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☛ NCHA Suspension and Appeal Guidelines Getting An Overhaul 9-21-18

Posted by on Sep 21, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, FROM THE EDITOR, HORSE LAWSUITS, HORSE ORGANIZATIONS, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 11 comments

NCHA SUSPENSION AND APPEAL GUIDELINES GETTING AN OVERHAUL

 

STANDING RULE 37 AND 38 UPDATED FOLLOWING DUFURRENA/VOGEL CASE

 

By Glory Ann Kurtz
Sept. 21, 2018

According to an interesting e-mail that I received, following the Dufurrena/Vogel situation I previously wrote about, the NCHA is revising Standing Rule 37 and 38, which cover members who have done something that places them on probation or suspends them from the NCHA by the Grievance Committee, Amateur, Non-Pro Review Committee, Medication Review Committee or any other committee authorized by NCHA for violating any rule.

 

Following are the major parts of the new suspension and appeal guidelines:

 

Rule 37: Non-members involved in NCHA rule violations may also be denied privileges of the Association for “violation of or assisting in the violation of NCHA rules.”  When the NCHA rule in question contains specific provisions concerning disciplinary actions or burdens of proof, any disciplinary action taken by an initial Hearing Committee, the Executive Committee or an Appeal Committee should be consistent with that provision.

 

Any member can file a complaint regarding any alleged violation of NCHA rules by submitting the complaint in writing to the NCHA Executive Director (ED), signed or identified by the person filing the complaint, and sent with a check or credit card payment for $50, payable to the NCHA, unless the person filing the complaint is an NCHA Director, a class representative, show management or a judge. Anonymous complaints will not be accepted, investigated or acted on by the NCHA, with the exception if a complaint is reporting a violation of the Zero Tolerance policy or for a complaint submitted by an NCHA Director, a class representative, show management or a judge. Anonymous complaints will not be accepted, investigated or acted on by the NCHA.

 

A complaint must be filed, postmarked, faxed, emailed or hand-delivered within seven (7) days of the closing date of the show involved or within seven (7) days of the alleged rule violations. The timing for filing a complaint alleging a violation of the Zero Tolerance Policy is contained in Standing Rule 35.6. No complaint is required regarding a member’s competitive status (non-pro or amateur rules) or for violation of the NCHA Medication and Drug Rules.

 

The ED will refer complaints to (1) Grievance, (2) Medication Review, (3) Non-Pro Amateur, (4) or any other hearing or review committee. A quorum of an initial hearing committee will consist of three members with one being elected chairman.

 

The NCHA will notify the alleged violator in writing of the complaint and alleged action being investigated, each NCHA rule(s) potentially violated, the disciplinary actions applicable to the alleged violation and request that the violator file a written election with the ED to contest or not contest the alleged violation within 10 business days. If not received in that timeframe the case will be deemed not contested.

 

Initial Hearing:

The initial Hearing Committee shall schedule a hearing not less than 15 days‘ notice of the hearing date but not less than five business days notice of the hearing date. The alleged violator and NCHA shall exchange all proposed documents and evidence to be considered in the hearing no less than three days prior to the hearing. Legal counsel for NCHA and the alleged violator may appear and participate in the evidentiary position of the hearing. The hearing committee shall deliberate in private and shall render a decision in contested matters by majority vote and shall notify the EC of the decision in writing. The initial Hearing Committee will only be required to note in its report the NCHA rule(s) violated and will not be required to provide a detailed reason or opinion for its decision.

 

The Medication Review Committee shall consider potential violations of the Medication and Drug Rules and guidelines. Potential disciplinary actions for proceedings relating to alleged violations are contained in Rule 35A.7. The alleged violator bears the burden of proof to establish that he or she has NOT administered any drug or medication in violation of the NCHA Medication and Drug rules.

 

The Non-Professional Amateur Review Committee shall initially consider all violations of the NP and Amateur rules. The potential disciplinary actions for proceedings relating to alleged violations are in rules 50-51. The alleged violator bears the burden to establish entitlement to hold NP and/or Amateur status.

