidents or in some way had disturbed their skeletal frame or muscles. We had a baby colt one time who missed the gate when the horses, including his mother, headed out to the pasture. The colt jumped the fence and landed on his back. When he got up, he could walk, but it was like a car with a bent frame – he would walk toward you but he looked like he was actually going another way. We took him to vets and they said there was nothing they could do. About 3 months later, Laird came and stayed with us and he suggested we put the colt in the barn while he worked on him several times over the following week. His magic worked and the colt was soon walking normal and remained that way as long as we owned him. I became a lifetime fan!

Bob and I  met Laird years ago when he was working with and helping horses performing at the All American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio. He eventually came and stayed with us for several months when he suddenly found himself with a lot of business in Texas, and he and his lovely wife Brenda soon moved to North Texas and have been helping horses over the past few years all over the country at major shows and ranches.

So that’s are my story and I’m sticking to it. I’m sure that in the short term, I will not be posting as often as I did before for awhile as I have this huge move in front of me. I have lived here for 38 years and imagine the “stuff” I have accumulated. They include Quarter Horse Journals back to the 1970s – that I am trying to give away to someone who would like to study the history of the wonderful Quarter Horse.

THE LATEST NEWS:

The latest news came from an e-mail last night wondering if I would like to expose wrong doing at the highest level in the cutting industry. The person said, “There is a Red Hot current situation about a well-known horse owner shooting a tied-up unruly stallion multiple times with a BB pistol at a horse show in Whitesboro, Texas, Saturday, July 8, with witnesses, one of which took a video.”  They felt someone needed to pursue this in order to hold the NCHA accountable with their highly advertised zero tolerance “horse-cruelty” policy.

The caller said Russell McCord from the NCHA was called and told what was going on. He told the caller to do whatever it took to stop it and make the person shooting the horse leave, which he did.

I’m looking for someone who was there and watched the incident so I can report more about it. If you know such a person who is willing to talk with me, my phone no. is 940-433-5232 or cell 940-393-1865. I need to know who the person calling is but I do not have to give their name in my article – however, I would like for them to confirm the name of the perpetrator. I’m waiting by my phone(s).

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☛ A great friend, Bobby George, dies at age 96 4-7-17

Posted by on Apr 7, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, FROM THE EDITOR, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

A GREAT FRIEND BOBBY GEORGE PASSES AT AGE 96

 

By Glory Ann Kurtz
April 7, 2017

Bobby George, a dedicated horseman, shown only months before he passed away at age 96.

It is with a heavy heart that I have to report that a friend of mine and my deceased husband Bob, Bobby Robert E. “Bobby” George, passed away on Tuesday, April 4, 2017, at the Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pa. He was 96.

 

Bobby was a partner with Bob on many horses when Bob lived in Pennsylvania, including Tabano Raider, a Tabano King stallion that Bob brought to Texas with him and stood at stud for several years. They both rode descendants of Tabano Raider for years after the stallion’s death.

 

Bobby and his daughter Becky called me the day before he died and he kept thanking me for all the good times he had with Bob and me. His voice sounded very weak and I knew he was failing, saying he thought he had bronchitis. He died the following evening.

 

But Bobby had a great life and enjoyed almost every bit of it. Bob and I had spent many summer days going to horse events in Pennsylvania with Bobby, as well as trail riding in the mountains. He and his daughter and a friend came to our cabin in Colorado one summer and we had a great time trail riding in the Colorado mountains. After Bob’s death, I continued to go to Pennsylvania and visit with Bobby George and his children.

 

Bobby was a farmer and owned a butcher market called George Farms, but his true love was his horses, a love he shared with his children and grandchildren. Bobby was especially proud of being a breeder of Quarter Horses for 50 years.
He was a member of Masonic Lodge 224, of Danville, the Mooresburg Presbyterian Church, the Liberty Township Fire Co., the Susquehanna Valley Corral, and the American Quarter Horse Association.
Bobby was born Aug. 10, 1920, in Catawissa, a son of the late Edgar and Ella May (Creasy) George. He was married to the late Ruth E. (Auten) George for 41 years, before her passing in 1985.

George Farms was a fourth generation family business. He routinely went to Curb Market. Bobby loved his family and their regular gatherings.

