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☛ AQHA’s Don Treadway to retire – 7-18-14




The following announcement was released by the AQHA:


AQHA Executive Vice President Don Treadway Jr. Announces Intent to Retire

The American Quarter Horse Association, July 18, 2014 – Don Treadway Jr., the executive vice president of the American Quarter Horse Association, announced today his intent to retire in 2015. In making the announcement, Treadway wants to allow ample time to appoint a successor and ensure an orderly transition to not interrupt Association business and member needs.

“It has been an exceptional 40 years, and I consider myself lucky to have had such a long career with one outstanding organization,” Treadway said. “Even with all of the challenges we have faced recently, together we have accomplished much.”

A search committee has been named and will manage the process for selection of the next executive vice president, who will be named sometime in the first quarter of 2015. Candidates interested may submit resumes and credentials to The deadline to submit resumes and credentials is September 30, 2014, after which time the screening process will be initiated.

“It is important we take careful steps in succession planning to keep our momentum moving forward,” Treadway added. “I will work with the AQHA Executive Committee to outline a timeline to transition and ultimately retire in 2015. I want to focus on strategic initiatives and projects that are important to making sure the Association is well positioned to meet both the financial and member needs as we continue to address the changing dynamics of the equine industry, and what it will take for AQHA to remain the leader in the industry.”

“When Don officially retires in 2015, we will certainly miss his guidance and leadership,” said AQHA President Johnny Trotter of Hereford, Texas. “The Executive Committee and AQHA Board of Directors are very appreciative of the contributions Don has made to the Association during his career. We look forward to him remaining to help with the transition plan for his successor.”

Treadway’s contributions to AQHA include but are not limited to building a corporate partner portfolio worth more than $7 million, developing several of AQHA’s marketing and membership programs from their infancy, establishing new initiatives that reached into AQHA’s vital ranching community, working through the American Quarter Horse Foundation to secure gifts that will forever ensure the legacy of the American Quarter Horse and advancing AQHA’s animal welfare and breed integrity efforts.

“I always believed my main purpose at AQHA was to connect people with American Quarter Horses. But after assuming the EVP position, more than anything, I wanted to be an advocate for the horse,” Treadway said. “I wanted to see the American Quarter Horse on a worldwide stage but more importantly, I wanted this great animal treated with dignity, respect and compassion.”

A native of Newkirk, Oklahoma, where his family farmed and ranched, Don graduated from Oklahoma State University in May 1974 with a degree in agricultural journalism. He became employed with AQHA in August 1974 as a public relations assistant, was named director of public relations in 1977, senior director of marketing services in 1992, executive director of marketing and membership services in 2000, and was named executive vice president in March 2009.

Don and his wife, Robbyn, have a son, Jeff, who lives in Houston with his wife, Melissa, and their two children, Connor and Avery; and a daughter, Stacey, who is currently in nursing school.

“Robbyn and I are looking forward to spending time with our grandchildren and doing some traveling,” Treadway said. “We’re very blessed to have many options to consider but until then, my focus will be to continue doing the best possible job for the Executive Committee, the board of directors, our members and of course, the American Quarter Horse.”

AQHA news and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more information, follow @AQHAnews on Twitter, watch the AQHA Newscast and visit


Founded in 1940, the American Quarter Horse Association is the largest equine breed organization in the world. With headquarters in Amarillo, Texas, AQHA has a membership of more than 270,000 people in 86 countries and has registered more than 5 million horses in 95 countries.


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




By Rick Dennis
July 18, 2014
Lately, there’s been a lot of talk about what’s the real cause of the downturn in the horse industry.  From my perspective as a Non-Pro, professional trainer, show producer and Quarter Horse breeder as well as my professional standings in the private sector as a Risk Analyst, it’s difficult to identify a specific causative factor. This conclusion was derived from conversations with other professionals in the industry as well as members.


Therefore, it seems the actual cause cannot be assigned to one particular item of discussion but rather a perfect storm entering the industry made up of many contributing factors with each one representing a sum part of the whole. However, one item of specificity relates to the individual owning a horse as a luxury and not a necessity. In this circumstance, the horse ownership and show participation is abandoned or consummated inline with the economy.


Notwithstanding, in times like these, it’s irresponsible for nonprofits and others in the horse industry to ignore the factual reasons causing the downturn in our industry and opting instead to play the “blame game” or maintaining the illogical ideology that everything’s fine.


Overall, it’s up to the nonprofits to set the stage and direction for the horse industry’s future. As the old adage says, “If you build it, they will come!” This is so true in our industry today. During my tenure of service in the horse industry, I’ve witnessed a dramatic change in our society as well as the industry as a whole.  Frankly speaking, some have been bad and some are good. Nonetheless, it is what it is! An item of particular interest is the vocalization of the members readily voicing their opinions and disdain!


  • At the top of the list in my survey is mismanagement of the nonprofit.  A lot of folks are just tired of the same old same old philosophy from the folks at the top who occupy their positions of power with infinite years of service. Next is transparency among the nonprofit’s powers-that-be – or lack thereof. Also on the top of the list is, “Showing is just not very fun anymore.” The other top priority is the political game in the horse industry.  They’re really tired of politics as usual!


One item of interest adding credibility to the above list of dissatisfactions recently involved a nonprofit canceling a contract with entrants for an upcoming major event.  The nonprofit increased the entry fees in the middle of the contract but provided those already enrolled the option of withdrawal with a complete refund or a new contract under the new terms and conditions and at an increased rate.


