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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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☛ Kountz pleads guilty for animal cruelty 8-18-17

Posted by on Aug 18, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE ABUSE, HORSE LAWSUITS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

DAYLE KOUNTZ  PLEADS GUILTY FOR ANIMAL CRUELTY CASE

 

OWNER OF BOZEMAN, MONTANA’S  KOUNTZ ARENA CHANGES PLEA

Aug. 18, 2017

Dayle Kountz, right, owner of Kountz Arena, appearing in Gallatin County Court. Photo by Bozeman Chronicle.

According to a Aug. 17 article in the Bozeman Chronicle, Dayle Kountz, the owner of Kountz Arena in Bozeman, Montana, is set to change his plea of animal cruelty to a felony  charge of animal cruelty for failing to provide appropriate medical care for his stallion Young Doc Bar. Kountz and his lawyer are deciding whether he will plead guilty or no contest to the charge but he will be entering a plea next Wednesday, Aug. 23, in Gallatin County District Court before Butte-Silver Bow Judge Brad Newman, whois overseeing the case.

The plea comes as part of an agreement with the Gallatin County Attorney’s Office, which will dismiss the additional counts of aggravated animal cruelty and felony animal cruelty that Kountz has been charged with. The state will recommend Kountz receive a two-year suspended sentence to the Montana Department of Corrections and serve no jail time. However, his lawyer said they will be asking for a deferred sentence.

Kountz, who had previously been convicted of a misdemeanor cruelty to animals in Gallatin County in 1999, was charged at a March 2015 horse show at his Kountz Arena in Bozeman  when it was reported that a horse was missing a foot, lying in his own feces and suffering in a small stall. The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office responded, finding the horse named Young Doc Bar – as well as a calf suffering from seizures

Kountz told investigators that the horse was injured in December 2014 when the horse accidentally got his leg caught in a corral panel. He said he sought medical advice and followed treatment recommended by a vet. The animals were euthanized and the sheriff’s office closed the case with a warning; however, several witnesses who were at the arena on the day of the horse show came forward and provided photographs and information the sheriffs officer further investigation.

Therefore, about two months after the show, the county attorney’s office charged Kountz, who sought to have his upcoming trial moved out of Gallatin County, claiming that “inflammatory” editorial and social media attention to the case made it so Kountz would not receive a fair trial. Several news outlets, multiple TV stations, a Facebook page called “Justice for Young Doc Bar” was created and a petition Change.org lobbied for Kountz to be prosecuted; however, Judge Newman denied the request, saying that while news and social media accounts of the case had been “extensive,” it didn’t show widespread community prejudice against Kountz.

However, a felony charge is a very serious crime. A person who commits a felony, upon conviction in a court of law, is known as a convicted felon or a convict. In a move seen as a big win for animal rights activists, the FBI has added animal cruelty to its list of Class A felonies, alongside homicide and arson.

Cases of animal cruelty fall into four categories — neglect; intentional abuse and torture; organized abuse, such as cock and dog fighting; and sexual abuse of animals — and the FBi is now monitoring them as it does other serious crimes. Also, starting Jan. 1, 2016, data is being entered into the National Incident-Based Reporting System or NIBRS, the public database the FBI uses to keep a record of national crimes.

It is felt that the FBI’s decision will not only be a way to stop cases of animal abuse but also can help to identify people who might commit violent acts. According to the Christian Science Monitor, psychological studies show that nearly 70 percent of violent criminals began by abusing animals and keeping statistics on such cases can help law enforcement track down high-risk demographics and areas.

In some states, those committing multiple felonies can be double billed or double-sentenced and can receive 20-40 years in prison.

Some of the information in this article came from the Bozeman Chronicle.

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☛ Are bad breeding practices animal abuse? 5-26-17

Posted by on May 26, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE HEALTH, HORSE LAWSUITS, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, MAJOR EVENTS, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 11 comments

BAD BREEDING PRACTICES

 

IS THIS ANIMAL ABUSE?

 

By Rick Dennis
May 26, 2017

As an AQHA breeder, my requirements are to breed an animal that is genetically correct with excellent conformation, the right temperament, enough athleticism to perform multiple events, enough cow instinct to perform in cow horse or cutting, free of genetic defects and with enough bone and stamina to withstand the rigors of the show pen for many years.

 

My article entitled, “AQHA Genetic Pool Shrinks,” dated Jan. 10, 2015, delineated an ongoing problem within the Quarter Horse industry in that the genetic pool is shrinking. Undesirable genetic traits and diseases are being passed from generation to generation. The following articles were the proto types of my article that would later play out in a courtroom in Texas in 2017 involving HERDA.

