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☛ Is Horse Abuse on the rise? 3-19-15






By Rick Dennis
March 19, 2015 – updated March 28, 2015

The Dual Peppy/Sherri Brunzell animal abuse trial has been rescheduled for May 26 in an El Paso County courthouse in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Horse abuse is a topic of conversation not everyone wants to discuss but it’s, in fact, a topic which has been brought to the forefront of discussion by the news media, newspaper journalists, on-line internet magazines, politicians, equine nonprofit’s, social media and law enforcement.


To address animal abuse, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) broadens the scope of “animal cruelty,” by reclassification and assignment, in a felony category of record keeping. Effective in 2016, “animal cruelty” or “animal abuse” will be assigned to a new tracking and report list along with crimes like homicide, arson, robbery and assault. The FBI feels it will take some time for the database to catch up but eventually the full effect of the reclassification and assignment to a different reporting category will be realized by the judicial system.


FBI Makes Animal Cruelty A Top-Tier Felony To Help Track Abuse.

An article published by the Huffington Post, Los Angeles AP – points out that young people who torture and kill animals are prone to violence against other people later in life if it goes unchecked, studies have shown. A new federal category for animal cruelty crimes will help root out those pet abusers before their behavior worsens and give a boost to prosecutions, an animal welfare group says.


For years the FBI has filed animal abuse under the label “other” along with a variety of lesser crimes, making cruelty hard to find, hard to count and hard to track. Last year the Bureau announced it would make animal cruelty a Group (A) Felony.


“It will help get better sentences, sway juries and make for better plea bargains,” said Madeline Bernstein, a former New York prosecutor. “The category will help identify young offenders, and a defendant might realize that “if he gets help now, he won’t turn into Jeffery Dahmer.”


According to the FBI, law enforcement agencies will have to report incidents and arrests in four areas: simple or gross neglect; intentional abuse and torture; organized abuse, including dog fighting and cockfighting, and animal sexual abuse.


“The immediate benefit is it will be in front of law enforcement every month when they have to do their crime report,” said John Thompson, interim executive director of the National Sheriff’s Association who worked to get the new cruelty category instituted. “That’s something we have never seen.”


The FBI’s category will track crimes nationwide and is bound to give animal cruelty laws in all 50 states more clout. Many states are seeing more of those convicted of animal cruelty being sentenced to prison, in marked contrast to years past. To read the entire article, click on the following link:


Click for Huffington Post article>>


Never before in my 24-year history in the horse business have horse abuse cases been more highly publicized than they are today. Social media has played a major role in horse abuse publicity, as has printed news articles and television broadcasts. I’ve found one of the best sources for finding the publicizing of horse-abuse cases is Rate My Horse Pro (RMHP).  This organization seems to have a remarkable and unlimited source of information gathering on this topic and readily brings it to the forefront of public awareness.  Their website is


I’ve always found their news reliable and accurate.  Besides reporting on animal abuse cases, this organization also offers background checks for new hires, etc. The curious nature of the horse abuse phenomenon is that today people have grown more intolerant of animal abuse than ever before. Along with the intolerance brings a swath of citizens eager to bring an individual’s abuse of an animal to the forefront of the public eye, demanding arrests, prosecution of the offenders and legal seizure and care taking of the abused animals. Wikipedia defines “cruelty to animals,” also called “animal abuse” or “animal neglect,” is “the human infliction of suffering or harm upon non-human animals, for purposes other than self-defense or survival.”


Another phenomenon emerging from the public reporting of animal cruelty or animal abuse cases is the backlash from those who have been criminally cited or charged with this offense, saying, “it is unconstitutional to have their names in the media as it hurts his or her business and an individual is innocent until proven guilty.”


The simple truth is an individual’s arrest record is public record and anyone can legally obtain it, period. The publicizing of a legally obtained individual arrest record has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not an individual is guilty or innocent. It’s merely a statement of fact pertaining to a specific incident or action and nothing more. An arrest report neither convicts nor exonerates an individual being charged with an alleged crime. A court of law does that! Again, it’s a public record document and legally obtainable by anyone willing to paying for it.


If law enforcement has enough probable cause to make an arrest or issue an individual criminal citation of alleged criminal charges to a person then that person is entitled to due process under the law. Once the court case has been decided by a court of law, this result is also available for public scrutiny and is called Case Disposition. This pubic record can also be displayed, via social media, newspaper reporting, news broadcasts, web sites, internet blogs etc.


Who’s Responsibility is it?

A misconception of liability is:  Who’s responsible is it if you place your horse in the care of another and an incident of abuse occurs?  As the owner, you have the ultimate responsibility of ensuring your horse is properly cared for. However, there are certain mitigating circumstances beyond an owner’s control. The only plausible solution for complete exoneration in an abuse case with boarded horses is a written contract between the owner and the boarding facility.


Another hypothetical situation involves horses on an owner’s property left in the care of another (i.e.) an employee in the owner’s absence and abuse occurs. Theoretically, again the owner is responsible for the health and care of his or her horses by ensuring that his animal(s) is(are) being cared for properly by employee management. This creates an atmosphere of due diligence on the owner’s part. However, if proven, mitigating circumstances beyond the owner’s control causing the instance of abuse could exonerate him or her from liability issues.


Owner liability also applies in the event a horse escapes the owner’s property, goes onto a highway and causes injury to another, even if the owner leaves his or her horse in the custody, care and control of another. For a complete understanding of owner liability issues and horses, confer with an attorney at law in your state as well as an insurance agent knowledgeable in horse-insurance requirements.


Horse Abuse and Nonprofits

Each equine nonprofit, whether it’s the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA), the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) or the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) has a statement of position addressing horse abuse. Along with the statement of abuse, there’s also proposed disciplinary actions for violators.  In my opinion, the primary weakness of an association’s disciplinary action for animal abuse is in the association’s reservation and right to distribute punishment on a case-by-case basis. I believe that punishment for violators should be distributed equally across-the-board without reservation or hesitation and without the flexibility of picking and choosing “who gets what!”  This will eliminate any inference of discrimination among the rank and file within the membership.


According to “Protect Them 2015,” rules and penalties to be assessed “across the board” were passed by the show committee at the recent AQHA Convention and are waiting for approval by the AQHA Executive Committee. The Show Committee presentation to the Executive Committee; however, reserved the right to determine any lifetime suspensions.


Another weakness in a nonprofit’s animal abuse statement is that those associations that allow the use of drugs on horses for showing and training purposes. In my article, “The Mechanical Horse – A Horse Under The Influence of Drugs,” I fully discuss the effects drugs have on the horse for training and showing purposes, the detriment to the horse that performs under the influence of drugs as well as the false performance impression the spectator arrives at not knowing whether or not the horse is performing in a natural state or under the influence of drugs.


One example of how it has hurt our European buying market is when performance horses purchased in the U.S. are shipped overseas and the buyers work the horses drug free. Any lameness conditions are easily identifiable on horses that have required drugs to perform, thus souring the market.

Click here for the Mechanical Horse article>>


In a recent move by the “Protect Them 2015” coalition, spearheaded by Kathi Hansen, Brentwood, Calif., and Vicki Huffer, Mulberry, Ind., the group has organized a movement specifically addressing horse abuse within the AQHA as well as outlining association rule changes or new rule adoptions to protect the American Quarter Horse. The group recently honored Carol Harris, owner of two-time AQHA Super Horse Rugged Lark, during a reception held during the AQHA Convention. Harris, an AQHA Hall of Famer and Lifetime member, is an outspoken proponent of the Coalition.


