Pages Navigation Menu


AQHA could amend genetic diseases rule at Convention







By Glory Ann Kurtz
Feb. 14, 2018

Members can lead the charge toward changes that could make the AQHA and the equine industry better at this year’s AQHA Convention.

The Convention will be held March 2-5 at the Hyatt Regency Riverfront in Jacksonville, Fla. The Convention is a chance for members to review member-submitted rule-change proposals and appoint new directors, induct new members into the AQHA Hall of Fame and elect the AQHA Executive Committee. You can register online at membership/convention/pages/register-for-convention/ For questions contact AQHA at utilities/contact/aqha/

The horses to be inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame for 2018 include Maroon (TB), Otoe, Runaway Winner, Smart Chic Olena and The Ole Man. The four men and two women are Abigail Kawananakoa, Nuevo Calif.; Dr. Tom Lenz, Louisburg, Kansas; the late AQHA Past President Gene Graves, Grand Island, Neb.; Georga and the late Raymond Sutton, Gettysburg, S.D. and the late Robert Sutherland, Kansas City, Mo.

You will be able to attend many AQHA Standing Committee meetings, including Amateur, Equine Research, International, Judges, Market & Membership, Nominations & Credentials, Public Policy, Racing, Ranching, Recreational Activities, Show, Professional Horseman and Youth Activities.

The Stud Book & Registration Committee will have an interesting agenda, including the Jockey Club’s new rule to have Electronic Registration Certificates for the horses.


If you’re a breeder, you would probably be interested in a suggested Genetic Disease Rule that will be discussed in the Stud  Book & Registration Committee, I’m sure – behind closed doors. There is a suggestion to amend REG108 (member) to

  1. require all breeding stallions and mares to have a genetic panel test done, and
  2. foals resulting from a breeding involving a parent that has tested positive for any of the diseases covered by the genetic disease panel are ineligible for registration.


The AQHA has also announced that they have partnered with the National Ranch Stock  Horse Alliance, formed to preserve and perpetuate ranching traditions and ranching heritage through ranch and stock horse events.

There will be dual-approved Versatility Ranch Horse shows with other NRSHA events and the AQHA will host a National Ranch and Stock Horse Alliance Show in conjunction with the 2018 Zoetis AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse World Championships June 13-17 at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Okla.

The NRSHA will work toward preserving and protecting the ranching heritage by helping these events stay true to their ranching roots, record major achievements of the ranch and stock horses competing in these associations and offer educational platforms with respected horse industry trainers and through AQHA Judges Seminars.

Other associations included in the NRSHA are the National Versatility Ranch Horse Association (NVRHA), Stock Horse of Texas (SHTX), Western States Versatility Ranch Horse Association (WSVRHA), Oklahoma Stock Horse Association (OkSHA) and the East Coast Stock Horse Association (ECSHA).

For an association to become a member, they must have at least 100 members, an association show must have at least one judged cattle class and must be a non-profit. Major event placings and money earned will be made available to AQHA for inclusion on horses’ achievement records, which will also be available through AQHA’s Robin Glenn Pedigrees. Each alliance association member is eligible to compete in the NRSHA National Show held each year.

For more information, go to

Read More

☛ The pros and cons of background checks 2-13-18



By Rick Dennis
Feb. 13, 2018

Arguably, the most often debated subject in the private sector business arena is the necessity of conducting background checks.  Most often proponents argue, “it’s a sound business principle” while opponents opt for the age ole excuse “it’s a violation of privacy.”

These two concepts have been debated through time and memorial. Each are viewed as ideologies, with only one being a clear winner in the common sense arena.  Background checks have the advantage over the “violation of privacy issue” simply due to the fact that we live in a litigation (lawsuit) and security world.

For the record, and due in-part to my law enforcement and military resume’, my life has been constantly subjected to background checks for: security clearances, law enforcement hiring, military and private security services. My typical background check includes: an annual criminal and civil records check, fingerprint evaluations, peer association including  references, education and work history verification, medical history evaluation, as well as a DMV (Department of Motor Vehicle) a driving records check. On occasion and depending on a Personal Detail Application (PDA) – Personal Protection engagement, I’ve been required to undergo a polygraph examination, i.e., “lie detector test.” Therefore, background checks and I are old friends – “so-to-speak.”

In an article entitled “Why Do Background Checks – The Pros and Cons” the author’s first paragraph signals the reading audience as to why “Background Checks Are A Necessity, e.g.,:  A Pre-Employment Background Check has become a matter of necessity. Too many applicants make false claims on their job applications and resumes or attempt to cover up prior criminal activity. About 40% of the background checks processed by “A Matter of Fact” turn up at least one serious discrepancy.

Yet in another “matter-of-fact” statement the author asserts the pros of employee background checks.