He is survived by three daughters: Jane Aikey and husband Larry, Rebecca Bourbeau, and Alice Ann George, all of the Danville area; two sons, Edgar R. George and Peter George, all of the Mooresburg area; a daughter-in-law, Sharon George; longtime friend, Clara Benfer; seven grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.
In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by a son, Martin S. George Sr.; a sister, Ruth Marqueen Wintersteen; and a daughter-in-law, Lorraine George.

He was well loved in his community and will be missed by many, including me!
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, April 10, at the Mooresburg Presbyterian Church, 9 Church Drive, Danville, with the Rev. John Shaw III officiating. Friends may visit at the church from 9 to 11 a.m. prior to the service. The family recognizes that many people might like to pay their respects, so friends are also welcome to visit after the services in the church.

Burial will take place in the Moorseburg Presbyterian Cemetery.

The family gratefully declines flowers. For those wishing, donations may be made in Bobby’s memory to the Mooresburg Presbyterian Church, Liberty Township Fire Company QRS, or the Mooresburg Presbyterian Cemetery Fund.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Brady Funeral Home, Danville.
Please send online condolences to BradyFuneralHome.com. – See more at: http://obituaries.dailyitem.com/story/robert-george-1920-2017-902769592#sthash.2ih6gqmC.dpuf

 

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☛ Has AQHA done enough to reveal horses’ genetics? 3-31-17

Posted by on Mar 31, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, EQUI-VOICE, FROM THE EDITOR, HORSE HEALTH, HORSE LAWSUITS, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 3 comments

FROM THE EDITOR:

HAS THE AQHA DONE ENOUGH TO REVEAL HORSES’ GENETICS?

 

WHAT IS AQHA DOING TO AVOID LAWSUITS? 

 

An opinion piece by Glory Ann Kurtz
Editor and owner of AllAboutCutting.com
March 31, 2017 – Updated 4-1-17

HERDA is a genetic skin disease.

Earlier this month, I spent seven days at a jury trial in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division in Sherman, Texas, to settle a lawsuit brought by Shawn, Lisa and Lauren Minshall, Hillsburg, Ontario, Canada, against David Hartman DVM, owner of Hartman Equine Reproduction Center, P.A. (HERC), Gainesville, Texas. It is interesting to note that I was the only member of the news industry and the only interested bystander at this trial, which I felt, and many others thought, would be very important to the Quarter Horse industry.

Click for article on original lawsuit>>

Following the trial, an eight-member jury decided that the responsibility for the HERDA-infected foal, sired by Auspicious Cat,  was placed 60 percent on the shoulders of Edward and Shona Dufurrena (30 percent to each), who headed up Dos Cats Partners, Gainesville, Texas, the owners of the stallion –  even though they were not named in the lawsuit nor were they present at the trial as Dos Cats Partners and Edward and Shona Dufurrena had settled with the Minshalls prior to the trial.

Dr. Hartman, who collected the semen of Auspicious Cat, a stallion who was later discovered to be a HERDA (Heredity Equine Regional Dermal Asthenia)  carrier, and sent it to the Minshalls to breed their mare Miss Tassa Lena was the last one on the list who they felt had a hand in this disaster, as the result of this breeding was a HERDA-affected offspring nicknamed “Otto.” Otto was born with full-blown HERDA, a genetic skin disease that was discovered when the colt was a 2-year-old and lesions appeared on its body while in training.

The jury was given questions of responsibility, rather than guilt, with all six Defendants being found responsible for “Negligence incurring damage.” All other questions regarding Hartman’s responsibility were answered by a “No” and the jury gave him the smallest amount (10 percent) of the responsibility. The Dufurrenas had also been found responsible for committing fraud and received 30 percent each, for a total of 60 percent (the most), even though they were not present at the trial. Also, 30 percent of the responsibility was laid at the feet of the three Plaintiffs, the Minshall family, at 10 percent each.

The most interesting aspect of the trial was that it focused on FRAUD – mainly false advertising committed by the Dufurrenas concerning Auspicious Cat’s Positive HERDA status and the long-term care of a HERDA-Positive foal resulting from the breeding of Auspicious Cat and Miss Tassa Lena.

It came out in the trial that Ed Dufurrena had previously told both the Minshalls and Dr. Hartman that Auspicious Cat was HERDA-Negative and the Dufurrena’s had placed ads in horse publications advertising that fact with written confirmation. It came out in court testimony that the Dufurrenas had the stallion tested in 2009 and had received a certificate from the AQHA saying that the stallion was HERDA N/H, meaning he could pass on the genetic disease to an offspring, especially if he was bred to another HERDA N/H mare and Miss Tassa Lena was such a mare. The Minshalls had told the the Dufurrenas the reason why the stallion had to be HERDA Negative was because their mare was HERDA H/N and had already had a High Brow Cat foal born with HERDA.