Click for AQHA current abuse rules>>

Click for Protect Them 2015 proposed rules>>

Click for Carol Harris’ speech>>


Also, in an address before the attendees at the 2015 AQHA Convention, outgoing President Johnny Trotter addressed the current horse abuse issues. According to an article by Jennifer Paulson in Horse & Rider online, Trotter eloquently told members, “to vote with credibility, put the horse first, forget yourself and do what’s best for the horse.”


According to the article, Trotter went on to say, “We have to take control of our industry before the animal rights activists do.” He advised that the owners must take responsibility by giving their trainers specific instructions of ethical training expectations. He also thanked Carol Harris for her efforts to bring welfare to the forefront of the discussion. For a review of Mr. Trotter’s address that was published in Horse & Rider online, click here.

Click for Trotter’s complete speech in AQHA Journal>>


Moreover, instances of horse abuse in the horse industry should not be tolerated, period. All instances of witnessed horse abuse should be immediately reported to the association and law enforcement.  In my next article, “Horse Abuse – Part 2,” I’ll discuss the many instances horses can be abused by trainers, horse boarding facilities, owners, nonprofit association rules and the use of performance-enhancing drugs for training or showing purposes.


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


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




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☛ So You Want To Be A Horse Trainer 3-11-15







By Rick Dennis
March 11, 2015
Many an aspiring horse enthusiast has looked to the professional horse-training occupation as a lifelong career in the equestrian world. I receive a lot of inquiries pertaining to the business matrixes involved in becoming a self-employed horse trainer.  Equally, the next phase of questioning involves outlining a business model or guide he or she may use to establish a private entrepreneurship in the equine industry.  My answers are generally always the same: “Becoming a self-employed horse trainer as a general occupation requires a lot more knowledge and involvement than just training horses.”

For example:


Chelsi Guillory, a student of Rick Dennis, Gonzales, La., rode Some Hot Chic (Cali), to the Louisiana Stock Horse Association Triple Crown Championship and are money earners in reining, cutting and cow horse competition.

Even though becoming a successful and talented horse trainer and/or an instructor able to teach students how to win in the arena, may be someone’s ultimate goal, it’s equally important for the entrepreneur to understand and apply basic business principles from the onset of his or her entrepreneurship to avoid certain pitfalls associated with marketing, taxes, IRS 1099 issuance, insurance, banking, bookkeeping, accounting, operating costs, cash flow, equipment costs or determining if you, or those who may work for you, are employees or contract labor.


To the aspiring horse trainer and/or instructor, my first recommendation is to locate a higher educational training facility specializing in business courses or locate a business tutor from an individual just graduating from college with a business degree. From this interaction the aspiring horse trainer will receive an invaluable wealth of knowledge in understanding basic business principles, which are conducive to starting and operating a successful privately owned business. The business world is filled with pitfalls the young trainer should be aware of prior to engaging in self-employment and the only avoidance available is education through a business curriculum, private tutorship or on-the-job training.


Many a private-sector business has failed due to the latter, simply because the first-time entrepreneur doesn’t understand the basic principles of business, is not properly prepared to balance income and expenses, doesn’t allocate money to pay required business taxes plus penalties (where applicable), and at the end of the year finds his or herself in a deep hole from which there is no recovery. In order to run a successful business, the manager must be a master in time management, use common sense, and do the right thing.  During the day, the manager of a privately owned business wears many hats to ensure every phase of the business is properly addressed in order to stay in operation and ensure profitability.


Each new business should start with a well-thought-out and written business plan. The business plan should outline not only the goals of the entrepreneur but the necessary steps to achieve success. A business plan should be assembled in a realistic and common-sense manner that transforms the business over time, with expansion or reduction being adjusted to available cash on hand and not speculation. As the old adage goes, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush!”


The plan should also include adding adjunct enterprises to your horse-training business as multiple sources of revenue generation (i.e.) student training, horse breeding, horse selling, horse boarding, etc. Generally speaking, the best plan is one that incorporates many sources of income instead of relying on just one type. This ensures a steady cash flow when other sources of business income are experiencing a decline in revenue.



Charles Richardson, Jr., a top student trained by Rick Dennis, won five World Championships and one Reserve World Championship. He has won AQHA.LQHA State Championships and money earnings of over $417,000 in team penning, team sorting, reining, cow horse and NCHA.

The next step is to decide how you are going to receive the necessary training to enable you to open, operate and maintain a successful, privately owned horse-training facility. Generally there are two ways of going about receiving the proper training:  either you work for a trainer as a “contract laborer” or an “employee.”


The difference between the two is a “contract laborer” is responsible for paying his or her self-employment taxes to include individual state and federal income taxes, federal Medicare and social security taxes, which includes the initial self-employment taxes as well as the employer match. At the end of the year, you’ll receive an IRS 1099 from the trainer you are working for, stating the exact amount of gross money you were paid ($600) and over) for which you will be responsible for paying your share of taxes to the taxing agencies. The combination of Medicare and social security taxes alone computes to 15.3 percent of your net profit.


On the other hand, if you have “employee” status, these taxes are automatically deducted from your payroll check and the matching amount is paid for by your employer. At the end of the year, you will receive a W-2 from your employer. It will state the exact amount of money you were paid along with the total itemized deductions. You will then file the IRS W-2 form with your annual federal and state tax filings.


The IRS has common-law rules to determine whether or not your relationship with a trainer falls in the employee or independent contractor category. In an abundance of caution, it’s advisable for the entrepreneur to seek counsel with a tax attorney or a certified public accountant to determine which category your relationship status falls into.  Preplanning on your part may save you a lot of grief when it comes to tax filing time.  For example, you could think you’re an “employee” and at the end of the year you receive an IRS 1099 advising you that you’ve been working as a self-employed individual (contract laborer) and you haven’t set aside the proper IRS or state withholding taxes during the year. This means that at the end of the year you may owe a significant amount of taxes for your failure to set aside the proper amount of withholding money.


Also, once you feel you have learned enough to become a trainer on your own and hire help, the above information is very important to help you run your own training business.

To protect his or her assets, the entrepreneur should be well educated in business insurance requirements. It’s advisable to sit down with an insurance agent specializing in the business needs of the horse industry to insure that you, as a professional trainer, are well protected in the event of litigation, accidents, injury or environmental disasters. If your horse-training facility is located on your personal property, a qualified insurance agent can steer you in the right direction concerning required insurance applications.


The next addressed item in your written business plan is to decide what type of legal business entity you should use to best address your needs as well as protecting your assets in the event of litigation. The common names for a legal business entity depends on your needs and are often referred to as: a Corporation (S & C), Limited Liability Company, Sole-Owned Proprietorship, Partnership, etc.  A visit with a business attorney should answer which category is best for you.



Danetta Comeaux shown with WR Masters Lady and Dual Peps Taffy. Trained by Rick Dennis, she and her horses won AQHA/LQHA State Championships and were World Qualifiers in reining and working cow horse. They were also reined cow horse champions and money earners.

The most advantageous way of marketing your newly formed business is by winning in the show arena in performance horse competition. Once you have established yourself as a winner, your client growth is due in part to word of mouth. A good website is another way of marketing your training facility and yourself. There are a lot of good, do-it-yourself websites out there in the industry to help you out. Still another way is to attend marketing seminars to educate yourself in the most advantageous means of marketing your training facility.


