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☛ Dual Peppy moves to Babcock Ranch 10-4-16




By Rick Dennis
Oct. 4, 2016


Dual Peppy today!

In my opinion piece entitled “The Dual Peppy Saga,” dated Nov. 1, 2014, the article illustrates a highly publicized Colorado animal abuse case involving the NCHA World Champion Cutting Stallion Dual Peppy and his then owner Sherry Brunzell. Notwithstanding, the article includes other horses involved in the abuse case aside from Dual Peppy, e.g., cutting horses previously owned by NCHA Non-Pro World Champion Kay Floyd of Stephenville, Texas.


After an executed search warrant by law enforcement, Brunzell was arrested, prosecuted and convicted and a number of horses were seized by the State of Colorado – including Dual Peppy.


The seized horses were placed with a horse rescue in Colorado that cared for them throughout this ordeal with Brunzell being court ordered to pay the bill. At last information, Brunzell was appealing her conviction. For the record, this horse abuse case received National and International attention under the moniker “Justice For Dual Peppy.” For additional information in this case refer to the following link:

Click for Dual Peppy article>>

Today there is a new saga for Dual Peppy as he has been purchased by Jim Babcock, Sanger, Texas, one of the leading breeders in the cutting, reining and reined cow horse industry.



Dual Peppy came into this world in 1992 through the breeding genius of Greg Ward of the Ward Ranch, Tulare, Calif. Greg, a member of the NRCHA Hall of Fame, was well known in the reined cow horse industry as “The Master.” His accomplishments are scribed in the “Book of Legends” and his successes will be forever listed in the annals of history.


Dual Peppy was born at the legendary Ward Ranch in Tulare and was the second full brother in the four-brother creation by Greg Ward. These wonderful and famous creations are commonly known in performance horse circles as the “Dual Pep” line of horses.


The other full brothers include Dual Pep, Mister Dual Pep and Dually Pep. All four of the brothers are sired by Peppy San Badger and are out of the Ward Ranch mare Miss Dual Doc by Docs Remedy. Keeping it all in the family, Miss Dual Doc’s dam, Miss Brooks Bar, is another one of Greg Ward’s creations. Each of these brothers has become an icon in their own right in the performance horse industry.


After he sold Dual Pep, Greg realized he had formulated the “magic cross” with this match up of Peppy San Badger and Miss Dual Doc. Greg started breeding Dual Peppy at the age of 2 and his first foal, Dual Train, was another magic cross for Greg and later became the foundation mare of my reined cow horse training facility in Louisiana – the Wind River Ranch.


Dual Train is by Dual Peppy and out of Nics Train by Reminic. Reminic is still another legendary Greg Ward creation. Reminic is by Docs Remedy and out of Fillinic, the Ward Ranch’s legendary foundation and Hall of Fame mare.


Dual Peppy was broke, trained and shown by Greg Ward and the pair accumulated a successful money-earning show career. In 1998, Dual Peppy was sold to Colorado purchasers Rick and Sherry Brunzell and Dual Peppy was transported to Jim Babcock at the Babcock ranch in Texas where he was successfully shown. Later Dual Peppy was transferred to the Kay Floyd training facility where he was shown in NCHA cutting events by Glen Blankenship under the watchful eye of Floyd. The cutting team accumulated an NCHA World Championship Cutting Horse title.



Sire records reveal Dual Pep is the No. 7 all-time leading cutting horse sire with offspring earnings in excess of $19 Million, Dual Peppy has offspring earnings in excess of $700,000, Mister Dual Pep has offspring earnings in excess of $1,611,109 and Dually Pep is standing at stud in Brazil.


The uniqueness with this line of horses is their ability to traverse and master the three disciplines required in the NRCHA events: reining, cutting and cow horse, as well as other specialized disciplines. Also, they have all become prolific sires in the performance horse industry.


Other Ward Ranch stallions include the No. 6 NRCHA leading sire Just Plain Colonel, with foal earnings of $1,581,453; NRCHA Hall of Fame inductee Master Remedy with foal earnings in excess of $756,000; Smart Lil Pepinic, with foal earnings in excess of $1,319,543 and NRCHA No. 4 leading sire; NRHA Hall of Fame Inductee Boomernic, with foal earnings in excess of $1 million, Hall of Fame Inductee Reminic, with foal earnings in excess of $3,800,000. Overall, Greg and the Ward Ranch produced five million-dollar sires and five Hall of Fame inductees – including Greg himself, who is in the NRCHA Hall of Fame. The Ward Ranch is still the second leading breeder of reined cow horses with $2,422,280 in lifetime earnings.