Auspicious Cat is a son of High Brow Cat out of Lena O Lady by Peppy San Badger. Lena O Lady’s dam was Doc O Lady by Doc O’Lena. This puts Doc O’Lena in the third generation of both the sire and dam side of Auspicious Cat’s pedigree, which on paper meant there was a high probability of the stallion being a HERDA carrier. In fact, during the trial David Hartman exposed a stark reality, relating a conversation with Dufurrena regarding Auspicious Cat’s HERDA designation, Dufurrena had assured Hartman that Auspicious Cat was HERDA Negative, and Hartman responded, “Most good sons of High Brow Cat are HERDA carriers.”

Dufurrena’s response was, “Not Aussie,” which was his nickname for Auspicious Cat.

Click for Auspicious Cat pedigree>>

The jury’s decision, including compensatory damages, included: 1) The difference in the value of Otto now and what it would have been if not HERDA affected – $30,000; 2) Reasonable expenses related to foaling, raising, boarding and training Otto in the past – $28,408; 3) Reasonable vet expenses – $0; 4) Reasonable expenses incurred for caring for Otto in the future – $75,000 and 5) Plaintiffs’ lost profits: $30,000 – for a total of $163,408. (To date, the division of financial responsibility by the jury’s decision have not been available to the press.)

Click for verdict>>

I checked with the AQHA, asking “if  a stallion owner is found guilty of fraud, is there a rule infraction and if so, what is the penalty?”. The response from Sarah Davisson, AQHA Manager of Publicity and Special Events, was, “While it is possible that a judgment against an AQHA member for fraud may correspond to an AQHA rule infraction and hence possible disciplinary action, such would depend on the facts of the case and whether a final non-appealable judgment has been entered. With respect to the Minshall lawsuit, AQHA to date is unaware of a final judgment being entered in which a party was found guilty of fraud. While AQHA is aware of the Verdict Form in the lawsuit, Davisson said, “It does not constitute a final non-appealable judgment.”

AQHA GENETIC POOL SHRINKS:

If there was ever a circumstance to prove an article’s legitimacy, this trial certainly was a proving ground for an article AQHA Genetic Pool Shrinks, previously published on Jan. 15, 2015 on allAboutCutting.com and written by my contributor and freelance writer Rick Dennis.

Dennis addressed HERDA and the shrinking genetic pool of the American Quarter Horse, the hazards of inbreeding, various AQHA breeding rules directly affecting the genetic pool shrinkage, the types of performance horses with the most inbreeding (cutting), as well as the HERDA disease itself. In a mere two years, this article’s ominous projection was being fulfilled and played out in a high-stakes Federal courtroom.

Click for article on how Genetic Pool Shrinks>>

During court testimony, it was surprisingly said by Dr. David Hartman that some owners and trainers breed for HERDA-affected foals as they are winning the most money. This could be due to the fact, which was explained by Nena Winand, a veterinarian and Senior Research Associate at Cornell University regarding HERDA, who testified and had done years of genetic research on HERDA. She said that “In HERDA-affected horses, the collagen is not produced and assembled into fibers that are as strong as those of normal horses. People have extrapolated that observation to HERDA carriers and speculated that subtle changes in their collagen may make them more supple and acrobatic.

However, she cautioned, saying, “There is at present no published peer reviewed science to support this idea and that it is likely that carriers would also be more susceptible to injury (particularly orthopedic injury) if that were the case.”

Also, it came out in court that some individuals are breeding affected mares on purpose. Winand feels that one should not be able to register foals with the AQHA out of affected mares and those affected mares should also be ineligible for breeding leases.

Winand also said that the Australian Quarter Horse Association has made genetic results available on their website, which could be an example of what the AQHA could do. Click below is an example of their searchable online database:

Access page:

http://www.aqha.com.au/horse/online_services/horse_enquiries.asp

She entered TR Dual Rey, who shuttles for breeding from the US:

http://abri.une.edu.au/online/cgi-bin/i4.dll?1=2231292F&2=2428&3=56&5=2B3C2B3C3A

Click for the result;

http://abri.une.edu.au/online/cgi-bin/i4.dll?1=2231292F&2=2420&3=56&5=2B3C2B3C3A&6=5D5D5C5B5827262621&9=5C505A5C

“Anyone, not members only, can access this information on the Australian Quarter Horse Association Studbook Website,” said Winand. “It’s public access at no cost. This system has been in place since 2007 or 2008. It was set up for HYPP historically (from my memory) and they handled HERDA results with the same level of transparency. At that time Cornell was their testing laboratory but once a patent was issued in Australia, we licensed to the University of Queensland, which is an excellent and well-established provider of equine genetic testing.

