Pages Navigation Menu

ON-LINE MAGAZINE & WEB SITE - SCROLL DOWN FOR NEWS

☛ Is the BLM planning to kill 45,000 wild horses & burros? 9-15-16

Posted by on Sep 15, 2016 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE HEALTH, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

IS THE BLM PLANNING TO KILL 45,000 WILD HORSES & BURROS?

 

AN ADVISORY BOARD TO BLM HAS RECOMMENDED IT

 

By Glory Ann Kurtz
Sept. 14, 2016

Horses jammed into pens awaiting their slaughter.

Recently I received a press release regarding the BLM rounding up and removing some 45,000 wild horses from their natural habitat over the last 20 years in the interest of allowing privately owned cattle to graze on the public land due to an unsustainable financial burden of keeping the horses alive in their facilities (which they are bound by law to protect) – $49 million in 2015 alone. Since then, articles have come out on Fox News, CNN and even in the Arizona Republic newspaper.

 

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) released a statement condemning the decision, saying, “The decision of the BLM advisory board to recommend the destruction of the 45,000 wild horses currently in holding facilities is a complete abdication of responsibility for their care. The agency would not be in this situation but for their long-term mismanagement. Alternatives to this proposal have been ignored for over 20 years. It was suggested that mass equine euthanasia is necessitated by the overcrowding of holding facilities.

 

The nine-member advisory board is appointed by the Secretaries of the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture. It is made up of veterinarians and representatives of the public, the livestock industry, wildlife managers and horse advocates. The Board recommends action to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management but does not make policy. Horse advocate and documentary filmmaker Ginger Kathrens cast the only vote against the recommendation of slaughtering the horses.

 

A visit to SNOPES shows that the BLM itself did not vote to slaughter horses and has yet made a decision on the recommendation that they should do so. They won’t meet again until the spring of 2017. The intent behind the vote was to send a strong message to Washington, D.C., (and horse lovers all over the United States) so that this might happen. Dean Bolstad, Division Chief had been alluding to killing the captive wild horses earlier in the meeting.

 

As a result, a petition has been originated with signers quickly getting close to 75,000 signatures at press time.  The petition says:

 

“The mass killing of 45,000 wild horses and burros could become reality if the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has its way.

On September 9, 2016 the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board recommended killing of captured wild horses and burros as an “emergency” measure. The agency wants to clear the holding pens so that it can round up 40,000 more wild horses and burros from their homes on the range.

Hours before the recommendation, the BLM cancelled cruel sterilization experiments on wild mares amidst growing public outrage and a barrage of lawsuits. Now the agency is focusing on mass killing of these national icons, but can only do so if Congress and the Administration authorize this lethal and heartless plan.

The American people will not stand for this. Tell the Administration and Congress that we want our wild horses and burros protected and preserved on our public lands, not rounded up and killed or sold for brutal slaughter.

This petition will be delivered to:

United States Department of the Interior

U.S. Senate

U.S. House of Representatives”

Click for petition>>

 

 

WHO’S FOR IT AND WHO’S AGAINST?

In June, a meeting for the House Subcommittee on Federal Lands heard from California Congressman Tom McClintock, who argued that wild horses are overpopulated.

 

Kathrens, director of The Cloud Foundation, explained, “Current management practices of round-up, removal and warehousing … cause compensatory reproduction – an increase in populations as a result of decreased competition for forage.”  In other words, there would not be a surge in wild horses if the BLM hadn’t removed most of them from their land in the first place. According to Kathrens, cattle outnumber horses and burros 47 to 1, and livestock (cattle) are allocated 82 percent of the forage.

 

 

PREVIOUS ARTICLES ON THIS SUBJECT:

On July 23, 2015, I published factual article written by Rick Dennis in www.allaboutcutting.com that included astounding statistics. Horse Slaughter – Fact & Fiction, not only has economic statistics; it makes one wonder what the real reasons are for getting rid of the wild horses.

 

An article from the Daily Pitchfork said that 21,000 ranchers who graze their livestock (cattle) on Western rangelands are estimated to have cost the taxpayers $500 million in 2014 – and every year for the past decade and that a number of them are millionaires, billionaires and multi-billion-dollar corporations.

 

The fee they paid per month for an AUM (animal unit month) in 2014 was $1.35, the lowest price that can legally be charged, as the market prize to graze on private land is $21.60. The majority of this money is spent on range rehabilitation, leaving only approximately $7.9 million going into the U. S. Treasury.

 

It costs the BLM over $480 million a year to kill predators, $380 per rancher and 10 times that much ($3,809) to get rid of wild horses and burros – with most going to slaughter. In the end, special interest welfare (money going to ranchers, EPA, USDA, Dept of Justice and US Army Corp of Engineers) is estimated between $500 million and $1 billion a year.

