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☛ A lesson in horse buying 11-14 -17

Posted by on Nov 14, 2017 in COW HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

A LESSON IN HORSE BUYING

By Rick Dennis
Nov. 14, 2017

by Richard E. Dennis

In 2012, I authored and released a book entitled, “The American Horse Industry, Avoiding The Pitfalls.” The book was written from my professional viewpoint and spanned over my twenty years as a professional trainer, breeder, exhibitor and owner.

Initially, the book was designed to help individuals entering the industry, as first-time buyers or investors, to avoid the inherent risks associated with the horse industry during horse ownership, buying, boarding, training, exhibiting and sales.

However, as soon as the book was released and put in production, I learned my book was also being highly regarded and purchased by individuals already in the horse industry as the model and guide to successful horse ownership and equine business operations. The book has never received less than a 5-Star Rating and has been sold in National and International Markets.

The book is unique in a fashion, as it provides the basic knowledge anyone would desire to avoid the pitfalls in the American Horse Industry. The book is comprised of eleven chapters:

1) Horse Operation – Business or Hobby?
2) Equine Warning Law.
3) Selecting A Horse.
4) Equine Drug Testing.
5) Selecting A Horse Boarding Facility.
6) Selecting A Horse Trainer.
7) Non-profit Horse Organizations.
8) Equipment and Applications.
9) Farrier Service.
10) Health and Care of the Horse.
11) Horse Safety.

As previously stated, initially the book was designed as a primer to newcomers in the industry but over time its reading audience has expanded to also include equestrians with many years in the industry.  For many, it has become the “go-to book” for common-sense knowledge to guide them through to become successful equine business operations and horse  owners. Perhaps the best attribute of the book is teaching individuals the steps to take to avoid the court room in costly civil disputes.

COMMON-SENSE HORSE BUYING:
Of late, there seems to be a lot of civil litigation going on involving horses in one fashion or another as well as for other reasons. In assisting individuals in buying a horse, I urge all of my clients to use basic common-sense approaches in the transaction, especially the “TRUST BUT VERIFY” motto. As a whole, I do believe there are more equestrians with honesty than dishonesty in the industry.  However, the industry has its share of bad actors whose intentions aren’t so honorable. Therein lies the pitfalls outlined in my book and how to avoid them.  It really doesn’t matter what breed of horse or what its intended purpose is supposed to be the following rules of horse buying can be applied to them all:

Rules To Avoid The Pitfalls:

1) If your not quite sure of what your looking for or how to go about acquiring it the best approach is to enlist the aid of an experienced reputable trainer who will act as your agent. The agent will locate several prospective animals for  the buyer to evaluate including having the agent ride the horse first to ensure the horse is of the type, kind and performance capability the buyer desires.

2) The agent will also make sure the horse is safe before the buyer ever steps up on the horse. A rule of thumb, so-to-speak, is for the buyer to spend as much time as he or she can with the horse before plunking down that hard-earned money on a horse purchase.

3) Normally an agent will have a contract to sign beforehand and the buyer should take the time to scrutinize it in its entirety to make sure there are no legal loopholes, including attorney evaluation.

4) Normally, the “seller” will also have a contract for the buyer to sign; however, if the “Sellers” contract has stipulations such as “Sold As Is,” “No Warranty,” or “Non-Returnable,” simply walk away from the horse and find another. Every reputable “seller” should guarantee their product.

5) In the event the buyer wishes to represent his or herself, the cardinal rule is to never purchase a horse “Sight-Unseen” or without riding the horse to all of the horse’s performance capabilities prior to making a final selection.

Pre-purchase Vet Exams:

1) Never purchase a horse without a pre-purchase vet exam, including x-rays.

2) Never use the same veterinarian for the pre-purchase exam as the seller. The buyer always wants an independent medical examination and evaluation separate and apart from the seller’s.