 

The Grievance Committee (GC) shall initially consider all violations of rules relating to alleged violations of NCHA Zero Tolerance Policy (35A) alleging improper conduct toward judges and monitors (35B), alleged improper conduct by and between members (35C) and alleged violations of other rules that are not considered by the Medication Review Committee, the Non-Pro Amateur Review Committee or Executive Committee.

 

For matters for which the rule allegedly violated contains suggested disciplinary action, the GC should consult those provisions in connection with discipline to be assessed for such rule violations. In cases where the rule allegedly violated does not contain suggested disciplinary action, the GC should consult the following general guidelines:  (i) First Offense: fine, probation or both. A first offense will be removed from a member’s record if that member has no further infractions for two years after the first offense is committed. (ii) Second offense within 2 years of first offense (a) increased fine (b) increased probation, (c) suspension or all of the foregoing. (iii) Additional offenses within 2 years will be dealt with severely, including heavy fines, lengthy probation and suspension will be increased as deemed appropriate by the committee.

 

Effects of Membership Probation and Suspension: Probation will be for a length of time decided by appropriate committee and also set a term of suspension imposed in the event the probation is violated. The term of suspension shall only become effective upon the probated member’s violation of the terms of his probation. In the event suspension is imposed for subsequent rule violation(s), the balance of the probated suspension shall begin on the day after the suspension for the subsequent rule violation s completely served.

Any membership Suspension that went into effect on or before Aug. 21, 2018 will not be allowed to participate in any way (owner, agent of horse, contestant, helper mounted  or on foot, in an NCHA approved or sponsored cutting horse contest. A suspended person can only attend an NCHA approved or sponsored cutting horse contest as a spectator seated in the stands. Any horse owned or controlled in whole or part by a suspended person will not be allowed to enter or compete in an NCHA approved or sponsored cutting. In the event a suspended person violates this rule, an additional six months will be added to his suspension. The rider of any horse ineligible to enter or compete in an NCHA-approved or sponsored cutting horse contest under this rule will be subject to a six-month membership suspension.

 

Membership Suspensions that went into effect after August 21, 2018:

Any person who has had their membership suspended, where suspension commences after August 21, 2018, will not be allowed in the premises of an NCHA approved or sponsored cutting contest. “Premises” include all show arenas, practice pens, loping arenas, sales barns, exhibit halls, trade shows and all other parts of the show grounds.

Any horse owned or controlled in whole or part by a suspended person or in which the suspended person holds any future rights of any kind, will not be allowed to enter, compete or transfer existing entries in an NCHA-approved or sponsored cutting horse contest. This includes horses owned by a corporation, partnership or any entity in which the suspended member has any ownership interest. If a suspended person violates this rule, an additional six (6) months will be added to his suspension. The rider of any horse in any NCHA approved or sponsored horse contest which is ineligible to enter or compete under this rule will be subject to six-month membership suspension.

 

Failure to timely pay fine:  When a member is assed a fine in addition to a suspension and/or probation, as a result of a committee finding made after Aug. 21, 2018, such fine must be paid in full within 15 days after the fine is assessed. In the event the fine is not paid in full in that timeframe, the corresponding suspension and/or probation will be extended by a period equal to the number of days over 15 that it takes for the member to pay to fine in full.

 

Transfer of horses owned by suspended member: This applies to all membership suspensions that went into effect after Aug. 21, 2018. A horse owned by a suspended member at the time of his/her suspension that is sold, gifted or for which ownership is otherwise transferred to an immediate family member, or that is sold, gifted or for which ownership is otherwise transferred to any corporation, partnership or any other entity of any kind in which the suspended member has any present or future ownership interest will not be allowed to show in any NCHA approved or produced event during the term of that member’s suspension. In the event the NCHA questions the legitimacy of a transfer made by a suspended person during his/her suspension, the suspended person shall bear the burden of proof to establish the legitimacy of the transfer.

 

Suspension by other associations: Every person suspended by the AQHA or APHA for unsportsmanlike conduct at a show or contest or for inhumane treatment of horses, shall stand suspended by the NCA upon official notification to this Ass’n from the AQHA or the APHA of any such disciplinary action which has become final and  non-appealable. The NCHA may honor the disciplinary actions of its affiliate organizations when supplied with satisfactory evidence that the person so disciplined has been given a full and impartial hearing by the affiliate organization involved; however, any action taken by an affiliate will not limit any authority of jurisdiction of the NCHA.