The first premise of business is to understand the banking world. Balancing a checkbook not only ensures that you have a daily working knowledge of the amount of cash on hand in your bank account but it also protects you from an overdrawn bank account. Another important aspect of banking is maintaining a great credit rating. A good credit rating is a vital necessity to the privately owned business owner to ensure credit card issuance, loan availability or a line of credit to run your business while you are waiting for accounts receivable to come in.


Another important aspect of running a successful business is to have accurate bookkeeping records. This is the part of your business that sends out invoices for services rendered or out-of-pocket reimbursable expenditures, accurately records accounts receivables, accounts for cash receipts or money spent, and overall balances the books for accurate tax filings. A good bookkeeping system can be set up and maintained by you or your wife, or you can hire an outside person or agent to perform this job. Either way, an accurate set of accounting records is the heart and soul of a properly run business.


Over all, I’ve been in business since 1984. Unlike most professional trainers, where horse training is their principle line of employment, my professional horse-training facility was added as an adjunct business to an already existing business as another source of revenue. This concept has afforded me the opportunity of enjoying my passion of training and showing reined cow horses, while at the same time providing my business with a cash infusion from another revenue source. The advantage of having a professional horse-training facility as an adjunct business, instead of a principle business, is that while my horse business may decline from time to time, my other sources of revenue ensures my business remains in operation and financially balanced.


So in the end, if your desire is to become a professional horse trainer, an education in basic business principles is a prerequisite to operating a successful horse-training facility, along with feeding horses, mucking stalls when the help doesn’t show up, exercising and training horses, learning to take care of a sick or injured horse, hauling up and down the road to show client horses as well as learning to win in the performance arena.


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

© copyright 2015, all rights reserved.

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




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☛ Neidhart Cutting Horses’ innovative breeding program 3-11-15

Posted by on Mar 11, 2015 in COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, FEATURE ARTICLES, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments





By Glory Ann Kurtz
March 11, 2015


Jeff and Griselda Neidhart with Zara and Alan, two of their four children.
Photo by Kurtz

Look out cutters – there’s a new kid in town.


Jeff Neidhart, who lives in Farmington, N.M., is a highly successful individual in several diversified fields. They include practicing oncology and hermatology at his clinic in Farmington, New Mexico, being a sixth-degree black belt in Ji Do Dwan Tae Kwon Do, as well as the founder and master instructor at his own non profit Traditional Tae Kwon Do Institute. He also owns the first commercial Pinon Pine Nut Farm in the United States, with over 5,000 pinon trees and also founded the Farmington Botanic Gardens that connect the River Beach Foundation River Walk to the city of Farmington Park and Recreation lands.


The Neidhart Cutting Horses temporary sign at their new facility in Weatherford, Texas.
Photo by Kurtz

However, today, even though he is a physician, he has contracted the cutting disease and as a result owns some of the best broodmares in the industry that are being bred to the industry’s top stallions. He also has moved to the second state of this disease: renaming his cutting horse program “Neidhart Cutting Horses” and building a horse facility outside of Weatherford that is an innovative state-of-the art and jaw-dropping sight.


In the beginning …
Jeff’s father, Jim, and his brother David, grew up in Newton Falls, Ohio. Their farm was full of walnut trees and he and his brother farmed, rode horses, fished and hunted game birds on the family farm. David was an orthopedic surgeon and started a practice in Mankato, Minn. Jim and Jeff are both hermatologist/oncologists, with his father committing his professional career toward academic cancer patient care and research; first at The Ohio State University then MD Anderson/Comprehensive Center, followed by the University of New Mexico.


“I used to ride every weekend 20 years ago,” said Jeff. “Later, my father wanted top horses and got into reining but it just didn’t work and he got out.”


In 2002, Jeff’s father recruited him to help continue his patient care and research at the San Juan Oncology Associates PC in Farmington. Jeff followed much the same path as his father with medical training in internal medicine and hermatology/oncology at the University of New Mexico, Ohio State University and the University of Alabama in Birmingham.


While he was attending the University of New Mexico, Jeff started looking at horses and was impressed with Peppy San Badger. He started researching pedigrees and bought a Paint mare. His father even drove to Texas to breed their horses to Gay Bar Olena, a Paint stallion owned by Floyd and Mary Ann Moore of the 6J Paint Horses in Huntsville, Texas. His pedigree was regal, being sired by Doc O’Lena out of Delta, a Paint mare that was an NCHA Open Super Stakes finalist, a member of the NCHA Hall of Fame and the producer of earners of over $320,000. The ranch’s program was founded on great Quarter Horses, including Doc O’Lena, Peppy San Badger and their offspring.


Jeff and his wife Griselda, who is from the Dominican Republic and holds a medical degree in the specialty of Family Practice and Nutrition and is also a professional photographer, are the parents of four children: Haley, Madison, Zara and Alan. When the Neidharts are not working or enjoying cutting horses, you will find them admiring art or collecting antiques. Both are avid skiers and spend as much time as possible skiing and hiking the mountains of Colorado.


With the seed of cutting horses and their genetics planted in Jeff’s mind, he began his journey into the cutting horse business in 2011 with a few nice horses and soon became infatuated with cutting horses, their intelligence, beauty, physical ability and, most of all, their genetics.


Royal Blue Boon

In 2012, the couple expanded Neidhart’s dream by purchasing their foundation broodmare band from Elaine Hall, who owned NCHA Futurity Champion and leading sire Peptoboonsmal (Peppy San Badger x Royal Blue Boon) and his famous dam, Royal Blue Boon (Boon Bar x Royal Tincie x Royal King x King).


“I spoke with Elaine Hall and decided I really liked Patches Of Blue (Smart Little Lena x Royal Blue Boon) and her pedigree that goes back to the legendary Smart Little Lena and Royal King on the bottom. She said she would think about it and she wanted me to think about it and to call her later. She told me that I didn’t want that mare because she was old (born in 1994) and had Cushings disease. But I really liked the pedigree of that mare so Elaine put together a package deal for me where I could get My Sweet Sheree (a 1996 gray mare by Freckles Playboy x Docalady by Doc Bar), along with Patches of Blue and some others.”


Two of Jeff’s other purchases were a yearling mare named Bet This Girls A Cat (High Brow Cat x Bet Yer Boons x Peptoboonsmal) and the yearling mare One Catty Cupid (One Time Pepto x ARC Catty Dual), an NCHA Futurity Unlimited Amateur Champion and Augusta 4-year-old Futurity Open Reserve Champion that had been trained by Phil Rapp. Catty Cupid was sold in 2013 and Bet This Girls A Cat in 2014.


Even though he had never ridden a cutting horse, he became enamored with their pedigrees. (Since then Jeff has been to two of Phil Rapp’s cutting clinics and is planning on returning this June).


A scientific look at breeding cutting horses:

“I studied how people were breeding and realized that studying breeding and breeding crosses was serious business,” said Jeff, who by his own admission is “a scientist,” studying the Rasmussen Factor, Hybrid Vigor, Nicks, Genotypes, Phenotypes in horses.


Two foals on the Neidhart Cutting Horse ranch from an ad advertising “Our Foundation is built on Legendary Bloodlines.

The Rasmussen Factor (RF) is a term used, mostly in Thoroughbred circles, to describe inbreeding to superior female families through different individuals. The inbreeding must occur through the sire and the dam (i.e. be on both sides of the pedigree) and the duplication of the inbred female must be within five generations. Thus, inbreeding to full or half siblings with four generations would qualify, while inbreeding to the same son, would not. As an example, the highly successful sire Hydrive Cat (High Brow Cat x Ruby Tuesday DNA x Peppy San Badger) bred to Sweet Lil ruby (High Brow CD x Playboys Ruby) is an example of the Rasmussen Factor, with a 3×2 RF to Playboys Ruby. Once In A Blu Boon is another example of the Rasmussen Factor.

