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☛Is the Federal Government paying outsourced hunters to shoot wild horses?

Posted by on Dec 14, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 1 comment

by Richard E. “Rick” Dennis CPP

Dec. 14, 2018

I recently engaged in a conversation with Captain William E. Simpson, a former military veteran, freelance writer as well as a Wild Horse and Burros conservation enthusiast. The topics of the conversation included a myriad of individual and shared philosophical ideologies and hypothesis exchanges pertaining to: Wild Horse and Burro preservation, as well as Mr. Simpson’s newest concept, i.e., the reintroduction of captured and corralled wild horses and the burros that were previously removed from government rangeland, for the sole purpose of wild fire control in remote wilderness areas of the U.S.

In fact, the reintroduction of wild horses and burros into remote wilderness areas to feed off of the underbrush grasses, which fuel the rapid numbers of increasing and devastating wild fires, seems like a very logical concept to me.  It places the wild horses and burros back where they’re supposed to be, decreases federal spending for rounding up, corralling, transporting, housing, feeding and caring for the animals, except for a few obstacles in its path. main culprits are our federal government and the cattle and sheep ranchers whose cattle are occupying vast swaths of lands in our western public grassland landscape.

During my tenure on planet earth, I’ve learned a few facts about our federal government. For example,  after it’s involved in a federal project, it probably will never work efficiently again – if at all. Wanton financial waste is an inherent institution in our “powers-that-be,” whose economic projections, spending and enactment most certainly defies sound business logic. To quote a U.S. Senator from Louisiana to illustrate this established trend, one only has to apply his testament to this truth said by the honorable Mr. John Neely Kennedy, “Our country was founded by geniuses and is run by idiots!”  

Over the years, I’ve personally written a litany of articles on the topic of the preservation of wild horses and burros, the inflictions being put on the wild horses, burros and predators occupying public grass lands, the ineptness of the federal government, as well as horse abuse. To me, it’s not as hard a topic to understand as the federal government, sheep and cow ranchers receiving government subsidies who occupy public grasslands and the special interest groups profiting from public land grazing would like for you to believe.  

First of all, long-ago the public grasslands were set aside by the U.S. Government for the citizens of the U.S. and its wildlife and not for ranchers receiving government subsidies for ranching on our public lands. Nor did the government set aside this land for billionaires and millionaires who have found a very lucrative dollar sign to attach to their bottom-line profits while taking advantage of the ridiculously low grazing costs as well as the endogenous species originally occupying public grass lands, such as wild horses and burros, deer species, predators (i.e.) carnivores-meat eaters,  e.g., bears, wolves, bobcats, mountain lions, etc.

Two things I’ve learned from being associated with the federal government through my military service in the U.S. Army during the Viet Nam War era and my sixteen years as a Drug Enforcement Agent and Law Enforcement professional. (1) Some federal government employees are masters at propaganda and (2) some federal government employees are corrupt.  They have adopted the “Do as I say and not as I do” mentality. In fact, some years back, I wrote a request for a criminal investigation of the BLM, with the request being sent to the Office Of Inspector General in Washington, DC. To date, I haven’t heard the outcome. 

The Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros act of 1971 was supposed to be the shining beacon on the hill – so to speak.  The act covered the management, protection, and study of “unbranded and unclaimed horses and burros on public lands in the United States.”  

However, as with all things designed to be good, unscrupulous opportunists have learned to take advantage of the system and profiteers have learned to make exorbitant financial profitsat the expense of our public grazing land and the wildlife inhabiting it. Horses and Burros are removed and either sent to exile in concentration camps to make room for more cattle and sheep, predators are killed because they feed off of cattle and sheep have been introduced in their native habitat by ranchers, that turn out to be “lunch menu items” and are either trapped and removed at taxpayer expense or shot and killed in place by ranchers, as well as birth control, i.e., sterilization for wild Horses and burros.