Why do background checks? The benefits of comprehensive employment background screening include: increased applicant and new hire quality, reduced workplace violence, reduced negligent hiring liability, reduced losses from employee dishonesty, making the right hire the first time, and avoiding negative publicity. The bottom line is that pre-employment background checks help an organization be more successful. That means greater profits to for-profit organizations and greater impact for nonprofit’s.
Click for article on background checks>> 

There’s a whole host of relevancy that can be applied to any industry, other than the ones mentioned in my background synopsis, to justify the utilization of background checks – including the horse industry. Whether it’s for an individual applying for a directorship, board of directors/member nominee, a President or other officer, trainer, or sale company owner. In my opinion, and as a matter of fact – “anyone in a position of authority, Hall of Fame members that members and kids look up to, or those who provide clinics – especially for children, or under-age minors. Also included should be anyone in a position of responsibility or acting as a fiduciary whose authority is handling thousands of dollars (in some cases millions of dollars)  should have a background check. After all, trainers and Hall of Fame members are the icons of the horse industry representing both the non-profit horse organization, a specific performance group and also the general public. It’s irresponsible for a non-profit horse organization to elevate such an individual to its highest stature position without knowing all there is to know about that individual and ending up regretting their decision later on.

It’s just plain old good common sense to represent an individual in a factual manner instead of representing an individual as a good guy when, in reality, you may know nothing or very little about that person. I’m an active proponent of implementing a rule adoption requiring any individual included on a horse non-profit’s Trainers Directory, Directorship, or Board Member is only eligible for inclusion after a thorough background check.

My advocacy of performing background checks stems from the fact that after 911, the Patriot Act was enacted whereby individuals setting foot on any dock, offshore vessel or offshore oil and gas-producing platform to collect urine for employee drug and alcohol screening for sobriety has to have a security clearance as ordered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Therefore, if the private sector contractors has to have a background check to set foot on a dock in the United States of America, shouldn’t the same sound business principle be applied to the private sector horse industry, especially for those individuals who have a major contact with the general public either by representing a specific horse nonprofit or a specific performance category during his or her endeavor?  As a Risk Analyst, it’s just good business. The cost: $50 to $500.


Normally, a typical background check previously mentioned in the above categories can easily be performed by a private investigator, a law enforcement agency, a private security agency or an individual specializing in background checks. My personal preference is to use an outside individual or agency instead of performing them myself. This relieves me of the bias theory.  Equally, I’m not an advocate of using internet background check systems simply due to the fact the information contained therein might not be accurate or it may be deficient. My own representative of choice is “Christina Robertson Legal Services of Oceano, California. (805) 801-0346 or (805) 903-3695.

Ms. Robertson states that “If you truly want a thorough background check, you must search through Open Source Intelligence Gathering (OSINT). This is where Ms. Robertson excels.

What exactly is OSINT? Open Source Intelligence is the collection and analysis of information that is gathered from public or open sources. OSINT sources can be  media, internet, public government data, professional and academic publications, commercial data and “grey” literature, which could encompass technical reports, patents, business documents, newsletters, etc.

OSINT differs from research, in that it applies the process of intelligence to create knowledge for a specific decision by a specific individual or group.

For the record, if you’re going to have a background check performed on an individual for employment, a training engagement, or any of the criteria included in this article, it’s going to require a signed “Authorization Release Form” from the individual specifically authorizing the background check and release of information, especially if it’s referencing an employment or other work engagement decision.  That’s why you see a “disclaimer” on internet search engines advertising background checks.  A prudent business practice is to have a professional conduct this type of research of information for you.


Increase Applicant And New Hire Quality:

The first benefit of background checks that most clients see is an increase in applicant quality. We often hear from our new customers that they saw an almost immediate improvement in the quality of applicants once the word got out that they were conducting thorough background checks. A complete employee screening process results in fewer applications with serious discrepancies such as criminal records or a registered sex offender status. A background check requirement also discourages applicants who are trying to hide something, increases applications from applicants who want to work in a safe environment and increases the quality of new hires due to an improved applicant pool and improved selection process

Reduce Workplace Violence:

According to a survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice, the staggering cost of violence in the workplace includes the fact that 1.75 million days of work are lost each year by victims of workplace violence. The cost in lost wages account for about $55 million per year. When less direct, but further-reaching costs are considered, such as lost productivity, legal expenses and diminished public image, the annual cost of workplace violence could measure in the billions.

An Employer’s Imperative:

Employers have a moral and legal obligation to provide a safe work environment. Therefore, knowing whether a potential employee has been involved in criminal activity such as sex crimes, drug or other substance abuse, reckless behavior, dishonesty, theft or dangerous and violent behaviors, allows the employer to determine if an applicant is appropriate for the job and work environment. It also helps the employer determine if the applicant poses a potential threat to other employees.


How Do Background Checks Help?

Prior history is a good predictor of future performance. Background checks are used by employers to identify applicants prone to unacceptable workplace behavior. Background check tools such as criminal-record checks including instances of animal abuse reports, registered sex offenders, incarceration for violent offenses,  prior employment verifications, education verification, license verifications and other research tools can reveal potential problem areas.


Protect Against Negligent Hiring Liability:
“What is Negligent Hiring Liability?” Negligent-hiring liability holds employers responsible both for what they do know and what they should have known about their employees, agents, assigns or representatives. It can even hold employers responsible for employees’ actions off the job. Courts have repeatedly affirmed that employers have a duty to exercise reasonable care in hiring individuals who, because of the nature of their employment, may pose a threat to the public.