“I am not suggesting AQHA would find this format palatable, but they most certainly do have the capacity to track HERDA and any other test result and make it available to members just as they do for pedigree, horse ownership, performance results, etc.  Ideally all horses should be DNA typed (PV’d if necessary) and 5-Panel tested for registration. That is what we should be doing in this day and age.”

 

DOES AQHA HAVE RESPONSIBILITY?

Over the past few years, AQHA has required a 5-Panel test for breeding stallions (at a cost to the stallion owner of $85 or $105, including DNA testing), which reveals genetic diseases in stallions, including HERDA. It started out being only for stallions with a high number of mares being bred; however, effective with the 2015 year, every AQHA-registered breeding stallion had to have this 5-panel genetic test prior to the registration of foals. The test also genetic types horses for GBED (glycogen branching enzyme deficiency), HYPP (hyperkalemic periodic paralysis), MH (malignant hyperthermia) and PSSM (polysaccharide storage myopathy).

According to Davisson in her response from the AQHA, they were the first equine breed association to offer the genetic panel testing to inform the AQHA’s breeders of those animals that are carriers of genetic abnormalities. HERDA test results are reported by UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory to AQHA as follows:

NN = Normal – horse does not have the HERDA gene.

N/HRD = Carrier – horse caries one copy of the HERDA gene.

HRD/HRD = Affected – horse has two copies of the HERDA gene.

 

See the following AQHA link for genetic disease results and descriptions: https://www.aqha.com/media/13951/genetic-disease-descriptions-1.pdf

 

See the following AQHA link regarding genetic testing: www.aqha.com/genetictesting

 

Also, when individuals contact AQHA pertaining to results of the genetic panel tests, they can request a copy of the UC Davis lab results from AQHA.

 

“AQHA constantly continues to research these genetic diseases and potential new threats to the breed through various research projects,” said Davisson. “The AQHA Foundation has awarded a total of more than $11 million to research programs, some of which are specifically dedicated to genetic diseases. Specifically, the breakdown of the amount funded to each of the diseases is as follows (as of Feb. 27, 2017): GBED – $228,132; HERDA – $277,553, HYPP – $277,651, MH – $232,274, PSSM1 – $268,983.50 and Other – $515,243. Other includes genetic research that has been performed on other disorders, such as immunes-mediated and inflammatory myopathies, anhidrosis and equine metabolic syndrome.”

However, according to Davisson, although there are no current rules passed by AQHA members and the AQHA Board of Directors to require genetic testing of breeding mares, the Association strongly recommends that breeders test their mares. “Since Jan. 1, 2012, 41,740 American Quarter Horses have had the five-panel test done. Of those horses, 25,853 were stallions, 15,387 were mares and 500 were geldings,” said Davisson.

However, for a genetic test that costs the members $85 each – that equals close to $3.6 million for the AQHA for the 41,740 horses they say have been done. If you dump in the reported $3 million they made on drug testing, that is a total of $6.6 million – which should be enough to finish the computer program and get them on the AQHA website.

 

Click for AQHA Genetic Testing>>

However, today, on the Horse Ownership Summary of each AQHA-registered stallion on AQHA’s website under “Additional Information,” it states, among other things, whether the stallion has been genetic typed, but does not give HERDA results. The only genetic disease results listed that I could find were the results of the HYPP test. (HYPP is an inherited disease of the muscle which is caused by a genetic defect. This genetic defect has been identified in descendants of the AQHA sire, Impressive, so it does not usually affect cutting horses, as Impressive was a well-known halter horse.)

Click for Auspicious Cat Horse Ownership>>

Click for Miss Tassa Cat Ownership>>

 

RULE CHANGES:

I have also heard from stallion owners regarding individuals wanting to breed their mares who have not been tested for HYYP. The stallion owners feel that if they don’t know the mare’s HYPP status, they could be continuing the breeding of HYPP-positive offspring. This gives rise to the question, “Do mares also need to be genetically tested for HYPP and HERDA?”