Confidential sources have told me that the BLM has a little known undocumented expenditure amount of $2,500 that certain agency members can spend without claiming what it was used for and without receipts to verify the expenditure. I’m told that many outsourced hunters are being paid this $2,500 to kill, in place, wild horses and burros with high-powered rifles with silencers. I’ve also been told that there are currently some 290-some-odd head of horses lying dead in a mountainous region of a Western state, with all deceased bodies lying side by side and shot in the head. The corpses are decomposing as of the writing of this article.

One could probably file a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request to try and obtain any information pertaining to this alleged act but the filer probably would have as much luck getting a truthful answer from the government, as one would have finding Hillary Clinton’s missing e-mails. 

One fact of certainty remains: wild horses, burros and predators are being killed and the BLM isn’t conducting enough all-inclusive investigations to find out who the culprits are. It’s been my experience and opinion that BLM would rather listen to a group of whining taxpayer subsidized ranchers receiving millions of taxpayer dollars equivalent to welfare payments than they would to preservation groups whose only concern is the welfare of our public grasslands and wildlife.  

After all, public grassland beef production only accounts for two percent or less of the total beef production in the United States., at a cost of more than $500 million annually to appease welfare ranchers who demand wild horse, burros and predator removal.  This public travesty is just another example of the federal government trying to act like smart people while fulfilling the forgoing statement: “Once the federal government gets involved in something, it probably will never work right again, if at all.” 

On the other hand, in an article entitled “Healthy Forests – Healthy Communitie,”, Mr. ????   Simpson offers a sensible and alternate solution to this problem by re-homing wild horses and burros in remote wilderness areas to feed off of grass that fuels wildfires (i.e.) the devastation from this and last year’s wildfires is still unfolding at a scale that has not even begun to be understood. 

The socioeconomic impacts, which include the loss of life, property, natural resources, massive impact on health and healthcare, economic impacts on business and real property, etc., emanating from last year’s wildfires are continuing to mount as other new impacts are just surfacing. The total annualized losses and costs are in the realm of hundreds of billions of dollars annuallyand unsustainable.

Legislators must CHANGE how they are handling this most serious problem as the usual methods (and people) are not providing the greatly needed solution. We need new blood and ideas if we are to devolve this monumental devastation, which is certain to be worsening year over year, as it already is trending.

Following is a plan to save human life, wildlife, forests, watersheds, fisheries, property and native-species American wild horses, that are approaching extinction under the BLM’s awful management according to Dr. Ross MacPhee, curator of Vertebrates – American Museum of Natural History: An intelligent forest management plan encompasses three synergistic actions:

1.      Correcting Unnatural 1-hour Fuel Loading.

                  It’s important to note that: When native Americans used fire to manage the landscape, there were about 100-million more large-bodied herbivores grazing on the landscape than there are today. Those now-missing, native-species herbivores consumed about 273-million tons of annual grass and brush (1-hour fuels), based on an average grazing of 15 pounds per day across various native-species herbivores. The best science informs us that when native-species herbivores are depleted, catastrophic wildfire evolve.

2.      Logging And Thinning Forests.

                  Forests must be managed by experienced managers who have a holistic approach to forest management. Overstocked (high tree densities) forests must be culled so tree densities are optimal (based on species and carrying capacity of landscape) in order to preserve water and light resources for the best trees and this requires intelligent thinning. 

In ecologically sensitive areas containing rare flora and fauna, domestic draft horses have been well-proven to be a successful method for both logging and thinning in ecological sensitive forests. In other less sensitive areas, traditional methods (mechanized) can be employed with proven success.

3.      Wildfire Suppression

                  With the assumption that the foregoing programs and methods are implemented, stopping wildfire suppression is logical and made far more effective by the implementation of the best practices as outlined herein above and therefore must be set as established policy by all agencies.

For more information on Mr. Simpson’s fire prevention plan with the re-introduction of corralled Wild Horses and Burro’s, please click on the following link:

Link Here

For more information on Mr. Simpson’s latest video on this subject, please click on the following link:

Link Here

Until Next Time, Keep Em Between The Bridle!!