Click for Rasmussen Factor information>>


Hybrid Vigor, heterosis or outbreed enhancement is the improved or increased function of any biological quality in a hybrid offspring. An offspring exhibits heterosis if its traits are enhanced as a result of mixing the genetic contributions of its parents.

Click for information on Hybrid Vigor>>


The genotype-phenotype distinction is drawn in genetics. Genotype is an organism’s full hereditary information. “Phenotype” is an organism’s actual observed properties, such as morphology, development of behavior. This distinction is fundamental in the study of inheritance of traits and their evolution.

Click for Genotype-phenotype distinction>>


Nicking is the theory of copying the mating of a successful horse to produce another successful horse. Nicking theorists believe there is a benefit to the crossing of certain horses or sire lines and successful crosses can be repeated.


Jeff has discovered the usefulness, through the advice of Shane Plummer, owner of SDP Buffalo Ranch, and extensively uses, an Internet program popular in the Thoroughbred industry but now including AQHA horses. It involves pedigrees, race records, mare produce records, sire progeny reports, nicking reports and much more for Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses.


A “foundation” breeding program built on “legendary” bloodlines:

When he purchased Bet Yer Boons (Peptoboonsmal x Bet Yer Blue Boons), she was staying in Canyon, Texas, with Gregg Veneklasen, one of the leading veterinarians in the reproduction and cloning fields. He and Gregg have become good friends. It was during this time when he was introduced to cloning.


Jeff uses cloning to bring some of the industry’s greatest horses into his breeding program, which Jeff does in a very scientific way. In fact, today, he owns five clones of some of the industry’s greatest broodmares.


Royal Blue Boon Two and Royal Blue Boon Too, two yearling clones of Royal Blue Boon

Pedigrees and his breeding program are on Jeff’s mind today, with genetics being at the top of his list. He returned to Elaine Hall’s ranch and purchased Royal Blue Boon Two, a clone of Royal Blue Boon, the No. 1 cutting producing mare of all time with offspring earning close to $2.5 million. Some of her outstanding offspring include Peptoboonsmal, one of today’s leading cutting horse sires; Red White and Boon, an NCHA World Champion and her leading money-earning offspring, as well as Autumn Boon, Mecom Blue, Bet Yer Blue Boons, Peek A Boon, Duals Blue Boon and Peppys From Heaven. He also bought the recipient mare carrying Royal Blue Boon Two’s first foal, a Dual Smart Rey bay named Boon Smart Rey.


He also purchased recipient mares carrying clones of Peppys From Heaven (Peppy San Badger x Royal Blue Boon), a full sister to Peptoboonsmal with lifetime earnings of approximately $170,000 and Docalady ( Doc Bar x Patches of Blue x Smart Little Lena). Those clones are weanlings.


With his new purchases of these recipient mares carrying top-bred clones, he would soon become the owner of some of the best-bred horses in the cutting horse industry. Even though they could not become AQHA registered at the time, this did not deter Neidhart. He was intent on raising some of the best-bred performance horses in the industry by combining the genetics of the greatest cutting horses of the past with those of the current generations.


A cutting horse operation in Weatherford:

Seeing the need to be in the mainstream of the industry, the Neidharts bought 160 acres on Ballard Road, outside of the industry’s cutting horse capitol -Weatherford, Texas, that had been neglected and overgrown for at least eight years.


Vern Martin, Neidhart’s foreman from Farmington, and his wife Charlie, moved to Texas to set up the new ranch that only had a couple of small houses with very few upgrades on it. However, due to Neidhart’s desire for the best-of-the-best, today the ranch has become a bustling construction site that, when finished, could be the state-of-the-art cutting horse facility within the entire cutting horse industry.


Neidhart’s 264 x 228 show barn complete with breeding facilities, place for breding stallions, small arena, walker, breaking pen and seating to show horses to prospective buyers.
Photo by Kurtz

With a passion for excellence, Neidhart is building that looks like a huge arena. However, it is a huge show barn, 264 feet x 228 feet, including complete breeding facilities and  a place for breeding stallions, a small arena, walker, breaking pen and even seating for showing horses to prospective buyers, along with several apartments ands other amenities. Close by is a separate and beautiful 250 feet x 150 feet indoor arena, along with a 40-stall foaling barn.


Neidhart had timed it right, as he was also lucky enough to hire Kathleen Braden as his Manager/Cutting Horses. Braden had run Don Horton’s Strawn Valley breeding and training facility until his highly successful 2012 dispersal sale. It was at that sale that Neidhart met Kathleen when he was the high buyer of the dispersal, paying $120,000 for a 2-year-old red roan colt, Smart N Metallic, sired by one of the industry’s hottest young stallions, Metallic Cat, out of The Smart Look, the No. 1 leading, living producer of NCHA money earners.


The purchase of the young stallion instantly catapulted Neidhart into the cutting horse show industry when he sent the 2-year-old to leading trainer Phil Rapp.


The broodmares:

Today, Braden takes care of some of the best-bred broodmares in the industry, several with babies at their side, all sired by the industry’s most popular stallions and grazing in a beautiful green pasture. Another pasture includes well-bred, beautiful yearlings and yet another that holds recipient mares. He has several 2-year-olds at leading trainers’ facilities, including Rapp and Beau Galyean.

A yearling filly by Peptoboonsmal out of Ruby Red Cat, an earner of $37,857, and a High Brow Cat daughter out of the great mare Playboys Ruby. (shown with carrier mare)

She also oversees the broodmares who are currently having babies, and include Patches Of Blue (Smart Little Lena x Royal Blue Boon), a full sister to Red White And Boon, cutting’s all-time leading money-earning horse with $922,063 in earnings. Her produce have earned $122,000 in NCHA and NRCHA; Bet Yer Boons (Peptoboonsmal x Bet Yer Blue Boons) “Bonnie” winning over $73,000 as a finalist in both the NCHA Futurity and Super Stakes and with offspring earning over $241,000; Ruby Red Cat (High Brow Cat x Playboys Ruby x Freckles Playboy) with aged-event earnings of $37,857,making finals 23 times, dam of five performers and offspring earning $74,281 to date. (Playboys Ruby is NCHA’s #2 all-time leading producer, whose foals have won $1.7 million) and My Sweet Sheree (Freckles Playboy x Docalady), a full sister to the great mare Some Kinda Playgirl, listed by Equi-Stat as a top broodmare with lifetime earnings of $600,129. Sheree’s offspring have earnings of $27,138.


The Neidhart’s latest acquisition is June Bug Dually (Dual Pep x Junes Little Money x Smart Little Lena) with lifetime earnings of $224,733, third in 2007 NCHA Open Futurity with a 222, and a 2008 NCHA Super Stakes and Breeders Invitational finalist; semifinalist in the NCHA Open Derby, trained by Paul Hansma. She was also the 2010 Waco Futurity/Classic Non-Pro Champion. Jeff is planning on breeding her to Boon A Little, 1999 blue roan son of Smart Little Lena out of Autumn Boon, owned by Jill Freeman’s Charlotte Farms.