Cost of Employee Dishonesty:

The typical organization loses 5 percent of its annual revenue to occupational fraud. The median loss caused by occupational fraud was $140,000. More than one-fifth of fraud cases caused losses of at least $1 million. Small organizations are disproportionately victimized by occupational fraud. See, ACFE: 2012 Report to the Nation on Occupational Fraud and Abuse. Employee theft and dishonesty can also reduce production, damage public confidence, destroy employer reputation and negatively affect employee morale.

A particular case I was involved in the horse industry was litigated by criminal charges in the Gainesville, Texas, courts whereby an assistant trainer and exercise rider, “Dakota Lindsey Harrell”  was indicted and accused of accessing a client’s bank account numbers from client-provided checks paid to the trainer for services rendered. This individual was alleged to have embezzled over $500,000 over a period of years from the client’s personal bank account. The incident was resolved by the Texas Criminal Justice System. However, this is just one instance where a background check in the horse industry may have been favorable to the trainer and the client in preventing this gross theft of funds.

I performed a Risk Analysis of the incident and initiated a series of counter measures for a recovery of assets, as well as changing the client’s entire banking process to prevent a future occurrence.

Click for theft case>>

Prevalence of Employee Dishonesty:

Theft and fraud is something that employers are aware but perhaps a bit complacent. The true prevalence of these crimes is pervasive and not well known. Approximately 30 percent of employees admit to stealing from their employers. The perpetrators are not those one would expect: 41.2 percent are managers, 39 percent are employees and 19.3 percent are owners or executives.

Therefore, it’s incumbent for anyone, whether a 50(c)3 non-profit horse organization, or any other support group of the horse industry, to do all it can to protect itself from unscrupulous individuals in our society. Remember, “failing to act” after knowing something about an individual could result in a “negligence” jury verdict for the individual or company later on, due to a mishap involving that individual.



In my book I cover a myriad of security aspects applicable to the horse industry, including implementing drug testing and background checks for employers and trainer selection.  A copy can be ordered either off the internet or from my website: It’s a five-star rated book.

“Until Next Time, Keep Em Between The Bridle”

Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
Managing Member
Office/Mobile: (985) 630-3500
Web Site:

Read More

☛ Vogels and Dufurrena settle – Alvin Fults purchases Stevie Rey Von 2-10-18






By Glory Ann Kurtz
Feb. 10, 2018

After close to eight years of disagreements and lawsuits, Ed Dufurrena, Gainesville, Texas, on Thursday, Feb. 8, agreed to sign over three horses to Don and Janie Vogel, Saint Jo, Texas, during a private settlement in the Fort Worth office of their lawyer Lew Stevens.

But these weren’t just any horses. They included Auspicious Cat , a 2005 stallion sired by High Brow Cat out of Lenas O Lady by Peppy San Badger, with over $333,000 in lifetime earnings;  Stevie Rey Von, a 2012 son of Metallic Cat out of Miss Ella Rey and the winner of the 2015 NCHA Open Futurity, earning over $340,000 and Creyzy Train, a trained cutting mare that is a 2012 daughter of Auspicious Cat out of Miss Ella Rey by Dual Rey with earnings of close to $14,000.

The venture started on March 29, 2011, when Janie Vogel wrote a check for $105,000 to Ed Dufurrena Cutting Horses for 49 percent of four horses. They included three (3) registered horses including Auspicious Cat for $49,000, Whata Sneaky Cat ($20,000) and Ozzum Cat ($3,500).  Ozzum Man (registration pending) was listed at $2,500.  Two embryos out of Miss Ella Rey by Auspicious Cat and Metallic Cat (which later turned out to be Stevie Rey Von, the winner of the 2014 NCHA Futurity) were listed at $15,000 each.  Also, a 2011 embryo out of Miss Hickory Wheel by Auspicious Cat was included for 100% of reproductive costs.

Among other things, the hand-written contract stated that the purpose of the alliance was to promote cutting horses through training, showing, breeding and sales for a potential profit. The agreement stated that the Vogels had purchased the percentage of those horses and embryos, which would be known as Dos Cats Partners. The owners would share all expenses, including board, vet care, farrier, advertising, training, showing, nominations, hauling, insurance and any other expense incurred in the care and promotion of horses proportionately. The horses would be managed by Ed Dufurrena, including training, showing and advertising.  Diufurrena agreed to use acceptable practices of animal husbandry in the care and condition of the horses – as well as being the stallion manager.

Asked how the couple got involved in the cutting horse business, Janie said, “Our vet got injured badly in an accident loading horses in a trailer on New Year’s Eve. After five months in the hospital, she sold her practice. So when we went to an auction and bought some breedings for stallions, someone gave me Ed’s number and Shona helped me get my three mares bred.”

“I’ve always been fascinated with cutting horse and went to their shows,” continued Janie. “I had some halter horses that I loved to death – but for a long time I really liked cutting horses.”

Her husband, Don, was born in Muenster, Texas and they lived in South Lake, where they owned a swimming pool concrete company.

“When we decided to retire, we sold the company and bought a farm in Saint Jo, Texas,” sad Janie.