 

In 2014 BLM and United States Forest Service (USFS) permit holders paid an estimated $18.5 million in fees to graze 1.14 million livestock units on the 229 million acres of federal land used for grazing. But only a fraction, between 1/3 and ¼, of that actually went into the Treasury. In other words 2/3 to ¾ of the low fees ranchers pay go back into their pockets. Public land ranchers were paid $376 for what cost taxpayers $6,838 in 2014.

Click for article>>

 

 

Another article was published on March 20, 2016 in AllAboutCutting.com, also written by Rick Dennis, entitled “Overbreeding, Over Population, Horse Slaughter: How each affects the Horse Industry.”

 

Dennis asks if the BLM is breaking the law. “The Wild and Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971” requires protection, management and control of wild, free-roaming  horses and burros on public lands.”

 

Incidentally, the cattle ranchers only contribute approximately 2 percent of the overall beef production in the U.S.A. And how is BLM sidetracking the law? In his opinion, this is done by restricting the available land to wild and free-roaming horses and burros, while at the same time, introducing more cattle to fill the void that was previously available to the endogenous species. In other words, they are creating a mathematical shell game to justify their actions at the public’s expense.

 

Also, most public land grazers are receiving some type of government subsidy checks from the American Taxpayer. The adverse effect to the economy of the U.S. is that these checks are not limited to individually owned ranches but also include major corporations and millionaires and some from other countries who have tapped into loopholes in the system with their own public land leases. Some of these ranchers have adopted the theory that this use of public land is their individual right as they see fit. In reality, these federally protected lands were set aside for the public taxpayers of the United States and the BLM is the overseer – nothing more.

 

Another item is predator control, with the BLM spending millions of dollars each year on predator control to safeguard cattle on public lands. One of the adverse effects of predator removal is the non-controlling of wild mustangs and burro populations occurring naturally if left untouched by human hands. Simply put, the BLM has been a significant contributing factor in the removal of mustangs and burros by tampering with the natural balance of nature by caving to the demands of cattle ranchers, the beef industry, as well as lobbyists and special-interest groups. Sound familiar?

Click for full article>>

 

 

Also many unscrupulous horse dealers are buying these horses (many from the BLM) at pennies on the dollar and then shipping them to Mexico or Canada, where horse slaughter is legal – as well as to many slaughter houses in the United States that have not been closed down.  Personally, I’ve looked in the yellow pages and found some of these slaughter plants listed.  Even though they are illegal, they’re not even hiding!

 

However, one should keep in mind that slaughtered horses are not fit for human consumption because of the vast amount of drugs they have consumed in their lifetime. In fact, many drugs consumed by horses have a label saying that they “cause cancer and are unfit for human consumption.”

 

IS THE BLM AND USFS VIOLATING THE LAW?

On Jan. 9, 2016, Rick Dennis wrote a letter to the Office of the Inspector General in Washington, D.C., about the BLM and U.S. Forest Service actions regarding “The Wild Free-Roaming Horses ad Burros Act of 1971. On their website, the Office of the Inspector General claims their motto is to help prevent fraud, waste and abuse!

 

Dennis requested a criminal investigation into the abusive actions of the BLM and US. Forest Service, pertaining to their being in violation of The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. Dennis said a criminal investigation is warranted not only to save taxpayers dollars but also for the protection of America’s wild herbivore populations being born an living on public land and the punishment of ay federal employee found violating this law.

 

“They are violating their own rules,” said Dennis.

 

When asked if he got a response from his letter, Dennis said, “Yes, they called and said ‘They’d look into it.’ ” Rick suggests that the Inspector General be bombarded with calls, letters and e-mails regarding this matter at: Office of the Inspector General, 717 14th Street, N.W., 5th Floor, Washington, DC 20005. phone 202-727-2540, e-mail oig@dc.gov.

Click for copy of letter to Inspector General>>

 

With the poor economy and current overpopulation of horses driving down prices all over the country, it’s becoming more of a problem to find rescue facilities or individuals to take these mustangs. But to take away the sight of wild horses from the public to me is criminal. Many people go on vacation to the Western states just to get a sight of these magnificent animals; to me it’s a big part of our Western Heritage! And since it is public land that they are on, as American taxpayers, we should have the right to see them.

 

But the saddest fact of this whole situation is even worse – but typical: “It’s politics in motion and is all about the money!”

Read More

☛ Abusive horse trainer ordered to pay $160,000 settlement 9-13-16

Posted by on Sep 13, 2016 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE ABUSE, HORSE LAWSUITS, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 2 comments

ATTENTION HORSE TRAINERS!!!