For those 48 members who opted out, the nonprofit reported in NCHA minutes published later, that these people withdrew because “they probably wouldn’t pay their total entry fee anyway.” Could this be considered an insult to those individuals who withdrew as well as a simple illustration of a nonprofit’s callous action towards its membership as a mitigating factor contributing to members leaving the industry?  What about the $144,000 that was lost to the purse if they would have continued to pay the balance of the entry fees if the amount hadn’t been changed midterm?


  • In a general conversation, one Hall of Fame trainer told me, “In today’s industry, the general consensus of opinion is that horse trainers are not trustworthy.” To a degree, I agree with this assessment but I also know, from a professional standpoint and personal affiliation, this across-the-board characterization is not a fair representation of the industry but instead is due to the unscrupulous actions of specific individuals over the years. There are a lot of great trainers, find one!


  • Another astute observation provided by this trainer is the decline of new blood coming into the industry, the lack of participation with those still in the industry and the ever-increasing number of individuals leaving the industry.  Membership is down, participation is down, breeding is down and the sale ring has emerged as a “buyers market” dictating the price of the horses.


  • Among members and contestants alike who are still showing, related costs are high on the priority list and include: fuel costs, housing and showing expenses, professional horse-training fees, the price of horse trailers and trucks to name a few. However, the main consensus of opinion is that, in most cases, an individual can’t make enough money in the show pen to cover hauling and showing expenses due to the decline of participants.


  • Judging at the shows, is another reason for nonparticipation. More than one individual has expressed to me they have opted to go to timed events rather than judged events due to unfair or unqualified judging. My question is, “Should judges just be judges and trainers just be trainers or should they continue to occupy both segments of the horse industry show ring?” If they were sequestered to one or the other, this certainly would remove the stigma of favoritism from the equation that seems to be a gripe among interviewees.


Also, should a sponsor of added money in an event or events, own horses participating in those events? To me, that’s a “conflict of interest,” easily recognized by the members.


  • The economy is bad!  Folks are more concerned today than ever before about the economy. Instead of going to a show and enjoying their horse hobby, these folks opt instead to put food on the table for their families, pay montage notes and secure a financial future for their loved ones. This becomes even more problematic when “Inflation” enters the picture in a down economy. In a down economy, prices for goods and services soar due to inflation while the dollar value declines. It takes more money to pay for these items thus families have to adjust.  Shouldn’t this adjustment phase apply to a nonprofit as well?


In a down economy, a nonprofit corporation has several options: 1) tap new income sources (ie) sponsors, state money etc., 2) lower costs – i.e. salaries, including those of the upper echelon, show and facility costs including awards, travel expenses, donations etc., 3) increase show costs for the participants or 4) adjust to the economy by designing show classes that encourage more participation thereby attaining the required revenue generation for the nonprofit but at a reduced show cost to the exhibitor.


  • Another problematic area is horse ownership. The price of ancillary products to sustain a horse has quadrupled during my career. Horse feed is way up; hay is over-the-top; veterinary services are so high some folks, myself included, have resorted to self-medication, except on occasions where calling a vet is an absolute necessity; showing fees are up with some nonprofits with renting cattle reaching $60 to $75 per cow in some areas; fuel costs have soared and farrier services are also getting higher, usually to the high-cost of fuel.


  • The horse industry is corrupt! This stigma has been assigned to the industry due to the actions of a few but in my opinion is not representative of the industry as a whole. But it is the duty of the nonprofits to put in place safeguards to root out corruption and unscrupulous behavior among the rank and file and change this opinion.


In an effort to help newcomers to the horse industry to avoid these problematic areas, I authored and released a book entitled The American Horse Industry, Avoiding The Pitfalls. My book gives the newcomer foresight into the industry and tells them how to avoid certain pitfalls in it such chapters as: Selecting a Horse, General Maintenance and Care, Selecting A Horse Trainer and Nonprofit Organizations. Overall, the industry needs horse owners, stallion owners, mare owners, participants (old and new) and the youth to revitalize and boost the industry.


As an entrepreneur in the private sector for the past 30 years, I recommend that every successful business owner, at some time or another, has to adjust the overhead to come in-line with the cash flow. This means making sound business decisions and making the hard choices instead of just plodding along until the well runs dry.


In my tenure of service in the private sector, while conducting Executive Protection Details, I’ve had the esteem pleasure and privilege of listening to some of the top CEOs, whose visionary foresight and financial wizardry has catapulted their corporation to the top of the financial-earnings market – even in a down economy. One aspect I learned is that each of them was successful and weren’t afraid to make the tough decisions to ensure financial stability and a bright future for their corporation.


The dichotomy between the private sector and a horse nonprofit can be exemplified in this illustration, “If a corporate executive in the private sector is responsible for the loss of millions of dollars over a specified time period, he or she will most assuredly be fired and replaced with a more competent individual.”  Losing money is not an option with a Fortune 500 Company!


Today, nonprofits have to build a better mousetrap to slow down the mass exodus of members as well as the mass migration of members to other disciplines that they find more appealing, enjoyable and cost effective. Overhead has to be reduced and adjusted to a sustainable level. Members have to be treated with dignity and respect.  After all, they are the backbone of every successful association, not the horse trainers, as they self proclaim.


As a professional multiple-event horse trainer, my job is to train the horse, train the rider, develop an equine team and guide them to a successful showing career in the show pen. One way I give back to the industry is by upholding my long-standing platform of providing equitation and specific discipline instructions to the youth free of charge. After all the youth are the future of our industry and without them our industry is lost.


