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☛ 4 Champs crowned at NRCHA Stakes 3-31-16

Posted by on Mar 31, 2016 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, MAJOR EVENTS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments



Press Release from NRCHA
March 31, 2016

It was a busy day at the South Point Equestrian Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, as the 2016 Natioal Reined Cow Horse Association Stallion Stakes preliminaries concluded. The preliminary round not only determined who will advance to the clean-slate finals on Saturday; it also decided the champions in four divisions.


Open Novice Horse Champion

Anne M. Reynolds
NRCHA photo

National Reined Cow Horse Association Million Dollar Rider Anne Reynolds, King Hill, Idaho, added another accolade to her phenomenal resume when she won the Stallion Stakes Open Novice Horse Championship riding Smart Magic Lena (Very Smart Remedy x Magical Lena x Little Lenas Legend), a product of the Why Worry Ranch breeding program Reynolds shares with her mother, Joyce Pearson.


Reynolds guided the 2011 mare to a composite 654.5 score (218 herd/216 rein/220.5 cow), and that score also earned a place in the clean-slate Stallion Stakes Open finals on Saturday, April 2.


“I couldn’t be happier with her. In the reining, she stepped out of lead for a point penalty in the small slow circle, but other than that she did everything perfectly. This is only her second reined cow horse show. I can’t wait to show her again,” Reynolds said.


Smart Magic Lena earned a $3,717 paycheck, the first money of her career, along with a gift certificate from Platinum Performance.


Reynolds qualified another home-bred horse by her stallion, Very Smart Remedy, for the Stakes Open Finals. She will also be showing Remedy To Shine (Very Smart Remedy x Shirley Shine x Shining Spark) on Saturday.


“I really am thrilled to have two horse in the Open finals this year,” Reynolds said.


Level 1 Limited Open Champion

Nic Howard and Sangria Time
NRCHA photo

When Nic Howard picked up his back number in the show office and saw that it was 777, he couldn’t help feeling that Lady Luck might be on his side in Las Vegas.


“I was thinking I need to go to the blackjack table, the roulette table, and the craps table, and pin that number to my back,” he said, laughing.


Fortune smiled on Howard and Sangria Time (One Time Pepto x Shiney Senorita x Shining Spark) when it counted – in the show pen – as the pair claimed the Level 1 Limited Open Championship for the mare’s owner, Beverly Vaughn.


“This is my first trip to the Stallion Stakes, and it’s my first big NRCHA title,” Howard said.


He guided the mare to a total 637 score (208 herd/214 rein/215 cow), earning $5,330. The score also was the high composite in the Limited Open, advancing the pair to Saturday’s clean slate finals.


“I’m just excited to be here and excited to show her again. She was really good in the reining – I was super happy with her. In the herd, we got through, and today in the fence work, we drew a tough cow and she dominated it. She has such a cool presence. She’s so pretty, and huge down the fence, a huge stopper and really fun in the reining.”


Howard has a reining background, but the first time he worked a cow down the fence, “I was hooked. This is the best event in the horse business there is, to me,” he said. “I knew this was what I wanted to do.”


He thanked Vaughn, his wife, and his NRCHA mentors, Matt Koch and Corey Cushing. He also credited Colorado horseman Les Bates for helping him develop his skills in the cutting.


Matthews Cutting Horses collected the $1,000 Stakes Sire Award for nominating Sangria Time’s sire, One Time Pepto, to the NRCHA Subscribed Stallion Program, and Howard’s prizes were a Gist buckle and a gift certificate from Platinum Performance.


Amateur Champion

Ashley O’Donnell and No Sense Walkin
NRCHA photo

Kansas cowgirl Ashley O’Donnell celebrated some horse show career firsts at the NRCHA Stakes when she won the Amateur division riding her 2011 gelding, No Sense Walkin. It was her first time to show at this Premier Event, her first Premier Event Championship, and her first time to qualify for the finals in the Non Pro, Intermediate Non Pro and Novice Non Pro divisions.


O’Donnell purchased No Sense Walkin (Very Smart Remedy x No Nonsense x Sensitivio) from his breeder, NRCHA Hall of Fame horsewoman Anne Reynolds, last fall during the Snaffle Bit Futurity.