 

CRUEL TRAINING PRACTICES COUD COST YOU LOTS OF MONEY –AND MORE

 

By Glory Ann Kurtz
Sept. 13, 2016

Bella Gunnabe Gifted, a money-earning reining horse, was put down from a basilar skull fracture after being bitted up with a curb bit and left alone in a solid round pen for more than an hour. Trainer Mark Arballo recently settled with the owners for a $160,000 settlement, plus he is servinhg three-years probation and not allowed to triain horses during the sentence.

According to an article on RateMyHorsePro.com, a trainer that three years ago caused the death of a horse he was training recently reached a $160,000 settlement with the horse’s owner. Although the trainer’s settlement is not an admission of liability in civil court, he pleaded guilty to felony animal cruelty in March 2015, which is now a felony in all 50 states, and is serving a three-year probation sentence in North Carolina and is not allowed to train horses during his sentence.
Click for FBI article>>

 

Mark Arballo, an NRHA reining horse trainer who was working as Arballo Reining Horses LLC for Martha Torkinton at her River Valley Ranch,  in the County of San Diego, Calif., at the time of the incident, currently resides in the County of Nash, N.C. According to court records it was reported that Arballo’s co-defendant and former partner Patrice Hohl, are believed to be romantically involved.

 

Arballo, who along with other trainers were permitted to train horses at the River Valley Ranch, joined the group in February 2011. In September 2013, Arballo bitted up 6-year-old Bella Gunnabe Gifted with a curb bit and left her alone in a solid round pen for more than an hour with her head “tied around,” while he taught lessons.

 

When the mare was discovered, she was unable to get up, had blood in her ear and her eyes moved rapidly back and forth. Bella’s euthanasia ended her suffering and it was a veterinarian’s determination that she had suffered a basilar skull fracture or a broken skull. A basilar skull fracture is a fracture of the basilar bone of the skull, which is part of the floor of the skull that holds the brain, resulting in the cerebral spinal fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, to leak from the nose or the ear.

 

Bella, a Paint mare was sired by Colonel’s Smoking Gun, an NRHA Hall of Famer better known as “Gunner,” and like her sire, she had found success in the reining arena. Torkinton said that her eggs would be valuable due to her great pedigree.

 

In August, the defendants’ dog bit Bella on the nose and in September, they noticed a bump on the mare’s head after a training session, which Arballo denied causing. Torkinton was working on a process to terminate Arballo’s contracts and remove the defendants from the property when the training incident and death of Bella happened.

 

Even though the defendants tried to add two additional terms regarding a “confidentiality agreement,” Torkinton’s attorney said that “a confidentiality clause that restricts First Amendment rights is anything but standard and was not discussed with the court,” and the defendants did not get their confidentiality clause – but rather got a huge fine.

 

However, the plaintiffs were responsible for a lien as Torkinton’s property insurance carrier, Markel Insurance Company, asserted a lien for payments made to the Torkintons after the death of Bella.

 

However, trainers must keep in mind that the court’s decision and the FBI’s felony law on cruelty to animals now has a “set precedent” on cruelty to animals in a training situation.

 

Rick Dennis wrote a great article for AllAboutCutting.com in the May 15, 2015 issue called “Bridles, Bits and Abuse,” that everyone should read – even if they have read it before. It is an indepth study about the abuse of horses by trainers , including how they do it, what equipment they use and what the horse associations are doing about it.

 

Following is the one paragraph that I like the best and encompasses the answer to horse abuse:

The truth of the matter is there are no shortcuts in training a horse – only lazy trainers!  To properly train a horse requires hard work, hours-upon-hours of saddle time, wet saddle blankets and devotion to the job at-hand. I know this truth to be self evident, as I’m a judicially certified professional multiple-event reined cow horse trainer. The antiquated abusive training techniques developed over the years by unethical self-professed horse trainers should be prohibited and removed from the industry, along with the trainers practicing these unorthodox and abusive training practices. At my training facility, horses are ridden into submission, not beaten into submission, and trained the right way.”

Click for Bridles, Bits & Abuse>>

 

 

 

 

Read More

☛ How to make safe banking transactions online 7-26-16

Posted by on Jul 26, 2016 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, EQUI-VOICE, HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 6 comments

HOW YOU CAN MAKE SAFE BANKING TRANSACTIONS ONLINE

 

By Rick Dennis
July 26, 2016

 

In my last article Keeping Your Finances Secure When Paying Horse Training Facilities, dated July 11, 2016, I discussed the steps necessary to practice secure and safe banking practices when issuing checks for services rendered. In this article, I will expand on safe-banking practices by providing a tutorial on conducting safe-banking business on the Internet.

