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☛ Horse trainer gets 5 years for torturing horses 3-31-17

Posted by on Mar 31, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, EQUI-VOICE, HORSE ABUSE, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

HOOF-CARVING HORSE TRAINER SENTENCED FOR TORTURING HORSES

ROBERT DIMITT GETS FIVE YEARS FOR DEATHS OF SEVERAL HORSES

March 31, 2017

Almost two years  after Robert Dimitt, 57, a horse trainer from Sallisaw, Okla., was arrested, the hoof-carving horse trainer was sentenced to five years in prison on March 23 for the mutilation deaths of multiple horses. With the new year, comes new laws about animal abuse, which changes their penalties to a felony.

Dimitt will also spend 10 years on parole after he is released and he is prohibited from being around any horses during that time. If he breaks any of these rules, he will be returned to prison.

A month ago, Dimitt modified his plea from to guilty to no contest, which allowed the judge to decide his fate rather than a jury. Dimitt’s attorney had sought probation.

According to an article in the Sequoyah County Times, the sentencing followed a lengthy investigation following a tip from Charlotte Northam. She said she went to pick up three horses and instead of three healthy horses, she found one dead and two starved with mutilated feet. The owners of one of the horses had turned down $500,000 for her as she had won in excess of $355,000 in 15 months. The only horse alive was Gold Digging Ashley, with the mare spending a long time at the Oakridge Veterinarian Clinic in Edmond.

Agent Larry Bailey said that a number of horses taken from Dimitt’s care showed signs of being beaten or tortured.

“The horses had considerable damage to their back feet. We were told that Dimitt was bleeding their back feet to let the demons out,” said Bailey. Sheriff Ron Lockhart said that investigators found several horse carcasses on the ranch and the veterinarians had to check on the other horses that were still alive. The sheriff’s office had contacted the owners of the animals and many were surprised to find out the horses they thought were being taken care of Dimitt was released on $25,000 bond.

Northam, a agent for Kentucky racehorse owner Edward D. Leslie, MD, said “Dimitt cut the frogs out of the horses’ hooves to “make them run faster.” Northam says she hopes this case will make horse owners more aware of what can happen when you don’t check on your horses in training. “People need to make more physical well-being checks and be very careful of what trainer they use.”

Information for this article was taken from the Sequoyah County Times and Rate My Horse Pro articles.

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☛ Herda status of Auspicious Cat goes on trial 3-11-17

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

HERDA STATUS OF  AUSPICIOUS CAT GOES ON TRIAL

 

JURY LAYS MOST OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR INJURY OF OFFSPRING ON EDWARD  AND SHONA DUFURRENA

By Glory Ann Kurtz
March 11, 2017

Following a seven-day trial in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division, an eight-member jury (six women and two men) finalized responsibility of a HERDA-infected foal sired by Auspicious Cat, owned by Dos Cats Partners (headed up by Edward and Shona Dufurrena, Gainesville, Texas), on the Dufurrenas.

The lawsuit was filed by Shawn, Lisa Victoria and Lauren Victoria Minshall, Hillsburgh, Ontario, Canada, the owners of one of Canada’s top Thoroughbred and cutting horse breeding and training operations, vs Dr. David Hartman’s Hartman Equine Reproduction Center, P.A. (HERC), Gainesville, Texas, who sent the semen of Auspicious Cat to the Minshalls to breed to Miss Tassa Lena.

WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE?

According to the jury, the Dufurrenas received 60 percent of the responsibility, with each receiving 30 percent of responsibility that caused or contributed to cause the occurrence or injury of a foal sired by Auspicious Cat out of the Minshall’s mare, Miss Tassa Lena. He was nicknamed “Otto,” and he was born with full-blown HERDA, a genetic skin disease. The disease was discovered when the colt was a 2-year-old and lesions appeared on its body while in training.

Also receiving responsibility were the Minshalls, with 10 percent going to each: Shawn, Lisa Victoria and their daughter Lauren Victoria, for a total of 30 percent. Receiving the least responsibility was Hartman Equine Reproduction Center, who received 10 percent of the responsibility.

The jury was given questions of guilt, with all six parties being found guilty of “Negligence incurring damage.” The Dufurrena’s were found guilty of committing fraud. All other questions regarding Hartman’s guilt were answered by “No.”

Click for verdict>>

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 Plaintiffs’ lost profits: $30,000 – for a total of $163,408.