However, in a lawsuit filed six years later on Sept. 27, 2017, the Vogels (the plaintiffs) sued Dufurrena (the defendant), stating that in the beginning, the partnership owned four horses; however, presently the horses remaining in the partnership were Auspicious Cat, Creyzy Train and Stevie Rey Von (at that time ann embryo by Metallic Cat out of Miss Ella Rey). The rest of the horses in the agreement had been sold by Dufurrena. The terms included all expenses being shared proportionately by the ownership interests of each partner; all earnings from any source were to be shared proportionately according to the ownership interests of each partner and the defendant would manage the horses.

Also, expenses were allegedly incurred in the partnership with Dufurrena  being responsible for sending an invoice to the Vogels, that was prepared by Dufurrena, or at the direction of him, providing a description of the expense and the proportionate share owed by the Plaintiffs.

Stevie Rey Von went on to win the 2015 NCHA Futurity, taking home over $300,000 – without Dufurrena paying the Vogels their proportionate share of the winnings. At that time Stevie Rey Von’s breeding fee was $4,000 plus a $650 chute fee.

The Vogels response was that they had  not received their share of the breeding fees, with Dufurrena responding by sending the Vogels “self-generated” invoices containing expenses. When the Vogels requested the expenses be substantiated, they claimed the defendant never complied. In fact, at the time of the lawsuit, none of the expenses had been substantiated by Dufurrena.

The Vogels also claimed gross misrepresentations of material facts by Dufurrena. For example, the number of breedings of the stallions. The Vogels learned that Dufurrena permitted at least 100 breedings to Stevie Rey Von, during that period. The Vogels anticipated that the same would be true for 2015 and 2017 for Stevie Rey Von as well as Auspicious Cat.

According to the lawsuit, at the time of the agreement, Dufurrena represented to the Vogels that Auspicious Cat had no physical defects, which was untrue as it was later learned he was a cryptorchid (only one testicle) and carried the HERDA gene. They claim Dufurrena also misrepresented expenses of the partnership, claiming expenses for things that had not incurred, as well as inflated expenses and some that were not authorized and/or excessive. They also claim the horses generated income but that the Vogels never received their share.

Also, Dufurrena did not include the Vogels ownership on the AQHA registration papers of the partnership horses in the name of the Partnership nor the name of the Vogels. Auspicious Cat was  not transferred to Dos Cats Partners until Jan. 16, 2008, even though the date on the sale was Dec. 30, 2006 and he alone pocketed the $345,000 paycheck for winning the Open NCHA Futurity.

According to AQHA registration papers, Stevie Rey Von was  bred and owned by Brandon Dufurrena (Ed and Shona Dufurrena’s son), but his AQHA registration shows the stallion was transferred to Edward L. Dufurrena on 12/1/15 – just in time for the pair’s win in the 2015 NCHA Futurity, but the ownership of the horse was not actually recorded by the AQHA until Feb. 4, 2016. Note: Stevie Rey Von had never been transferred into the Vogels’ names.)

Dufurrena represented himself as the sole owner of the stallion, which is a serious violation of the rules and regulations of the National Cutting Horse Association. Also, advertisements of the stallion also indicate that Ed Dufurrena was the sole owner. And when breedings were received due to the advertisements, Dufurrena kept all the money and did not pay the Vogels their proportionate share.


The Vogels hired Lisa Bennett, of the law firm of Adams, Bennett, Duncan and Henley in Gainesville, Texas, who on Sept. 27, 2017 filed a lawsuit against Ed Dufurrena.

The lawsuit filed by Bennett, claimed that Dufurrena had committed conversion against the Vogels by selling partnership property without the right to do so and against the benefit of the Plaintiffs. Also Dufurrena had sold partnership property without paying the Plaintiffs their proportional share or permission of the Plaintiffs. This property included breedings from Stevie Rey Von, the prize winnings from the NCHA Futurity (over $340,000)  and by invoicing “paid for” expenses that had not been incurred or were not for the benefit of the partnership.

The suit also included the producing of documentation that Dufurrena had committed forgeries, breached the duty of loyalty owed to the Plaintiffs under the law and terms of the Partnership and using Partnership property for  his own personal gain and to the deprivation of the Plaintiffs, stating that the Vogels were billed expenses to Dufurrena wrongfully – expenses that never existed or were improperly applied or grossly inflated. Also that Dufurrena improperly titled Stevie Rey Von’s ownership with the AQHA in his own name only.

Also, when the Vogels demanded an accounting from Dufurrena, they said Dufurrena refused, breaching his fiduciary duty to the Plaintiffs.

The Vogels sought a dissolution of the Partnership, demanding an accounting from Dufurrena, all monies due them be paid from him and that a receiver be appointed for the sale of all partnership property, including, but not limited to, Steve Rey Von.

The suit claimed that Fraud had been committed on the Plaintiffs and that a points in Vogel’s pleading be filed against Dufurrena within the jurisdiction of the court.