Overall, this is the time for soul searching and “think tanks” by the powers-that-be to conduct a root-cause analysis of the real reasons causing the down turn, and perhaps total collapse in our industry, and make the hard choices and adjustments necessary to sustain the horse industry during these uncertain times and well into the future. That’s what they’re being paid enormous salaries for. The Ostrich Syndrome is not a viable solution!


Instead of projecting “Everything’s fine” when it’s really not, be a leader and a visionary.  Design programs that are attractive and cost effective to the participant.  Make your nonprofit association more “user-friendly.” Draw on the experience of the great Hall of Fame trainers from across the spectrum of disciplines, members who are CEOs of major companies and other nonprofit horse organizations.  As one CEO once told me, “A manager is only as good as the people he or she surrounds themselves with. Every manager should realize their limitations and capabilities and adjust accordingly”.


I believe it’s going to take more than “heading a nonprofit North to greener grass in Montana while incorporating fictional movie characters in the analogy” as a vision for the future. As a businessman and a professional horseman, I definitely find this analogy lacking as a comprehensive business plan. A comprehensive business plan should be innovative, precise and matched to today’s economic challenges.


In retrospect, I’ve enjoyed my tenure of service in the horse industry. Along the way I’ve met some remarkable individuals.  My love of the industry, the horse and my own diversified business plan will sustain me through the downturn in the industry. As individual members of a specific nonprofit, we all have the right to voice our opinions, especially when our voices are molded into the sum part of the whole for change.


One thing I’ve learned is that horse people are very resilient and hard-working individuals, whose love of the horse will be passed from one generation to the next. The horse industry is experiencing hard times right now but in all things, “This too shall pass.”


To paraphrase (and twist) John F. Kennedy’s famous saying, “Ask not what you can do for your nonprofit, ask what your nonprofit can do for you?”  Your obligation was complete when you paid for your membership dues, bought a horse, the necessary equipment, paid the entry fee and are prepared to show. If enough of us voice our opinions maybe, just maybe, the powers-that-be will hear us!


Now it’s time for the nonprofits to act and not just react, by making some major changes, namely in the direction and make-up of their leadership, and actually lead the way to make sure they are headed in the right direction!


Until Next Time, Keep ‘Em Between The Bridles!


Copyright 2014, all rights reserved.


Richard E. “Rick” Dennis

Managing Member

Office/Mobile: (985) 630-3500


Web Site:


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☛ Is Equine Drug Testing Fair 7-10-14






By Rick Dennis
July 10, 2014
In my previous Horse Doping segments 1 and 2, concentration and focal points were directed to the horseracing industry primarily due, in part, to the litany of available publications on the subject matter as well as the heightened awareness of the prevalence of drug use in this equine industry by the release of television documentaries, e.g., HBO Real Time Sports, etc.


Unfortunately, the horseracing industry is not the only industry allowing the use of drugs in horses in an acceptable manner.  The performance-horse industry is also inundated with equine drug use both in an approved manner as well as an unapproved manner.  Nonetheless, drugs are being administered to performance horses for training and showing purposes.


This has given rise to various nonprofit performance-horse organizations establishing drug-testing policies and procedures to counter the prevalent use of drugs in performance horses by trainers and others, which is comprised of approved drugs at certain levels as well as prohibited drug categories which allows a particular horse with either a physiological or psychological impairment to remain in the show pen.


From a Risk Analyst’s view point, the approval of any category of drug by a nonprofit may become problematic to the nonprofit and pose a legal liability, especially when a horse in competition causes injury to another while under the influence of an approved drug category by direct result or indirect result, e.g., collapsing in the show arena while in competition causing injury to the rider or others.


Another perceived risk involves drug administration not to exceed certain levels. This may become problematic to the administrator as well as the nonprofit review committee negotiating whether a positive test result is an actual violation. Each horse absorbs drugs at a different rate and also depletes a drug from its system at different rates. Therefore, in lies the problem. This is especially realized when the administrator is a trainer whose knowledge of pharmacology and metabolisms is limited in scope.


On Jan. 3, 2013, I authored and released an article in entitled “Nonprofit Equine Drug Testing Programs.”  The article’s intent was to address the ever-prevalent equine nonprofit drug-testing policies and procedures adoption as well as informing the general horse industry populous of the manner and means of conducting a proper drug test which is fair to the participant and the nonprofit alike.

Click for Nonprofit Equine Drug Testing Programs>>


In my recent review of a myriad of nonprofit equine drug-testing policies and procedures, the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) without a doubt has the best. I found their equine drug-testing policy to be fair and it protects the horse, the horse owner and the nonprofit. In fact, on the United States Equestrian Federation’s web site, the following announcement concerning human testing for individuals competing in Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) events is available for review.



When you are competing under (FEI) rules, you (the human athlete) are also subject to drug testing. It is your responsibility to verify if you are taking any medications on the Prohibited Substances List. If you find that you are on a prohibited substance, a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) can be submitted with sufficient medical back-up. Please review all of the following reference tools, and if you have any questions please contact Kathleen Richards at 908.326.1152, or via email

Click for FEI Human Drug Testing Policy>>



One of the most interesting aspects of the FEi equine drug testing protocol is the implementation of the split sample collection procedure that allows the owner to challenge a positive drug test. Essentially, the protocol requires the use of sample A and sample B. Unlike other equine performance horse nonprofits, such as the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) and the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA), that subscribe to the single-sample utilization method, the split-sample technique requires sample A to be analyzed and sample B frozen and untested until a challenge emerges. For additional information on (USEF) drug testing, click on the link below.