 

ARTICLE EXCERPTS:
Recent articles in the American Quarter Horse Journal entitled “The Changing Landscape of Quarter Horse Genetics, Part 1 and Part 2,” really caught my eye because of two reasons: 1) I’m an American Quarter Horse breeder specializing in multiple-event reined cow horses and 2) I’m a Life Member of AQHA.

Part 1’s first paragraph essentially sets the stage for the present state of the breed in that it’s becoming more and more inbred, stating, “Talk to an equine geneticist long enough and you are bound to hear two assertions made about the American Quarter Horse breed that sound like opposites: First, it is one of the most genetically diverse equine breeds in the world and second, it’s becoming increasingly inbred.

 

The second and third paragraphs of Part 1 outline the history of the breed and a factor causing this shrinking of genetics, stating, “Beginning in colonial America, the breed began from a diverse genetic base of largely Thoroughbred and Spanish blood that was added to and developed for roughly 200 years, focusing on producing quickness and durability.

 

But fast-forward to the modern era of specialized American Quarter Horse performers, especially at the highest levels, and you find specialization in the horse-breeding herd too: specific groups of individual classes of horses used to produce those top performers. If you’re breeding for a specific category of horse (i.e.) reining, cutting, cow horse, etc., the gene pool is further narrowed within this subgroup.

 

That suggests there are narrowed gene pools in those subgroups and now a genetic study clearly shows it. A research team from the University of Minnesota has published its findings in an issue of the Journal of Heredity, “The American Quarter Horse: Population structure and relationship to the Thoroughbred.” The 2012-2013 study was partially funded by the American Quarter Horse Foundation.

 

“In the pedigree analysis, some groups shared no common sires, such as halter and racing, but other groups did, such as reining and working cow horse. Although popular sires within one group were rarely shared with another group, all the pedigrees reflected the common roots of the Quarter Horse.

“Additionally, pedigree analysis showed that the most common 15 sires across the groups were all direct tail-male descendants of Three Bars (TB), with several of those stallions showing more than one cross to the Thoroughbred in the first four generations.

“Inbreeding” refers to the mating of relatives and results in an “inbred” individual horse. The amount an individual horse is “inbred” can be estimated from its pedigree or genetic data. In a pedigree analysis, determining an individual’s “co-ancestry coefficient” gives an idea of how closely related individuals are on a pedigree page. Two individuals can be highly related without either of them being inbred, but if you breed two individuals with a high co-ancestry coefficient, their offspring will be inbred.

“Diversity quantifies the amount of genetic variation there is in a population. Typically, a highly inbred population has low genetic diversity. In this study the lowest genetic diversity within a sub-population was in the cutting and racing groups. The highest average inbreeding was found in cutting.”

 

Also, a recent statement from Nena J. Winand, DVM, PhD and a specialist on HERDA that was a witness for the Plaintiffs in a recent lawsuit regarding HERDA mentioned later in this article, said, “I’d point out from a medical perspective, ANY shared ancestry, no matter how remote (far back) is considered inbreeding, because it provides a chance for an individual to inherit the same gene derived from the common ancestor from both parents.”

 

ANALYZING QUARTER HORSE BREEDING RULES:
From this study, it’s clear that the present American Quarter Horse breeding rules require scrutiny to determine: 1) their contribution to this shrinking genetic pool and 2) the adverse affect each adopted breeding rule may or may not have on the breed itself. I wonder if the executives paid six figures at the AQHA and the Executive Committee members, especially the Stud Book and Registration Committee, had any forethought in the ramifications their expansive breeding rule adoptions would have on the Quarter Horse breed and industry over time?

As a private sector Risk Analyst, I’m commonly faced with the task of analyzing practices and concepts to determine either the detriment or usefulness an existing concept or practice has on an organization. In order to shed light on the topic, I examined two specific breeding rules adopted by AQHA: Multiple Embryo Transfer and Frozen Semen. I also examined the impact each adopted breeding rule may have on the breeding populous as well as a correlation of each one’s compliance with AQHA’s Mission Statement.

 

BAD BREEDING PRACTICES:
A horse’s conformation affects his ability to perform certain tasks. Read more about this interesting concept in AQHA’s Form to Function report.
Click for “Form To Function” report>>

“Longstanding breeding practices likely contribute to that. Habits such as “popular sire syndrome,” which is the tendency for many breeders to breed to a top-performing stallion, or the use of assisted reproductive techniques such as frozen semen and embryo transfers can greatly amplify one horse’s genetic impact. Even the practice of always breeding the ‘best to the best’ can contribute to increased inbreeding in a sub-population.