“That cross will produce female family inbreeding (Rasmussen Factor) to Peppy Belle by the way of Mr San Peppy and Peppy San, and Teresa Tivio, by way of Doc’s Remedy and Boon Bar, five generations back,” says Neidhart, who has four breedings to the young stallion. “I think they will be amazing horses.”


He also purchased Boon Quixote, a 1997 daughter of Boon Bar out of Chicks Magic Quixote by Doc Quixote; ARC Special Lena, Jae Bars Miss Quixote, and Sweet Little Ruby, a 4-year old mare by High Brow CD out of Playboys Ruby by Freckles Playboys)


The sires:

The broodmares have several foals on the ground and are being rebred to some of the hottest sires in the industry, including: High Brow Cat, the all-time leading sire of cutting horses with offspring earning over $60,400,000; Peptoboonsmal, NCHA No. 4 leading sire and NRCHA #2, with offspring earning over $23.7 million; Dual Rey, with offspring winning close to $28 million; Metallic Cat, NCHA Futurity Champion, Horse of the Year Hall of Fame inductee and NCHA #7 with only two crops showing, siring earners of $1.6 million; Freckles Playboy, a deceased stallion with frozen semen that is still the NCHA #4 all-time leading sire with earners of $28.6 million and also a leading maternal grandsire of NCHA and NRCHA earners of $44 million; Smart Little Lena, also a deceased stallion with frozen semen that was the industry’s leading sire and maternal grandsire with offspring earning over $1.8 million and maternal grandbabies earning over $61.9 million; Smooth As A Cat, NCHA Horse of the Year, 2014 #5 leading sire with offspring earning $13.3 million; Dual Smart Rey, a 2014 top 15 leading sire, with offspring earning $1.8 million, that is out of The Smart Look, NCHA #3 all-time-leading producer; Cat Ichi, NCHA top 12 leading sire with offspring earning over $3.1 million and several others.


He is also breeding a lot to Dual Pep and plans to do the same with Freckles Playboy, using frozen semen.


The Neidhart 250 x 150 indoor arena where horses will soon be working.
Photo by Kurtz

This year he will also be breeding to One Time Pepto, NCHA Futurity Champion and in top 10 of all-time leading cutting sires and the leader of reined cow horse sires, with offspring earning over $23 million and sire of producers of $45.7 million; WR This Cats Smart, a 2014 NCHA and NRCHA leading sire with foals earning $5.8 million, CD Royal, a 1997 son Of CD Olena out of Boons Royal by BoonBar, with offspring earnings of close to $2.9 million, and Boon A Little, a 1999 blue roan stallion with$122,245 in lifetime earnings, sired by Smart Little Lena out of Autumn Boon by Dual Pep.


“I know what the pedigrees of my mares are but in doing the research on the popular stallions, I’m learning how many great stallions there are out there,” said Jeff. “I look at Magic Crosses but also which stallions are best for my particular mare based on the pedigrees.”


The babies:

Bet Yer Metallic, 2013 filly by Metallic Cat out of Bet Yer Boons by Peptoboonsmal, in training with Beau Galyean.

The Niedharts also have four 2-year-olds in training for next year’s aged events, including: a filly sired by Bet Yer Metallic (Metallic Cat x Bet Yer Boons x Peptoboonsmal), in training with Beau Galyean; High Rey Of Freckles, a filly by Dual Rey x Ruby Red Cat x High Brow Cat, in training with Tarin Rice; Boons Smart Rey, a filly by Dual Smart Rey x Royal Blue Boon Two x Boon Bar, in training with Galyean and Twice The Boon DR, a blue roan filly by Autumnator x Boon Quixote x Boon Bar, in training with Phil Rapp.


There are also eight weanlings that would make a cutter’s mouth water, including a stud colt by Peptoboonsmal x Autumn Boon x Dual Pep; a roan filly by High Brow Cat x Autumn Boon x Dual Pep; a blue roan filly by Metallic Cat x Royal Blue Boon Two x Boon Bar; a red roan colt by Metallic Cat x Bet Yer Boons x Peptoboonsmal; a sorrel filly by Peptoboonsmal x Rubys Red Cat x High Brow Cat; a black filly by Black Cat Olena x Boon Quixote x Boon Bar; a red roan filly (a clone of Peppys From Heaven sired by Peppy San Badger  out of Royal Blue Boon by Boon Bar; a grey filly  (a clone of Docalady sired by Doc Bar out of Miss Bar 69 by Hollywood Gold) and a black filly by Smart Little Lena x Royal Blue Boon x Boon Bar.


A weanling clone of Peppys From Heaven, sired by Pepy San Badger out of royal Blue Boon by Boon Bar.

According to Braden, the weanling sired by Black Cat Olena (High Brow Cat x Little Chexy Lena) out of Boon Quixote x Boon Bar is her favorite.


“Black Cat Olena is the coolest moving young prospect that we have ever owned. His natural draw and his ability to move through himself is outstanding.  He is very well balanced and has a ton of cow. He lost an eye during training that ended his career; however, he is bred to be a sire. His dam, Little Chexy Lena x Smart Little Lena earned over $40,000 and has a Top 10 Non-Pro NCHA Futurity finalist. She is also a multiple producer.”


What’s ahead?

“Everyone tells me that I need to breed horses to sell,” said Jeff; “however, I have made a commitment to not only breed horses, but have them trained as 2-year-olds and giving them the tools to have successful careers.  I am breeding horses to create a successful cutting horse. Although my wife sometimes gets impatient with me, we agreed we would be in this for eight years and we’re already 2 ½ years into that.”


As Jeff learns more and more about scientific breeding, he has changed his plans about which stallions to breed his mares to this year, changing gears on about 20-30% of his previous choices following his study of genetics.


The Neidharts’ Mare barn
Photo by Kurtz

“On this year’s breeding, we won’t know for three or four years if we were right on some of these breedings and pedigrees, but it needs to be done,” said Jeff, who is not only breeding for top cutting horses but also ranch horses and reined cow horses. “I don’t know if I will be right but time will tell.”


Asked how he makes his decisions on which mares to breed to which stallions, Jeff said he first prints off of, which is a Jockey Club program that now has incorporated Quarter Horses.


“I put in a sire and a dam and the program calculates what the hypothetical foal is. I will look at the pedigrees to tell me how much Doc Bar, Mr Peppy San, Peppy Belle, Teresa Tivio, etc. there is. Then I’ll basically look at their numbers and circle where the Delta and Formula One breeding patterns and the Rasmussen Factors are present. I also research older and current successful cutting horses to see what their pedigree and patterns of breeding are.”


“I try to find Formula One and Delta breeding styles and Hybrid Vigor. Hybrid Vigor is the breeding of a sire and a dam who both have Rasmussen Factor (RF0 but to two separate families. It brings two very strong families together, which I will do with Playboys Ruby and Royal Blue Boon.


“One of those plans includes breeding Hydrive Cat to Sweet Lil Ruby to have the RF to Playboys Ruby, give those horses the best trainers to succeed and then once I’ve done that with the Royal Blue Boon family, I’ll bring those families together in a Hybrid Vigor. I will build the pedigrees independently and then I will bring them together


“They are usually 2 x 3 generational crosses or 2 x 4 crosses. I am trying to do 2 x 3 crosses for each family of Playboys Ruby and Royal Blue Boon and then bring them together, but the problem is I can’t bring them together for another five or six years. I am currently looking into other horses to do this with.”


“I think the babies I’m going to have this year will be awesome and then I’ll try to bring them together for the next generation,” says Jeff.