Click for USEF Drug-Testing Policy>>


The pitfall when using the single-source method is realized when the sample is contaminated at the laboratory during processing and/or testing, because the same sample will be used for any challenges and predicated by sample volume availability.  Therefore, it’s very predictable: if the first contaminated sample revealed a false positive then the second testing under challenge will also yield a very predictable false-positive result as well.  Any punishments issued thereafter to the owner or others will be done so under false pretenses with no way for the owner or others to exonerate themselves from the false-positive drug test result. 


The single collection method also virtually eliminates any challenges to the laboratories reliability in conducting equine drug tests.  In an abundance of caution, please be advised that sample contamination at the laboratory does occur. I had first-hand experience on this subject when one of my submitted samples became the subject of laboratory contamination, resulting in an audit.


Another remarkable aspect of the USEF drug-testing protocol is the use of both urine and blood samples for analysis. It has long been known in private-sector employee drug-testing programs, urine yields better results for drugs of abuse than blood. On the other hand, blood yields better results for alcohol testing.


The most significant deficiency I noted during my review of performance-horse drug testing policies is that a clear and complete laboratory certification standard for accreditation is not fully revealed, except to infer accreditation by “industry standards.”  My question is, exactly what are “industry standards” and how is accreditation monitored?  Equally, it is also unclear exactly what protocols are followed in the collection and chain-of-custody procedures, except the statement, “Samples will be collected by acceptable industry standards.” Again, exactly what “industry standards” are being referred to?


In the private sector, Federal Regulations (49, CFR, Part 40) defines laboratory certification standards for employee drug testing along with the requirements for sample collection, transportation, analysis and storage as well as certifying a Breath Alcohol Technician (BAT).  For additional information pertaining to Federal Drug & Alcohol testing, click on the following link.
Click for Federal Drug & Alcohol testing>>


Federal Regulations require monitoring the laboratory certification by the issuance of Blind Proficiency Sample Testing by drug-testing consortiums. For each number of samples collected and submitted for testing, the consortium must submit samples which either contain known quantities of prohibited drug metabolites or samples that are free of prohibited drug metabolites under the blind-proficiency testing rule.


In the event the laboratory reports a drug test result inconsistent with the known substances in the blind proficiency samples, this will automatically trigger an audit of the testing laboratory.  If these safeguards are built into human drug testing, why shouldn’t the same safeguards be built into nonprofit equine drug-testing policies, especially in lieu of fines and penalties being handed out by the nonprofit for violations?  These types of safeguards offer a program agenda that is fair and balanced to the participants, unlike various equine drug-testing policies that I’ve reviewed and analyzed and that I determined to be lacking or flawed.


From personal experience, I identified one particular flaw in a nonprofit equine drug-testing policy.  A number of years back, I accompanied a client to an AQHA show. He was showing a bridle horse I trained in the Amateur Reining and Cow Horse classes and won both classes.  At the conclusion of the classes, the sample collectors arrived and drew blood samples for drug testing.


When I requested a split sample, the veterinarian informed me he was not required to collect more than one sample. After an extended period of time, the client contacted me and asked about his horse’s drug test.  I promptly contacted AQHA and was referred to their drug-testing laboratory.  After contacting the drug-testing laboratory and inquiring about the drug test result, I was promptly informed, “No news is good news.”


I further learned that unlike the private sector side that issues both positive and negative drug-test results, the equine side (in this particular instance) did not issue negative drug-test results, further informing me that if a positive drug test is identified, it would be reported to AQHA and a representative would contact the owner. This unorthodox behavior was troubling to me since I was the trainer and caretaker of the horse, which meant I was also vulnerable and responsible for the drug-test result, which subjects me to the same penalties as the owner.


Another important aspect of an equine drug-testing program refers to an individual proving his or her innocence when a positive drug test is reported and no one in the care of the horse is responsible for the actual administration of a prohibited drug to a horse. This theory brings to mind an incident some years ago when an owner’s horse failed a drug test at the AQHA World Show, which also adds credibility to the theory.  The end result was the owner was allowed to write an article in the Quarter Horse Journal blaming the mishap on terrorists.


So my question to them is, “Where are the safeguards, checks and balances in the system to ensure a drug test was even conducted, as well as verifying the money collected at the show was even utilized?”  To date, neither a positive or negative drug test has been reported to the participant or myself! Additionally, where is the security at the show grounds to ensure the horses stalled there are not contaminated by a prohibited drug administered by another, outside the realm of authority and control of the horse being tested?


The most ambiguous statement I noted, during my review, pertains to animal welfare, which is perhaps derived from a convoluted thought process at best. Since when did the administering of drugs to horses either during training or to allow them to show have anything to do with animal welfare? So is it really about the welfare of the horse or is it about collecting vast amounts of cash from a drug-testing policy.


At the 2013 AQHA Convention, the AQHA passed out a brochure with their financials. Included in Operating Revenues was Drug Testing revenue totaling $1,358,234 for 2013 and $1,831,878 for 2012. Yet there are no Operating Expenses listed for the cost of drug testing. Could it be included in the over $9.8 million in General and Administrative expenses or in some other general account not listed in the financials  - or were there no expenses for drug testing, meaning they didn’t actually send drug samples to the laboratory to be tested?

Click for AQHA Financials>>


To realize this theory, one must understand the private-sector concept as well as the equine drug-testing concept.


In the private sector, a company generally institutes a drug-testing profile consisting of pre-employment, random, post-accident and probable-cause testing, which means the company only pays for tests emanating from individual sample collections.