At press time it was not available if  “who’s responsible?” has any relation to the compensatory damages.

THE LAWYERS:

Represented by Aaron J. Burke and Nathan Pearman of Hardline Ducus Barger Drey LLP, Dallas, Texas,  the Minshall’s lawyer was asking for $30,000 for the value of Otto, a high of $28,408 for training and boarding, $233,000 in expenses for training, boarding in the future, plus $3 million in Punitive damages and $165,000 in mental anguish, for a total of close to $3.5 million.

David Hartman, the principal of HERC, was represented by Jeffrey W. Ryan and Caleena D. Svalek of the law firm of Chamblee, Ryan, Kershaw & Anderson, P.C., also of Dallas. William Chamblee was originally scheduled to be Hartman’s lawyer; however, the last minute it was discovered he would be involved in another court case in Dallas and Jeffrey Ryan took over. The firm usually does trial cases for medical cases.

Click for Testimony>>

Click for Auspicious Cat pedigree>>

Click for Miss Tassa Lena pedigree>>

 

 

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Minshall v Hartman trial back on for Feb. 27, 2017

Posted by on Feb 21, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE LAWSUITS, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

MINSHALL V HARTMAN TRIAL BACK ON FOR FEB. 27

By Glory Ann Kurtz
Feb. 21, 2017

The Shawn Minshall v Hartman (HERC) trial is back on. An order by United States District of Texas Judge Amos L. Mazzant, dated today, Feb. 21, says that the Defendant Hartman Equine Reproduction Center, P.A.’s Emergency Motion for Continuance of Trial Setting and Defendant Hartman Equine Reproduction Center, P.A.’s Unopposed Emergency Motion for continuance of the Trial Setting are hereby DENIED. Therefore the trial will go as as previously scheduled on Feb. 27, 2017 at the Eastern District Of Texas, Sherman Division.

Click for Motion to Continue Denied>>

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☛ Minshall v Hartman trial set for later date 2-19-17

Posted by on Feb 19, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE LAWSUITS, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

MINSHALL V HARTMAN TRIAL GRANTED EMERGENCY MOTION TO CONTINUE TRIAL AT LATER DATE

By Glory Ann Kurtz
Feb. 19, 2017

An order dated Feb. 17, 2017 by the United States Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division, granted the continuance of the Shawn Minshall vs Hartman Equine Reproduction Center case to an undetermined later date following an emergency motion by Hartman’s lead lawyer William H. Chamblee.

Court documents disclosed that Chamblee was unexpectedly in trial in a medical malpractice case in Dallas County, Texas.

The document, signed by Chamblee said, “Because it is imperative that Defendant have his lead counsel of his choosing defend this case at trial and the current trial length was unforeseeable, Defendant emergently requests a continuance of the current trial setting .

Click link for Emergency Motion>>

Click for Order Granting Continuance>>

 

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☛ HERDA lawsuit trial set for Feb. 27 in Sherman, Tx 2-15-17

Posted by on Feb 15, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE LAWSUITS, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

HERDA LAWSUIT TRIAL SCHEDULED FOR FEB. 27 IN U.S. DISTRICT COURT IN SHERMAN, TEXAS

 

MINSHALLS ACCUSE DAVID HARTMAN DVM OF SEVEN VIOLATIONS, INCLUDING FRAUD BY NON-DISCLOSURE

 

By Glory Ann Kurtz
Feb. 15, 2017
New information on trial date and HERDA Feb. 20, 2017

A court date of Feb. 27, 2017 has been set for trial regarding a lawsuit originally filed on Oct. 30, 2015 by Shawn, Victoria and Lauren Minshall against Edward Dufurrena, Edward Dufurrena Cutting Horses, Anthony and Dufurrena Inc., Gainesville, Texas; Hartman Equine Reproduction Center and Dos Cats Partners. A jury trial will begin at 10 a.m., Monday, Feb. 27 at the Paul Brown United States Courthouse, 101 E. Pecan Street, Room 208, Sherman, Texas 75090.

Hartman Jury trial 2-27-17

NOTE: An order dated Feb. 17, 2017 by the United States Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division, granted the continuance of this trial to an undetermined later date following an emergency motion of Hartman’s lead lawyer, William H. Chamblee, who was unexpectedly in trial in a medical malpractice case in Dallas County, Texas.