“My boyfriend trains rope horses, and we bought him strictly to be a rope horse. But then I started playing around with him and thought, ‘Maybe I should show him in the cow horse!’”


At the urging of her trainer, Brad Lund, O’Donnell took the 2011 gelding out of her boyfriend, Jordan Allyn’s, roping program and into the NRCHA arena. The Stallion Stakes was their first serious trip to the show pen together.


In the Stakes prelims, O’Donnell guided No Sense Walkin to a total 635 (212 herd/213 rein/210 cow), earning $1,080.


“In the reining, he was really good, but then the nerves came to me and I was nervous for the herd work. We were a 212, so I was happy about that. I was nervous about the fence work but I hoped I could get through it, and we did,” she said, smiling. “It’s really exciting. I’ve never made the finals in anything like this before.”


O’Donnell took home a Gist buckle and a Platinum Performance gift certificate for the win, and the $1,000 Sire Award went to Why Worry Ranch, owner/nominator of No Sense Walkin’s sire, Very Smart Remedy.


Non Pro Limited Champion

Anne Marie Alert and White Knight
NRCHA photo

Anne-Marie Albert, Roy, Washington, won the Non Pro Limited Stakes Championship, her first NRCHA Premier Event title, riding her 2011 gelding White Knight Time (One Time Pepto x Little Stylish Lady x Doc’s Stylish Oak) to a 653 composite score (215.5 herd/217.5 rein/220 cow). Albert and “Rudy” claimed the championship by a 10-point margin.


“The reining was fun, because it all came together, so that was very cool. The herd work is my weakest link, and it came together pretty well too,” she said. “The boxing, to get that phenomenal score – and to finally have a big win, is over-the-moon exciting.”


Albert is retired from the Army, and now works for the federal government as a physician’s assistant. She formerly rode hunter horses, and after she moved from Texas to Washington, a friend introduced her to reining, which quickly led to reined cow horse. She started showing in the NRCHA about five years ago, and has a goal of moving into the fence work classes eventually.


“What the NRCHA has done as far as the limited age event for boxing riders at the big shows, and making it possible for us to show at the futurities and the derbies, when that first started, it wasn’t available, and it’s very exciting to have it,” she said.


Albert thanked her trainer, Cayley Wilson, her previous trainer, Dean McCann, and her group of reined cow horse friends from the Northwest region.


She took home a $1,688 paycheck, as well as a Gist buckle sponsored by Mark Rauch and a gift certificate from Platinum Performance. The Champoin Sire Award, a $500 paycheck, went to Matthews Cutting Horses LLC, who owns White Knight Time’s sire, One Time Pepto, and nominated him to the NRCHA Subscribed Stallion Program.


Open and Non Pro Stallion Stakes Finalists Open: 20 finalists – 650.5 score and above will advance.Intermediate Open: 20 finalists – 641 score and above will advance.

Limited Open: 5 finalists – 620 score and above will advance.


Non Pro: 10 finalists – 634.5 score and above will advance.

Intermediate Non Pro: 8 finalists (plus ties) – 629.5 score and above will advance 

Novice Non Pro: 6 finalists – 625.5 score and above will advance.

Click here for complete NRCHA Stakes results.The Stallion Stakes resumes at 8:00 a.m. Pacific time Thursday, March 31. See the action live and free on the webcast from NRCHA Official Videographer Equine Promotion at Admission to the NRCHA Stallion Stakes is free to the public at the South Point Equestrian Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

The NRCHA Stakes is one of five NRCHA Premier Events, and annually boasts a payout of approximately $300,000. Part of the event’s success is its tie to the NRCHA Subscribed Stallion program. Subscribed stallion owners pay a fee every year, and their 4- and 5-year-old offspring are the only horses eligible to show at the Stakes.


Stakes entries are shown in a snaffle bit or hackamore, competing in herd work, rein work and cow work. The event attracts many top Snaffle Bit Futurity horses from the past two years, as well as those who might have missed the Futurity but are now ready to perform competitively.


Besides paying lucrative checks to the Stakes winners, the NRCHA also presents a monetary award to the nominator of the Stakes Champion’s sire in each division.


In addition to the Stakes divisions, the event offers an Open and Non Pro Bridle Spectacular and a full slate of NRCHA-approved horse show classes.