In the equine sector, each class participant pays an across-the-board fee for drug tests. The monetary reward is realized in the small quantity of random samples collected, analyzed and paid for versus the amount of collected drug-testing fees that are yielding an enormous amount of cash to the nonprofit in the long run – especially if they didn’t send any samples to the lab to be drug tested.


So is animal welfare really at stake here or is making a lot of money an additional motivating factor?  In my opinion, if animal welfare is the primary motivating factor, then why aren’t drugs banned in the performance-horse industry, except in the normal case of injury or illness for recuperation. If a horse requires drugs to be trained or compete due to a physiological or psychological impairment, shouldn’t it be retired? This brings up another important fact that is included in a nonprofit drug-testing policy pertaining to a level playing field.


Where’s the level playing field when horses using drugs to compete are competing against horses not on drugs?  Another important motivation factor to consider in the scenario is the money made by the show producer, trainers, veterinarians, drug manufacturers and nonprofits that are realized by keeping horses in the show pen.  A nonprofit realizes cash earnings from shows in two categories: 1) a percentage of entry fees and 2) across-the-board drug-testing fees.  Essentially, everyone is making money and the horse is stuck in the equation.


The most puzzling concept I encountered during my analysis was the use of the word “presumed” relative to equine drug-sample collection and test results. In simple terminology, a positive drug test is similar to being pregnant. Either you are or you’re not! The same applies to a positive drug test.  Either it is or it isn’t!  The definition of presumed is: 1) simply suppose that something is probably the case and 2) take for granted.  Where’s the certifying scientist in this matter?


Notwithstanding, what I have reviewed in various nonprofit drug policies simply is inviting a lawsuit in the way they’re structured and enforced. Law firms are actively engaged in advertising on the Internet, the representation of individuals whose horses have positive drug-test results that could lead to a costly legal battle. My suggestion would be for a nonprofit to consult with a professional in the field of drug analysis instead of either trying to go it alone or by plagiarizing another’s policy.  Remember – when you copy another’s work, you also copy and accept responsibility for any flaws!

Copyright 2014 – All rights reserved.


Until Next Time, Keep ‘Em Between The Bridles!

(Rick Dennis has combined law enforcement, drug enforcement and private-sector drug testing experience and expertise spanning 44 years, He is certified in Federal and State court in drugs of abuse. He is a certified Federal breath alcohol technician and specimen collector as well as a former owner of Certified Lab Inc., one of the first employee drug-testing laboratories in Louisiana – 1987.)


Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
Managing Member
Office/Mobile: (985) 630-3500
Web Site:
Wind River Security, Consultation and Risk Analysis
Wind River Drug, Alcohol and DNA Testing
Wind River Ranch – Reined Cow Horse Breeding, Training, Exhibition and Sales





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☛ Horse Doping – Segment 2 – 7-3-14




By Rick Dennis
July 3, 2014
In a recent news release – Patti Schofler – Dark Horse Media Biz and Molly Gasiewicz – Cavalor Communications Manager released an email stating: “As a step toward catching up with the FEI’s drug free policy, USEF made revisions in its drug and medications rules that include the addition to ‘prohibited practices’ three popular drugs which now cannot be administered any sooner than (12) hours prior to equine competition.” They include:

1)         Dexamethasone.

2)         Ketoprofen, and

3)         Methocarbamol.


In order to fully educate the reader with this class of drugs the following definitions have been added for clarification:


Dexamethasone, is a potent synthetic member of the glucocorticoid class of steroid drugs that has anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressant effects. It is 25 times more potent than cortisol in its glucocorticoid effect, while having minimal mineralocorticoid effect.


Ketoprofen, is one of the propionic acid class of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) with analgesic and antipyretic effects.  It acts by inhibiting the body’s production of prostaglandin.


Methocarbamol is a central muscle relaxant used to treat skeletal muscle spasms. Under the trade name Robaxin.


The article continues with an interview with founder and chief nutritionist of Cavalor Feed, Supplements and Care Products, Peter Bollen, how herbal and natural products fit into this picture.
Click for Cavalor article and interview>>


Another drug – Lasix, is a popular drug class that according to the HBO/Real Time Sports presentation pertaining to Horse Doping in the Race Horse Industry that is a prevalent and popular drug administered to race horses.


To fully understand Lasix and the effects realized after administration the following drug definition will enlighten the reader:


DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Furosemide is a potent diuretic (water pill) that is used to eliminate water and salt from the body. In the kidneys, salt (composed of sodium and chloride), water, and other small molecules normally are filtered out of the blood and into the tubules of the kidney. The filtered fluid ultimately becomes urine. Most of the sodium, chloride and water that is filtered out of the blood is reabsorbed into the blood before the filtered fluid becomes urine and is eliminated from the body. Furosemide works by blocking the absorption of sodium, chloride, and water from the filtered fluid in the kidney tubules, causing a profound increase in the output of urine (diuresis).


Adverse Effects:  Although disputed,it is considered ototoxic: “usually with large parenteral doses and rapid administration and in renal impairment”. In human adminstration Furosemide also can lead to gout caused by hyperuricemia. Hyperglycemia or low blood sugar is also a common side effect.


The tendency, as for all loop diuretics, to cause low potassium levels (hypokalemia) has given rise to combination products, either with potassium itself (e.g. Lasix-K) or with the potassium-sparing diuretic amiloride (Co-amilofruse).