Shawn and Lisa Victoria Minshall, Hillsburgh, Ontario, Canada, and Lauren Victoria Minshall, Pine Grove, Ky., originally filed the lawsuit against the above-mentioned defendants, alleging the Plaintiffs suffered specific damages arising from the fact that they had bred their mare to Auspicious Cat, a stallion owned by the defendants, and the mare produced a foal that suffered from HERDA. The filings continued saying the defendants specifically misrepresented the HERDA designation on Auspicious Cat in an advertisement prior to the breeding, stating that Auspicious Cat was HERDA negative or HERDA N/N.

 

Over time, Dufurrena’s wife, Shona, was added to the lawsuit, after which she settled, as did all of the defendants except David Hartman of Equine Reproduction Center (HERC). Hartman was standing Auspicious Cat at his facility, a stallion station and veterinarian practice operated by him at the time the Plaintiffs bred their mare, Miss Tasa Lena, to Auspicious Cat. HERC facilitated the breeding by collecting, freezing and shipping Auspicious Cat’s semen to the Plaintiffs from HERC’s stallion station and charged the Plaintiffs a “chute fee.”

 

NATURE OF PLAINTIFF’S ACTION:

The plaintiffs are currently bringing action against HERC for 1) violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, 2) negligent misrepresentation and negligence, 3) fraud by nondisclosure, 4)fraud, 5) joint enterprise, 6) civil conspiracy and 7) aiding and abetting. The result of this breeding was a HERDA-affected (HRD/HRD) foal named Dr. Ozz, which was discovered through testing on May 1, 2015.

 

Due to the nature of the disease, the Plaintiffs claim they have incurred damages and subsequently filed suit against HERC. The Plaintiffs contend that HERC intended to assist or participate in the fraudulent scheme with the Dufurrenas to intentionally misrepresent Auspicious Cat’s HERDA status to attract more customers who would otherwise avoid breeding their mares to a HERDA-carrier stallion.

Click for Pretrial Order>>

 

HARTMAN’S RESPONSE:

In his response, Dr. Hartman stated the Dufurrenas were clients of Hartman, not partners, and they simply paid for the service of collecting semen from Aspicious Cat and shipping it to whomever the Dufurrena defendants sold that semen to. He says there is no rule, statute, regulation or standard of care of any kind supporting the Plaintiffs’ position that Hartman Equine must require or encourage stallion owners to test their stallions for HERDA, much less disclose that information without the consent of the stallion owner.

 

He continued, “The Dufurrenas, as the owners of their property, always had sole control over what happened to its property, as is evidenced by the removal of their stallion from Hartman Equine and placing him at another facility. Stallion stations across the nation advertise other people’s stallions standing at its facility with owner consent to do so. To hold every single client-stallion station/veterinary relationship as a joint venture and liable for one another’s conduct would destroy the equine industry.” Continuing his argument, Hartman said that the Plaintiffs acknowledge that Hartman Equine never made any representations to Plaintiffs about the HERDA status of the stallion they chose to breed with.

 

He said, “Instead of taking responsibility for not adequately researching Auspicious Cat’s genetic status and relying solely on the word of the Dufurrenas, they now want to place blame on Hartman Equine for seeking a “profit.”

 

He claimed that the Dufurrenas lied to him about the genetic status of their horse in much the same way they did to the Plaintiffs and that the only one responsible for disclosing any information about a stallion is the stallion’s owner. Hartman said in his response that the Plaintiffs’ claims center around whether Hartman Equine must require genetic testing of all stallions it collects and disclose that information to the public. He continued that that duty does not exist and is not supported by any industry standard.

Click for Hartman response >>

 

WHO IS SHAWN MINSHALL?

Minshall is said in previous published articles to be the owner of a top-class Thoroughbred racing operation, which is ranked and held out as one of the top Canadian breeding and training operations for cutting horses.

 

WHAT IS HERDA?

HERDA is a genetic skin disease that surfaces usually in the second year after an afflicted horse begins training and results in large painful lesions over large areas of the horse’s body, as well as hyperextensible skin scarring. There is no cure and the majority of diagnosed horses have to be euthanized. HERDA has an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance, which means it could pop up in future generations. It is critical for stallions or mares that are HERDA carriers to select matings to horses that are N/N (lacking the HERDA mutation). Not using this approach and crossing a carrier to another carrier will produce HERDA-affected foals 25 percent of the time on average. It was brought up in Hartman’s response that the Minshall’s mare was a HERDA carrier.