 

As a Certified Protection Professional (CPP), my job is to provide my customers with an overview of their existing banking practices as well as providing necessary upgrades when deficiencies are found during a Risk Analysis. Internet banking is becoming a commonplace practice that provides enhanced banking opportunities for those living a busy lifestyle. If performed correctly, it’s a welcome addition to our busy lifestyles, but if performed incorrectly, it can be hazardous to your finances.

 

I, for one, am an avid user of Internet banking practices, which I find indispensable in running the daily financial needs of a busy company as well as the needs of a busy executive. Instead of having to go to the bank to deposit checks, I can deposit them anywhere in the U.S. with the aid of a cell phone. Instead of having to go to the bank to make account transfers, I can simply use my smart phone and my banks app to move money from account to account. A bank’s ATM’s make access for deposits and withdrawals. I can use my bank’s app to regularly check on my bank accounts or receive alerts from the bank signaling suspicious activity on either a bank account or my credit card.

 

COMMON SENSE INTERNET BANKING PRACTICES

 

Prior to using the Internet for banking practices, use common sense guidelines to steer you correctly such as:

 

1.         Check with your bank and ascertain whether or not the bank even offers internet banking practices.

 

2.         If your bank offers safe Internet banking practices, ask whether or not their system is encrypted. In cryptography, encryption is the process of encoding messages or information in such a way that only authorized parties can read it. Encryption does not in itself prevent interception but denies the message content to the interceptor. In an encryption scheme, the intended communication information or message, referred to as plain text, is encrypted using an encryption algorithm, generating ciphertext that can only be read if decrypted.

 

3.         Whether you’re using a home computer, laptop or smart phone, the first step is to download anti-virus protection for all devices. If you’re connecting to the Internet at home using wifi or cable networks, via a modem or on the road, using your smart phone via wifi hot spots download security programs for your computers or an app for your smart phone that will provide you with a secure Virtual Private Network (VPN) experience.

 

4.         Once you’ve installed the necessary safety programs for your computers and app for your smart phone or tablet, go online and set up your Internet banking account using a user name and password. Safeguard this information at all times and never allow your computer to remember them to prevent unwanted access to your bank account. The same applies to your banks ATM access codes.

 

The final step is to download the bank’s app for your smart phone, android or Apple device.  If you’re using a tablet, you must perform the same safety precautions you’ve used for your smart phone.  After all, a tablet is considered a phone with its own telephone number.

 

5.         MODEMS

 

 Security

 

Another good recommendation is to use the features included in modern security suites that can run your browser in a safe box that’s isolated from the rest of the operating system and make it harder to intercept what you are doing. Some security products also encrypt the traffic that goes through that safe box, thus making it harder for others to intercept your web traffic.

 

Many people also use a mobile Internet modem to connect when they are on the road. Using this connection is much safer than using some free wifi you know nothing about. If you can choose between the two, always make financial transactions via the Internet modem.

 

6.         If your using your smart phone or tablet to conduct internet banking, NEVER initiate or perform these services using the built-in 4G/LTE phone browser.  Always use the bank’s designed app that comes fully encrypted. This provides a much safer banking experience. Pay attention to your phone’s browser alerts which notifies you of any unwanted intrusions or hacking attempts of your system.

 

BANK-ISSUED CHECKS

 

One of the safest solutions to issuing checks to pay reoccurring bills is to allow the bank to do it for you. One of the best conveniences of Internet banking is to simply set up a check payment plan with the bank. By setting up this system, the bank writes and sends the checks and in turn sends you an alert that the check is in the mail. Normally this type of checking convenience is free of charge. Check with your bank for any costs you’ll be charged for using this secure banking practice.

 

SECURITY SYSTEM UPDATES

 

Whether you’re using a wifi service, a modem at home for Internet connection using an Internet Service Provider (ISP), your smart phones LG/LTE service or a dish service, it’s imperative for you to maintain and install security updates for each system when required.

 

Normally your smart phone apps are automatically updated; however, some security suites for computers require you to either manually update or set your computer to automatic updates. Either way, your security system is only as good as the updates allow it to be, which is accomplished by supplying it with the latest spyware and malware security information. Hackers are designing new infiltration programs on a daily basis. Stay abreast of these attacks with a secure and up-to-date security system and enjoy safe internet banking practices.

 

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

 

Richard E. “Rick” Dennis (CPP)

Managing Member

Wind River Company LLC

Office/Mobile – (985) 630-3500

Email: windrivercompanyllc@gmail.com

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

 

 

 

.

Read More

☛ Keeping your finances secure when paying horse training facilities 7-11-16

Posted by on Jul 11, 2016 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HEALTH AND WEALTH, HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 15 comments

HAVE HORSES IN TRAINING?