Fillinic is in the AQHA Hall of Fame, Master Remedy is in the NRCHA Hall of Fame, Boomernic is in the NRHA Hall of Fame and Dual Pep is in the NCHA Hall of Fame.




Dual Peppy shown today in his new stall at the Babcock Ranch.

From the Ward Ranch, I trained and participated in NRCHA events for three years riding and promoting my own stock: Nic Chex and Dual Train. While competing in these events, I had the opportunity of observing a myriad of horses competing in the NRCHA West Coast events that came from breeders around the country. Having had stock participating in and in the finals of every NRCHA event, I was appreciative of the fact each show was a meeting of the best horsemen and best horses striving for a coveted Championship title.


Aside from the coveted GW brand, the next brand I became familiar with was the Babcock Ranch brand.  First hand, I saw offspring of the legendary Smart Chic Olena being shown by some of the best trainers in the industry. One of the things that entwines all three of us is the fact that Greg bred, trained and showed Reminic; I owned and had a son of Reminic competing in the NRCHA West Coast events and Reminic later stood at stud at the Babcock Ranch.


However, Reminic wasn’t the only Greg Ward creation wearing the coveted “GW” brand that eventually gravitated to the Babcock Ranch. The other two are Mister Dual Pep and now Dual Peppy.


Greg’s theory with Reminic was that he wanted to send his creation to Texas to improve his breeding capability. Thus, respecting and having confidence in Babcock, the transfer was made and the rest is history. I’m sure if the truth were known, Greg is smiling down from heaven and approving the Dual Peppy transition to Jim and the Babcock Ranch, if not for one reason. Dual Peppy was Greg Ward’s favorite horse. In the evenings, Greg and Dual Peppy enjoyed roping steers at the ranch after training was over.


Unfortunately, the entire horse industry lost a legend when it lost the four-time NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Champion, to cancer on Dec. 6, 1998 at the age of 63. Just two months earlier, Greg had claimed his fourth NRCHA Futurity World Championship with an inspirational performance, while visibly battling the illness that would kill him only months later. He was showing Reminics Pep, a fourth-generation NRCHA Futurity Champion he had raised. He handily won the event with a 12-point lead over the second-place horse.


For the record Babcock is a successful breeder of performance horses. The May 15, 2016 statistics published by Quarter Horse News, show Babcock as the fifth leading breeder of all time in the cutting and reining industry, with total earnings of $994,831 – cutting  $148,823 and reining $846,008. In the Oct. 15, 2016 Reined Cow Horse issue of Quarter Horse News, listing Equi-Stat Lifetime Reined Cow Horse Statistics, Babcock was also fifth, with reined cow horses he bred earning $854,106.


Babcock said that stallions he owned, showed or stood as breeding stallions at his Texas Babcock Ranch during the past 47 years included Smart Chic Olena, Reminic, Trashadeous, Cowboy Smarts, Paid by Chic, Lucky Little Lena,  Mister Dual Pep, Ima Chairman, Elans Playboy, Chic Please, Peppy Badger Chex, Bueno Fritzinic, Bristol Pep, Lenas Wright On, Lenas Sugarman, Steady Tradition, Talk About Smart, Smart Peppy Doc, Smart Peppy Lena, HB Instant Choice, Royal Blue Quixote, Bar Passer, Poco Ray Mount, Two Eyed Request, Scorps Mister Tuffy, Bonanza Scorpion and  Mito Commander, Top Impressive, Dynamic Deluxe,  Aguila Baron, Dealin Dirty, Start Me A Tab, Smart Equalizer, Boomernic, Deluxe Doc Smoke and Elan Dynabid.


According to Babcock, he and the Babcock Ranch have also owned many great mares including Cowgirls Are Smart who won the NRCHA World’s Greatest Horseman title; A Captive Heart, AQHA World Champion Cutting Horse; Boons Holly Bar, AQHA World Champion Cutting Horse; Playboys Sugar Baby; AQHA Reserve World Champion Cutting Horse; Docs Michelle, AQHA Reserve World Champion Cutting horse and Jenny Montana, AQHA World Champion Cutting Horse.