3) Have an attorney-at-law draw up a release between “seller” and “buyer” to disclose “ALL” of the medical records for the horse located anywhere and of any type or kind to evaluate and fully disclose any pre-existing conditions, injuries or treatments the horse may have had prior to the sale. In the event the horse has had multiple owners along the way attempt to contact as many as the buyer can to determine the health of the horse.

4) During the pre-purchase veterinarian examination, have the veterinarian draw urine and blood for a drug-test evaluation to see what’s floating around in the horse’s system. In the pre-purchase contract, it should be stipulated that if any drugs of the tranquilizer or sedative type are found in the horse’ s system, the “seller” is responsible for the veterinarian’s bill and the sale is null and void. For the record, I also have a CBC and a liver-function test performed during the pre-purchase.

5) Have an attorney at law draw up a purchase contract whereby the “seller” guarantees the health of the horse as well as its performance capabilities with a guaranteed warranty of performance and health. If the “seller” won’t sign the contract, walk away and find another horse. Most reputable private-treaty sellers wouldn’t have an issue with this type of business transaction. After all, exercise the old motto, “It’s Just Business”.

6) The buyer should document all advertisements the “seller” may have provided to “buyer” due to the fact that in some circumstances these may be required later to demonstrate an “implied” or “expressed warranty” by “seller” or “seller’s agent” in a civil lawsuit for damages. Further, the buyer should fully document electronic messages between “seller” and “buyer” or “seller” as well as any provided videos which can also be used to determine “warranty status” if the need arises.

7) The main purpose of a pre-purchase vet exam is to determine whether or not the horse has any pre-existing or current medical conditions which would prevent the horse from fulfilling the performance capability the buyer has chosen to engage in. Bear in mind that it’s not uncommon for a horse to have some bumps and bruises acquired during training or exhibition. If the horse is a true performance horse, this is expected and common.  It’s the nature of the beast “so to speak”. However, my rule is to buy a horse with bumps and bruises I can live with and not purchase a horse with the types of bumps and bruises I can’t.

Deceptive Trade Practices Laws:

There are laws on the books governing horse sales to prevent or prosecute those unscrupulous individuals engaged in deceptive trade practices from taking advantage of an unsuspecting buyer during a horse sale:

1) Federal Trade Commission.
2) Uniformed Commercial Code.
3) Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
4) Attorney Generals Office of the state of residence.
5) The local law enforcement agency can file fraud or theft charges.

Each of these agencies are capable of investigating and, where appropriate, instituting or referring criminal charges as well as civil litigation to the offender for violations found during an unscrupulous horse sale as well as recovering assets for the victim from a bad horse sale including court-ordered restitution.

Auctions/Sale Barns:

In all probability there’s a lot of good horses bought and sold in a sale barn. However, this is not my “cup of tea” so to speak. I’d much prefer buying from a reputable breeder or owner when I’m in need of a horse. Unless the sale barn offers demonstrations ahead of time, don’t buy a horse at this location. The prospective buyer is just rolling the dice or gambling on whether or not the horse lives up to the hype in the sale catalog. Also, beware of the sale barn whose contract stipulates a “hold harmless or indemnification clause” which essentially means you are buying the horse from the “seller” and not from the sale barn. Therefore, if you buy a horse, the sale barn isn’t responsible for the condition or performance capability of the horse at the time of sale. This is a risky buy.

Again, “Trust, But Verify”. Remember not all horse sellers are reputable individuals and the sale barn isn’t responsible if the “seller” lies on the disclosure contract with the auction house. Another important fact to remember is that in some states, Texas for example, it’s unlawful for the purchaser to stop payment on a check after a horse sale. In other words, this deals out criminal penalties to the party stopping payment on a check.

So if and when you get your horse home and it has pre-existing abnormalities or conditions that weren’t disclosed ahead of the sale and make the horse unsuitable for your intended purpose and the “seller” won’t warranty the horse, the only remedies the “buyer” may have are:

1) Expensive litigation in court, or
2) Filing a complaint with one of the agencies herein mentioned above.