WIND RIVER COMPANY LLC

Richard E. “Rick” Dennis CPP

Managing Member

Office/Mobil: (985) 630-3500

Email: richardedennis51@gmail.com

Web Site: http://www.richardedennis.net

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A CHRISTMAS REFLECTION – THEN & NOW

Posted by on Dec 14, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

By Rick Dennis
Dec. 14, 2018

THEN …

As a youngster growing up in Alabama in the 1950s and 1960s, I was born into a family and community where Christmas was one of the most celebrated holidays of the year.

By today’s financial standards, some would say our family was poor – but we never recognized or was aware of this class distinction. Growing up, I always had plenty to eat, 22 bullets to shoot, several pairs of overalls to wear and at least one pair of boots to wear a year. I grew up in an era and community in Alabama when farming was the principle source of income for families.

When I was not in school, hard work and assigned chores was the standard of the day. It seemed a never-ending supply of work was readily at hand requiring attention. As I was the oldest in my family, these essential after-school duties usually came my way first. I never did quite figure out why being the oldest meant you were assigned more work. I always figured being the oldest meant you could be assigned a managerial role. I soon learned this philosophy was not a viable thought process with my parents.

Horses and mules were not used for recreational or exhibition purposes as they are today. Instead my family, as well as other families in my community, used these noble animals principally for plowing, cultivating and harvesting crops in the fields to provide food for the table and bring our sale crops to the train depot in Clanton, Alabama for shipment to the farmers market in Birmingham, Alabama.

These animals were also used as our principle mode of transportation, to bring trees out of the mountains to provide firewood for the fire place and wood-burning heaters, the smoke house for meat preservation or the saw mill to provide lumber for building purposes. Tractors were non-existent in this time period.

It was during this time of the year my family was catapulted into the Spirit of Christmas, which meant it was time to go up on Oak Mountain for the much-anticipated and celebrated Christmas tree cutting. My grandmother Jeanette, on my father’s side, was the matriarch of the designated Christmas tree selection and harvesting process.

My grandmother, born out of a Scottish father and a Native American Indian mother, always seemed to have a spiritual connection with the tree she selected. We would move over the mountains for hours viewing what seemed an endless supply of trees – but after each evaluation she would declare, “Nope, not the right tree!”

Often times this tree scrutiny and survey continued for hours and miles of hard walking, until the moment of truth arrived when suddenly my grandmother would stop by a tree, grab and shake it, mentally eye it up and down, walk around it several times and turn with a big smile on her face and declare, “Kids, this is our Christmas tree!”

When the selection process was over, the tree was harvested by the oldest family members with an axe or a crosscut saw, or both, and promptly loaded on the sled and pulled home with each family member sharing with their turn on the pull rope.

When we arrived at home there weren’t any store bought ornaments to decorate our tree but we did have an ample supply of hand-made decorations acquired over the years from various family members. Each family member possessed one special ornament with his or her name scribed on it which made for a fast scramble to the ornament box to be the first to put their ornament on the tree.

The remaining ornaments were made by us. Popcorn was popped, colored with food dye into various colors, strung on sewing thread and hung on the tree to form a sea of riveting colors. Everything kids could think of were eventually hung on our Christmas tree until the matriarch affixed the Star of David on top of the tree, signaling the decorating was over.

The remaining day was spent sitting around the fire and thinking about what could be made by our family to donate to the church for distribution to other families in our region who were less fortunate than we were.

The most valuable lessons I learned from my early childhood experiences and the Spirit of Christmas are – the family is the most valuable commodity we have, never forget your roots, always give something back, it’s better to give than to receive and it doesn’t matter how much or what you have, make the best of it because often times more is not necessarily better.

NOW …

Today some Christmas trees come complete out of a box, including lights and

decorations. Christmas tree decorations and ornaments are manufactured in sizes, shapes and colors and readily available for purchase at department stores.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year have been replaced by the politically correct euphemism  “Happy Holidays” and another politically correct euphemism has replaced “A Christmas Party” with “A Winter Party.”