During 2017 Jim and the Babcock ranch will be standing Heaven Sent Chic, Define Good, El Senor Red, New Addition and another Greg Ward creation Dual Peppy.



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☛ Kelby Phillips wins NRCHA Futurity 9-2-16





Press release from NRCHA
Oct. 2, 2016


Kelby Phillips, Bend, Ore., rides Duals Lucky Charm, owned by Mark and Robyne Stewart, to the championship of the NRCHA Snaffle bit Futurity and a $100,000 paycheck.

Saturday, October 1, was the long- awaited National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Finals day. Twenty-five riders who spent the last two weeks striving to become finalists began with a clean slate and a fresh chance to win the $100,000 paycheck.


It was an unforgettable night of fence work, with 10 of the 25 finalists marking a 219 score or above. For most of the fence work finals, Duals Lucky Charm (Dual Smart Rey x TRR Miss Pepcid Olena x Pepcid), a gelding shown by NRCHA Top 10 Professional Kelby Phillips of Bend, Oregon, and owned by Mark and Robyne Stewart. Phillips, who arrived in Reno with just over $276,000 in lifetime earnings, had been in the Futurity Open finals before, but never won the big prize. That all changed in the span of one fast fence work – when the score of 224.5 became a life changing moment for the young horseman. His composite 663 score (218 herd/220.5 rein/224.5 cow) claimed the Snaffle Bit Futurity Championship.


At first it appeared that two-time Futurity Champion and Million Dollar Rider Corey Cushing, Scottsdale, Arizona, and Moonstruck One Time (One Time Pepto x Moonstruck Cat x High Brow Cat), owned by Allan Kaplan, were on track to win it all. They were fourth in the working order, and made a big 221.5 run to move into the lead with a 660.5 composite. Cushing and Moonstruck One Time maintained that lead until the 24th horse went down the fence. The pair earned the second-place paycheck of $70,000.


Third place and a $50,000 paycheck went to JustinWright riding Step To The Light (CD Lights x Shinersdiamondjackie) owned by Mark and Kelly Gowing, with a 659.5 score. Fourth, with a $40,000 check, went to Nick Dowers riding High Stressin Cat (WR This Cats Smart x Playguns Melody) owned by Bill Steenson, for a 658.0 score.


“It’s great. I don’t really know what to say,” Phillips said, admitting the full impact of his achievement with Duals Lucky Charm hadn’t quite sunk in. “This horse, he’s solid every day. He doesn’t ever do anything bad. He’s been really fun to train.”


Phillips, the resident trainer at NRCHA Corporate Partner DT Horses, Bend, Oregon, felt confident on the gelding he started riding last November.


“He’s really good in the cutting. I didn’t get good cows cut for him here, especially in the prelims,” Phillips said. “In the reining, he does about the same thing every time. Every time I’ve shown him, he’s been a 220, so I can rely on him in the reining to be pretty solid there.”


Phillips knew he had to bring a big fence work score if he was to overtake Cushing for the Championship.


“I knew it was going to be plenty of cow when it came out. Brandon Buttars, he had been telling me, ‘Don’t weaken,’ so I was trying not to. Once I knocked him around down there, I knew I had to go, because to be a big enough score to win, I knew we had to go with a little bit of cow. After the first turn, I knew he was good, because he’s always good after the first turn, if I can get him out of there. And then he circles really good. I know I can turn him loose and he’ll just hunt that cow on both sides. I can trust him there,” Phillips said.


Besides the $100,000 paycheck, the Futurity Championship came with a Scottsdale Saddlery Custom Saddle sponsored by Matthews Cutting Horses, an original CR Morrison bronze trophy sponsored by Beverly Vaughn/Triangle Bar V Ranch, a Gist buckle sponsored by McSpyder Ranch, boots from Rios of Mercedes, a 100x and 30x JW Brooks Custom Hat, a $500 CR RanchWear gift certificate, a cooler from Classic Equine, a jacket from NRCHA, and product from Platinum Performance.


Phillips thanked his owners, the Stewarts, as well as his wife, Abbie; close friends Brandon and Sophia Buttars; Don and Nelle Murphy, and his herd help: Mark Luis, Phillip Ralls, Brandon Buttars, and Zane Davis.


“It’s nice to know you have so many friends around here,” Phillips said.


Click here for complete Snaffle Bit Futurity results.