Click for Formula One Breed Pattern explanation>>
Click for Speedhorse Delta Pattern article>>


Also, as time goes by, Jeff is also anxious to see what other new breeding techniques will be discovered.


“Soon we might be able to choose and perfect getting certain colors and sexes, learn more about mitochondrial DNA and its effects, and see more changes, discoveries and inventions in the science of breeding.  Currently there are ads in the horse magazines to choose the sex of your foal.”


However Jeff really doesn’t care about an offspring’s sex or color. “Personally I just want to breed successful performance horses,” he said.


It was Braden’s idea to change the name of the cutting horse operation from Confluence Farms to Neidhart Cutting Horses and give the operation its new brand: a heart with a capital “N” within it.


The new Neidhart Cutting Horses logo.
Kurtz Photo

“The cutters just didn’t understand what Confluence Farms was all about and rather than having to explain about Neidhart’s other operations in New Mexico, she suggested just changing the name to something simple that they could remember and change the old web site to a new one that she designed, with the colors Griselda loves: blue and white.”


And once you’ve visited Neidhart’s cutting horse facility in Weatherford and seen firsthand the extent of the genetics and work that has gone into his cutting horse breeding program, you will realize that Neidhart Cutting Horses is a factor to be reckoned with in the performance horse industry.


Click for Neidhart Cutting Horses web site>> 






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☛ Cushing World’s Greatest Horseman 2-25-15

Posted by on Feb 25, 2015 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments





Article taken from press releases from NRCHA
Feb. 25, 2015

NRCHA million-dollar rider Corey Cushing rode PRF Spoonful Of Gold to the World’s Greatest Horseman title.

It was an emotional win for National Reined Cow Horse Association Million-Dollar Rider and two-time Snaffle Bit Futurity Champion Corey Cushing, as the Scottsdale, Ariz., horseman rode Cathy Corrigan Frank’s PRF Spoonful Of Gold (Hes A Peptospoonful x Sons Miss Sprat x Sons Rushette) to the Kalpowar World’s Greatest Horseman Championship. The finals was held Sunday, Feb. 21, during the NRCHA Celebration of Champions held at the John Justin arena of the Will Rogers Complex, Feb. 13-21 in Fort Worth, Texas.


Cushing jumped out to an early lead in the composite after two events, marking a 222 in the herd work and winning the rein work round with a 226. He scored another 222 in the steer-stopping, with a moment of finesse as he waited for his rope to fall completely over the steer’s head before dallying and letting his horse go to the ground. Cushing still held the lead after three events, and secured the Championship with a 219 in the fence work.


The Kalpowar World’s Greatest Horseman Championship paid $25,000 and came with a Bob’s Custom Saddle and Gist buckle sponsored by Kalpowar Quarter Horses; a C.R. Morrison Trophy sponsored by NRCHA Official Videographer Equine Promotion; a gift card from Santa Cruz Animal Health; custom ostrich boots from Rios of Mercedes; a prize packet from Farnam; a gift certificate from Platinum Performance; and a monogrammed saddle pad from Classic Equine.


Cushing and the horse known around the barn as “Rock Star” won the hearts of the packed house in the John Justin arena, on Sunday, Feb. 21, earning big ovations as they built steadily toward the coveted World’s Greatest Horseman title.


The Reserve title went to Phillip J. Ralls riding Dom Dualuise (Dual Rey x Smart Little XX), owned by Christian Larson, and collected the $17,000 Reserve paycheck. Third went to Boyd Rice, riding his horse Oh Cay N Short (oh Cay Quixote x Bit Of Shorty), earning $11,000.


Zane Davis

In other news, Zane Davis celebrated a huge milestone in Fort Worth when his earnings surpassed the million dollar mark, making him the NRCHA’s 12th million dollar rider.





The Open Bridle Championship went to John Swales aboard Maximum Echo (Playboys Remedy x Dry Sans Echo) owned by Flo Houlton.

The Open Bridle Championship went to John Swales aboard Maximum Echo (Playboys Remedy x Dry Sans Echo) owned by Flo Houlton. The pair score a 220 in the reining and an incredible 232 fence run, winning the Championship with a 17.5-point margin, taking home A $7,913 paycheck, a Bob’s Custom Saddle sponsored by Carol Rose, a Gist buckle sponsored by Smart Boons/Eric and Wendy Dunn, boots from Rios of Mercedes, a Platinum Performance gift certificate and a World Finals jacket sponsored by Hickory Holly Time/Gardiner Quarter Horses.


“This horse is a really, really good stopper and he’s pretty quick with his front end. He’s very aggressive. Everything he does, he tries 100 percent all the time, especially as much as he’s been shown.


John is planning for Maximum Echo to go to the NRCHA Stakes and show in the Bridle Spectacular in the future.


The Reserve Open Bridle title went to Steve Metcalf, showing Im No Wimp (Wimpys Little Step x Smart Little Calena), owned by Mark Miers, to a 434.5 composite score, taking home a $6,330 paycheck.


The Open Hackamore World Championship was won by Doug Williamson riding High Brow Shiner (Shining Lil Nic x High Brow Meow), nicknamed “Samson.”

The Open Hackamore World Championship was won by Doug Williamson riding High Brow Shiner (Shining Lil Nic x High Brow Meow), nicknamed “Samson.” The crowd favorite, who beat cancer and will turn 73 on March 15, scored a big 445.5 composite score (216.5 rein/229 cow) and took home a $9,062 paycheck.


“Since this is the Year of the Horse, I must be part horse,” Williamson said with a smile.


The stallion, owned by Belle Meade Ranch, took home a Bob’s Custom Saddle sponsored by Branding Resources, a Gist buckle sponsored by Smart Boons/Eric and Wendy Dunn; Rios of Mercedes boots, a Platinum Performance gift certificate and a commemorative World Finals jacket from Hickory Holly Time/Gardiner Quarter Horses.


“This horse is as good as any horse I have ever ridden,” Williamson said. “If there is any horse in the world that can do the fence as good as this one, I would be surprised. I started him as a baby and I have a full sister coming up so I’m excited about that. He’s such a great horse. He has heart and he’s good minded and I just go along for the ride.”


The Open Hackamore Reserve title went to Jay McLaughlin riding Shinin Peaches (Shining Spark x Ima Smart Remedy) for J. T. and Sandra Neal III. McLaughlin piloted Shinin Peaches to a composite 444 (220 rein/224 cow) and earned $7,092.


The Non-Pro Bridle Champion was Alexa Beaty and Star Dustn Wrangler.

The Non-Pro Bridle Champion was Alexa Beaty and Star Dustn Wrangler (Starlights Wrangler x Pines Dusty Modle) nicknamed Cinch, with a 215 in the rein work and a 217 down the fence. The 432 composite score paid $4,060 and came with a Bob’s Custom Saddle, a Gist buckle sponsored by Smart Boons and Eric and Wendy Dunn, a Cow Trac system sponsored by Cow Trac and a World Finals jacket sponsored by Hickory Holly Time and Gardiner Quarter Horses.


“I’m just so happy. I wasn’t expecting it at all,” said Alexa. “It’s something that I have been working for, something that I have been wanting to accomplish and I did.” This was Alexa’s fourth World Championship and her fourth year showing down the fence. She plans to attend OSU this fall pursuing a sociology degree and competing on the reining/equestrian team.


The Non-Pro Bridle Reserve title went to Karla Rogers riding BJ Chula Mula (Chula Dual x BJ Ari), marking a 213.5 in the reining and a 208 in the fence work for a composite of 421.5, earning $3,190.