“Until Next Time, Keep Em Between the Bridle!”

Wind River Company LLC
Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
Managing Member
Office/Mobile: (985) 630-3500
Email: windrivercompany@gmail.com
Web Site: http://www.windrivercompanyllc.com
Stock Horse Web Site: http://www.windriverstockhorses,com

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☛ Don Taylor killed in tragic accident 11-12 -17

Posted by on Nov 12, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

DON TAYLOR KILLED IN TRAGIC ACCIDENT

By Glory Ann Kurtz
Nov. 12, 2017

Don Taylor, 89, Minco, Okla., a rancher, cattleman, horseman and a past NCHA Director, was killed in a tragic truck/semi-truck accident north of Union City, Okla., on Thursday, Nov. 9.

According to news reports, Don was pulling out of the Love’s parking to head north when a semi caring a 70,000-load came barreling toward him. According to the police report, the semi was unable to slow down fast enough to miss hitting Taylor.

Reports say it was the seventh major accident at the intersection since 2015  but the first since August when the speed limit dropped from 70 miles per hour to 55. The police said they believed Tylor’s view was obscured by a semi turning westbound onto SW 59th from SB Hwy 81 in the southbound lane. Taylor’s pickup was then struck by a semi trailing southbound in the inside lane and pronounced dead at the scene.

Don and his wife Sylvia were active in the NCHA years ago when they owned the popular Clark’s Doc Bar and he was a director with the NCHA. Chuck Smith said on the NCHA website that Don was a highly respected  horseman.

According to the NCHA website, funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Monday at the Methodist Church in Minco.

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☛ Lawsuit filed in barrel horse case 11-7-17

Posted by on Nov 7, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE LAWSUITS, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, REINING NEWS, RODEO & BULLRIDING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 1 comment

LAWSUIT FILED IN MADISON COUNTY, TEXAS REGARDING A BARREL HORSE 

 

SAVANNAH ROBERTSON FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST VETERINARIAN CAMERON STOUDT AND TEXAS EQUINE HOSPITAL

By Glory Ann Kurtz
Nov. 7, 2017

On or about May 13, 2016, Savannah Robertson, Los Osmos, Calif., entered into a contract with Michelle Alley, Madisonville, Texas, an agent for Hope B. Martin, Huntsville, Texas, the owner of a barrel horse named Crown N Diamonds, a.k.a.“Cinderella.”

Prior to the purchase Robertson consulted Cameron Stoudt, DVM of the Texas Equine Hospital, Bryan, Texas, to conduct a pre-purchase report on the horse. Relying on her Dr. Stoudt’s pre-purchase report, Savannah Robertson believed the horse was sound and fit for performance purposes.

Approximately three days after Robertson took possession of the horse, Cinderella experienced a “patella lockup,” or an upper fixation of the left hindquarter stifle ligament. The first patella lockup occurred in the round pen and the second occurred while Robertson was riding the mare, causing the horse and rider to fall to the ground.

Thereafter, the  horse was brought to a California veterinarian who identified the locking patella or upper-fixation condition and referred the horse to the Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center in Los Olivos, Calif. Upon evaluation, the veterinary clinic also identified this abnormality and treated the horse for the patella lockup condition.

Click for Locking patella explanation>>

Robertson realized the horse she had just purchased was not sound due to the locking patella, and would be unfit for barrel racing or any other performance purpose. She notified both the agent Michelle Alley and seller Hope Martin of their violations based on the deceptive sale of the wholly unfit performance horse.

Robertson also learned after the sale that the veterinarian Cameron Stoudt DVM had previously seen and treated the horse on a number of occasions and had given the  horse multiple injections for the stifle lock issue, knowing that the horse was unfit as a performance horse – yet failed to disclose that information. Dr. Stoudt was employed by Texas Equine Hospital.