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☛ BLM won’t kill 45,000 horses & burros 9-18-16






By Glory Ann Kurtz
Sept. 18, 2016

Wild horses being rounded up by helicopter.

Just hours after my article was published on Sept. 15, the BLM is having second thoughts about the wild horse population on public lands and has said they “won’t kill wild horses.”


Also, the morning after my previous article was published, Rick Dennis, who wrote a lot of the articles published again yesterday, had a phone call from the BLM this morning in response to the article. They are listening.



Following is a response from the BLM published by Reuters.




The US government said on Wednesday (Sept. 14)  it has no plans to euthanize a large share of the more than 45,000 wild horses and burros removed from lands mostly in the U.S. West, after an advisory panel’s proposal to kill some of the animals sparked outrage.


U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials said they struggle to find people to adopt the growing number of wild horses and burros, which costs the agency millions annually to maintain in corrals and pasturelands.


The National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board on Friday recommended the bureau consider euthanizing the animals that cannot be adopted, or selling them to companies that might slaughter them.


But Tom Gorey, spokesman for the bureau, said in an email that the agency will “continue its current policy of carrying for unadopted or unsold wild horses and burros” and will “not sell or send any animals to slaughter.”


The bureau is expected to formally respond to the panel at its meeting within months.


The panel’s recommendation created an uproar among animal rights activists and highlighted the challenges ahead for the U.S. government as it seeks to control the population of wild horses and burros.


Gillian Lyons, wild horse and burro program manager for Humane Society of the United States, said members of the public were quick to criticize the idea of killing the wild animals.


“It’s something the American public just doesn’t know about, you don’t think of wild horses being held in facilities all across the United States,” Lyons said.


She added that the bureau has a responsibility to the animals because it captured them.


Even after decades of round-ups of wild horses and burros, 67,000 of these animals roam the United States, mostly in Nevada and California, according to government estimates.


Without natural predators, they have proliferated far beyond the roughly 27,000 animals the U.S. government says would be a population low enough to prevent overgrazing and preserve land for other animals. The bureau spends nearly $50 million a year in upkeep for captured horses and burros, Gorey said.


The Humane Society alleges the bureau spends so much paying private contractors to hold the animals that it cannot afford to expand its program to administer birth control to the animals on the range, which it contends would be more effective for population control than round-ups.


But the bureau counters fertility control is difficult in part because the birth control drug wears off in less than two years.


(Posted by Reuters, reported by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; editing by Marguerita Choy)


Some of the facts in the above response from the BLM don’t make sense, with of them being that they claim above, “Without natural predators, they have proliferated far beyond the roughly 27,000 animals the U.S. government says would be a population low enough to prevent overgrazing and preserve land for other animals.”


The BLM is the government agency that spent over $80 million a year to kill the predators, 10 times more than what they spent to get rid of wild horses and burros. If they left the predators alone, nature would take its course and keep the horse population sustainable – as well as the cattle population.


An article published by The Daily Pitchfork entitled “Sustainable Cowboys or Welfare Ranchers of the American West,” contains many more interesting statistics, including the fact that 21,000 ranchers who graze their livestock on Western rangelands are estimated to have cost the taxpayers $500 million in 2014 – and every year for the past decade and that a large number of them are millionaires, billionaires and multi-billion-dollar corporations.


The fee that livestock operators paid a month for an AUM (animal unit month) in 2014 was $1.35 – the lowest price that can legally be charged. The market price to graze on private land is $21.60. Fees set by other federal agencies and individual states on public property are also significantly higher. The majority of this money is spent on range rehabilitation, leaving only approximately $7.9 million going into the Treasury.


It also costs the BLM over $80 million a year to kill predators, that’s $380 per rancher and 10 times that much ($3,809) to get rid of wild horses and burros – with most of them going to slaughter. In the end, special interest welfare (money going to ranchers, EPA, USDA, Dept of Justice and US Army Corp of Engineers) is estimated between $500 million and $1 billion a year.


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


Click here for article>>


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






By Glory Ann Kurtz
Sept. 14, 2016

Horses jammed into pens awaiting their slaughter.