Horses and mules have been replaced by tractors as the principle cultivation tool in the farming community while establishing themselves as the principle means of recreation for the equestrian community as well as, in some cases, big business.

In fact, an entire equestrian industry has evolved around the noble horse as well as the businesses that have emerged to support them: tack shops, feed stores, judges, horse training facilities, horse breeding facilities, medical facilities and veterinarians, drug manufacturers, horse trailer manufacturers, equestrian magazines, bit makers, saddle makers, etc., and include the nonprofit organizations that have emerged to support this industry.

In the equestrian industry today, we are very lucky to have nonprofit’s such as the American Quarter Horse Association, National Cutting Horse Association, National Reined Cow Horse Association and the National Reining Horse Association, as well as other horse organizations in the industry that provide us with a place to exhibit our stock (professional and non-pro alike), meet new folks in the spirit of competition and establish new friendships along the way.

These organizations are not always perfect but a lot of folks rely on these equestrian organizations, as well as the guys and gals that run them, as a source of revenue to provide sustenance for their families in the spirit of entrepreneurship. They not only provide a single source of revenue for some but a lot of enjoyment for families and individuals in the equestrian industry.

Therefore, in the Spirit of Christmas, I would like to personally thank you – one and all for your time spent in these wonderful organizations and the contributions made by each one of you to support the equine industry.

In my journey, I’ve never lost sight of the core principles I learned as a boy nor have I forgotten my roots or the Spirit of Christmas! In keeping with these ideologies, it has been my policy throughout my professional career to always give something back to the community from my professions: free drug lectures to schools, free time spent as a mentor with under-privileged children and free riding lessons for the youth – no matter what their financial position is.

Over the years, my students have always generously paid me back by providing me with an exhilarating feeling from just watching their eyes light up when they finally execute a maneuver correctly or after completing their first show. When I see such happiness in a child’s eyes, it reminds me of days long ago on Oak Mountain harvesting that special Christmas tree on that cold winter day and that special lesson I learned during a time in my life long ago. “It truly is better to give than receive!”

At this very special time of the year, our thoughts turn gratefully to those who have made our progress possible. It is with the Spirit of Christmas and personal gratitude that I would like to wish each and everyone one of you, especially the avid readers of “Ricks Corner” and “www.AllAboutCutting.com,” as well as all those in the equine industry, a Merry Christmas and a most prosperous and safe Happy New Year!

“Until Next Time, Keep ‘em Between The Bridles!”

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

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☛ YIPPIE KA-YAY, THE RUSSIAN WAY-11-5-18

Posted by on Nov 5, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, FEATURE ARTICLES, HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

YIPPIE KA-YAY, THE RUSSIAN WAY

 By Rick Dennis
Information derived from The New York Times and Valuets Journal
Nov. 5, 2018

Quietly secluded in the Russian interior, amid Russia’s wilderness fabric is a seldom heard of but emerging new industry modeled after the United States economy and the cowboy way of life. That new industry is the Russian beef industry.

Russian Company Rustles Up Cowboys To Help Beef Up Demand For Steaks

The firm Miratorg is building an American-style beef steak industry from scratch. To make it work, it has to import everything from the cows, to the feed — right down to importing American cowboys. And now we have a story from Russia of a massive effort to import something that’s very, very American. Russia has lots of open land, which is good for grazing cattle, but steak remains something of a foreign idea. So one company is trying to single-handedly build a steak industry from scratch in Russia – importing American cows, importing American grass, saddles, horses, and even importing American cowboys.

 

Russians Learn the Ways of the Cowboy From American Ranch Hands

 VALUETS, Russia — A visibly tiring but stubborn Aberdeen Angus cow sank all of her four feet in the rich black mud of central Russia, refusing to budge. Try as they might, the two Russians yanking on the rope lassoed around her wide, wet neck could not pull that massive body out of the icy December slush.