The purchase turned into several lawsuits filed by the seller and the agent. with the most recent being filed by the buyer, Savannah Robertson, who hired attorney Robert Wagstaff of McMahon Surovik Suttle, P.C. of Abilene, Texas, who sent a demand letter for payment of damages to the seller Hope B. Martin and her agent Michelle Alley on Sept. 30, 2016, stating damages and violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA), especially  Section 17.46 of the Texas Business Commerce Code.

Court documents state that on Nov. 3, 2017, Robertson, filed a First Amended Original Petition in the 278th Judicial District of Madison County, Texas, against the seller Hope B. Martin, the veterinarian Cameron Stoudt, DVM and her employer Texas Equine Hospital PC stating the “Plaintiff intends to conduct discovery under Level 3 of Rule 190.3 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure with the damages sought being  within the jurisdictional limits of the court.”

Click for Texas Equine Hospital website>>

The documents state that the Texas jurisdiction is proper since the parties entered into a contract in Texas, to be performed in whole or in part, in Madison County, Texas. Also, because a substantial part of the conduct giving rise to the lawsuit occurred in Madison County, Texas, and a substantial part of the events and omissions which created this cause of action occurred in Madison County, Texas.

Robertson notified both Michelle Alley and Hope B. Martin of their DTPA violations based on the deceptive sale of the wholly unfit performance horse. Further, it was learned after the sale that Defendant Cameron Stoudt, DVM had previously seen and treated the horse on a number of occasions and had given the horse multiple injections for the stifle lock issue and; therefore, knew the horse was unfit as a performance horse, yet wholly failed to disclose it. At all times she was acting in the course and scope of her employment with defendant Texas Equine Hospital P.C.

CAUSE OF ACTION CLAIMED AGAINST SELLER HOPE B. MARTIN:

In the court documents, Robertson claims Hope B. Martin committed DTPA violations by representing that the barrel horse had “characteristics, uses, benefits and qualities” which it did not and she failed to disclose the information concerning the barrel horse, which was known at the time of the transaction and as such filed to disclose the information to induce Robertson into a transaction in which she would not have entered, had the information been disclosed.

CLAIMED DAMAGES INCURRED BY HOPE B. MARTIN:

Court documents state that on Sept. 30, 2016, Robertson provided written notice to Hope B. Martin, advising her of specific complaints and the amount of damages, including reasonable attorney’s fees incurred as of the date of the letter. Robertson said she suffered economic damages in an amount within the jurisdiction limits of the court, for which it now sues, including but not limited to: the original purchase price of the  horse, the costs of all veterinarian exams, transportation and boarding costs and all other costs association with the sale and purchase of the  horse.

Also claiming mental anguish damages, Robertson sued for actual and incurred damages, mental anguished treble (3 times amount of damages) allowed by law.

CLAIMED CAUSE OF ACTION AGAINST VETERINARIAN DR. CAMERON STOUDT:

Robertson claims that prior to her purchase of the barrel horse, she consulted Cameron Stoudt, DVM, an experienced veterinarian in the Brazos Valley region, to assess the horse’s present and future soundness and any abnormalities that may adversely affect the horse’s ability to perform for the sole reason of purchase – barrel racing.

She claims that Dr. Stoudt made negligent misrepresentations to her regarding the horse’s health, soundness, medical conditions and ability to perform. She claims the vet supplied false information to her, upon which Robertson relied and as a result suffered damages.

Court documents claim that Dr. Stoudt failed to disclose that the horse was not sound, as its patella locked up in its left rear leg, making the horse unfit for barrel racing or any other performance purpose. Robertson said she had relied on the veterinarian’s Pre-Purchase Assessment and Report in her decision to purchase the horse and enter into the contract with Michelle Alley and Hope B. Martin.

The document included the fact that the acts and omissions of Dr. Stoudt occurred while she was in the course and scope of her employment with Defendant Texas Equine Hospital, who the court case claims is directly liable to the Plaintiff for the acts and omissions of Dr. Cameron Stoudt, DVM and The damages proximately caused thereof.