 

Publication of Findings:When disciplinary action is taken the results will be published in the Cutting Horse Chatter. Also, all decisions a final and binding unless subsequently overturned by an appeal committee under NCHA Standing Rule 38.

 

Rule 38: Appeal Guidelines:

Appeal Prerequisites: (a) Anyone found in violation of any NCHA rule by an Initial Hearing Committee, is entitled to appeal so long as (1) written notice of such request for appeal by each person appealing the ruling is received by the NCHA ED within 21 days of the date of the letter notifying the person of such action taken by the Initial hearing Committee and (2) an appeal fee as required by section (b) below is also received by the NCHA ED within the 21-day period.

 

(b) The appeal fee is $6,000 per person appealing that decision. For cases in which the Initial Hearing Committee has assessed a suspension of membership or competitive status, the appealing party shall have the right to request an expedited appeal as described in section (c) below. The appeal fee for an expedited appeal is $10,000 for each person filing an expedited appeal of the decision of an Initial hearing Committee. Appeal fees will not be refunded unless all findings of the initial Hearing Committee are completely overturned by an Appeal Committee.

 

(c) In the case of a non-expedited appeal, the appealing member(s) shall be given not less than 15 days notice of a time and place for appeal hearing to be heard by the EC or by an Appeal Committee appointed by the NCHA President. In cases of an expedited appeal, the appealing member(s) shall be entitled to an appeal hearing no more than five business days after the expedited appeal is perfected.

 

Appeal Proceedings: (a) An appeal is a “de  novo” proceeding that could result in a new finding concerning whether or not there was a violation of any NCHA rule(s) and either an affirmation, enhancement or decrease in the disciplinary action taken by the Initial Hearing Committee. (b) Eight members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum. (c) The NCHA President may appoint a Special Appeal Hearing Committee  (the “Appeal Committee”) to conduct any appeal hearing or disciplinary actions. This Committee shall have a minimum of five members and a maximum of nine. Each member must be a member in good standing of the NCHA. Five members of the Appeal Committee members shall constitute a quorum for hearing an appeal. (d) No continuance of an appeal hearing shall be granted unless a written request is received by the ED at least 7 days prior to the hearing and good cause is shown as determined at the sole discretion of the President or Chairman of the Appeal Committee. (e) At the hearing the appealing member shall have the opportunity to be heard, be represented by legal counsel, present evidence in his/her own behalf and to hear and refute any evidence offered against them. (g) The decision of the EC or Appeal Committee in an appeal proceeding under this rule shall be final and binding on all parties. The committee hearing an appeal shall only be required to note in its report the NCHA rule(s) it found were violated and shall not be required to provide a detailed reasoned option for its decision. (h) When disciplinary action is taken, the results in probation or suspension, the person’s name, the rule violated, and the disciplinary action taken will be published in the Cutting Horse Chatter.

 

From the Editor:

As a member of the NCHA for close to 20 years, I was sued at one time by the NCHA for asking for Rick Ivey’s salary and refusing to sign a non-disclosure form to prevent my dissemination of the information I was provided. (They dropped the suit when I told them I didn’t need his salary, I found it out another way.) As an investigative journalist and the owner of this website, my only remark about the above Guidelines is that they should include: “Any NCHA member who loses a lawsuit filed by another NCHA member regarding the other member’s actions, including taking advantage of the elderly, providing false or erroneous invoices to an NCHA member by a trainer, running an illegal business or training operation within the confines of the NCHA as defined by the State of Organization or Operation, providing false documentation to an NCHA committee during an appeal or suspension committee hearing, the loss of a customer’s horse due to abuse by the trainer or the trainer’s agent or assign including, but not limited to, employees, contractors or subcontractors, or charging exorbitant fees for other services, such as double dipping customers for travel or hauling expenses, should receive a lifetime suspension, without preferential treatment or exception.”

 

The trainers are basically unregulated by the above problems.  I hear these complaints all the time and instigating these rules could bring back some of the many well-heeled members who have left the NCHA…..and get rid of some the bad actors or unscrupulous trainers contributing to the demise of the membership numbers.