“Any time we take a single individual and increase its ability to generate offspring, that is going to decrease the genetic pool that is reproducing.

“Additionally, when you increase inbreeding and reduce diversity, you increase the incidence of undesirable genes making an appearance.

“A good example is the incidence of HERDA (hereditary equine regional dermal asthenia) in cutting horses. It’s very frequent within this sub-population, which might be the result of decreasing diversity and/or the ‘popular-sire’ effect. A previous study revealed that 28.3 percent of cutting-bred individuals carried the recessive gene for HERDA.”

Click following for AQHAGenetic Pool Shrinks>>

 

FIRST LAWSUIT ENTERS COURT OVER HERDA:
In a lawsuit entitled, “Minshall Vs Hartman Equine, Dos Cat Partners, Shauna and Ed Dufurrena” was tried in a Texas courtroom in 2017. The basis of the lawsuit encompassed fraud with the AQHA stallion Auspicious Cat. The owners of the horse advertised the stallion as being HERDA Negative when in fact the horse was designated N/Hr (a carrier of the HERDA gene) by the American Quarter Horse Association.

 

Prior to this lawsuit, the AQHA required genetic testing of breeding stallions on a graduated scale based on the number of mares bred until Jan. 1, 2016. After this date, each breeding stallion was required to have genetic testing which included a 5-Panel group of designated tests that were designed by AQHA and performed by UC Davis.

 

Up until the filing of this lawsuit, AQHA reserved the right NOT TO RELEASE the 5-Panel test results, except to the owners of the specific horse. This nondisclosure prevented anyone breeding to a specific stallion from obtaining the 5-Panel status of the stallion; therefore, running the risk of passing on a defect to the impending foal.

 

After the filing of the above-captioned lawsuit, AQHA has changed its posture to include releasing the 5-Panel test results to anyone who contacts them and asks for it. It’s also planned that the test results will be on the horse’s pedigree when their new computer database is online. Further, AQHA intends to embed the horses’ 5-Panel test results directly onto the stallions’ registration papers as a permanent record.

 

However, the curious nature of AQHA’s testing requirements does not include breeding mares, which, in my opinion should be a requirement as well. After all, mares carry the same number of genetic chromosomes as stallions do, which includes the mares’ lineage as well.

 

This is exactly what happened in this case as two N/Hr (HERDA carrier) horses were bred together, producing a HERDA affected foal. The Plaintiff’s had simply relied on the honesty and integrity of the stallion owner. Does AQHA have any culpable liability in the matter from their previous posture of not releasing stallion specific genetic testing results?

 

The other curious nature of this saga is that my article AQHA Genetic Pool Shrinks, along with its predetermined scientific facts and warnings about inbreeding, ended up in this courtroom drama two years later.

 

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE FOALS OF THESE MISGUIDED BREEDINGS?
Just about every cutter I’ve talked to wants a High Brow Cat-bred horse because of their winning nature. In fact, some even breed for horses carrying the HERDA gene due to this phenomenon, which is exactly what happened in this lawsuit. The Plaintiffs desired to breed to a High Brow Cat stallion that carried the AQHA N/N designation and ended up breeding to an N/Hr horse. Since their mare carried the N/Hr designation, two N/Hr horses produced a HERDA-affected foal that required an enormous amount of money to maintain.

 

So at the end of the day, what happens to the foals that wash out due to genetic deficiencies: euthanasia, the horse slaughter pipeline, retired and crippled at two or three years of age perhaps? Has our industry become so callous and money hungry that they throw caution to the wind when breeding? What about the poor horse that suffers due to this selfish act? This is an arduous fact to quantify simply due to non-reported statistical data. In my opinion just breeding to a particular line of horses just because they’re winning is a very poor excuse, especially in lieu of the fact that a known line is capable of producing undesirable genetic traits in the American Quarter Horse. We experienced this in the HYPP line of horses!

Also, it’s my opinion that AQHA being the breed registry for the American Quarter Horse should live up to its own Mission Statement and step in to prevent this well-known and established HERDA gene from permeating the American Quarter Horse breed. After all, they are the rule makers and some of their established and unorthodox   breeding rules have and continue to contribute to the shrinking genetic pool of the American Quarter Horse, thus causing direct harm to the breed. Only AQHA can stop or control the insertion of bad genetics into the American Quarter Horse Gene Pool!