For a detailed schedule, results, draws, and information, visit the Stallion Stakes page at





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☛ Happy Birthday Carol! 3-27-16




By Glory Ann Kurtz
March 27, 2016

Happy Birthday to Carol Harris, who over the years, has been one of the industry’s most accomplished horsewomen.

It’s a day late, but better late than never! Well-known horsewoman Carol Harris celebrated her birthday yesterday. We won’t reveal her age but Carol is in her 90s and is still active in the horse industry today – mostly working to curtail the abuse of horses, both in and outside the show arena.


Carol, owner of Bo-Bett Farms in Reddick., Fla., has been called an impeccable horsewoman, as well as  a marketing guru and calls herself a “horse nut.” However, she also loves, raises and markets her dogs.


She was inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame in 1997 and according to AQHA articles, is best known for owning great horses, including Rugged Lark, a two-time AQHA Superhorse and AQHA/USET poster stallion. However, the mare that put Harris on the “horse map” was Judy Dell, a granddaughter of Hall of fame Member Poco Bueno, who produced 19 foals for Harris, many of which had immense influence on the Bo-Bett breeding program. Judy Dell’s first foal, Eternal Dell by Eternal Sun, became the first stallion on Bo-Bett Farms in the late 1960s. He sired Magestic Dell, another one of Bo-Bett Farm’s great stallions. Majestic Dell sired nine AQHA Champions.


Carol grew up in West Orange, N.J. and her first horse was a Standardbred – a pacer that she turned into a trotter. She also exhibited Hackney ponies, Arabians, Saddlebreds and Tennessee Walkers. She began showing Quarter Horses in the 1950s. Later she mixed Thoroughbred bloodlines into some of the Quarter Horses. Really Rugged (TB) by Rough ‘N Tumble out of Ruddy Belle by Errard was used to complement Eternal Dell at Stud. Really Rugged was the sire of Rugged Lark.


Carol was one of the first women to hold her own in the Quarter Horse industry and one of the first women to become an AQHA judge – and she judged for 25 years. In 1981, she was the first woman to judge the AQHA World Championship Show. She was also the first president of the New Jersey Quarter Horse Association and helped establish the East Coast Cutting Horse Association. She was past president of the Florida Quarter Horse Association and was also an approved judge for the National Reining Horse Association, National Cutting Horse Association and American Horse Show Association.


Keep up the good work Carol and here’s hoping we can wish you Happy Birthday for many more years. You’re definitely a great asset to the horse industry.



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☛ Today’s News 3-24-16



By Glory Ann Kurtz
March 24, 2016




Press release from AQHA
March 24, 2016


The new 2016-2017 Executive Committee of the AQHA includes President Sandy Arledge, First Vice President Ralph Seekins, Second Vice President Jim Heird, and Members Stan Weaver and Butch Wise.

The AQHA Executive Committee is responsible for implementing important decisions made by AQHA members through the Association’s board of directors.

The American Quarter Horse Association Executive Committee was elected at the 2016 AQHA Convention in Las Vegas. This five-person committee is responsible for implementing important decisions made by AQHA members through the Association’s board of directors.

President Sandy Arledge
Sandy Arledge of Encinitas, California, has been an AQHA director since 1997 and elevated to director emeritus in 2011. She has served on the membership, shows and professional horsemen, judges, stud book and registration, and hall of fame selection committees. Arledge also served on the nominations and credentials committee and served as the committee’s chairwoman in 2010. She currently serves on the American Quarter Horse Foundation Council.


She received her bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University and her Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Diego School of Law.


Arledge is active in the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Association and California Horse Council. She owned and operated Sandy Arledge Quarter Horses and was a general partner and manager of Far West Farms, a full-service boarding facility in Del Mar, California. She has bred and trained numerous AQHA world champions and reserve world champions. She was named the 2010 Professional’s Choice Professional Horsewoman of the Year and was inducted into the Pacific Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame in 2015.


When she’s home in California, Arledge enjoys gardening and keeping up with her koi pond in the company of her two corgis, Zip and Zoom.