Glory Ann Kurtz

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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 statue 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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☛ Was it a magnificent con job or just bad attendance? 9-9-18

Posted by on Sep 9, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, HORSE NEWS, HORSE ORGANIZATIONS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

WAS IT A MAGNIFICENT CON JOB OR JUST BAD ATTENDANCE

 

MAGNIFICENT 7 INVITATIONAL STOCK HORSE CHAMPIONSHIP TURNS OUT TO BE A “NO PAY”

 

By Glory Ann Kurtz
Sept. 9, 2018

 

Are horse events getting a bad name, with some associations running short of cash and others increasing entry fees, adding little or no money, cancelling events and now – not paying the winners?

 

An exciting cowhorse event called the “Magnificent 7 All-Around Stock Horse Championship,” held June 8, 2018 at Cal Expo in Sacramento, Calif., seems to be attempting to solve their insolvency by not paying the winners of the competition.

 

The Magnificent 7 all-Around Stock Horse Championship is an exciting four-event competition based on an event originally called the World’s Championship All-Around Stock Horse contest crafted by Bobby Ingersoll in the 1970s and was actively supported by Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame members Cotton Rosser and Walt Rodman. The contest was held periodically over the years until Western States Horse Expo CEO and founder Miki Nelsen, Bill Lefty and others resurrected and revitalized the event, giving it a “forever home” at the Cal Expo.

 

The competition, that was invitational for the seven entries, included four events: herd work, rein work, steer stopping and fence work.

 

The total purse wasn’t a huge amount of cash, $29,908.35, but the seven entries paid a total of $2,060, which included a $1,500 entry fee, a $200 cattle fee, $180 stall fee for show the horse and $180 for a turn-back horse  last May to try their chances for an advertised “hefty cash prize, a great buckle and the title of Magnificent 7 all-Around Stock Horse Champion.”

 

When all was said and done, Call Me Mitch, owned by Estelle Roitblat and ridden by Phillip Ralls, won the event with a total score of 295, giving Roitblat a $8,372.00 paycheck (that hasn’t yet arrived).  The reserve title, Very Smart Choice, owned by Rocking BS Ranch, ridden by Lance Johnston, scored a 291 and should have pocketed $6,578.00.

 

Ken and Ramona Wold owned Real Smooth Cat, ridden by Ken to a 287.50 and third place, good enough for a $5,083.00 paycheck, if it would have arrived.

 

Fourth, taken by Very Smart Cowhorse, owned and ridden by Aaron Brookshire to a 266.50, and would have been owed a $3,588.00 paycheck; fifth was Short N Catt, owned by Sarah Davis and ridden by Phillip Ralls to a 284, for $2,691; sixth was Overabarrel, owned and ridden by Darrell Norcutt to a 214 for $2,093 and seventh was Tomcatontheprowl, owned and ridden by Justin Jones to a 201.50 and $1,503.35.

 

However, according to Ramona Wold, it’s now been close to four months and the winners haven’t received their checks from Miki Nelson, owner of Horse Expo and Magnificent 7. Her excuse: “The sponsors hadn’t paid her so she couldn’t pay the exhibitors.”  However, the announcer, the judge and the cattle providers have been paid.

 

“I called Ernie at Western Horsemanmagazine, who was advertised as one of the sponsors, and I was informed that they were not sponsors as they were advertised,” said Ramona.”

 

For this article, I also called Miki Nelson and asked her about the missing payout. She said, “We’ve had this event going since year 2000. We started when the NRCHA cancelled the “World’s Greatest Horseman.” It used to be well-attended event but then the economy hit a downturn. We kept it going in 2015 (with Horse Expo funds) but the people just weren’t coming to watch. This was its 20thAnniversary, so we said, ‘Let’s get on a roll and get people excited.’ But only one sponsor –  RAM Trucks. But they are taking six months to pay us. Attendance at the Expo was down 30 percent and you could count the number people in the bleachers.

 

“The facility holds all of our admission funds and controls all the income. They were contracted to pay us in 30 days but they paid out in 60 days. We got the money a month ago. It has put us in a cash strap but we should be out of it in 30 more days.