 

BREEDING PREREQUISITES 101:

1)         Mare owners should have their horses genetically tested by the AQHA 5-panel prior to breeding.

2)         Mare owners should perform due-diligent research into the genetic test results of the impending desired stallion prior to breeding.

3)         Prior to breeding, consult with a geneticist to determine whether the match up would produce any undesirable traits in the produced foal, especially if a shared lineage or line of horses is in the background of both horses.

 

GENETIC DEFICIENCIES IN THE THOROUGHBRED LINE:
Unfortunately, bad breeding practices and catastrophic results aren’t limited to the American Quarter Horse Industry. In a later article I’ll discuss and delineate the bad breeding practices in the Thoroughbred Industry.

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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☛ Metallic Cat and HERDA 5-18-17

Posted by on May 18, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE LAWSUITS, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, MAJOR EVENTS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

METALLIC CAT OFFSPRING DOMINATE SUPER STAKES OPEN FINALS

 

BUT ARE BREEDERS BEING CAREFUL TO ELIMINATE HERDA?

  

By Glory Ann Kurtz
May 18, 2017
Edited May 20, 2017

 

Metallic Cat offspring dominate Super Stakes Open finals

A cutting horse dynasty started with the 1967 stallion Doc O Lena, the son of a severely foundered great mare Poco Lena. He was trained and ridden by Shorty Freeman to the championship of the 1970 NCHA Futurity, following a clean sweep of the futurity’s preliminary go-rounds, semifinals and finals. It was the bloodline that everyone wanted in a cutting horse and the most sought-after sire to breed to.

 

Next came his son Smart Little Lena, out of Smart Peppy, born in 1979, and ridden by Shorty’s son Bill Freeman. The pair not only won the 1982 NCHA Futurity, but also the NCHA Super Stakes and Derby. After he was retired to stud, his offspring won $34.9 million, according to AQHA records.

 

Showing she was just as prolific as her sire, Smart Little Lena, Smart Little Kitty produced High Brow Cat, sired by High Brow Hickory. Although he was not a great money earner himself, High Brow Cat was honored at this year’s NCHA Convention as the NCHA’s leading sire for the 12th consecutive year, having sired 483 money earners and up to 2015 had earned nearly $4 million, according to his owner Darren Blanton. Blanton stated he was “truly a magical genetic mix that only God himself could have created.” Blanton had purchased the 1998 stallion, bred by Hanes Chatham and Stewart Sewell as part of a package deal that included the colt’s mother from Jack Waggoner in January 2013.

 

METALLIC CAT
Today the bloodlines of these great cutting horses is ongoing with the 2006 stallion Metallic Cat, a double-bred Smart Little Lena offspring sired by High Brow Cat out of Chers Shadow, sired by Peptoboonsmal out of Shesa Smarty Lena by Smart Little Lena. Shesa Smarty Lena was out of Shesa Playmate (Freckles Playboy x Lenaette by Doc Olena), going back to Doc O’Lena on both the top and bottom side.
Metallic Cat Pedigree

 

Bred by the Roan Rangers, Weatherford, Texas, Metallic Cat was sold as a 2-year-old on Sept. 11, 2007 to Beau Galyean, who sold him one year later on Sept. 10, 2008 to Alvin C. Fults, Amarillo, Texas. Seven years later, on Oct. 1, 2015, Metallic Cat’s ownership was changed to Metallic Cat Ltd., Amarillo, Texas, who currently owns the stallion.
Click for Metallic Cat Ownership>> 

 

With a 2009 NCHA Futurity Championship, Horse of the Year title and an induction into the NCHA Hall of Fame under his belt, Metallic Cat is the second highest money-earning stallion (behind his sire Smart Little Lena) in the history of NCHA, earning $637,711. Beau Galyean, who owned the stallion at one time, rode the stallion in the finals of all the major events and never lost a cow. He is the highest money earning stallion of all of High Brow Cat’s offspring and the highest money-earning aged-event stallion in a 27-year-history.

 

According to Quarter Horse News statistics, the highest money-earning offspring of High Brow Cat is the mare Dont Look Twice, owned by Phil and Mary Ann Rapp, Weatherford, Texas, earning $845,476. It’s interesting to note that the two highest money-earning horses, all-ages, all-divisions, follow the same bloodlines, with Red White And Boon (88g), being sired by Smart Little Lena and Sister CD (02g) being sired by CD Olena, a son of Doc O’Lena.

 

Metallic Cat was the NCHA Sire of the Year in 2016 and with 1,894 offspring currently registered with AQHA, they have earned over $12.2 million. He is standing at the Fults Ranch in conjunction with Timbercreek Veterinary Hospital, for a $10,000 breeding fee.