Administration of Lasix in race horses is alleged to increase the speed of the horse by reducing body weight from a loss of body fluids.  Unfortunately, this drug class also depletes necessary vitamins and minerals in the body along with the fluid flush  which could become problematic to normal body function whether in human or animals.  In humans, Lasix is readily prescribed for a host of illnesses including, but not limited to, treating high blood pressure, congestive heart failure as well as other medical conditions.


Notwithstanding, the problems associated with the use of drugs in equine training becomes even more problematic when more than one type of drug class is administered to the horse.  This essentially causes a compounding effect in the horse which can lead to unpredictable and undesirable results and can lead to the death of the horse after administration.


At the Wind River Ranch training facility I have a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY to the use of any type of drug or drugs during training or showing, except joint lubricants such as ADEQUAN or Legends.  I have a commitment to training and showing horses which are drug free!


In recent times the Immigration and Customs Service (ICE), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA)  have taken special interest in scrutinizing compounders in the U.S.  The link below will provide one such instance of auditing a Texas compounding facility as reported by BLOODHORSE.COM.

Click for Texas Compounder Draws Industry Scrutiny>>


The horse as with each human anatomy absorbs and metabolizes drugs differently and at different rates therefore the results in each metabolism are different and can produce adverse results. In my opinion the main concern with combining drug use in an equine training regiment is 1) the safety of the horse and rider and 2) your not seeing the horse performing in its natural state and at its individual best which becomes problematic to breeders who are basing their Stallion selection due, in part, on performance results either in the show arena or on the track.  Another factor affecting the horse racing industry as a result of horse doping is a decline in betting on horse races by gamblers.


“Stop Doping Horses” in the Baltimore Sun, is an article that addresses some common problems associated with horse doping in the race horse industry.

Click for Baltimore Sun article>>


In an article entitled – “Routine On U.S. Racetracks, Horse Doping Is Banned In Europe: NPR”, this article discusses at length the effects horse doping is having on the horse as well as the horse industry in the U.S.

Click for “Horse Doping Banned in Europe”>>


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


Copyright 2014, all rights reserved.


Richard E. “Rick” Dennis

Managing Member

Office/Mobile: (985) 630-3500


Web Site:


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☛ Carol Rose/Aaron Ranch lawsuit – 6-28-14






By Glory Ann Kurtz
June 29, 2014
An Oct. 3, 2013 lawsuit by Carol Rose and Carol Rose, Inc.,, Gainesville, Texas,  vs Lori and Philip Aaron and the Aaron Ranch,  Commerce, Texas, started to play out in the 235th Judicial District

Carol Rose rides Lil Miss Shiney Chex at the 2010 AQHA World Championship Show. The mare is the broodmare Carol planned to keep out of her August dispersal sale. (AQHA Journal photo)

Court in Cooke County, Gainesville, Texas, and provided those in the Western performance horse industry fodder for gossip.


Rose is the AQHA All-Time Leading Breeder of Performance Horses and the owner of a 253-acre showplace horse ranch just off of Highway 35.  Since 1984, Rose had managed the horse training, breeding and boarding business. She owned a famous palomino stallion named Shining Spark, currently sterile, but she bred him to performance horses, with his offspring and grandbabies winning national honors in cow horse and reining competitions for herself and others, all the while, she was  selling them at six-figure prices.


Carol had been married to the legendary Matlock Rose, a legend in the cutting horse industry as a trainer, breeder, teacher and judge, who passed away on Jan. 5, 2008. The couple were divorced in 1983 and in 2013, she decided to lessen her involvement in the equine industry by having a sale of her horses, and possibly leasing or selling her ranch.


Lori and Philip Aaron of the Aaron Ranch, Commerce, Texas, who were one of the largest landowners in Hunt County, Texas, have been in the cattle business for decades, as well as breeding and raising working cow horses. They had an affinity for “horses of color,” namely blue and red roans, and were breeding, raising and training ranch-type horses of Blue Valentine bloodlines.


In June 2013, Rose was introduced to the Aarons who expressed an interest in becoming involved with Western performance horses, and started negotiations regarding a lease of Rose’s property, purchase of certain horses and even an agreement for Rose to provide consulting services to them, as they had limited experience in conducting a performance horse business.


A lease with a purchase option for the ranch was written up and they also had an agreement to purchase certain horses at Rose’s Dispersal Sale that was held on Aug. 16, where the Aarons purchased approximately 48 head of horses for close to $5.2 million, according to results provided by Rose and published by Quarter Horse News.


The sale featured 141 horses with 137 marked as sold. They netted $7,416,750, averaged $54,137 and held a $25,000 median (halfway between the highest- and lowest-selling horse.  The Aarons had purchased 48 or 35 percent of all the horses sold, including the high-selling horse A Shiner Named Sioux, that sold for a reported $850,000 to the Aarons. They purchased the first through fourth high-selling horses, in fact, by day’s end, they had purchased 26 of the top 30-selling horses in the sale.


However, according to court documents, and as often happens in sales, most of the horses the Aarons purchased and the prices they brought were agreed on prior to the sale.  However, 10 of the horses that were purchased for a total of $935,555 were not paid for when the sale was over. And that’s when a major dispute began, including Rose’s ranch, her trainer Jay McLaughlin and the horses sold.


Rather than writing a lengthy article regarding the ins and outs of the lawsuits, I have chosen to publish several of the actual court documents that I thought summarized the lawsuit, ranging from 1) Rose’s Original Petition, 2) the Aaron’s Counter Claim, 3) Rose’s Protective Order, 4) Rose’s Answer to Counter Claim, 5) the Court’s Temporary Injunction, and 6) a Memorandum and Judgment where the Court granted Rose’s Motion to Dismiss her Appeal. That way, you, as a reader, can make your own decisions.