 

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☛ Lifetime member sues NRHA 10-30–16

Posted by on Oct 30, 2016 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE LAWSUITS, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

LIFETIME MEMBER OF NRHA SUES FOR REVOKING HIS LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP

KIT COSPER CLAIMS NRHA HAS NOT GIVEN HIM A REASON WHY HIS MEMBERSHIP WAS REVOKED

 

By Glory Ann Kurtz
Oct. 30, 2016

On Oct. 17, 2016, James Kitchen (Kit) Cosper, Brunswick County, N.C., filed a lawsut against the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) for revoking his lifetime membership.

 

According to the six-page lawsuit filed in District Court of Oklahoma County, State of Oklahoma, demanding a jury trial.

 

ABOUT KIT COSPER:

Cosper, the son of Monica Watson of Double Run Farm, who breed the famous reining sire Wimpys Little Step, has been a life member of the NRHA since 1999, has served the NRHA in several different significant capacities, including but not limited to: (a) member of the NRHA’s Executive Committee, (b) Vice President of the Reining Horse Sports Foundation and (c) a member of the NRHA Bylaw committee.

 

ABOUT WIMPYS LITTLE STEP:

Wimpys Little Step, a 1999 palomino Quarter Horse Stallion, bred by Hilldale Farm, was shown by Shawn Flarida only three times  and placed second in The Tradition Futurity, held in Lexington, Va., first in the Futurity at the All American Quarter Horse Congress, Columbus, Ohio, and in December 2002 won the NRHA Futurity Champion in Oklahoma City, scoring a 223. He is also in the NRHA Hall of Fame and has lifetime earnings of $185,757. Also in 2008 he became the youngest $8 million sire.

 

According to a Nov. 17, 2010 article in Quarter Horse News,  “A major and controlling share of Wimpys Little Step, owned by Mark Schols, Ocala, Fla., sold to Xtra Quarter Horses LLC., owned in partnership by Thiago Boechat and Lorenzo Vargas, Purcell, Okla./Cancun, Mexico.

 

COSPER’S CLAIMS:

Cosper claims he received a letter dated May 25, 2016 from Terry Weins, the General Counsel for the NRHA stating that his membership had been revoked at the discretion of the Executive Committee pursuant to Article 2, Section 1 of the NRHA Bylaws.

 

According to the lawsuit, the letter did not state any reasons or allege any misconduct as the basis for his membership revocation. Cosper asked Mr. Weins for the reasoning for the actions of the Executive Committee; however, Mr. Weins has refused or failed to provide the answer to that question.

 

Cosper claims the revocation of his membership and involvement with the NRHA has had a negative and harmful impact on Mr. Cosper’s reputation,and his ongoing and future business interests in the reining horse industry. According to sources, Cosper has been vocal about the governance changes within the NRHA and hosts a forum called “Take NRHA Back.”

 

Cosper claims that by revoking his membership, the NRHA has failed to comply with its own Disciplinary Procedures as laid out in Section D of the NRHA’s 2012 General Rules and Regulations. Article II of the NRHA bylaws say, “members are to be admitted and retained in accordance with the rules and regulations of the NRHA.”

 

The suit claimed the NRAHA failed to comply with Section 1 of the Rules and Regulations related to disciplinary procedure, as it says “membership can be revoked or suspended for good cause.” Section 4 and 5 of the Rules and Regulations exempts the Executive Committee’s action against Cosper from the requirements of Section D (disciplinary Procedures) of the General Rules and Regulations. Likewise nothing within Section D exempts the Executive Committee’s action against Mr. Cosper from the Section’s coverage.

 

Cosper is petitioning the court to enter a declaratory judgment addressing the NRHA’s conduct and to determine and declare that his membership was revoked by the Executive Committee without good cause as the revocation of his membership was not in compliance with the 2016 NRHA handbook: Bylaws, Rules and Regulations; Judges’ Guide and that the his membership be reinstated in full. No financial relief is requested.

 

Cosper is represented by his lawyer Kevin R. Donelson of Fellers, Snider, Blankenship, Bailey & Tippens, P.C. of Oklahoma City, Okla.

Click for copy of Cosper v NRHA lawsuit>

 

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