Deborah Anderson

Deborah Anderson riding Signed Prescription (High Sign Nugget x Ima Docs Dolly) won the Novice Non Pro Bridle Championship with a composite 429 score (216 rein/213 cow), taking home $2,693.75.


Deb has owned “Sadie” since the mare was a 2-year-old and until the mare was 5, Deb hauled her to cutting horses as her turn-back horse. When her cutter needed time off, she decided to show her as a hackamore horse in the reined cow horse events. The next year she didn’t compete on her but instead rode her as a trail horse. Deb has always wanted to show cow horses seriously and decided she better send her to get trained as a bridle horse. She sent her to John Swales who showed her successfully in the two-rein.


Anderson said, “This is my once in a lifetime horse. I will never sell her.”


The Championship came with a Bob’s Custom Saddle sponsored by Kit and Charlie Moncrief, a Gist buckle sponsored by Smart Boons/Eric & Wendy Dunn, boots from Rios of Mercedes, a gift certificate from Platinum Performance and a World Finals jacket from Hickory Holly Time and Gardiner Quarter Horses.


The Novice Non-Pro Bridle Reserve title went to Sarah Clymer riding Tiger Lilys Award (Peppys Dry Award x Colonel Tigers Trena), scoring a 216 in the reining and a 208 down the fence for a composite of 424. Clymer took home $2,155.


The $5,000 Non-Pro Limited Champion was 11-year-old Cutter McLaughlin.

The $5,000 Non-Pro Limited Champion was 11-year-old Cutter McLaughlin, who took the $5,000 Non-Pro Limited World Championship aboard CD Dee Vee Dee (CD Lights x Shiners Missy Jay), a gelding owned by his parents, Jay and Wendy McLaughlin. Cutter scored a composite of 443 (220 reinin/223 cow), claiming paychecks totaling $4,928. He also collected some great prizes, including a Gist Buckle sponsored by Smart Boons/Eric & Wendy Dunn, boots from Rios of Mercedes, gift certificates from Platinum Performance and Santa Cruz Animal Health and a World Finals jacket sponsored by Hickory Holly Time/Gardiner Quarter Horses.


Cutter home schools in the mornings and is in the barn in the afternoons, practicing on his horse. His dad, Jay, said, “Cutter has worked really hard for this. He showed like a pro.” He also promised him if the won the World Championship, he could start showing down the fence this year.


The $5,000 Non Pro Limited Reserve Champion was taken by Christa Hampton riding TR Spooky Cat (TR Dual Rey x Haintscatsnholycows) to the $5,000 Non-Pro Limited Reserve Championship, scoring a 215 in the reining and a 220.5 in the fence work, for a total of 4535.5. She collected a $1,894.50 paycheck.



Madelyn Gosselin rode Shiners Little Peppy (Shining Spark x Little Jalapeppy) to the Youth Limited Championship with a composite score of 431.5 (216 rein/215.5 cow). The championship paid $1,050 and came with a Bob’s Custom Saddle, donated by the NRCHA, a $1,250 scholarship from the NRCHA Foundation, a Gist buckle sponsored by Smart Boons/Eric and Wendy Dunn, boots from Rios of Mercedes, a gift certificate from Platinum Performance and a World Finals Jacket from Hickory Holly Time and Gardiner Quarter Horses.


The Youth Championship came down to the judges’ reviews at the end. When asked about her win, Gossselin said, “I definitely wasn’t expecting it. It wouldn’t have mattered. I would have been happy either way. I didn’t wish to redo my run. I was happy with my horse. This is definitely awesome.)  She plans on going down the fence this year and continuing to show in the cow horse and cutting events.


Addison Fjelstad rode Mini Mes Mercedes (Mini Me Merada x Spooks Hickory) to the Youth Limited Reserve Championship, scoring a 215.5 in both the reining and down the fence for a composite of 431, taking home an $825 paycheck.


The Youth Bridle Championship went to Kelly Valdez, La Junta, Colo., aboard MH Bold Intentions (Bodee Boonsmal x Freckles Docs Oak), a gelding owned by her parents. Betty Lou and Robert Valdez. She scored a composite of 437.5 (214.5 reining/223 cow), claiming paychecks totaling $855. The championship also came with a Bob’s Custom Saddle sponsored by the Beaty family, a Gist buckle sponsored by Smart Boons/Eric and Wendy Dunn, a $2,000 scholarship from the NRCHA Foundation, boots from Rios of Mercedes, gift certificates from Platinum Performance and Santa Cruz Animal Health and a World Finals jacket sponsored by Hickory Holly time/Gardner Quarter Horses.


“This was my mom’s horse,” said Valdez. “She shows him in the bridle. He loves working the cow. He makes the same run every time. He is a pretty easy ride. My mom showed him and got second at the AQHA World Show Two Rein. He’s just been a great horse and we’ve both done really good on him.”


Valdez is also an avid National High School Rodeo competitor, who started showing when she was 6, and competes in various events. She receives help and coaching from her mom and from NRCHA Hall of Fame horseman Don Murphy. Later this spring she will start competing in High School rodeo in cutting, cow horse, barrels and roping. Obviously MH Bnold Intentions does more than just show in the cow horse.


The Youth Bridle Reserve Champion is Reece Rosenauer, riding Playin With Smoke (Playgun x Im Thirsty Smoke). The pair scored a 215 in the reining and a 219.5 in the fence work for a 434.5 total, collecting a check for $684.



Chris Dawson rode Shiney Nu Annie to the Aaron Ranch Open Derby title,taking home over $12,300. The 2011 mare is owned by Wagonhound Land & Livestock, and was the 2014 Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Rserve Champion.

Chris Dawson rode Shiney Nu Annie (Shining Spark x Annies Nu Lena x Nu Cash) to the championship of the Aaron Ranch Open Derby,  held Feb. 16 at the Celebration of Champions. The event came down to one more trip down the fence for finalists in the Aaron Ranch Cow Horse Classic Derby, as the champions were determined when their fence work-only score was added to their three-event composite from the preliminaries. Dawson came into the finals in fourth place after the first three events, seven points behind the preliminary leader, A Lil Dab Will Do, shown by Robert Chown. Dawson and Shiney Nu Annie turned in a gritty fence run, earning a big 150 from the judges to take home the winning paycheck of more than $12,300.


The 2011 mare is owned by Wagonhound Land and Livestock and was also the 2014 Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Reserve Champion, also shown by Dawson.


Nicolas Barthelemy

The Intermediate Open Champion went to All that Boon (Peptoboonsmal x All That N Cat x High Brow Cat) shown by Nicolas Barthelemy and owned by Sheri Jamieson. The pair were also Reserve in the Open, earning paycheck totaling just over $15,000. The Limited Open Champion was Mark Sigler riding Rockys Surprize CD (That CD Rocks x Tangys Been Sunkist x Tangys Classy Peppy) owned by Dominic Conicelli. The pair collected three paychecks in the Aaron Ranch Derby, placing 7th in the Open, 3rd in the Intermediate Open and winning the Limited Open title. Their combined paychecks were just over $6,600.


Elizabeth Kania

Oregon cowgirl Elizabeth Kania celebrated triple championships, winning the Non-Pro, Intermediate Non-Pro and Novice Non-Pro Derby riding Uno What Time It Flo (Uno What Time It Is x Dew It Flo x Peponita Flo, a 2010 mare owned by her mother, Renee Dubois. The pair picked up just over $4,200.