 

“I realize we are 60 days late today and we never meant not to pay anyone. We’ve been in business 21 years and we’re not going to start not paying out now.  We are as horrified as the seven contestants. We love this sport but the reined cow horse seems to be dying in California – it’s going to Texas.”

 

The 21stanniversary annual event will occur next year; however, it will be held at the Murieta Equestrian Center in Rancho Murieta, Calif.

 

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☛ Another letter to Glory Ann and all her readers 9-5-18

Posted by on Sep 5, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 2 comments

ANOTHER LETTER TO GLORY ANN AND ALL HER READERS

 

By Carol A. Harris
Member/Judge AQHA;  Member AQHA Hall of Fame, Former Member/Judge NCHA, NRHA,Owner of Hall of Fame Stallion Rugged Lark

September 5, 2018

I am so grateful for the recent criticisms expressed to contemporary equine leadership, even though most seem to be anonymous.  I can understand this because our members have been intimidated into keeping their opinions to themselves or else they might fail to win in competitions.  I am old enough to realize that these frustrated members are only trying to protect themselves, their families, their hardworking honest trainers, their horses, and their enormous investments.

At age 95 I have nothing to protect except my reputation for always being honest and fearless.  At this time, in spite of occasionally hearing criticism regarding Glory Ann Kurtz and Rick Dennis, I have made myself examine the propaganda and have discovered exactly where the truth can be found.  It is with my friends Glory Ann, Rick Dennis, the anonymous voices, and the many members who I believe we will soon be hearing from.  Everything I have read in these articles has been well researched and truthful, and I am 100 percent behind them all.  Since there is no right way to do the wrong thing, we must enforce our current laws, trusting that this will help others to eventually see the truth, just like we have.

When business is not conducted correctly and the results become evident, when membership deteriorates and bad horse trainers excel, everyone should smell a rat.  Our horses still continue to feel way more pain than they deserve and our bad horse trainers are cockier than ever, because they are the ones who have created all this unethical chaos.  Our leaders have abused the membership and made them so scared that they don’t even dare sign their names on a complaint.  This is the environment that is created when we have toxic people controlling us.  And they have already begun to control how others see us, proven by the number of members we have lost.  

Even though I’m old I still know the difference between right and wrong, and I hope that this letter will reach the ears of others who feel exactly the same way I do.  I don’t know whether our youth will ever enjoy the horse business or the dog world like I have.  But the only way they’ll ever have the chance to love our animals as we have is by correcting our leadership’s loss of ethics immediately and then backing those who have shown us that they also know the difference between right and wrong.

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☛ The business of running a “business” 9-3-18

Posted by on Sep 3, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE ORGANIZATIONS, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 11 comments

THE BUSINESS OF RUNNING A “BUSINESS””

 

By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
September 2, 2018

 

On July 18, 2014, I authored and released an article, on allaboutcutting.net, entitled; “WHERE’S THE HORSE INDUSTRY HEADED?”  The article covers a myriad of topics that were plaguing the American horse industry back then, and in some degrees, with exception, are still plaguing the equine industry today. This article had the most comments ever, with 99 – all agreeing.

 

However, we haven’t seen much progress in two of the focal points of the article, directly contributing to a loss of membership, investors, and participation in the industry: bad horse trainers and the mismanagement of a 501(C)3 Nonprofits. It’s been established that equine nonprofits are very reluctant to intervene in helping to eradicate immoral, unethical, abusive and downright bad horse trainers from the industry, except for animal abuse.