The judgment directed Dufurrena to account for all profits earned on the transactions that are a subject of the suit; prejudgment and post judgment interests as provided by law, an order directing Dufurrena to surrender the records of the Partnership to the Plaintiffs for inspection, appoint a receiver to take custody and control of Partnership property for safekeeping and sale; appoint a receiver to take custody and control of Partnership property for safekeeping and sale; that proceeds from the sale of partnership property be placed in the registry of the court, as well as costs of the suit and any further relief to which the Vogels are entitled.

On Oct. 2, 2017, the Vogels made a motion for the appointment of a receiver, stating that if the assets of the partnership were not immediately placed in a receivership and liquidated, irreparable harm will ensue to Plaintiffs. The present assets of the partnership are the three horses, with Stevie Rey Von being the most valuable since he had won the 2015 NCHA Cutting futurity, giving him a value of $1 million. Auspicious Cat was valued at $160,000 and Creyzy Train at $8,000.

Also the suit claims that Dufurrena has insured the horses, with his and his wife’s names being the beneficiaries and when the Vogels insisted that they be included in the ownership interest in the policy. Dufurrena failed to do so.

The Plaintiffs requested the appointment of a receiver to have authority after the hearing, immediately taking possession of the horses, safe keep and maintain the horses and sell them at public auction. They submitted that Jeremy Barwick of Western Bloodstock Company would be an appropriate person for that since Western Bloodstock put on the big NCHA Futurity sales in December. But since the case was not closed before the NCHA Futurity sales, that never happened.


On October 7, 2017, Dufurrena filed a counterclaim suing the Vogels, who were 66 (and considered elderly by the court*) at the time of the partnership agreement, and their company Jandon Ltd., a Texas Limited Partnership, for disclosure, stating that “over the years the Vogels had placed 10 horses with Dufurrena and were not current with their account, accumulating an unpaid balance of approximately $340,000. On Feb. 6, 2017, when the Vogels came back to pick up their horses, it was discovered that Dufurrena had a possessory lien under Texas law as agisters, requiring the person in possession of the horses to retain possession so that it may be sold to apply the prices of the sale to the unpaid balance of the charges subject to the lien.

The lawsuit also claimed Dufurrena had received a $100,000 check from the account of Jandon LLC which was “no good” and did not clear the bank despite multiple requests by the plaintiffs that the check be covered. He claims the defendants have refused to make good on the check and unpaid balance of the invoices. Dufurrena claimed damages of $340,000, exclusive of attorneys’s fees, costs and pre-judgment interest.

Dufurrena was represented by Bryan H. Burg of Siebman, Burg, Phillips & Smith, LLP, Plano, Texas, who also represented him in a previous lawsuit regarding Auspicious Cat. Brandon Dufurrena was represented by Larry Sullivant, a Gainesville, Texas lawyer.

* If a criminal case were filed in this case and the party suing losing are considered “elderly,” the penalty is 3 times the damages.


In an October 20 response to Dufurrena’s counterclaim, the Vogels requested to see Dufurrena’s records of the Partnership, including the bills but Dufurrena failed to comply. Thereafter, through 2017, the Vogels said they requested documentation from Dufurrena and he always had a reason for not complying. As partners, they demanded they be allowed to inspect the records.

What the Vogels saw was a gross misrepresentation of material facts. A number of breedings to Stevie Ray Von were misrepresented by Dufurrena. He said that Stevie Rey Von had 40 breedings in 2016 (foals would be born in 2017), when the Vogels learned that Dufurrena actually had 100 breedings to Stevie Rey Von during the period. The Vogels said in court documents that they anticipate that the same was true for 2015 and 2017 for Stevie Rey Von, as well as for Auspicious Cat. (AQHA does release  the number of breedings to a stallion in a given year; however, they do release the number of foals registered from those breedings.)

The Vogels also claimed that Dufurrena did not title the Partnership horses in the name of the Partnership nor the name of the Vogels, with the exception of Auspicious Cat. Dufurrena titled Stevie Rey Von’s ownership papers originally in the name of his son Brandon and then in his name – never in the name of the partnership. Also, he never informed the Vogels of the ownership papers of Creyzy Train’s ownership papers in the name of his son and never informed the Vogels of his actions.

During the lawsuit, a Risk Assessment/Risk Analysis was performed by Richard E. “Rick” Dennis in this matter. Rick is a former Professional Drug Enforcement Agent and a Law Enforcement Officer. Since 1986, he has been involved in the private security industry as an entrepreneur and currency is the managing member of the Wind River company. His company specializes in providing private security, personal protection, security consultation as well as employee drug and alcohol testing and risk management services to the private sector including Risk Assessment and Risk analysis.

He has a total of 47 years experience in his fields of representation and is the author of two books: THE AMERICAN HORSE INDUSTRY, AVOIDING THE PITFALLS AND CROSS TRAINING 101, Reining, Cutting, Cowhorse and is a freelance writer and contributor for

Ricks Response 2-10-18


Lisa Bennett, the lawyer defending the Vogels, felt the case needed to be co-counseled by someone who specialized in horse cases. Rick Dennis, thought Lew Stevens, a Fort Worth lawyer who not only specialized in horse cases, but was also personally involved in the horse industry, and had  a lot of experience in it and the legal aspects of the law, was perfect for the job. Lew then teamed up with Lisa Bennett.