 

HOW TO KEEP YOUR FINANCES SECURE

 

By Rick Dennis
July 11, 2016

Rick Dennis

Over the years, I’ve worked on a myriad of Risk Management cases involving either the theft or embezzlement of funds from a client’s bank account or credit cards.  However, the conclusion or “Root-Cause-Analysis” allowing this theft to occur is generally the same. Inadequate or non-existent banking security practices, inadequate accounting practices along with misguided trust, on behalf of the client, is usually the culprit. More and more we’re seeing these types of thefts occurring in the horse industry emanating from horse-training facilities.

 

For the record, these types of criminal infractions aren’t relegated to one particular part of the horse industry but seemingly encompasses the industry “across-the-board.” Training facilities should be aware of the fact that if the proper security is not in place and maintained for a protection of client assets and a theft generates from an individual working at the facility acquiring the bank account and routing number off of a client-issued check for training or other purposes, or a credit card number, it’s quite possible the training facility can have culpable liability issues in the matter.

 

The two methods used to facilitate the thefts are:

 

1.         The clients bank account, and

 

2.         The clients credit card.

 

THE CLIENTS BANK ACCOUNT

 

Using No. 1 as an example, I just completed analyzing a case involving the theft of over $500,000 during a four-year period, using the client’s bank account and routing numbers as the extraction vehicle. The thefts emanated from a horse-training facility. While I’m not at liberty to discuss the specifics of the case due to an on-going criminal investigation, my “Root-Cause-Analysis” identified over-trust on the client’s behalf as well as non-secure banking practices, inadequate record keeping, i.e, usual and customary personal accounting practices, and the absence of an established and integrated Risk Management Program as the culprit.

 

However, by designing, implementing and integrating an active Risk Management Program, the clients are able to prevent future thefts of this type along with a possible recovery of assets. Upon discovery of the theft, the client filed criminal charges, the alleged perpetrator was arrested, criminally indicted afterwards and is awaiting trial.

 

Dakotah Lindsey Harrell (Defendant) is identified as a former assistant trainer at Merritt Wilson Cutting Horses. The thefts occurred while Harrell was employed at this location according to clients.  For additional information please click on the following link:

 

Click for Dakotah Harrell’s arrest warrant>>

Click for Dakotah Harrell’s booking>>

Click for Dakotah Harrell’s Facebook page>>

Click for Dakotah Harrell’s Indictment article>>

 

CLIENTS CREDIT CARD

Using No. 2 as an example, an ever-increasing and growing problem inundating the horse industry is the unauthorized use of, or misappropriation of, client’s assets using the clients credit card as the extraction vehicle. Generally, thefts of this type occur when an unsuspecting client provides a training facility with his or her credit card number for an incidental purchase of some type. Thereafter, the client discovers ongoing unauthorized purchases by the perpetrator, but the damage is already done and possibly significant. Afterwards, an arrest and prosecution usually follows. Again, as a Risk Analyst/Threat Assessment Manager, I can hypothetically surmise the “root-cause-analysis” as:

 

1.         Over trusting the recipient of this information on the client’s behalf,

 

2.         Inadequate accounting and monitoring practices on the clients behalf, and

3.         the absence of an active and integrated secure Risk Management Program within the confines of the client’s financial practices.

 

The following is an article published in Ratemyhorsepro.com regarding a Brock, Texas, trainer stealing money from a client’s credit card. She had previously been indicted in Alabama for the same offense.

 

Click for Ratemyhorsepro.com article>> 

 

RECOVERY OF ASSETS PURSUANT TO A THEFT

 Generally speaking, it’s very difficult to recover one’s assets after a theft. In the case of cyber-security breaches or thefts “over-the-internet,” the chances of recovery are almost nil simply due to the fact that the perpetrator is located in another country. In the case of domestic thefts, the probable chances of asset recovery is low simply due to the fact the accused has already spent your money and it’s gone and legal litigation for an attempted recover is an expensive proposition with no guarantees of success.

 

The two most used methods for a recovery of assets is by judicial restitution after the arrest and conviction of the violator, or filing a complaint with the IC3 Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the event of credit card theft. For the record, credit card thefts are usually performed by the Secret Service. My best advice to prevent the theft or unauthorized use of a credit card is to prevent it before it occurs by instituting sound financial practices in your life style.

 

COMMON-SENSE BANKING PRACTICES

 When I’m providing a general security consulting service, designing and implementing a Risk Management Program after a review, or compiling and formulating a Risk Management report after a review, I always advise the client to use common-sense banking practices to safe guard his or her valuable assets. (e.g.)