 

The cowboys on this new Russian ranch here still have a few things to learn. And unlearn. In a throwback to the old Soviet way of doing things, while the two were trying to move the recalcitrant cow, four others were standing idly by shouting advice.

 

Watching the greenhorns from afar was Ashley Chester Corlett, one of 10 American trainers brought in by the ranch’s owner, the Miratorg company. It chose them over Brazilians and Australians in large part because of the similarity between the climate in Wyoming and central Russia, where temperatures can drop to 20 degrees below zero Fahrenheit (minus 29 Celsius).

“At first people always want to use pressure to handle the cattle and don’t realize how much like a predator they seem to the cow,” said Mr. Corlett, a thickset fourth-generation cowboy from Riverton, Wyo. “If you want to get the best out of that cow, you have to understand how it thinks. It opens so much understanding.”The aspiring cowboys also have to get used to working long days in harsh conditions, a concept that often seems novel to many of them.

 

“Working here is hard. Many people cannot stand it, especially the need to stay sober,” said Viktor P. Buivolov, who installed elevators in Moscow before becoming the manager of the ranch. “We even have a Breathalyzer here,” he said, navigating a Russian UAZ Patriot sport utility vehicle through a herd of cattle.

 

Agriculture all but disappeared from this and many other parts of Russia years ago, after the final screw was turned into scrap metal at the last surviving Soviet collective farms. But as oil prices have collapsed and Russia has imposed retaliatory sanctions against Western food products, reviving the economy with import substitution has become a priority for the Kremlin. President Vladimir V. Putin has said Russia has the potential to become a world leader in food production, and has set a goal of self-sufficiency by 2020.

 

Russian Cowboys Learn To Wrangle A Brand New Beef Industry

 As far as rodeos go, everything resembles an American rodeo, but the proceedings were just a little different. No swords here, but plenty of horses. And tons of people who came to watch. They brought signs and applauded their teams as they struggled to rope steers in the arena.

 

The Russian Rodeo embodied more than entertainment. It was a cacophonous celebration of a fledgling beef industry clawing its way into the Russian countryside. It was also part of a larger national goal to gain self-sufficiency with food production.

 

By copying the structure of Western beef operations, Miratorg skipped more steps. Miratorg is single-handedly trying to create an American-style beef industry, but in a very condensed time period. It now has about 400,000 cows, the largest herd in the world. The company has had to build fences in a country without any, to train veterinarians, and to also import everything from horses and grass seed to tractors. But the hardest part of managing this immense operation is not the science or the planning.

 

It’s finding workers. Cowboys. So the company imported some of them, too. One of them, Shawn Weekes, has been in Russia for two years. He’s a fourth-generation, Montana-born cowboy with a great, big mustache, Western boots, a hat, and a tucked in button up shirt. “I grew up doing this,” he said. “A rope was actually my first toy.

 

“He’s worked on ranches all over the U.S. but the growth of Miratorg, from zero to the largest herd in the world, stood apart. “I’ve never seen anything grow this fast. Ever. And sometimes it kind of set me back a little bit, like, whoa, let’s slow this train down a little bit. But this is their program and this is what they want, so I just try to help them,” Weekes said.

 

His job is teaching locals to cowboy. The new hires, mostly young men from nearby villages, have no experience. Most of them have only seen cowboys in black and white movies. Miratorg now employs 1,000 Russian cowboys, though they call them ‘operators. “The difference is they’re starting out from scratch, there’s only a handful of us here to teach all these people how to do this,” he said.

 

Which ever way the Russian beef industry turns out, I’m sure the American beef industry and entrepreneurs supporting this industry will have a boost in their sales economy.