 

METALLIC CAT’S GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT AS A SIRE:
However, Metallic Cat’s greatest achievement so far has been the recently held NCHA Open Super Stakes Finals that paid out $635,528, with High Brow Cat and his offspring as sires took home 74 percent of the total Open Finals purse – or $471,949! Metallic Cat, with nine Open finalists, earned 53 percent ($334,148) of the Total Open Finals purse.

 

2016 NCHA FUTURITY & 2017 SUPER STAKES OPEN FINALS:
I took the results of the Open finals of the 2016 NCHA Futurity and the 2017 NCHA Super Stakes, pulling out the offspring of Metallic Cat that earned money, offspring of High Brow Cat that won money and the offspring of High Brow Cat (other than Metallic Cat) whose offspring won money.

 

2016 NCHA Futurity
In the Open finals of the 2016 NCHA Futurity, a $1,516,020 total purse was paid out, with High Brow Cat’s offspring as sires winning $238,486 (16 percent of the total Open Finals purse); Metallic Cat offspring winning $312,778 (21 percent) and other sons of High Brow Cat’s offspring taking home $328,933 (22 percent), for a total of $880,197 or 58 percent of the total Open Finals purse.

 

2017 NCHA Super Stakes
However, the 2017 NCHA Super Stakes was a deal breaker. With a $635,528 total Open Finals purse being distributed among 21 finalists, in the Open Finals High Brow Cat and his offspring as sires – won $471,949 – or 75 percent of the total Finals purse. Only 33 percent of the finals horses were not High Brow Cat bred. Nine of 14 High Brow Cat-bred money earners (64 percent) were sired by Metallic Cat and they earned $334,148 or 52.6 percent of the total Open finals purse. They included the Champion Hashtags, the Reserve Champion Melting Snow, 4th place Some Like It Metallic, 5/6 tie Metallic Ina, 7/9 tie Kopykat, 12/13 tie Metallic Boom, 15 Kreepin Cat, 16/18 Johnny English and Magnetik Playboy.

 

Three more finalists were sired by other sons of High Brow Cat, including Bet Hesa Cat, Herding Cats and WR This Cats Smart. There were also three that were not related to High Brow Cat on the top side but they were out of mares sired by High Brow Cat and his son Smooth As A Cat. That left only four horses in the 21-horse finals (19%) that were not High Brow Cat related. (Incidentally, the Super Stakes Champion Hashtags, owned by Jose Raul Garcia, Caracas, Venezuela, ridden by Tatum Rice, was the only Metallic Cat offspring that took home an Open Finals paycheck in both the 2016 NCHA Futurity and the 2017 Super Stakes.)

3) Click for 2017 NCHA Super Stakes Open Finals>>

 

WHAT’S THIS GOT TO DO WITH HERDA?
A lot! In March 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. Prior to the trial Edward and Shona Dufurrena, who headed up Dos Cats Partners, Gainesville, Texas, the owners of the stallion Auspicious Cat, a stallion they had advertised as being HERDA N/N and told to the mare owners and Dr. David Hartman, the veterinarian that collected him and shipped semen, that he was HERDA N/N.

 

THE HERDA LAWSUIT:
However, it was later discovered the stallion was H/N – or a carrier of HERDA. The Minshalls had bred their Smart Little Lena mare that was H/N to the stallion and as a result had a full-blown HERDA affected offspring named Otto, with lesions on his body appearing while he was in training. They testified in court that they had previously been told by Dufurrena that Auspicious Cat was HERDA N/N.

 

When the Minshalls threatened to sue the Dufurrena’s, they immediately settled. The amount of the settlement is unknown since it was a private transaction. The Minshalls then sued Dr. Hartman, owner of HERC. The jury found the Dufurrena’s 60 percent responsible, the Minshalls 30 percent responsible and Hartman only 10 percent responsible; however, no damages were announced at the trial.

 

However, on March 30, 2017, the Minshall’s lawyers sued Dr. Hartman, who collected the semen from Auspicious Cat and shipped it to the Minshalls, for legal fees of $203,535. (In a previous article I said that the Minshalls had sued Hartman for legal fees; however, Lauren Minshall called me and said it was the lawyers who filed – even though that was not noted in the lawsuit documents, as, according to legal advice given me, the lawyers had to go through the original lawsuit to sue Hartman for legal fees.)