First Vice President Ralph Seekins

Ralph Seekins of Fairbanks, Alaska, has been an AQHA director since 2006 for Washington/Alaska and was elevated to director emeritus in 2016. Seekins has served on the AQHA Marketing and Membership Committee, the Foundation Council and the AQHA Public Policy Committee.


Seekins has owned American Quarter Horses since 1995 when his daughters convinced him and his wife, Connie, that they really needed horses. His early horse years were spent in Wyoming and Montana and included ranch work and sprint racing. The family’s first two American Quarter Horses were home-trained and went on to earn AQHA Open Champion titles, Youth Champion titles, Youth Supreme Champion titles and one Youth Versatility award. Over the years, the Seekins family has raised and trained horses that have earned nine AQHA Champion titles, three AQHA Supreme Champion titles and two versatility awards.


For more than 14 years, the Seekins family has used their American Quarter Horses in the Helping Hooves therapeutic riding program for riders with disabilities.


They have four children – two sons and two daughters. All the children and their families live in Fairbanks. Aaron Seekins has four sons, Austin, Brandon, Gabe and Zachary along with one daughter, Shelby. Ben Seekins and his wife, Tamie, have sons Christian and Caleb and daughter Larissa. Daughter Andrea and her husband, Ryan Reinheller, have twin boys, Jakan and Logan, as well as three daughters, Rebecca, Tricia and Sarah. Daughter Beth and her husband, Paul Austin, have three daughters, Emma, Leah and Madison, and son Isaac.


Second Vice President Dr. Jim Heird

Dr. Jim Heird was an AQHA director for Colorado in 2009 and Texas in 2011. He has served on the judges, international and show committees, and on the show council and animal welfare commission. Dr. Heird was the chairman of the judges committee, 1989-1991; show committee, 2008-2010; international committee, 2013-2015; show council, 2008-2011; and the animal welfare commission, 2011-2015.


He was the former extension horse specialist at North Carolina State University, a former instructor/professor at Texas Tech University in Lubbock and has held various dean/director positions at Colorado State University for the colleges of agricultural sciences and business and equine sciences program. Dr. Heird is currently the executive professor and coordinator of equine initiatives at Texas A&M University. He also holds the Dr. Glenn Blodgett Equine Chair at Texas A&M. He was on the executive committee of the National Western Stock Show and is an ex-officio director of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo.


Dr. Heird is an honorary vice president of the Uruguayan Quarter Horse Association. He was an AQHA judge from 1977 to 2015 and has judged 13 AQHA World Championship shows, multiple international championships and two National Reining Horse Association futurities.

He graduated from the University of Tennessee with a B.S. and M.S. and has a PhD from Texas Tech University. He and his wife, Dr. Eleanor Green, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M, live in College Station.


Member Stan Weaver
Stan Weaver of Big Sandy, Montana, has been an AQHA director since 2011. He is currently on the Foundation council, and is a former member of the studbook and registration, public policy, Hall of Fame selection committees, marketing and ranching councils, and served as chairman of the ranching council. He was also instrumental in helping develop the AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders Program.


Weaver has bred American Quarter Horses for more than 30 years and has registered more than 1,400 foals with AQHA during that time.


Weaver and his wife, Nancy, began a Quarter Horse production sale in 1996 under Weaver Quarter Horses. Through the production sale, horses from the Weaver Ranch have sold to all 50 states, seven Canadian provinces, South Africa, Australia, Germany and Mexico. Weaver has shown his own horses in cutting, reined cow horse and working cow horse. Weaver is involved with the Big Sandy Public School Board, North Central Montana Stock Growers Association, Montana Reined Cow Horse Futurity, Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame, Montana Quarter Horse Association, Montana Land & Mineral Owners Association, and the Chouteau County Livestock Protection Association.


Weaver has owned and operated Weaver Cattle Co., a cattle and farming enterprise in North Central Montana for the past 40 years. Weaver also owns and operates Weaver Order Buying, a cattle brokerage firm.


He and Nancy raised three children on the ranch. All three children and families continue to work on the ranch, but have also expanded their own ranching and farming interests in the area. KellyAnne Terry is married to Casey Terry and they have two children, Wyatt and Avery, and live in Lewistown, Montana; David Weaver who lives in Big Sandy, has one daughter, Hailey; and Daniel Weaver also lives in Big Sandy.