 

WIND RIVER COMPANY LLC

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

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☛ AQHA is on the right track 10-15-18

Posted by on Oct 15, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE ORGANIZATIONS, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 8 comments

AQHA IS ON THE RIGHT TRACK

 

By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
October 15, 2018

 

On August 6, 2014, I authored and released an article for publication on allaboutcutting.net entitled “MECHANICAL HORSE, A Horse Under the Influence of Drugs.”  At first glance this article suggests to the reader an apparatus resembling a horse traveling on rails making a series of stops and turns and acting much like the mechanical cow we see in the training arena.  However, this article is about the horse that performs, whether on the racetrack or in the performance arena, under the influence of illegal or prohibited drugs.

 

The article was authored due to the heightened awareness of horse doping bestowed on us by the main stream media and other news outlets, as well as by legislative action in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. More specifically, the bill introduced by Senators addresses the horse-doping fiasco in the United States, e.g., “The Chronic Abuse of race horses with pain killers and other drugs are dangerous and just plain wrong,” Udall said. US Senator Tom Udall, D – New Mexico is a cosponsor of the bill.

 

Essentially, the bill addresses the horse-doping epidemic in the United States by establishing a federal regulatory commission empowered to design a uniform, federally controlled enforced and prohibited drug policy for the welfare of the horse.  This bill mimics the federally mandated drug and alcohol – testing programs established in the 1980’s by the (49 CFR, Part 40) rules and regulations for federally mandated workplace drug and alcohol testing.

 

In response to the bill’s introduction, a group of racehorse trainers came out in support of the bill stating, “We believe it’s time to take a proactive position regarding the administration of race-day medication.  American racing has always been a global leader and it’s time to restore confidence in our game, and in our international standing” said D Wayne Lucas, a Hall of Famer who is one of the trainers supporting this proposal.  Todd A. Fletcher, another leading trainer is also on the list.

 

In my opinion, this is the industry’s attempt to police itself rather than have a government mandated equine drug-testing federal rule to do it for them, as is the case today with the Federal Mandate of certain positions under federal control.  For the record, I was in on the ground floor of this federal takeover of an industry, as well as the author of a litany of Fortune 500 companies’ drug and alcohol testing policies, including their implementation and maintenance, e.g., Exxon Company USA, Kerr McGee Corporation, Marathon Oil Company, Mobile Oil Company, and Gulf Oil Company – to name a few.

 

My background in Drugs of Abuse spans from 1970 to the present and began as a Drug Enforcement Agent, to being a contributing writer for the original Federally Mandated Drug and Alcohol Testing program, to providing a dissertation to members of the U.S. Congress and Admiral Malloy of the US Navy for the integration of private sector drug and alcohol prevention programs for use with the US Military and the  Department of Defense, operating my own drug testing laboratory, and private sector enforcement and maintenance of Corporate Drug and Alcohol testing policies.

 

Click for “Mechanical Horse, A Horse Under the Influence of Drugs”

 

Today, the majority – if not all – of the major nonprofit horse organizations including the Thoroughbred Race Horse Association and USEF have some type of rules and drugs-of-abuse prevention policies in place to prohibit the use of drugs or other prohibitive items and substances from being introduced into a horse’s system on the racetrack or in the performance arena. One of the outstanding associations taking the abuse of horses with drugs on a very serious proactive basis is the American Quarter Horse Association. The stand-out traits of this organization’s equine drug testing rules are: The frequency of the testing and the suspension and fining of the violators“across-the-board,” without discrimination of whether the violator is a horse trainer or a regular member.  Equal treatment for all.  A very admirable trait.

 

It’s long been my experience that equine trainers, for some unknown reasons, are considered by some in the industry as GODS, therefore they are untouchable or receive reduced penalties for rule violations. However, this is not the case with the American Quarter Horse Association.  A recent review of the 2017 and 2018 suspensions and fined lists include trainers for animal abuse as well as drug violations.  It also includes expulsion from the prestigious American Quarter Horse Association Professional Horseman’s listing for those trainers who have committed rule violations as well as their names being included in the Quarter Horse Journal, along with identifying the committed infraction and fine amount.