Click for Minshall lawsuit>> 

 

Almost a month later, Judget Mazzant issued a Final Judgment on April 26, 2017, that said, “Based on Memorandum Opinion and Order and the verdict, it is ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that judgment is entered in favor of Plaintiffs Shawn Minshall, Lisa Victoria Minshall and Lauren Victoria Minshall in the amount of $3,000 plus costs and pre- and post-judgment interest thereon at the rate provided by law, against Defendant Hartman Equine Reproduction Center, P.A

Click for Final Judgment>>

 

ATTORNEY FEES:
On that same date, Judge Mazzant issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order, which said, “The jury only found Defendant negligent and did not find Defendant liable under any other cause of action.”

 

The Memorandum continued, “The Plaintiffs argued they were statutorily entitled to attorneys’ fees under Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 38.001(6), which states that ‘a person may recover reasonable attorneys’ fees from an individual or corporation, in addition to the amount of a valid claim and costs, if the claim is for … killed or injured stock.’ ”

 

It continued, “Plaintiffs’ complaint did not seek recover of attorneys’ fees under Section 38.001(6). Further the jury did not make any findings regarding whether Otto was ‘injured’ for purposes of Section 38.001(6). Plaintiffs’ request for attorneys’ fees is denied.”
Click for Memorandum-Opinion>>

 

MOTION TO RECONSIDER:
On May 9, the Plaintiffs Motion to Reconsider Memorandum Opinion Order, denying Plaintiffs’ Motion for entry of Judgment (Dkt #1351) and Motion to Amend Final Judgment (Dkt #136) in which the Plaintiffs requested the Court amend the Final Judgment and award Plaintiffs $16,340.80, 10 percent of the total compensatory damages award of $16,340.80, $203,535 in reasonable and necessary attorneys’ fees and for such other and further relief in law or in equity to which Plaintiffs may show themselves justly entitled. Pursuant to Local Rule CV-7(g), and Plaintiffs requested an oral hearing.

 

CERTIFICATE OF CONFERENCE:
On May 9, 2017, Drew Thomas, counsel for Plaintiffs, emailed Caleena Svatek, counsel for Defendant, regarding this motion. No agreement could be reached due to an irreconcilable difference of opinion regarding Texas law on negligence and attorneys’ fees. Caleena Svatek confirmed Defendant was opposed to Plaintiffs’ motion via email correspondence on May 9, 2017. The discussions have ended in an impasse, leaving an open issue for the Court to resolve.

 

CASE CLOSED:

That Conference was the final legal document and after that document, the case was marked, “Case Closed.”

Denying Plaintiffs Motion=final judgment 5-9-17

 

LESSONS LEARNED FROM THIS LAWSUIT:
These lawsuits were the results of a HERDA H/N (carrier) stallion being bred to a HERDA H/N (carrier) mare and they show how expensive the results can turn out to be – especially if the sire is not advertised correctly. I checked with the AQHA (Since the trial, you can now call the registration department of the AQHA and find out the HERDA status of any horse) and Metallic Cat is H/N (a HERDA carrier) – even though his HERDA status was not advertised on the current ads for the stallion. Obviously Auspicious Cat (and for that matter Metallic Cat) SHOULD NOT have been bred to a HERDA H/N mare, as proven by the birth of Otto, with full-blown HERDA.

 

However, breeders evidently did their breeding to Metallic Cat, or other sons of High Brow Cat, correctly, (as far as HERDA is concerned) in this case, as their offspring in the 2017 NCHA Super Stakes Open finals, included the 14 High Brow Cat-bred finalists that were out of mares sired by Dual Rey, Dual Pep (2), Spots Hot, Doc’s Hickory, Peptoboonsmal (2), Dulces Smart Lena, Freckles Playboy (3), Docs Stylish Oak, Son Of A Doc and Hesa Peptospoonful.
Click for Metallic Cats Offspring

 

However, we don’t know how many offspring of Metallic Cat were born with HERDA symptoms after he was crossed with HERDA H/N mares – or if there were any in the 2013 crop of 321 foals registered with the AQHA. I only checked the nine in the 2017 NCHA Super Stakes Open Finals.

 

A disturbing fact that came out of the trial was that the owners of several stallions who are H/N (carriers of the HERDA gene) have advertised if, as a result of their breeding to a particular stallion, the offspring is born with HERDA symptoms, the mare owner will receive a rebreed. To me, this encourages breeding for possible “throw-away” horses, as the Minshall lawsuit exposes what it costs to keep one.