CLAIMED DAMAGES INCURRED BY DR. CAMERON STOUDT AND TEXAS EQUINE HOSPITAL: 

Damages for which Dr. Cameron Stoudt, DVM and the Texas Equine Hospital are liable for include her purchase price of the horse, expenses incurred in the transaction, expenses and upkeep of the horse since the date of the purchase and lost profits and business opportunities for having a  horse that was unfit for its particular purpose: a barrel racing horse. Robertson also seeks recovery of pre- and post-judgment interest and reasonable and necessary fees for expert witnesses, copies of depositions and costs of court, as authorized by law.

Robertson is also demanding a trial by jury for which required fees have been paid. She is asking, “the defendants be cited to appear and answer the suit. Also, she is asking that upon final hearing of the case, the judgment be entered for the Plaintiff and against the Defendants for damages in an amount within the jurisdictional limits of the Cost, together with pre-judgment interest at the maximum rate allowed by law, post-judgment interest at the legal rate, costs of court, reasonable and necessary attorneys’ fees and other such and further relief to which the Plaintiff may be entitled at law or in equity.”

Click for court documents>>

 

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☛ AQHA to raise rates 11-1-17

Posted by on Nov 1, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, SALES INFORMATION, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

AQHA TO RAISE RATES

By Glory Ann Kurtz
Nov. 1, 2017

Got some horses to register or a stallion breeding report to send to the AQHA. You better hurry! A bevy of increases have been made by the American Quarter Horse Association taking effect on Jan. 1, 2018. They include membership fees, registration fees, genetic testing, stallion breeding report, duplicate certificates, embryo transfer enrollment, breeding permits, leases, rushes and show approvals.

The AQHA  has delivered the information on their website, saying, “To deliver the best service to our members and horse lovers around the world, it is necessary for AQHA to review the Association’s budget and make changes to maintain a strong financial position to support the future of our great Association.

“As the largest single-breed equine association in the world, the American Quarter Horse Association strives for excellence as a breed registry and to provide outstanding customer services as an Association.

“Every year, internal staff develops a tentative budget prior to the beginning of the fiscal year, which is approved by the AQHA Executive Committee prior to October 1, and a final budget, which is approved by the Executive Committee at its April meeting, after the AQHA convention. The AQHA treasurer and chief operating officer presents the Association’s audited financial statements every year at convention, and the financial statements are also published on AQHA.com.

“When developing and updating the Association’s budget, we evaluate all of AQHA’s programs and focus on the pillars of excellence from our strategic plan, which include animal welfare, customer satisfaction, culture and communication. We also evaluate the multiple business areas that support the pillars: technology, business development, growth of the American Quarter Horse Foundation, youth development and operational efficiency. All of these, plus several other factors come into play when evaluating the budget.

“AQHA has supplemented its income for years with investment earnings to keep fees as low as possible for AQHA members. We have arrived at a point where the Association’s fees need to reflect the Association’s services provided to our members, and we must continue to be a financially healthy Association with at least a half of a year to a full year budget in reserves.

“With that being said, the Executive Committee reviewed the tentative budget during its September meeting and recently approved multiple fee increases that will go into effect January 1, 2018.

“Membership fees are included in the fees that will increase on January 1, 2018. Membership fees support the services and programs that are provided by AQHA. Members receive 10 issues of the members-only America’s Horse, an official AQHA membership ID card, access to AQHA programs and direct access to members-only discounts, provided by Ford, SmartPak, John Deere and more.

“Other fees affected are:

•Registration fees (Members can log-in to Member Services to save $5 by using the online registration form. Submitting the form online will also reduce the processing time for this request.)

•Genetic testing fees

•Stallion breeding report fees

•Certificate fees

•Embryo transfer enrollment fees

•Breeding permit fees

•Lease fees

•Rush fees

Show approval fees

View a list of the increased fees; this list only includes fees that will change as of January 1, 2018, and the show approval fees, which are effective immediately for 2018 shows. All fees can also be found in the 2018 AQHA Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations, which will be available soon.