☛ Where is the horse industry headed? – 7-18-14

Well ladies and gentleman, what about member abuse? During my tenure in the horse industry, I’ve witnessed an increase in civil litigation involving horse trainers and their client or clients battling it out in the court system over a fraud dispute that usually emanates from some horse trainer’s bad, unethical, and in some cases just outright – bad and illegal business practices. In fact, there’s a large populous of unsuspecting newcomers to the horse industry who are victims of unscrupulous horse trainers, on an annual basis. The sad commentary to this ever-increasing problem is, that every time these victims turn to the 501(C)3 nonprofit for assistance or relief, the victim hears the same old pathetic excuse: We Don’t Have a Rule For That ! ”

 

Perhaps it’s time for the “Powers-That-Be” running these struggling multi-million dollar 501(C)3 non-profits, to get together and design and adopt specific rules to govern its horse trainers, as well as, in some cases, their illegal and unscrupulous bad business practices. After all, investors and members are the backbone of any 501(C)3 nonprofit horse organization and not the horse trainers, as they often recite. I know these facts to be self-evident because I’ve been involved in a myriad of unethical business practices in the industry, committed by horse trainers,  from a “Risk Analyst’s” perspective.

 

When appropriate and where probable cause exists, I have on more than one occasion recommended a further review by law enforcement to ascertain whether or not prosecution for specific law violations are warranted and as a result of my Risk Analyst determinations. However, a 501(C)3 nonprofit doesn’t have any problems asking members for free time and donations to support these “over-priced” individuals occupying management positions within the organization.  For doing what?  protecting bad horse trainers and their unethical conduct and actions, which usually results in running good people out of the business!

In my opinion, when a horse organization doesn’t establish rules and regulations to protect innocent and unsuspecting members, investors and newcomers to the industry, then they are essentially condoning these types of unethical business practices. They are ostensibly going right along with the bad actors!

 

Case-in-point, when a horse trainer is sued in court by two separate horse organization member Plaintiffs and accused of fraud involving hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages, my question is, “Why is this individual being sued still a member of any horse organization?” Or better yet, “Why isn’t this individual in jail and being prosecuted?”

 

For the record, I’ve been in business, in the private sector, since January 28, 1984.  Since inception, my company has been registered in the state of organization, both my Federal and State taxes have all been filed and paid on a recurring annual basis – when necessary, all business licenses are up-to-date, issued 1099s are accounted for and my company has an A+ business rating with the Better Business Bureau. If I have to comply, why shouldn’t everyone else calling themselves a business owner?  Especially, the ones operating with a 501(C)3 nonprofit organization and using a business moniker such as “Incorporated,” Limited Liability Company,” “Sole-Owned-Proprietorship,” a “Doing Business As (dba)” or “an assumed name?”

 

In business, we call this being fiscally responsible. In addition to being fiscally responsible, I also have another prudent business practice: “I offer a “100 percent, full-satisfaction money-back guarantee” on all of my business products and services, including “horse training.”  It’s just “good business practice.” However, there’s one difference that separates my company’s clientele from the horse industry. It’s referred to as “over-sight.” Unlike 501(C)3 nonprofits in the horse industry, that don’t exercise any or very little “over-sight” of horse trainers except horse abuse or issuing a bad check, my clients demand “over-sight” and I either adhere to compliance protocol or I find another place to work.

 

Obviously, that’s the difference between governmental agencies like the Department of Defense and the petrochemical industry versus the unregulated horse industry. Another major difference between my business criteria and the horse industry is by example: background checks, criminal record checks and drug and alcohol tests. Alone, these criteria strictly separate the good from the bad so-to-speak. The latter is also the criteria, which is lacking in the horse industry and allows individuals with criminal records to infiltrate and seemingly blend in with the overall good and excellent horse trainers in the industry, who bad horse trainers and their unscrupulous and often times “illegal” business dealings, give a bad stigma also.

 

Therefore, until the “powers-that-be” take the “reins of responsibility” and move to enact membership rules to “counteract” unscrupulous horse trainers and their diabolical practices, I’m afraid the horse industry is going to continue to experience a significant decline in membership, participation, investors and sponsors.

 

In the mean time, there are a lot of changes that 501(C)3 nonprofits can enact to enhance the viability of an organization, i.e., 1) term limits for how long and how many times an individual can occupy a seat on an organizations executive committee, 2) the removal of horse trainers from the Executive Committee and decision-making status, 3) a financial restructuring to reduce employees and overhead expenses (i.e., expenses and salaries for executives and employees, to come in-line with available cash-flow), 4) and enacting rules to address fraud and unscrupulous acts committed by its members.  After all, the horse industry is suppose to be fun and not a legal exercise in a courtroom because of fraud and illegal business practices.