 

AS A RESULT, AQHA CUTTING HORSE GENETIC POOL IS SHRINKING
On Jan. 15, 2015, I published an article on www.allaboutcutting.com written by Rick Dennis and entitled “American Quarter Horse Genetic Pool Shrinks,” which revealed an article in the American Quarter Horse Journal, stating that “the present state of the breed is becoming more and more inbred” (It is now worse two years later) and AQHA is allowing it even though AQHA’s Mission Statement includes “maintaining the welfare of its horses.” I am including a link to this article as I feel every breeder of cutting horses should read and digest it. In short, according to the article, the “highest average inbreeding was found in Quarter Horses bred for cutting.

 

According to Dr. Molly McCue, “The study found that due to the contribution of popular sires, relatedness within the groups is on the rise. This increase in relatedness, or co-ancestry, is likely to lead to an increase in the number and extent of inbred individuals.”

 

Since the AQHA’s Mission Statement in part is “To record and preserve the pedigree of the American Quarter Horse while maintaining the integrity of the breed and welfare of its horses,” Dennis questioned whether the executives at the AQHA, their Executive Committee members, especially the Stud Book and Registration Committee, had any forethought about the ramifications their expansive breeding rule adoptions would have on the Quarter Horse breed and industry over time.

 

As a “risk analyst,” Dennis examined the specific breeding rules adopted by the AQHA, namely Multiple Embryo Transfer and Frozen Semen, which he felt is aiding the inbreeding of cutting horses, which he feels is actually a form of “animal cruelty.”

Click for AQHA Genetic Pool Shrinks>>

 

Although the Minshalls spent a lot of money on a lawsuit without receiving much in return, I thank them for getting a “set precedent” on the court case as far as responsibility is concerned, getting the AQHA to make HERDA information available to all members on every registered horse (currently by a phone call and later when their new computer system is online), as well as all the other valuable information for breeders of cutting horses that came out in court.

 

 

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☛ Brunzell court documents revealed 5-8-17

Posted by on May 8, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, EQUI-VOICE, HORSE LAWSUITS, HORSE NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

SHERRI BRUNZELL COURT DOCUMENTS REVEALED

May 8, 2017
By Glory Ann Kurtz

On April 27, 2017, I published the following article about Sherri Brunzell going to jail for 60 days for animal cruelty; however, today  I have received  the court documents regarding the penalties that Brunzell received and am attaching then at the end of this article.

Although Sherri only got 60 days in jail, along with a 5-year probation term, she paid royally for letting those horses starve with a few even dying. With 14 charges against her, she was acquitted on six of them and found guilty on eight.  She could have originally gotten 550 days in jail; however, 490 days were suspended pending the successful completion of probation – restitution for 91 days and 60 months probation.

Sherri was fined $500 for each of the eight counts of guilty, she was ordered to not possess, own, manage, lease, or care for any horses, llamas, livestock or any other herd animal; pay costs and fines imposed; ordered to attend 16 individual counseling sessions and two post-treatment assessments as per animal evaluation; forfeit horses to El Paso County and provide registration on each horse. Total costs to Brunzell for this case totaled $40,191.50.

During her jail time, she must serve 60 days straight, a work release is not authorized and the court will review in 120 days for potential proposed plan/possibility of unsupervised probation.

“THE SHERRI BRUNZELL CASE:

Showing the difference a couple of years can make, Sherri Brunzell, who owned the 10 horses, including an emaciated Quarter Horse cutting stallion, Dual Peppy, along with llamas that were found living in a crypt-like Black Forest, Colo., barn in 2014. The barn contained the decomposing remains of the living horses’ former stablemates..

In May 2015, an El Paso County jury convicted Brunzell of eight “misdemeanor” counts of animal cruelty; however, she filed appeal after appeal until they ran out. However, Brunzell had paid a financial price, as she was ordered to pay $5,400 per month for the horses’ care and the AQHA automatically suspended her and denied her any and all privileges, including privileges associated with registration related to transactions and participation in any AQHA events. The horses were sent to a Colorado rescue and Sherri never received ownership of the horses again.”

All that time, Judge Stephen James Sletta said he would have liked to give her more time, but during her 2015 jury trial, that was all he could give her, according to the law at that time.

If this case would have been held in 2016, Sherri could have more than likely been sentenced to prison for years rather than days. On Jan. 1, 2016, horse abuse became a felony.