 

1.         Never blindly trust an individual with your personal banking information,

 

2.         ALWAYS safeguard your financial institution information whether this information is your internet banking passwords, bank account routing and account numbers for checking accounts or credit card type and numbers,

 

3.         NEVER blindly provide this information to anyone,

 

4.         NEVER allow your computer to save your login information, (e.g.) user name and password, When using the internet to pay your bills, always make sure you’re on a secure network,

 

5.         When disposing of financial information, always use a shredder or completely burn this information,

 

6.         ALWAYS set up an auxiliary bank account with a limited amount of funds for use in conjunction with a trust or holding account. Never pay bills directly from a trust or holding account. In the event of a breach of security, the thief will only have a limited amount of assets to steal – not your entire bank account,

 

7.         ALWAYS monitor your bank account activity multiple times a week, if not on a daily basis, to apprise yourself of any suspicious activity on your bank account. In today’s high-tech banking industry, an app can be downloaded on your smart phone enabling this secure process and

 

8.         INVEST in a credit-monitoring service to alert you of any changes in your credit report or suspicious activity.

 

There are plenty of resources available to seek advice from to protect your assets and provide additional information on the subject matter. Knowledge and common sense are the keys to success and prevention.  Be proactive, not reactive!

 

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

 

Richard E. “Rick” Dennis (CPP)

Email: windrivercompany.rd@yahoo.com

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

 

Read More

☛ Could Feds take over equine drug policies? 5-5-16

Posted by on May 5, 2016 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, EQUI-VOICE, FROM THE EDITOR, HORSE HEALTH, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

FROM THE EDITOR:

 

COULD THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TAKE OVER DRUG POLICIES FOR ALL HORSE EVENTS?

 

By Glory Ann Kurtz
May 5, 2016
The thought of the federal government being in charge of the drug policies in the horse industry is pretty scary. However, that may happen sooner than we think.

 

During a Congressional Hearing on Thursday, April 16, it was reported by the Baltimore Sun that former Maryland Jockey Club chief executive Joseph A. De Francis told members that “the public’s dwindling confidence in American horse racing’s medication policies has reached a critical state, bordering on an industry crisis.” He said the industry has failed “to address on a national level,” the issue of abuse and misuse of racehorse medications.

Click for Baltiimore Sun article>>

 

This speech came only days after Jess C. Meche, a 21-year-old exercise rider at Delta Downs Racetrack in Vinton, La., died in a training accident on April 11. Meche, Church Point, La., was killed when a Quarter Horse, Czech Revolution, fractured both front legs, throwing the rider to the ground, landing on the jockey’s head and upper body. Sound like a terrible accident? And what did the death of a Quarter Horse exercise rider have to do to with a Congressional hearing on drugs in the Thoroughbred racing business?

 

Plenty. According to the Paulick Report, a top racing website, “Czech Revolution was trained by M. Heath Taylor, who in September 2012 was suspended five years and fined $10,000 by the Louisiana State Racing Commission for a Dermorphin positive at Delta Downs last May 25. Dermorphin, also known as frog juice because it originally came from a secretion from South American free frogs, is a powerful pain killer classified as a Class 1 drug by the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI). Class 1 drugs are considered performance-enhancing substances and the most dangerous by the RCI and serve no therapeutic use in horses.”

 

Pain killers obviously make horses run faster, even with legs and knees that aren’t sound, causing joints to give away when they are running either maiming or killing the horse and/or the rider.

 

ARE TOP TRAINERS GETTING OUT?

Another article in the Paulick Report reported that trainer Dale Romans, who has won major races around the globe, from the Group 1 Dubai World Cup with Roses in May, the G1 Preakness Stakes with Shackleford, to numerous Breeders’ Cup races, has become disenchanted with the state of racing in the U.S. (due to the use of drugs) and appears to be eager to make a major change as he nears his 50th birthday.  He indicated that he would love to join the training ranks in Hong Kong, should a license become available.

 

Romans said he was “sick of what’s happened to the sport in the U. S. I’m done with it. I’m a horseman and I think races should be won by the better horseman, not something else. I was very impressed with what I saw in Hong Kong when I was there and I know that, because the vet side of racing is so tightly controlled there. It’s the superior horseman who will succeed. They’ve never had an American trainer but if they want me, I’d love to train there.”

Click for Romans article>>

 

HOW ARE QUARTER HORSE TRAINERS GETTING OUT OF SUSPENSIONS?

Taylor, a leading trainer in the Quarter Horse business, obtained a stay of his Louisiana suspension, as did Alvin Smith Jr. (suspended 10 years); John Darrel Soileau (10 years); Alonzo Loya (five years); Kyi Lormand (3 years); Anthony Agilar (six years) and Gonzalo Gonzales (3 years. Only Keith Charles, among the eight trainers suspended in Louisiana for having a horse in their care test positive for Dermorphin, accepted the penalty without filing an appeal.