 

This suggests that AQHA’s punishments for rule violators are handed out evenly “across-the-board.”  AQHA should be commended for their fair and unbiased treatment of rule violators as well as their devotion to protecting the American Quarter Horse breed and living up to their mission statement.  If more organizations would use AQHA as their role model, it would restore member confidence that some have lost simply due to the bias some associations have exhibited toward specific members and trainers in the industry. I’d say this is money well spent to prevent horse abuse, a business philosophy worth adopting.

 

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

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☛ From the Editor 9-19-18

Posted by on Sep 19, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE ORGANIZATIONS, INDUSTRY NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

FROM THE EDITOR:

I received the following letter from Allen (Skeeter) Bird, an NCHA member, regarding an article by Rick Dennis and am posting the letter here, with the response from Mr. Dennis.

 

LETTER FROM ALLEN (SKEETER) BIRD:

Bird, Allen (Skeeter) <AEBird@nwosu.edu>

Sep 14, 2018, 9:55 AM

Mrs. Kurtz,

Since I am pretty new to the NCHA and not involved in the politics, I
may be missing something that you are trying to communicate.   I hope
that I don’t offend you; but, I feel there were a couple of things
that I think your analyst incorrectly stated or ignored.

·         Rick Dennis states in his analysis that the NCHA is a 501
(c) (3) organization.  If he carefully read the 990, he would see on
page one that the NCHA is a 501 (c) (5) organization which is not the
same as a 501 (c) (3).   Maybe it is not that important to the
numbers; but, it immediately lends suspect to his competence to
perform an accurate and/or thorough analysis.

·         I also feel Mr. Dennis completely ignores the positive trend
from the previous year (2014 vs 2015).  If one were to compare the
previous year figures which are stated right next to the current year
numbers one would notice a positive increase in the income less
expenses from $90,054 to $1,084,769.  That is a positive increase of
over 1204% in one year.

·         Additionally, the net assets increased from $5,806,940 to
$7,117,395 from 2014 to 2015.  This is an increase of 22.6% which
looks like a decent move in the right direction.

I read through the 990 myself.   Based on what I saw, I think there
would be many things I think I would do differently if I were running
the company that would influence the bottom line of the organization.
At a minimum, several things warrant questions.

I don’t know what the current numbers look like and this 990 is almost
2 years old.  I just don’t think Mr. Dennis’s analysis is accurate or
provides a legitimate case for current mismanagement or insolvency of
the organization.

Respectfully,

Skeeter
Allen E. Bird (Skeeter)
Class of ‘85
Chief Executive Officer
Northwestern Oklahoma State University Foundation and Alumni Association
Direct line:  580-327-8599
Cell:  580-732-0565

 

THE FOLLOWING IS THE RESPONSE FROM RICK DENNIS:

 

Mr. Allen E. Bird (Skeeter)
Class of 85
Chief Executive Officer
Northwestern Oklahoma State University
Foundation and Alumni Association

 

Dear Mr. Bird:

I’m in receipt of your electronic transmittal (email) to Mrs. Kurtz, pertaining to my cursory analysis of the NCHA 2015 – 2016 IRS 990 for the National Cutting Horse Association. I agree with your first paragraph, pertaining to the 501 C (3) nonprofit designation and for clarification purposes, it was merely an over site by the editor.  However, since you state that you’re new to the NCHA please allow me to enlighten you. If you had performed a little research you would have learned, in a previous time, the NCHA use to be a 501 C (3) up and until they decided to change the (3); which is a charitable organization, to a (5) which is an agriculture designation.  In fact, the NCHA Charities Foundation moniker is still in use today, by the organization. The primary requirement for the change was Politics.  A (3) doesn’t allow for the engagement in political activity while the (5) designation does.

 

At this time the NCHA does engage in political activity.  However, the main focus of your rebuttal should be limited to the IRS 501 (C) designation in the prefix which stipulates an organization’s nonprofit status.  This moniker was and is the main focus of the cursory audit.  As an FBI and IRS trained Forensic Auditor, the correct numerical designation is only relevant when an audit is made of the Chart of Accounts for an organization, which wasn’t possible.  Further, I don’t visualize, associate, or comprehend any relevance to your statement, “Maybe it is not that important to the numbers; but, it immediately lends suspect to his competence to perform an accurate and/or thorough analysis.  To set the record straight, an error by an editor has absolutely nothing to do with the competency of an analyst, or didn’t they teach you that in college? Especially, since you so proudly tout yourself as a Chief Executive Officer!