Click for Brunzell court records>>

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☛ Additional legal action taken against Hartman 4-11-17

Posted by on Apr 11, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE LAWSUITS, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

ADDITIONAL LEGAL ACTION TAKEN AGAINST HARTMAN

 

MINSHALLS FILE FOR DAMAGES IN HERDA CASE

 

By Glory Ann Kurtz
April 11, 2017
Last month, a seven-day trial was held in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, in Sherman, Texas, to determine who was guilty for a HERDA positive foal, sired by Auspicious Cat, that was born to Shawn, Lisa and Lauren Minshall’s mare. The eight-member jury’s determined that Edward and Shona Dufurrena, Gainesville, Texas, who headed up the Dos Cats Partners that owned Auspicious Cat, were 60 percent responsible for their foal being born with full-blown HERDA, the Minshalls were 30 percent responsible and David Hartman, DVM’s Hartman Equine Reproduction Center, P.A., the veterinarian that collected the semen and shipped it to the Minshalls, was 10 percent responsible.

 

However, since the Minshalls had already sued Hartman but damages were not a part of the lawsuit, they have taken additional legal action against Hartman in a “Plaintiffs’ Motion For Miscellaneous Relief,” filed March 30, 2017.

 

The judge’s responses on following documents have not been signed by the judge and are; therefore, not in force.

 

Since Hartman was only found guilty of “negligence, the suit calls for $30,000 for the difference in value Otto (the offspring with HERDA) would have had if he had not been HERDA-affected, $28,408 for the reasonable and necessary expenses related to foaling, raising, boarding and training Otto in the past, $75,000 for the reasonable and necessary expenses, in reasonable probability, the Plaintiffs will incur related to caring for Otto in the future and $30,000 for lost profits, for a total of $163,408.

Click for Plaintiffs Motion for entry of Judgment>>

 

JUDGE’S UNSIGNED FINAL JUDGMENT:

In a Final Judgment, Judge Amos L. Mazzant II, ordered but did not sign: 1) a sum of 10% of the jury’s verdict of $163,408, totaling $16,340.80; Reasonable and necessary attorneys’ fees of $203,535; 3) costs of action, taxed at an amount to be determined by the Court after Plaintiffs submit an appropriate bill of costs; 4) Prejudgment interest of 1.02% simple interest per annum on total sum awarded beginning on Oct. 30, 2015 and ending on the date this judgment is signed and 5) Post-judgment interest on the total sum awarded from the date this judgment is signed until paid at a rate of 1.02% simple interest per annum.

Click for unsigned Final Judgment>>

 

HARTMAN’S RESPONSE:

Hartman immediately responded the following day (March 31, 2017), stating that the Judgment is inconsistent with the Court’s instructions to the jury and is incorrect as a matter of law. It stated that Plaintiffs should only be allowed to recover 10 percent of the recoverable damages for negligence only and should not be allowed to recover attorney’s fees.

 

The document continues that since Hartman was only found liable for negligence and its responsibility was limited to 10 percent, his maximum liability would be $3,000. The Plaintiffs’ proposed judgment, seeking compensation for all compensatory damages, is not consistent with the Court’s instructions for a finding of negligence.

 

Plus the Plaintiffs’ proposed judgment also seeks an award of attorney’s fees which, according to Hartman’s attorney, are not recoverable as a matter of law. Also the document says that the Plaintiffs prevailed only on a negligence claim and did not plead to recover attorney’s fees under a negligence cause of action theory. Also Chapter 38 of the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code only authorizes a recovery of attorney’s from an individual or a corporation while the Defendant is neither. There were also several other reasons pointed out in the document why the Plaintiffs could not recover attorney fees.
Click for Hartman’s response>>

JUDGE’S UNSIGNED ORDER:

The judge then posted an unsigned order that Hartman Equine Reproduction Center, P.A.’s objects to the Plaintiffs’ Proposed Final Judgment are SUSTAINED, saying HERC is only responsible for the damages recoverable for a finding of negligence and is not responsible for Attorneys’ Fees to the Plaintiff.
Click for judge’s unsigned order>>

 

PLAINTIFFS’ RESPONSE TO DEFENDANT’S OBJECTIONS:

On April 4, 2017, the Plaintiffs filed a response to the Defendant’s objections to Plaintiffs’ Proposed Final Judgment, asking it to be overruled for a litany of reasons, requesting that the Court sign their proposed Final Judgment and for such other relief in law or equity that they may show themselves justly entitled.

Plaintiff response to Defendant objections>>

 

PLAINTIFFS’ ATTORNEY’S FEES FILED:

Also, on March 30, 2017, an affidavit of the attorneys’ fees and support thereof , totaling $203,535.00 were filed with the court.

Affidavit of attorney’s fees>> 

Stay tuned for the next chapter of this case.

 

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