Even though 15,387 mares have been genetically tested by the AQHA, if stallion or mare owners want it to be a rule to have mares genetically tested, I’ve been told by the AQHA office that those individuals need to send in a rule change request. For those interested in doing that, the AQHA has provided a link to a press release that breaks down the Association’s rule-change process, starting from when an AQHA member submits a rule change to when new rules become approved.

Click for rule changing press release>>

 

A video of the rule-change process can also be found on You Tube:

Click below for YouTube video>>

 

But my question here is, “Why are the results of the HERDA test not currently being reported?” I reached out to the AQHA with that very question. Their response was, “The results of these genetic panel tests are disclosed to the public as a permanent record of the horse and are prominently exhibited on the backside of the horse’s registration paper. All genetic test results will be available on horses’ records when AQHA’s new computer system is launched. In the meantime, individuals can contact AQHA via phone or email and get the genetic panel test results on any registered American Quarter Horse. Individuals can contact the Association by calling AQHA’s customer service at 806-376-4811 or using their contact form.

As an interesting sidebar, Davisson revealed that at the 2017 AQHA Convention, there were two member requests regarding AQHA’s recording and/or dissemination of five-panel test results were on the Studbook and Registration Committee agenda. They were: 1) Display five-panel test results on the front-as opposed to the back of the registration certificate to increase public awareness and 2) Discontinue any dissemination of five panel test results to non-owners.

The first request was modified from a statement being printed on the front of the registration certificate informing individuals that identification for the horse, including genetic panel tests, are included on the back of a horse’s registration papers. AQHA members and the Board of Directors approved this modification.

The second request to discontinue disclosure of the five panel test, was summarily denied by the Studbook and Registration Committee and was not recommended to AQHA members and Board of Directors. After reviewing the requests,  the Board of Directors also denied this recommendation.

Other genetic diseases have since been brought up to me; however, the AQHA hasn’t taken it upon themselves to monitor these, saying there are not genetic tests for them. One such genetic defect is the deaf horse, which is not a genetic disease that is tested by the AQHA. The great reining stallion, Colonels Smoking Gun, nicknamed “Gunner,” was born deaf and passes that genetic defect on to his offspring. I recently heard from an owner of a deaf offspring who didn’t know Gunner was born deaf, yet was a champion in the performance arena and a great sire but passed deafness on to his offspring. Currently, Gunner has sired a deaf offspring with the owner considering a lawsuit against the owner of the stallion.

According to Davisson, “To our knowledge there is not a genetic test for deafness and therefore it is not recorded by AQHA ‘at this point in time’. Researchers from the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis reported that certain coat patterns and blue eyes appear to be at risk for deafness… There are several tests for the variations of the splash white gene which are available through a color panel test offered by AQHA. However, according to research, not all splashed white horses are deaf and a deaf horses can produce hearing horses.”

 

IN MY OPINION:

It is wonderful that the AQHA is posting some genetic-disease information in the future and that you can now e-mail or call them for that information; however, it has been problematic to the cutting horse breeder (the owner of the mare) prior to this year’s AQHA Convention held in February, as the results of the HERDA test were not released or made available to AQHA members for scrutiny prior to selecting a stallion for breeding their mare or mares until now. Since the results of the 5-panel test were not released, the HERDA test results were concealed from members and breeders and were not included on the Horse Ownership Summary at the time the Minshalls were looking for a stallion to be bred to their HERDA N/H mare Miss Tessa Lena.  In fact, it was only after the Minshalls filed a lawsuit on Oct. 30, 2015 and inquiries were later made by their lawyers to the AQHA, that the subject was put on the AQHA Convention agenda for the 2017 Convention. I feel they were afraid of culpable liability in this case. (Culpable is a term in criminal law that refers to the blameworthiness of the accused. An accused is culpable when he or she is sufficiently responsible for criminal acts or negligence to be at fault and liable for the conduct. Culpability often implies some knowledge of the wrongfulness of one’s actions.)

As this pertains to the AQHA, culpable liability means that unless the this data was released to the general public, it was impossible for the breeder or the veterinarian to determine whether the stallion was a HERDA carrier. The Dufurrenas advertised Auspicious Cat as being HERDA Negative, when in fact, his genetic test, that was in the hands of the AQHA, had concluded he was a HERDA carrier. But no one knew that and they were forced to just believe the Dufurrena’s and their advertising.