The Weavers received the 1997 Montana Quarter Horse Association Ranch of the Year award, and Weaver Cattle Co. was recognized as the 2014 Montana State University Family Business of the Year in the business category for operations in existence at least 50 years.


Member Butch Wise
Butch Wise of El Reno, Oklahoma, was named an honorary AQHA vice president in 2015. He was an AQHA director from 2001 to 2015.


He currently serves on the studbook and registration committee. Wise is a former member of the nominations and credentials and racing committees and the racing council. He was the chairman of the Hall of Fame committee from 2013 to 2015 and also served as chairman of the racing council. In 2014, he was a member of the AQHA Governance Task Force.


In 2004, Wise received the Oklahoma State University Animal Science School Graduate of Distinction award and in 2007, he received the AQHA Racing Council Special Recognition Award.


He is a member of the Oklahoma Quarter Horse and Florida Quarter Horse Racing associations. Wise owns Stone Chase Stables LLC and is the bloodstock agent and president of Wise Sales Co. Inc. His former career experience includes AQHA, Ridgeleigh Farms Inc,. Mel Hatley Farms and Cox Manufacturing. Locally he is involved with the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing Association in establishing a successful working arrangement with the Oklahoma legislature.

Wise and his wife, Nancy, have two sons and two daughters. Their sons are Clay and Parker Wise, and daughters are Mallory Wise and Ashlie Blair. Blair and her husband, Shawn, have two children, Derek and Lacie.


Read more convention coverage, brought to you by The American Quarter Horse Journal at News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHAnews on Twitter and visit




Press release from the TAHC

Coleman Locke was named Chairman of the Texas Animal Health Commission by Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

Governor Greg Abbot named Coleman Locke of Hungerford as Chairman and reappointed him to the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) representing the beef cattle industry on March 8, 2016. The Governor additionally appointed three TAHC Commissioners. Jim Eggleston representing the general public, Stephen Selman representing the poultry industry, and Leo Vermedahl representing the feedlot industry.


Coleman Locke has served on the commission since 2004. He is a partner and manager of the Locke Division of J.D. Hudgins Ranch and the president of J.D. Hudgins, Inc. He is a director and executive committee member of the Texas Southwest Cattle Raisers Association, lifetime committeeman of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and past director of the Federation of State Beef Councils. Additionally, he is past president and lifetime director of the American Brahman Breeders Association and Texas Brahman Association, and past chairman of the Texas Beef Council and the Beef Promotion and Research Council of Texas. Locke received a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Abilene Christian University. His term as TAHC Chairman is set to expire September 6, 2021.


Jim Eggleston of Weatherford is a founding partner of the law firm Eggleston King, LLP. He is board certified in Commercial Real Estate Law and Farm and Ranch Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He frequently speaks to continuing legal education groups on farm and ranch topics. He is admitted to practice law in Texas, Oklahoma and Ohio, and before the United States Supreme Court. He is a member of the Texas Bar Foundation and College of the State Bar of Texas. Additionally, he has served on the State Bar of Texas’ Real Estate Legislative Affairs Committee, Board of Legal Specialization’s real estate exam committee, and serves as general counsel for the Texas Longhorn Marketing Alliance. Eggleston received a Bachelor of Arts from Oklahoma Christian University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas School of Law. His term as TAHC commissioner is set to expire September 6, 2021.


Stephen Selman of Woodway is a corporate production manager for Sanderson Farms, Inc. He is the vice president of the Texas Poultry Federation and Affiliates and the former president of its Texas Broiler Council. He was honorably discharged from the United States Marine Corps Reserves. Selman received a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from Stephen F. Austin State University. His term as TAHC commissioner is set to expire September 6, 2021.


Leo Vermedahl of Dalhart is owner of Vermedahl Cattle Company. He is a member and former president of the Texas Cattle Feeders Association, member and former executive committee member of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Additionally, he is former chairman of the Texas Beef Council and the Cattlemen’s Beef Board Budget and Audit Committee. Vermedahl received a Bachelor of Science in Animal Husbandry, a Doctor of Philosophy in Nutrition from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Agriculture in Feedlot Management from Texas A&M University. Vermedahl’s term as TAHC commissioner is set to expire September 6, 2017.