Click for complete results>>







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☛ Today’s News 2-19-15




By Glory Ann Kurtz
Feb. 19, 2015



According to a Colorado news outlet, the trial date for Sherri Brunzell, 62, who was accused of animal cruelty involving horses that were seized from her Black Forest property, including the now-famous horse due to publicity, Dual Peppy, has been postponed nearly three months and will now scheduled to take place May 26.


Brunzell appeared in court Friday, Feb. 13, with her lawyer Andrew Bryant, saying the defense wasn’t ready for the Feb. 24 trial and Stephen Sletta, the 4th Judicial District Judge, reluctantly agreed to push it to May 26.


More than a dozen horses were found dead on property that Brunzell was renting and 10 surviving ones, as well as several llamas were removed from her custody. Judge On Oct. 9, Sletta ordered Brunzell to pay $5,400 per month for the horses’ care. A gag order on the case has prevented anyone involved in the horses’ treatment from speaking about them.



In another horse abuse and death case, a California judge has ordered Mark Arballo to stand trial for felony animal abuse on Monday.


In September of 2013, Arballo allegedly left a Paint mare bitted up in a curb bit alone in a solid round pen while he taught lessons on another horse. The mare was discovered on the ground, with the curb bit still in her mouth, and her nose mutilated and bleeding, and blood coming out of her ear. The mare was later humanely euthanized. Bella Gunnabe Gifted, a 6-year-old mare, was owned by Martha Torkington and Arballo worked out of her San Diego ranch, where he and his girl friend trained horses.


According to an article in Rate My Horse PRO, Superior Court Judge Garry Haehnle denied the defense’s motion to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor. He also dismissed an additional misdemeanor charge of animal abuse when he allowed his dog to bite Bella’s nose prior to her death. Arballo is scheduled to stand trial on May 18. If convicted he faces up to three years in prison.



From Feb. 15 to March 15, the Alberta Reined Cow Horse Association is holding a stallion auction to some well-bred sires, including several standing in the U.S.A. With the $1,000 in Canadian dollars equaling $750 in the U.S., this is a great value for U.S. purchasers. The money will be used to fund the annual Alberta Snaffle Bit Futurity. The bidding will begin at 6% of the normal advertised breeding fee and ends on March 15 at 5 p.m. Mountain Time.


Stallions have stud fees ranging from $500 to $2,500 and include Smokums Prize, $2,500, standing at Thunderstruck Ranch, Delburne, Alberta; Hickory Holly Time, standing at Oswood Stallion Station in Weatherford, Texas, $2,000 stud fee – minimum bid of $1,300; Nu Circle N Cash, standing at Ted Robinson Training Stables, $2,000 stud fee – minimum $1,300 and many others.

For more information and to bid, go to:




Often considered Bushwacker’s most ardent rival and the heir-apparent to his greatness, Asteroid, the 2012 PBR World Champion bull owned by Jeff Talley of Circle T Ranch & Rodeo will official retire Feb. 28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, during his final out during PBR’s Iron Cowboy on Saturday, Feb. 28.


During his 4-year-Bult Ford Tough career, the 1,500-pound athlete earned 30 consecutive buckoffs, tossing three-te PBR World Champion Silvano Alves three times before he rode him for 887.25 points. J.B. Mauney faced Asteroid five times but was only successful once for 93.5 points in San Antoniio, the highest scored ride of Asteroid’s career.  He has bucked off PBR’s best, including Renato Nunes, Guilherme Marchi, Mike Lee, L. J. Jenkins and Luke Snyder.



QHA is now accepting videographer and/or webcast bids for the 2015 Built Ford Tough AQHYA, Adequan Select and AQHA world championship shows. The dates and locations for the 2015 world shows are: July 31 – Aug. 8: Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City; Aug. 28 – Sept. 5: Adequan Select World Championship Show at Tri-State Fairgrounds in Amarillo, Nov. 6-21: AQHA World Championship Show at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City. Contact the AQHA for a Request for Proposal at



Not long after the NCHA raised the fees for trainers to be in the Trainers Director, from $80 to $120, Dave Brian recently sent out a notice to the premier Limited Aged Events, from July 1-Dec. 31, 2015, informing shows that “the NCHA is raising approval fees from $375 to $500, plus 2 percent. The $500 per-day approval fee may be deducted from total entry fees collected and pro-rated between classes held that day” – which means the members and entrants to the show will be taking the hit of the $500 per day fee. In 2011, the percentage was increased from 1% to 2%.

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☛ Clarence Chown passes; AQHA new EVP named 2-11-15





Feb. 11, 2015

Clarence and Mary Jean Chown along with Bo Branquinho.

A memorial service for Clarence Reno Chown, 87, of Cooke County will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, at the Geo. J. Carroll & Son Funeral Home Chapel, Gainesville, Texas,  with Rev. Don Metcalf officiating.  Clarence Chown passed away Feb. 9 at his residence.


Chown was born on Jan. 3, 1928 in Santa Monica, Calif., to Clarence Reno and Mary Rouse Chown. He and his wife, Mary Jean, owned the Chown C Quarter Circle Ranch in Gainesville, Texas. The couple purchased the 502-acre ranch property in 1993 with the idea of building a family camp.


For 36 years they had operated Rawhide, a children’s camp outside of Bonsall, Calif., giving approximately 3,000 riding lessons each year. They were recognized by the California Board of Education for their two-year vocational college at Rawhide, a program that offered classes in practical veterinary medicine, farm and ranch management, horsemanship, breeding and farm shop.


Chown passed on his legacy to his children as he was the father and father-in-law of several horsemen and women:  son Thomas Rodger, Holland, Mich; son and daughter-in-law Troy Louis and Barbara Davis, Stephenville; son Leonard Mank Davis, Custer, S.D., son and daughter-in-law Robert Len and Cheryl Chown, Gainesville, Texas and daughter and son-in-law Linda Chown Bowersox and Linn Bowersox, Burleson, Texas. He was preceded in death by his parents.


He is survived by his wife, the above children, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.


In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Rawhide Ranch, P.O. box 216, Bonsall, CA 92003 or to Hospice Plus, 116 S. Woods St., Sherman, TX 75092.


The above information came from Geo. J. Carroll & Son Funeral Home and an article by Marilyn Short in The Horse Gazette.







Feb. 11, 2015

According to the AQHA web site, Craig Huffhines has been selected to assume the executive vice president leadership role for the AQHA, previously held by Don Treadway. Huffhines will begin his new duties shortly after AQHA’s Convention in March. His selection came following a five-month extensive search effort after receiving applications from more than 40 interested individuals.


Huffhines, the Executive Vice President of the American Hereford Association (AHA) located in Kansas City, Mo., was credited with turning around a 30-year decline and registration and breed popularity within the Hereford Association, as well as balancing budgets during lean industry years. He also executed a revised governance structure to meet the demands of the 21st century and reinvigorated interest among youth, as well as managed the staff and growing the Hereford Research and foundations.


Huffhines studied pre-veterinary medicine at Texas A&M University, went to graduate school at Colorado State and secured an internship with what is now Swift Packing Company. Later, he was recruited by AHA to head their feedlot-and-carcass program before becoming their chief executive. Through his work at AHA he has experience internationally with joint collaboration of genetic data and evaluation from Argentina, Australia and Canada.


According to a July 2014 article in Drive, written by Rachel Stine, Huffhines and his wife, Mary Jon, have three sons – Seth, an animal science senior at A&M who plans to go to medical school; Cole, a senior in high school; and Miles, who is 12.

Click for article in Drive Magazine>>






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