“We had a lot of people and curious friends tell us we ought to go to Lew, which we did,” said Janie Vogel, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease. “We were happy when he said he would help us.”

After seven years had gone by in this case, Stevens, in his first day of a formal appearance by Janie Vogel (that had been set up for her deposition), got the defendants to agree to an out-of-court settlement.

The settlement had just eliminated additional months and possibly years of payments to lawyers by the Vogels but Lew didn’t want to take all the credit. In an interview, he said, “A case is never settled by one person. Everyone has to work toward a common goal.”

“I thought we were going to Lew’s office for depositions,” said Janie Vogel. “All of a sudden I was caught by surprise of a settlement.”


The private settlement included the Vogels receiving Auspicious Cat, Stevie Rey Von and Creyzy Train, who are all at Jo Ellard’s Stallion Station and training facility in  Whitesboro, Texas. Both Auspicious Cat and Stevie Rey Von will be standing at the Ellard facility which has 24 x 14 stalls and an underground tornado shelter for the valuable stallions.

The legal case will show up in court records as “case closed.”

Auspicious Cat (High Brow Cat x Lenas O Lady) will be standing for $3,650, which includes the farm fee and Stevie Rey Von (Metallic Cat x Miss Ella Rey) will stand for $4,650, which includes the farm fee.

Janie Vogel said the plan is to get Creyzy Train, who is a trained cutting mare with close to $15,000 in earnings, to be shown.

She continued, “We’d like to stay in the cutting horse business and ‘dabble’ in it.’ ”


And “dabble” Don and Janie Vogel can, as less than 24 hours after the settlement, it was announced that Alvin and Becky Fults, Amarillo, Texas, who previously owned Metallic Cat, the sire of Stevie Rey Von, had purchased Stevie Rey Von for $2 million.

Asked about their relationship with Dufurrena, a gracious Janie said, “We’re just going to try to get along with them. I don’t want to be enemies with anyone.”

Read More

☛ Correction to Sex offender article posted 1-19-18







By Glory Ann Kurtz
Jan. 19, 2018

Now is the time when horse organizations accept suggestions from their membership so they can honor some of their members to be in their respective Halls of Fame. Usually suggestions are made by members, with transcripts that include their great accomplishments in their particular industry. But do they really know all the information about the person they are suggesting be given the honors?

That’s kind of how our members of Congress are chosen and we know how that turned out. Or maybe it’s about the businessmen or women or film stars who have been highly successful, in great demand and are very wealthy. A group gets together and decides which of them should be honored … whether it be in film, music or business.  Or maybe it’s the news media who decides which businessmen have accomplishments worthy of some recognition. We also know how that all turned out.

That leads to the big question: “What DON’T we know about these individuals?” That’s been a lesson learned the hard way recently when several members of the U.S. Congress, as well as the top echelon of ownership and management of U.S. companies, who had to step down when they were accused of sexual harassment and assault. A majority of them didn’t even deny the allegations; they simply resigned to “being unmasked” as their female victims had finally came forward, saying  the sexual harassment had been going on for years. That includes the doctor at the Olympics who recently  had to face  his victims in court, with the parent of one of them revealing how her daughter had committed suicide after the sexual assault.

Sexual harassment and assault has also been going on in the horse industry for years – but in a much smaller scale than in the business or movie world as there are not many media outlets trying to seek out the perpetrators and unmask them to the industry. It’s easier to prove horse abuse than it is women or child abuse as usually there isn’t a lot of physical or court evidence available. It’s simply a woman’s or child’s word against the perpetrator’s and usually they are too ashamed or scared to report it in the first place. Personally, I know of instances where young girls have been abused for years and were too frightened of the perpetrator to report it.

However, the web site “,” recently unmasked a National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) long-time member who is a trainer, clinician and a member of their Hall of Fame, who has a conviction for “rape by force or threat.” The site published a state of California rap sheet of him, including a photo and his offenses that took place in 1963. The website, that also does background checks on individuals, stated that the information “was obtained through the public domain and in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act.”

As a result, Les Vogt, 75, of Paso Robles, Calif., was exposed as a convicted felon through California’s Offense Code 261.3 Rape of Drugged Victim in 2002.

Click for Megan’s Law sex offender law in California>>

Recently California passed SB384, which is a new bill regarding sex offenders. However Vogt is still under the rules of the old bill as his offense was in 1963.

SB 384: California’s new 3-tiered sex offender registration system>>

According to his website, Vogt is “one of the horse world’s premier trainers, teachers and innovators, having won 15 World Champion Reining and Working Cow Horse titles, as well as countless other championships.

I REGRET THAT THE FOLLOWING SENTENCE WAS IN ERROR: He has been a member of the NRCHA Hall of Fame since 2004! Two years following his conviction for being a sex offender.