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


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


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


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


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


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

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

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

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

This petition will be delivered to:

United States Department of the Interior

U.S. Senate

U.S. House of Representatives”

Click for petition>>




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


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




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


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


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


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


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

Click for article>>



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


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


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


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


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

Click for full article>>



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


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



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


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


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


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

Click for copy of letter to Inspector General>>


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


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

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






By Glory Ann Kurtz
Sept. 13, 2016

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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

Click for Bridles, Bits & Abuse>>





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☛ Pat Jacobs leaves us at age 79 9-2-16






By Glory Ann Kurtz
Sept. 2, 2016

At 10 a.m. tomorrow, Sept. 3, a funeral will be held at the St. Joseph Church in Ashland, Kan., for Pat Jacobs, Burleson, Texas, an inductee into the NCHA Members Hall of Fame, an author of several books and a talented musician. He passed away at age 79 on Monday, Aug. 29.


Pat, who grew up in Kansas and throughout his life had a wonderful sense of humor, was a 40-year NCHA judge. He explained how cutting was in the early years when he was hauling for the Word Championship, in the entertaining book “Outcasts, Outlaws & Second Chance Horses,” a 2010 Will Rogers Medallion Award Winner. The Will Rogers Medallion Award is presented each year to those books that represent an Outstanding Achievement in the Publishing of Western Literature.


Noted novelist Tom McGuane explained the contents of this book, saying “For anyone wanting to know what cutting looked like when it still had the hide on, when it was still an outdoor sport, before it was an “industry” and before its roots in the range livestock industry were obscured, reading Pat Jacobs’ book is obligatory.


The good horses of bygone days, the long roads, bad food, sketchy lodging and extraordinary individuals come to life. It was unheard of to throw away of The Chatter and families were nearly banrupted by long distance phone calls dedicated to cutting horses and the mysterious electricity they created. Horses were not tools; they were colleagues of fellow artists.


This was high romance in some of the damndest places, fueled by often impractical true believers. It had the same DNA as the Wild West with its indeggerence to risk, career planning and the bottom line. There has never been anything like it in the realm of contest horses and Pat Jacobs has done a wonderful job recreating a world that so many of us miss.”

-       Tom McGuane


Next came “The Chameleon Rancher.” Even though the book is fiction, it was based on ranchers and big cattlemen that Jacobs knew, as well as colorful characters that old timers told him about. “


The story takes place in 1941 when the country had just come out of the Great Depression and the ole’ Dust Bowl era. Since Jacobs lived it, including riding cutting horses in a race for the World Championship of the National Cutting Horse Association, he used actual characters, with made-up names, from his huge bank of memories for this book. He has woven colorful individuals into a backdrop of actual events with fictional, yet believable, cowboys and ranchers, plus a dash of love, sex, drama and human frailties.


Pat Jacobs had an illustrious musical career.

His final book was “This Cowboy Is Off Bass,” depicting his early years as a musician, when he was inducted into three different halls of fame and was named a Hero of Western Music by the Cowtown society of Western Music in North Central Texas, for producing a historical album: The Oklahoma Swing Project.


One astonishing fact in that book was that Pat’s music career not only survived but blossomed, even though he admitted he could not read music – he played by ear.


On the cover of Pat’s latest book, well-known cartoonist Lex Graham, had drawn a picture of Pat and his wife, Nellie, with a horse and the note, “A couple of REAL characters.” The best part is, “It looks just like them!” Also, the Forward was written by Lex, explaining his hysterical personal experiences with Pat.

Click for Lex Graham’s article on Pat Jacobs>>


This book is one that when you start reading it, you can’t quit. But it’s easy to read in a day. It’s full of Pat’s lifetime musical experiences, as well as the history of Western Swing music, mixed in with a jillion laughs along the way. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a “must read” and a “must have” for your library.


About five years ago, he had to remove himself from the judges’ list and quit cutting because of severe macular degeneration. His eyesight got so bad he couldn’t see to drive or read a newspaper. Nellie also had eye problems and Pat would say, “Between the two of us, we only had one good eye.” He was accepted into a stem-cell trial a couple of years ago and went  into a surgical clinic in Dallas to have  stem cell implanted in his right eye. Pat said at the time that it was the first case study in Texas and the 12th in the United States. Pat says that so far the previous trials have shown great success and that this could be a breakthrough for hundreds of thousands of people


Just a few weeks ago, Pat was having a problem with one of his vocal chords and could barely talk.


To order “This Cowboy is Off Bass,” send $15.00 plus $3.00 for postage, for a total of $18.00, to Pat Jacobs, 2825 Brookhollow Dr., Burleson, Texas 76028. Your notes and orders could help Nellie through the upcoming months.





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