 

How are they getting away with this? According to the Paulick Report article, Quarter Horse racetracks in Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and California have used their private property rights to exclude trainers with recent Class 1 violations, including the Louisiana trainers with Dermorphin suspensions. The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) also announced sanctions against the trainers with Class 1 violations, suspending their AQHA memberships and disqualifying their horses from Racing Championships or year-end honors. (See below as the AQHA recently suspended this program.)

Click for Paulick Report on exercise rider’s death>>>

 

However, Louisiana racetracks have not followed suit. Boyd Gaming, a publicly traded company, who owns 22 casino entertainment properties in Nevada, New Jersey, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana and Mississippi, owns Delta Downs and another Louisiana track, Evangeline Downs. Horses that suffer fatalities in Louisiana do not undergo post-mortem examination or toxicology tests!

 

In the meantime, Quarter Horse training accidents are killing horses jockeys and exercise riders at an alarming rate across the country.  In his speech during Congressional hearing, De Francis said, “The erosion of public confidence has reached a critical state and I truly believe that we are just one catastrophic breakdown in a Triple Crown race away from destroying public confidence to the point where it would be decades before the sport could recover – if it ever would.” He continued, saying , “There’s no doubt that the horse racing industry is currently in a state of crisis.”

 

The hearing at the U.S. Capitol examined legislation requiring that a uniform anti-doping program be developed and enforced by an independent authority. Advocates of the bill say the sport, which is overseen by several dozen state commissions with varying rules, needs more uniformity to curb equine medication abuses. Opponents argue that such an approach would usurp states’ rights ad create an unneeded new layer of bureaucracy.

 

WHY THE SUDDEN CHANGE IN THE AQHA’S STANCE?

In addition, on March 7, 2016, the AQHA announced their new Multiple Medication Violation System (MMVS) was being suspended to more thoroughly evaluate the MMVS program.  According to AQHA President Dr. Glenn Blodgett, “AQHA continually evaluates the cost and benefit of the program to ensure that AQHA resources are devoted in the most effective way for achieving the goals of the program.

 

“The creation by AQHA of a comprehensive database of drug violations across all racing jurisdictions has required tremendous resources and one that going forward would require AQHA to triple the number of staff assigned to the program These additional staff members would be needed to properly document violations, enter such violations in the database, and to provide notices of violations to both the racing jurisdictions and the violators themselves.

 

“The AQHA Executive Committee has determined that the time is right to conduct a thorough evaluation of the MMVS prior to allocating additional resources to the program,” said Dr. Blodgett. “In order to conduct the necessary evaluation, it makes sense to temporarily suspend the MMVS program so that the current resources and staff assigned to processing MMVS files can instead turn their attention and efforts to the evaluation process.”

Click for full MMVS article published by AQHA>>

 

My question is, “Is this costly endeavor being discontinued because the AQHA feels that the federal government will soon be controlling it and they can save their money, do they feel that state laws could override their penalties or is the fact they are involved in Quarter Horse Racing and each year a member of their Executive Committee is deeply involved?

 

 

HOW DOES THIS AFFECT THE PERFORMANCE HORSE INDUSTRY?

 

Frank Merrill wrote an interesting article in the April 15 issue of Quarter Horse News regarding the federal take-over of the drug problem in horses, saying , “A federal mandate governing equine medication and punishment for violations could very well be the answer to our welfare concerns. But it’s imperative that the feds are presented with our own set of rules and guidelines (by horsemen, for horsemen). If left to their own discretion, the feds will structure policies that none of us can live with and, as a result, our industry will suffer greatly.”  I think he has hit the nail on the head!

Click for Frank Merrill article>>

 

A RE-RUN FOR RICK DENNIS:

Rick Dennis’s Certificate from the United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, dating as far back as 1973.

Rick Dennis, Wind River Company LLC, is a frequent writer for this website and has written several articles on drugs in horses, including one from Aug. 6, 2014 published on www.allaboutcutting.com, called “The Mechanical Horse – A Horse Under the Influence of Drugs.”

Click for “The Mechanical Horse”>>

 

Rick’s been there and done that. He has a Certificate from the United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, dating as far back as 1973, and his Drug and Alcohol interdiction Programs have been an industry leader in the private sector since Jan. 28, 1984. His modified drug-interdiction program, i.e. augmented drug law enforcement programs adaptable for private industry use, revolutionized private-sector drug and alcohol-interdiction programs. He is celebrating his 29th year as a Third Party Administrator (TPA) administering DOT employee drug and alcohol testing programs in the private sector.