 

To provide you with a little nomenclature in financial audit, audit terminology, and descriptive phraseology please be advised of the following: There are only a few key points to be made during a cursory inspection or cursory audit of an organization’s IRS 990  tax return and, i.e., income versus expenses, accounting method utilization, e.g., accrual or cash accounting methods, assets versus liabilities, income versus expenses, bottom-line profits versus income, bottom-line-profit percentage, and upper management salary percentages versus overall accrued employee salaries.

 

If you were an experienced auditor, which apparently you’re not, you would know that the accrual method is a misleading barometer of the overall health of an organization, simply due to the fact it’s a projection of available – but not received cash on hand, versus the cash method which is a statement of actual cash on hand, or money in the bank so-to-speak. The accrual method becomes problematic for an organization when spending is based on money owed rather than cash-on-hand which provides an actual cash to expenses spending ratios.  In simplicity, if you spend money before you receive it, then, if the projection of outstanding receivables never materializes this develops into a cash flow problem for the nonprofit which the NCHA is apparently having at this time.

 

Another problem with your rebuttal is your comment, pertaining to the age of the 990, which also shows inexperience on your part.  If you had engaged your brain prior to engaging your computer key pad to attempt a feeble character assassination which is actually laughable, and performed due diligent research about the NCHA’s latest 990 filing, you would have learned; as I did, that this is the last IRS 990 on record for the NCHA. Their 2016 – 2017 IRS 990 and tax return hasn’t been filed as of either the article release or it hasn’t been posted by the IRS on Guidestar.org. Since the NCHA has a history of running the organization in a shroud of secrecy, perhaps you should contact them directly and inquire about if and when they intend to file another tax return.

 

Lastly, my cursory inspection and audit of the latest NCHA financials wasn’t intended to show anything other than what it it is: To point out areas within the organization that needs scrutiny, adjustment, and change in order for the NCHA to remain a fixture within the industry, that a myriad of individuals count on to support their families. Nothing more or less.  As a side note, please be advised that I was at a Fortune 500 Board of Directors meeting, during a Personal Protection Detail,  and I personally witnessed the Chairman of the Board fire an Executive Vice President simply due to him salting his food before he tasted it.  Later I learned, that the Chairman’s ideology correlated to the fact that if he salts his food before he tastes it, then he would spend his money before he justified the expenditure.  Perhaps this is a lesson for your to learn before you are fired for incompetency.

 

Richard E. “Rick” Dennis CPP

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☛ NCHA Tax Return Analysis 9-10-18

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

NCHA Tax Return Analysis

Clarification and Risk Analysis

 By Rick Dennis
Sept. 10, 2018

NCHA Tax Return Analysis

 

Clarification and Risk Analysis

 

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

 

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

 

What Is A Good Profit Margin?

 

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

 

What Is Considered A Healthy Operating Profit Margin?

 

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

 

What Does Operating Profit Margin Tell Investors and Business Owners?

 

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

 

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

 

The Bottom Line.

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

 

NCHA 990 RECAP

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

 

NCHA IRS 990 TAX PERIOD:

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

 

PART IX STATEMENT OF FUNCTIONAL EXPENSES

 Number (7) Other Salaries and Wages:

$2,087,139.00

 

Program Services Expenses

$1,137,015.00

 

Management and General Expenses

$950,124.00

 

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

 

Number (11) Fees for services (non employees)

b – Legal
$140,100.00

c – Accounting
$93,651.00

d – Lobbying

$150,000.00

 

SCHEDULE (O)

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

 

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

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

NCHA 990 for 2015-2016

 

 

 

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