In my opinion, and in the opinion of many cutting horse breeders, if the AQHA really wants to live up to its Mission Statement of “preserving the integrity of the Quarter Horse Breed,” the association would make this vital information available as soon as possible to AQHA members and breeders since they already have it and they have been paid for by the stallion owners who paid for the tests. That money should be used to make this information public asap. As far as waiting for the upcoming new computer program, from what I’ve heard, the new computer program has already taken far too many years and has cost way too much money.

While these rules were not in effect at the time of the Minshall’s breeding Miss Tassa Lena to Auspicious Cat, they are now available for this year’s breeding program. The only problem is since they are not yet available on the Horse Ownership Summary, one must either e-mail or call the AQHA to find out the stallion’s status.

If the AQHA doesn’t list this information online and members don’t know that they have to e-mail or call the AQHA for test results on a stallion they wish to breed their mare to, what good are the 5-Panel tests, other than a way to make more money from the stallion owners, who were forced to purchase the tests which don’t help the members if they don’t know how to obtain them.

As far as I know, they have not advertised or sent out notices to breeders that this information is available by e-mailing or calling the AQHA. I am an AQHA member, I subscribe to the Quarter Horse Journal and I own a stallion but I have not heard a word about being able to e-mail or call the association for genetic-testing results. Unfortunately, to me, this resembles the drug-testing rules, which seems to be just a money-maker. Horse owners are mandated to pay a drug-testing fee on each horse entered in an AQHA event, yet only a small percentage are ever drug checked.

Furthermore, if the AQHA is interested in cleaning up and preserving the integrity of the American Quarter Horse breed, it should make these test results available on line as soon as they can, and not wait for a new computer program that could be years down the road, so not only the owners of breeding mares but all AQHA members and even veterinarians can find this information immediately. That way, any stallion owner, mare owner or vet would immediately know the genetic-disease status of the stallion and the mare they are breeding.

It has been suggested to me that being able to immediately find out the results of a 5-Panel test only could be a separate report that could be a source of income for the AQHA, with fees of $5 or more for each, rather than the $1 currently being charged for the Horse Ownership Summary.

Also, if stallion owners are found guilty of, or responsible for, fraud by a jury in Federal Court, including false advertising, I feel the AQHA should include that infraction in their AQHA Handbook, along with the penalties that go along with it. The AQHA’s statement, “While it is possible that a judgment against an AQHA member for fraud may correspond to an AQHA rule infraction and hence possible disciplinary action, such would depend on the facts of the case and whether a final non-appealable judgment has been entered. With respect to the Minshall lawsuit, AQHA to date is unaware of a final judgment being entered in which a party was found guilty of fraud. While AQHA is aware of the Verdict Form in the lawsuit, Davisson said, “It does not constitute a final non-appealable judgment.”

Dufurrena’s ad in Performance Horse Journal

I realize that all of these answers from the AQHA, did not originate with Davisson, as she is the AQHA Manager of Publicity and Special Events. She worked hard to find answers for me. However, could it be that the statement given to me as the answer to the question I asked the AQHA regarding the Dufurrena’s actions being rule infractions and penalties for such, included a hint of favoritism since the Dufurrenas are currently major advertisers in every issue of the AQHA’s new publication, Performance Horse Journal?

One must remember, it was proven at trial that the Dufferena’s advertised Auspicious Cat as HERDA N/N when in fact he was HERDA Positive, which they knew from prior genetic testing. Court documents and the jury identified this revelation as FRAUD!

If the AQHA wants to live up to their Mission Statement of “preserving the integrity of the Quarter Horse breed,” they need to do it by informing the breeding public of results from all genetic tests as quickly as possible, so mistakes like the Minshalls made won’t show up in Federal Court in the future. Also, those responsible will suffer the consequences and it won’t be a veterinarian’s responsibility if he collects a stallion and ships semen from a HERDA-carrier stallion to a HERDA-carrier mare. If the stallion owner won’t give him a copy of the stallion’s HERDA status, he can simply go to the AQHA site and get one – for both the stallion and the mare being bred.

What I got out of this lengthy and costly seven-day jury trial in a Federal Court is that if you are a stallion owner and standing your stallion to the public, that stallion and breeding mare’s genetic information should be available on the AQHA website immediately, whether or not it’s a stand-alone document or included under the Horse Ownership Summary. It would eliminate a lot of heartache, lawsuits and lawyer bills.

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