DUE TO LANGUAGE BEING INADVERTENTLY LEFT OUT, THE SENTENCE SHOULD HAVE READ: He has been a member of the NRCHA Hall of Fame since 2004! Two years following the release and unmasking of his FOIA public criminal arrest, conviction and “Sex Offender Registration” and internet dissemination by Rate My Horse Pro in 2002 regarding his conviction for being a sex offender in 1963. (The information in bold face print is what was left out.)
Les Vogt | NRCHA Hall of fame

Vogt’s website states, “As a teacher and clinician, Les lectures extensively in the United States, South America and Western Europe. His clinics welcome both professional and  non-pro students and every clinic is tailored for the participants.”

Vogt’s site emphasizes that his clinics focus on various aspects of the Western performance spectrum with special sessions available for reining, showmanship, working cow horse and young horses/young riders.  Vogt has 13 clinics planned for 2018 due to his success in the National Reined Cow Horse Association.

Vogt was also included in the film “Down The Fence,” regarding the reined cow horse that is promoted by the NRCHA and is now available on Netflix or can be purchased on Amazon.


While there’s not much an association’s Board of Directors can do to make sure all their fellow members are not sex offenders, it is possible to assure that the members of the board and/or individuals who are honored or voted in as officers or Hall of Fame members and who are role models for their members – especially the youth – are not sex offenders or have any felony  convictions on their record. A conviction of being a sex offender is a felony. As of yesterday, I checked with Megan’s List in California and Vogt is definitely still on the list and is, therefore, a sex offender and a felon.

Click for Sex Offender Registry FBI>>

An association’s Board can make it mandatory that anyone running for an office or the board of directors or are nominated for a Hall of Fam or another honorary position at a equine association, have a “background check” before they are moved into that position. If you don’t control who your officers and Hall of Fame members are, and you know that they have a felony on their rap sheet, the Association could be liable for the actions of these honorary members of that association as the honors given to them by the association usually signifies they are trustworthy as clinicians.

However, Jay Winborn, the Executive Director of the NRCHA  was given a copy of this article prior to it being published, and after consulting with the Board of Directors of the NRCHA, he made the following statement: “NRCHA is an equine association that promotes and produces reined cow horse events and does not comment on situations involving the personal lives of our members.” He also asked that several statements be eliminated that he had previously made.

It is interesting to note that to be an AQHA Professional Horseman in the Trainers Directory, the individuals have to go through a background check.

Also, the NRCHA, along with several other horse organizations, including the NCHA and APHA receive city, state and federal money for their events held at the Will Rogers Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas. There is a possibility if there were a lawsuit filed by a victim of a sexual assault at one of these events, that the facility, city, state or federal government could also be included in the lawsuit. That could be the tipping point to get a background check on the board and officers of each of those associations. At the very least, if it was discovered that some of the individuals on these association’s board of directors had felony convictions for sex offenses, these governmental departments may not want to participate – as well the event’s sponsors.

According to the NRCHA, as of Oct. 23, 2017, nominations were being accepted for the next election cycle for the NRCHA Board of Directors for positions for nomination currently held by Sandy Collier, Brad Barkemeyer, Amanda Gardiner and Dan Roeser. Positions remaining in office for 2018 include Todd Bergen, Paul Bailey, Jake Telford, Joe Carter, Jim Lane, Trey Neal, Diane Edwards and Jon Roeser.

Attached is a copy of the NRCHA 2018 Election Notice, which interestingly includes in disclosure and eligibility requirements: (iv) full disclosure of any felony convictions on record and signing the NRCHA Code of Conduct and Confidentiality agreement.

Click for NRCHA 2018 Election Notice>>

However, there is no known check or penalties in place to make sure those signing it are being truthful, other than, “If discovered, they will be immediately suspended from the ballot or later from the board.” No mention of the loss of their membership in the NRCHA.


Also, another group of members of horse associations who have access to women and children are the horse trainers who have clinics on a regular basis, teaching, among others, such as women and children, how to ride and show horses. The NCHA, AQHA, APHA and NRCHA all have a Trainer’s Directory, so it would be easy to make a background check one of the requirements to be in the Trainer’s Directory, especially if they are training the riders. The cost of the background check could be up to the trainer, or part of their membership fee to be included in the association’s Trainer Directory. Several trainers are having their clinics at their own facilities.

However, according to my legal sources, if you’re not the trainer putting on the clinic, individuals or associations who are putting on clinics should check with the Sex Offender National Registry or the Sex Offender Registry in the state the clinician is living in to see if they are on the sex-offender list. If they fail to do that, the person or people, including associations, putting on the clinic could be involved in a lawsuit if the trainer they hired is accused of a sex offense during the clinic, should there be a complaint regarding sexual harassment or assault.

Also, if you are a horse facility owner and employ a trainer, if you do a background check on them, you can be assured that they are not sex offenders before they have the run of your facility and customers. If the trainer is coming from out of state, that state’s sex-offender registry should be checked if you don’t find them on the National Sex Offender chart. This could also help to alleviate any legal action against you.

Click for National Sex Offender chart>>

By today’s heightened awareness of sexual predation in our society, it seems prudent for 501 C 3 nonprofit organizations to design standards of care and rule adoptions to insure the safety and well being of its members and is especially prudent when an individual is a role model for new and upcoming generations. It would also be relevant for associations to have a hotline where victims can call into the association without being exposed as to who they are.