 

As a professional reined cow horse trainer, my job is to train horses, students and prepare them for the show ring. I’m a big believer that businesses should be run by successful business people with expansive business experience and logic – not by horse trainers whose primary mission is to protect their food source “so-to-speak,” as well as other horse trainers when necessary, as we’ve all seen in the past. A horse trainer’s job is to train horses, bring new customers into the industry and represent themselves, their clients and the association in an ethical business manner and atmosphere. As we see today, well-run organizations, like the National Reined Cow Horse Association are flourishing, while others that are not practicing prudent and fiscally responsible business practices, are on a rapid decline in members, sponsors and investors.

 

NON-PROFIT INSTABILITY

 During my tenure in the horse industry I’ve witnessed a lot of regime changes over the years, but one in particular stands out: the National Cutting Horse Association.  When I first came into the industry, Jeff Hooper was the Executive Director, next came Allen Stein then Jim Bret Campbell. The next interim Executive Director was Ernie Beutenmiller, then Chuck Smith and now the interim Executive Director is Louis Wray. It’s my opinion that when these many executive employee changes transpire in such a short period of time, it’s usually a result of inexperience within the executive staff.

 

However whatever the cause, instability with upper management within an organization exhibits nothing else but unsound business experience within the rank and file of upper management, a fight for power dominance within the organization and subsequently translates in the long run into a reduction in membership and loss of sponsor revenue. The tragedy in this “helter-skelter” ring around the rosy of Executive Director roles is that it’s a very expensive proposition for the nonprofit, especially when they have to pay a former Executive Director the full amount of his employment contract financial agreement – even after the individual has left employment with the organization before his full tenure is up. This is not a very good, sound or prudent business practice!

 

Over-all, now’s the time for 501(C)3 nonprofits to perform a little “soul-searching” and determine the best course of action for them to viably sustain the organization in the future. Remember, horse trainers are not the backbone of an organization.  The real money that makes the “world-go-round” comes from investors, METF funds, members and sponsors. Without these entities, nonprofits wouldn’t exist and neither would horse trainers. As my contribution to the horse industry I wrote a book many years ago entitled: THE AMERICAN HORSE INDUSTRY, Avoiding The Pitfalls which was written to provide members in the horse industry with common-sense business practices to avoid the pitfalls inherent in the industry and some of which are covered in this article. If an individual really wants to know how financially responsible your 501(C)3 nonprofit is doing, you can go to Guidestar.org, enter your nonprofit’s name and research a specific year’s IRS 990 tax filing to see exactly what’s going on financially with them, including the amount of salaries being paid and who they are paid to.

 

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

 

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

 

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☛ AMERICANA to be held in Augsburg, Germany Sept. 4-9, 2019 – 8-27-18

Posted by on Aug 27, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, MAJOR EVENTS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

AMERICANA TO BE HELD IN AUGSBURG, GERMANY SEPT. 4-9, 2019

 

EVENT TO HAVE $150,000 TOTAL PURSE

 

Augsburg, Germany
August 27, 2018

Want to see the best in Western events in Europe? Make plans now to attend Europe’s Premier Western Event, AMERICANA, scheduled for Sept. 4-9, 2019 in Augsburg, Germany. With a total purse of about $150,000, it is one of the best endowed shows of Europe and is called THE meeting point for Western horse fans from all over the world.

During 2017, AMERICANA celebrated the Western horse and 98 per cent of the 51,300 visitors said they would return the next time. The 331 exhibitors were enthusiastic and 72 percent spoke of excellent or good sales. Nowhere else in Europe will the Western horse fan find such a variety of everything concerning horses and riding as well as lifestyle.

 

Events will include World Cup cutting and the Bronze Trophy Reining. Both offer a huge purse and have gained worldwide fame.  The ERCHA Open Cow Horse Futurity finals will also be held as well as  numerous fine show acts.

 

For further information on this event contact: AFAG Messen und Ausstellngen GmbH, Winfried Forster, phone +49 (0) 821-5 89 82 – 143 / fax +49 (0) 821 – 5 89 82-243 or winfred.forster@afag.de / www.americana.de. Ticket sales start at the beginning of November 2018.

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