The next step: A hearing set for July 24 at 11 a.m. in the Cooke County Courthouse in Gainesville, Texas.

Click for 1) Rose’s Original Petition>>

Click for 2) Aaron’s Counter Claim>>

Click for 3) Rose’s Protective Order>>

Click for Plaintiffs Second Amended Petition>>

Click for 5) Court’s Temporary Injunction>>

Click for 6) Memorandum & Judgment for Rose’s Motion to Dismiss her Appeal>>

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☛ NRCHA Derby 6-17–14

Posted by on Jun 17, 2014 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments



By Glory Ann Kurtz
June 16, 2014

Kelby Phillips rode Hickory Holly Time to a 660.5 and the Open Championship of the NRCHA Futurity.

Following a full day of National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Derby finals on Saturday, June 14, Kelby Phillips, Tonopah, Ariz., rode Hickory Holly Time in the final set of 12 Open horses and riders  to a near-perfect cow work. The pair scored a 222 for a combined score of 660.5, good enough for the top spot in the Open division of one of the NRCHA’s Premier events held June 9-14 in Paso Robles, Calif.  The Finals of the event paid out a total of $393,722.90 with the Open division paying $337,201.90 to the 20 Open finalists.


The stallion, owned by Garth and Amanda Gardiner, Ashland, Kan., and sired by the event’s leading sire One Time Pepto, out of Hickorys Holly Cee by Doc’s Hickory earned the champion’s paycheck of $33,033 that came with a Bob’s Custom Saddle and Gist buckle sponsored by TJ and Sandra Neal; boots sponsored by Rios of Mercedes; a gift certificate and cooler bag sponsored by San Juan Ranch/Santa Cruz Animal Health; and a gift certificate from Platinum Performance.


It was a breakthrough title for Phillips, a talented, up-and-coming horseman, who has trained Hickory Holly Time from the very beginning.


The pair worked their way to a 214 in the herd work, won the rein work round with a 224.5, and then sealed the championship with a 222 in the cow work.


“I’m not going to say he’s the best horse there ever was, but he’s the best horse I ever rode,” Phillips said following his win. He was the former head trainer for Gardiner Quarter Horses facility of Ashland, Kans., owned and operated by Hickory Holly Time’s owners, before going out on his own last year.


“Garth and Amanda were good enough to leave him with me, because they know how special the horse is to me. He’s not just a horse to me. He’s more like family. There are people who go their whole lifetime and never have a horse like him. I feel blessed that they left him with me after I went out on my own. Garth and Amanda have been supportive the whole time,” Phillips said.


He also thanked his wife, Abbie, and recognized his herd help through both the preliminaries and the finals: Zeph Schulz, Brandon Buttars, Zane Davis, Boyd Rice, and Phillip Ralls. Veterinarian Joe Carter, DVM, played a key role in keeping Hickory Holly Time in performance shape.

Click for video of Hickory Holly Time’s Finals Cow Work>>

The Derby Open Reserve Champion was This One Time, also sired by One Time Pepto out of the great mare Katie Starlight by Grays Starlight, shown by Todd Bergen and owned by Pam Bailey. The pair’s most recent win was the NRCHA Stakes held March 31-April 5 in Las Vegas, picking up $29,107.05.


The pair earned $24,340 with a 659 composite, which included a 221.5 earned while winning the Open Herd work, a 217 in the rein work and a 220.5 in the cow work. (The highest score of 225 in the Herd Work went to Clayton Edsell riding Johnny Isalena, who was a favorite in the 2013 NRCHA Futurity before the pair fell in the finals during the cow work. The pair qualified for the Derby finals in the Intermediate Open).


Bergen was one of three riders with three horses in the finals. Bergen also finished fifth on One Shiney Pistol, a daughter of One Time Pepto out of Shiners Lil Pistol, with a total score of 654, and included the 225 in the cow work – the highest open cow work score in the finals, taking home an additional $12,170.13. (Les Oswald, an Intermediate and Limited Open rider, and Tootsie Rey Time, a gelding by One Time Pepto out of Tootsie Rey, owned by Richard or Rena Whyler, had the highest cow work score of the finals – a 225.5.)


The rider with the most horses in the finals was Zane Davis, with three. He finished third with a combined score of 658.5 riding Rubys Radar, a son of One Time Pepto out of Ruby Bagonia, owned by Billie Filippini. The pair previously were Reserve at the NRCHA Stakes in Las Vegas, collecting $21,447.30.


He also tied for 8th riding Brother Jackson, (6th at Vegas)  a son of Peptoonsmal out of Shes Icing On The Cat, owned by John A. Semanik, with a 650 and 10th riding Dera Cat (Smooth As A Cat x Dera Dually), owned by Harry C. DeHaan, with a 649.


Corey Cushing and Boyd Rice also had two horses in the finals, with Corey finishing fourth on CD Diamond (CD Olena x Shiners Diamond Girl) owned by San Juan Ranch. Rice finished in a tie for sixth riding Royal Smart Fletch (Royal Fletch x Little Smart Ginger) owned by Kit and Charlie Moncrief, and he scratched BFR Igniting Sparks (Shining Spark x Sliden Wright By) owned by the Beechfork Ranch) from the Cow Work finals.