While we know the fee increases will affect our members, like you, I can assure you that we kept the fees as low as possible in order to be cost effective for our members, provide members with the best services available and help our great Association stay financially strong, not only for today, but for years to come.”

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☛ Drug suspensions by AQHA getting severe 11-1–17

Posted by on Nov 1, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE HEALTH, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

SUSPENSIONS BY AQHA FOR DRUGGING  HORSES HAVE NEVER BEEN SO SEVERE

By Glory Ann Kurtz
Nov. 1, 2017

Showing that the American Quarter Horse Association  is serious about getting tough on the doping of horses, the reigning racing champion of the AQHA has just been suspended for 19 years and fined $110,000 by stewards in Texas. The article in the Paulick Report came after five of trainer Judd Kearl’s horses tested positive for the Class 1 drug nomifensine – a human antidepressant medication taken off the market in the1980s.

Kearl will not be eligible for reinstatement until July 30, 2036. He was suspended one year and fined $10,000 for the first violation, three years and $25,000 for the second and five years and $25,000 for each subsequent violation.

Two other trainers were sanctioned at the same time after the horses they had in training tested positive for the medication. They included Brian Stroud, who received a one-year suspension and a $10,000 fine for one nomifensine positive and Jose Sanchez, who was suspended four years and fined $35,000 for two positives.

Kearl’s violations occurred over several weeks beginning on May 22, Kearl’s horses testing positive at Sam Houston Race Park in Houston and continuing at Retama Park in San Antonio for the other seven. The drug was detected and identified by the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab and the “split samples” were confirmed by the Pennsylvania Toxicology and Research Laboratory.

Testing by the “split sample” method has recently been adopted by the AQHA. Split specimen urine drug testing is used extensively by businesses and  is only slightly different from regular testing. In this process, the urine sample is split into two vials and sent to a certified lab for urine testing. One of the vials is tested and the other is stored. If the first vial is tested as positive for any reason, the person who submitted the sample can request that the other vial be tested. If this happens the second vial is then tested by another lab.

According to the rulings, all three trainers used the same veterinarian – Dr. Justin Robinson (who did not testify at the hearing) and from the evidence it was logical that he was responsible for the administration of the drug to all of the horses in question. The trainers claimed the drug was given to the  horses without their knowledge; however, the ruling stated that ignorance does not relieve them of responsibility.

Nomifensine was withdrawn from the market in the 1980s and its FDA approval was revoked in 1992. Any appeal will be heard by an administrative law judge appointed by the state of administrative hearings.

Kearl was named AQHA champion trainer after horses he trained won 129 races from 474 starts in 2016 for earnings of $4.6 million. Stroud and Sanchez also have won major Quarter Horse races during their careers.

For the full article in The Paulick Report, click on the following link:

https://www.paulickreport.com/news/the-biz/aqha-champion-trainer-kearl-suspended-19-years-stroud-sanchez-also-sanctioned/

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☛ Tommy Manion case covered by FW Star Telegram 10-13-17

Posted by on Oct 13, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE ABUSE, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 1 comment

MANION BB GUN SHOOTING OF HORSE COVERED BY FORT WORTH STAR TELEGRAM

Fort Worth, Texas
Oct. 13, 2017

Friday the 13th only happened twice this year, and today was Tommy Manion’s unlucky day! Not only the NCHA, Allaboutcutting.com and Quarterhorsenews.com have covered the fact that he shot his stallion with a BB gun at an NCHA-approved show and when he was suspended by the NCHA for not following their new Zero Animal Abuse policy, he sued the NCHA. But now he has  announced he has dropped all charges and accepts his penalty. The prestigious Fort Worth Star Telegram and Senior Editor Max Baker have now gotten involved, not only covering the story but publishing the video!

Click on the following link for the article and video:

http://www.star-telegram.com/news/state/texas/-article178681691.html

 

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