 

More importantly, he’s been involved inn Congressional Hearings on drugs! He was the first security professional to provide consultation services to a U.S. Senate Subcommittee, U.S. Navy and Department of Defense referencing private sector drug interdiction programs for adoption and interphase with the U.S. Military; the first security professional to establish an employee drug-testing laboratory in Louisiana: Certified Lab Inc., in 1987 and the first security professional to author, implement and maintain a drug- and alcohol-testing program designed specifically for contractor application for Exxon Company, USA Mobile Bay Construction Project, Mobile Bay, Ala

Click for Rick Dennis experience and achievements>> 

 

I asked Rick if these congressional hearings have any correlation with what he experienced in the problem of drugs within the military and for company employees. Following was his response:

 

“The recent Federal hearings on drug testing in the equine industry are reminiscent of how the federalism of drug and alcohol testing in the private sector began. Initially, the hearings were billed as, “looking for solutions to the drug and alcohol abuse in the private sector to reduce accident rates and provide a safer working environment for employees.”  Opponents to drug and alcohol testing alluded to the fact the federal program would never come to fruition. However, after a series of congressional hearings in 1986 and 1987 the reality of federal drug and alcohol testing of employees became a reality in the private sector in 1988 and continues today.

 

“During the initial or embryo stages of the federal drug and alcohol mandate hearings, I was summoned to Washington D.C. and testified before a Senate subcommittee and was quizzed about the types of drugs my private company was seizing in the private sector as well as the job environment the employees were working in. In fact, my private sector Company specialized in designing, implementing and maintaining drug and alcohol prevention policies to prevent drug abuse among the workforce. The drug prevention program included employee and supervisor training as well as  searches of employees, their personal effects, vehicles and company-provided housing (where applicable).

 

“The initial federal drug-testing mandate was designed by Mr. Rip Rippert in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA). The federal drug and alcohol testing requirements were included in the federal register under 49, CFR, Part 40 drug and alcohol testing rules and regulations.  The program has a broad scope, as it does today and includes: The FAA, oil and gas pipelines, Federal highway, marine industry, nuclear industry, etc. The federal guidelines included laboratory testing and certification standards, sample collection, transport and retainment protocols, records retention, privacy, reporting protocols, drugs tested for and Medical Review Officer standards.

 

“The federal program also included fines and punishment for certain employees in designated positions.  For example, ‘boat captains with U.S. Coast Guard licenses failing a drug or alcohol test are suspended after a confirmed positive, ordered to a disciplinary hearing before a Coast Guard tribunal and usually lose their licenses and their jobs.  Subsequent to same, the employee is required to attend mandatory drug and alcohol rehabilitation at his or her personal non-refundable expense. After successfully completing mandatory rehabilitation, the employee is allowed to reapply for his or her license.  However, there’s no guarantee the license will be reinstated. It’s essentially, a very expensive proposition for the violator.

 

“I see the same type of atmosphere brewing today in the horse industry. Overall, if the horse industry doesn’t want to experience the same federal takeover of their industry under a federally mandated drug-testing program, my advice would be to take care of their industry themselves. In essence, along with federal mandates comes a rapid vast expansion of government control and regulations as well as broad fines and penalties for the violator and non-compliant company or individual … or in the case of the horse industry, the non-compliant association and/or members.”

 

WHY SHOULD WE WORRY?

What does this possible federal intervention mean? If you are a horse owner and do something with your horse, other than feed it and look at it, you will be affected financially … even if you have no intention of using drugs. Whether you are a cutter or a reiner, or involved with the reined cow horse, mounted shooting, barrel racing, Western or English pleasure, halter, racing or even just trail riding, you will be affected. Your association, whether it be large or only 25-30 members will be affected. Your veterinarian will be affected. The sale companies will be affected. And the money will come from you.

 

The federal government has already gotten involved in horse abuse cases – and they will include horse-abuse cases with across-the-board penalties that will be very costly, not only to events, associations and horse farms but to individuals. It will no longer be a state’s decision, as it is today with the horse abuse laws. (Today, animal abuse is a felony, only if the state allows it to be.)

 

Instead of trying to figure out a way to get out of the penalties of using drugs, or ways to keep them from being detected, those in the industry – both individuals and associations or events – need to try to figure out a way to unite and keep drugs out of their horses and events. I just hope it’s not too late.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read More

Thanks Rick and Glory Ann for all you do!

Posted by on Apr 21, 2016 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, EQUI-VOICE, HORSE ABUSE, HORSE HEALTH, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

Thanks Rick and Glory Ann for all you do!

Read More