Intermediate Open Champion

The Derby Intermediate Open Champion horse, Mister Olena Chic (Mister Dual Pep x April Olena x Smart Chic Olena), scored a total 650 to earn $6,881.61 for owner Day Creek Ranch, Simi Valley, Calif. The 2010 stallion was shown by Randy Paul, Day Creek Ranch’s resident trainer. Mister Olena Chic also collected a Gist buckle sponsored by TJ and Sandra Neal; and a gift certificate from Platinum Performance.


The pair was also in the Open Finals, finishing in a tie for 8th for an additional $6,085.06 paycheck, for a total take-home paycheck of $12,966.67.


The Reserve title and $5,070.66 went to High To You (Mr Boonsmal To You x MK Cats Lil Kitty) owned by Katie H. Wilson and ridden by Cayley R. Wilson, to a 645.5 composite score.


Third and $4,165.19 went to Johnny Isalena (Quejanaisalena x Dual Train), owned by Chelsea Barney and ridden by Clayton Edsall to a 645.0.


The Intermediate Open paid out a total of 36,219.02.


Limited-Open Champion

The Derby Limited Open Champion was Tootsie Rey Time (One Time Pepto x Tootsie Rey x Dual Rey), shown by Les Oswald and owned by Richard and Rena Whyler. They collected a $5,409.32 paycheck, a Gist buckle sponsored by TJ and Sandra Neal, and a gift certificate from Platinum Performance.


The pair also finished fourth in the Intermediate Open after scoring the highest Cow Work, in the Finals, earning additional $3,621.90 for a total take-home check of $9,031.22.


The Limited Open division paid out a total of $19,319.01.



One Time Pepto, a 2001 son of Peptoboonsmal out of One Time Soon by Smart Little Lena, owned by Jeff and Sheri Matthews, Weatherford, Texas, was the leading sire of the NRCHA Derby – following his leading sire status of the 2013 NRCHA Futurity.


The stallion sired seven foals competing in the 20 horses in the Open finals, including the first-, second-, third-, fifth, 14th-, 18th- and 19th-place horses, who earned $98,230.35, or 56.5 percent of the Open purse. Nine of One Time Pepto’s foals earned $107,804.86 in the Open, Intermediate Open and Limited Open Finals, or 32 percent of the 46 total open entries.


With only four crops of colts of performance age, One Time Pepto has sired foals with winnings of over $6 million and was recently named the leading Junior Sire by Quarter Horse News in two disciplines: Cutting and Reined Cow Horse. (Junior sires are sires whose offspring have posted no earnings to Equi-tat prior to 2009).


In cutting he had 242 foals win $4,738,651 for a $19,581 average, topped by NCHA Futurity Champion One Time Royalty with $447,383. In Reined Cow Horse, he sired 60 foals with earnings of $1,032,459, topped by Time For The Diamond with $117,978 in lifetime earnings, including the 2013  NRHA Futurity title ridden by Nick Dowers. One Time Rey Jey, with $107,062 in earnings was the 2010 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Reserve Champion with Jake Telford.



Non-Pro Champion

Tammy Jo Hays, Nocona, Texas, claimed the Derby Non-Pro Championship scoring the top composite score of 648.5 aboard her 2013 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity horse, SDP Got Fancy Genes (RC Fancy Step x SDP I Got Good Genes x Dual Rey).


The pair topped the cow work with a 219.5, finished third in the Herd work with a 213 and second in the Rein work with a 216 and collected a $6,782.40 paycheck.



The Reserve title went to Amanda Gardiner, Ashland,Kan., riding Wrightin Checks (Hes Wright On x Miss Shiney Cash), owned by Amanda and Garth Gardiner – the owner of the Derby Open Champion horse Hickory Holly Time.  The pair scored a total composite score of 635.0, earning $5,425.92.


Third in the composite, with a 633.5 was Jayson Fisher riding Keg Of Jules (Soula Jule Star x Shes A Hickory Girl) owned by Jayson and his wife Teresa. Their take-home pay was $4,408.56.


A total of $33,912 was paid out in the Non-Pro competition.


Intermediate & Novice Non-Pro Champion

They won the Derby Amateur Championship earlier in the week, and Parke Greeson and Checkn Out The Ladys (Im Countin Checks x No Lady Wood x Zack T Wood) also earned the Intermediate and Novice Non Pro Championships in Paso Robles and finished fourth in the Non-Pro.


Greeson picked up a total of $7,528.16 plus his prizes that included two Gist buckles sponsored by TJ and Sandra Neal; two Platinum Performance gift certificates; and a Cow Trac system sponsored by Cow Trac.


The reserve title in the Intermediate Non-Pro went to Molly Russell riding TF Cats Lilypad (Cats Merada x RM Lily Langtree) owned by Dann and Molly Russell. The pair scored a total of 627.5 in the composite after topping the cow work with a smooth 219. The $3,391.20 check was added to the $2,712.96 they won for fifth in the Non-Pro for a total of $6,104.16.


Reserve in the Novice Non-Pro went to Shannon McCarty riding Hick Olena (Hick Chicaroo x Miss Ann Oleana), with a 626.5 composite score. She also finished fourth on a full sister – Chicaroos Annie – with a 603 composite score, taking home a total of $1,922 on the two horses. Shannon also finished third in the Intermediate Non-Pro riding Hick Olena, for an additional $2,543.40 –  and sixth in the Non-Pro, taking home a grand total of  $6,839.26.


The Intermediate Non-Pro paid out a total of $16,956 while the Novice Non-Pro paid out a total of $5,653 – for a grand Non-Pro payout of $56,521.

Some information for the above article was provided by NRCHA.

Click here for full results>>









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