If you have any further questions regarding this problem, it is covered in Rick Dennis’ book “The American Horse Industry – Avoiding the Pitfalls,” available from Dennis at WIND RIVER COMPANY LLC, Richard E. Dennis, Managing Member

Phone: (985) 630-3500, Email:, Email – Personal:, Web Site:, or from online sources such as


The first question most people ask is, “Where do I go to find someone to do a legitimate background check on upcoming officers or members of the Hall of Fame?” You can do a lot of research yourself by Googling “background checks” for a variety of choices. If you would rather have an outside service do the checking for you, Rate My Horse Pro, who did the background check on Vogt, does background checks as well as do most private investigators. It may be one of the best investments your company, facility or association can make.

Read More

☛ AQHA requesting delay of ELD Mandate 2-1-18



Press release from AQHA
Feb. 1, 2018

The American Quarter Horse Association is involved with requests to delay the impending Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) electronic logging device (ELD) mandate for one year. The mandate went into effect on December 18, 2017. At that time, livestock haulers were granted a 90-day waiver to comply with the mandate, and that waiver will expire March 18, 2018.

The rule limits the amount of time a commercial truck driver can drive and mandates a specific amount of off-duty/non-driving time, and requires the use of electronic logging devices to track the driving and non-driving times.

While there are some exemptions from the ELD mandate for farm and agricultural hauling, many of the rigs used for hauling horses and the activities horse owners participate in may not be exempt.

AQHA and other livestock organizations are concerned about the regulation requiring 10 consecutive hours off duty and how that will affect the welfare of animals being transported. Livestock industry guidelines recommend that drivers avoid stops when hauling livestock, as stopping for long periods of time would have a detrimental effect on the animals being hauled.

AQHA Executive Vice President Craig Huffhines commented on the National Pork Producer Council’s request to United State Department of Transportation for a waiver and exemption from the ELD mandate for livestock haulers. AQHA supports the exemption and is pursuing a one-year delay to address the additional issues created by changes to 49 CFR Part 395.

“AQHA members are involved in showing, racing, ranching, rodeos and recreation, and it is common for AQHA members to haul their horses interstate over long distances (much like other livestock haulers),” Huffhines said in his letter to the DOT. “We encourage the Department of Transportation to grant a one-year enforcement delay followed by a waiver and limited exemptions from compliance with the December 18, 2017, implementation date for the final rule on ELDs and hours of service. This will allow the department the opportunity to take appropriate steps to alleviate any unintended consequences that this mandate may have on the hauling of horses or other livestock.”

Read the full letter sent by Huffhines on behalf of AQHA and the Association’s members.

Overall, the Association believes more time is needed to reach out to the horse industry and ensure that industry education programs include ELD compliance and use. A one-year exemption will provide the horse industry the opportunity to educate members and allow the opportunity for the FMCSA to develop livestock-specific solutions to the ELD and underlying hours of service concerns of the industry.

What can members do?
Currently there is language in the House passed Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill that would delay the implementation of electronic logging devices for commercial motor vehicles transporting livestock and insects. Please contact your Senators and Representative to support the ELD one-year delay to give the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration time to make the necessary adjustments to hours of service rules to address animal welfare concerns. (Their contact information can be found here.)

Additionally, you can tune-in the American Horse Council webinar about the ELD mandate at 2 p.m. Central on February 12. The webinar will address the details of what the ELD mandate includes and who is required to have an electronic logging device. Register for the webinar here. If you can’t watch the webinar on February 12, it will be recorded and posted on the AHC website. To read more about the implementation of electronic logging devices, visit and search “ELD Rule.”

To read more about the implementation of Electronic Logging Devices, visit and search “ELD Rule.”

View brochures created by the American Horse Council for more information on the Electronic Logging Device Mandate and Commercial Drivers Licenses.

Read More

☛ Jim Spaulding has bad accident 1-30-18

Posted by on Jan 30, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments


By Glory Ann Kurtz
Jan. 30, 2018

According to a posting on my Facebook page, Jim Spaulding, Millsap, Texas, was knocked down by a horse last week. He hit his head, which caused a stroke and he became paralyzed on his left side. His speech has some impairment but  he can communicate and seems cognitive in his thinking.

In news from Judy’s sister, Betty, “Jim has made a little progress; however, the doctors do not want him to have visitors or phone calls at this time.”

Although NCHA members have offered to bring meals or help with ranch chores, Betty said they have relatives there now but will let people know if they need  help later.

Spaulding and his wife Judy, own Neat Little Cat, a son of High Brow Cat out of Neat Little May by Smart Little Lena, with lifetime earnings of $279,595, with offspring earning in excess of $388,000. The stallion stands at Buckeye Equine in Weatherford, Texas, for $1,800, which includes the chute fee and the first two shipments of cooled semen. Also frozen semen is available in Australia and Canada. There will also be special consideration to proven and multiple mares, a bargain for a breeding to a son of High Brow Cat. You can contact Buckeye  Equine at 817-550-7226

Send your cards to P.O. Box 6, Millsap, TX 76066 or you can call Judy at 719-469-0357.

Read More