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☛ Over breeding, over population & horse slaughter 3-19-16






By Rick Dennis
March 20, 2016

 As a breeder of American Quarter Horses, the question I’m asked the most is: “Should I breed my mare this year?” In answering the question, I try to be as knowledgeable and persuasive as possible. First I ask, “Is the breeding an absolute must or can you find the bloodlines you want in horses already available for sale on the open market with other breeders?”


As a stallion owner, I’ve determined it’s my duty to try and contribute to reducing the number of unwanted horses in our industry by reducing my own breeding program. As we already know, our industry is inundated with an over population of unwanted horses and continuing to breed at our existing rates will simply contribute to this over population.



There seems to be a growing misconception among the populus that effective Jan. 1, 2016, all animal-abuse arrests will result in felony charges. Quite the contrary. Effective Jan. 1, 2016, the FBI will track animal abuse arrests in four distinct felony categories for reporting and tracking purposes. However, currently there are only 13 states that impose a felony status to animal-abuse violator arrests. Bear in mind that FBI felony-reporting classifications are different from state-to-state animal-abuse arrest classifications when criminal charges are imposed. Following is an article by VICE News designating the classifications:


The FBI Now Considers Animal Abuse a Class A Felony

By VICE News
Jan. 7, 2016 |

In a move seen as a big win for animal rights activists, the FBI has added animal cruelty to its list of Class A felonies, alongside homicide and arson.


Cases of animal cruelty fall into four categories: neglect; intentional abuse and torture; organized abuse such as cock and dog fighting and sexual abuse of animals. The agency is now monitoring them as it does other serious crimes. Starting Jan. 1, 2016, data is being entered into the National Incident-Based Reporting System or NIBRS, the public database the FBI uses to keep a record of national crimes.


The FBI’s decision will not only be a way to stop cases of animal abuse but also can help to identify people who might commit violent acts, according to the Christian Science Monitor. Psychological studies show that nearly 70 percent of violent criminals began by abusing animals and keeping statistics on such cases can help law enforcement track down high-risk demographics and areas.


“Regardless of whether people care about how animals are treated, people – like legislators and judges – care about humans and they can’t deny the data,” Natasha Dolezal, director of the animal law program in the Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis & Clark College, in Portland, Oregon, told the Associated Press. For additional info click on the following link:

Click for article on animal abuse>>


However, according to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, a non-profit law organization that aims to protect the rights and interests of animals through the legal system, all 50 states now have felony animal cruelty provisions.

Click for article on all 50 states>>



 One of the avenues of disposal of unwanted horses is the slaughter industry. This controversial subject has given rise to a debate on both sides of the aisle, i.e., those for slaughter and those opposing slaughter. The Safeguard American Food Exports Act (Safe) Act would, if passed, prohibit the slaughter of horses in the United States for human consumption, as well as the export of live horses for the same purpose. However, one aspect of this illogical practice is perfectly clear.


The kill-more, breed-more mentality is certainly not a viable option to the ever increasing problem associated with the over population of horses. As we can see from advocates on both sides of the aisle, horse slaughter has definitely become a divisive factor in the horse industry. Not only has it become a main staple employment opportunity among many but the ever-increasing number of horses being slaughtered for food consumption in Europe is alarming.



 One of the travesties of horse slaughter is visualized in the types of horses entering the horse slaughter market. More and more, this industry is filled with horses of all breed types and performance categories. The appalling aspect of our generation is that it seems horses have become a disposable item, especially when they are of no more value to the owner. As with the adage, “One Man’s Trash, Is Another Man’s Treasure,” the types of horses going to slaughter are contrary to the type we are lead to believe.


Slaughter-bound horses are not old, crippled, sick, or dying. Most are healthy, robust and usable horses. Case in point: Thoroughbreds with a long history of running on the track are showing up in kill pen sales simply due to the fact the owner has no more use for the horse. Another contributor to the horse-slaughter market is our economy. When necessity of a family surviving versus the care of the horse, it’s understandable the family takes precedent. Still another contributor to the horse-slaughter industry is horses crippled by unscrupulous training methods by trainers looking for the quick fix in training techniques. As a professional trainer, I can assure you there are no quick fixes in training a horse. Only a gentle steady hand, hard work and wet saddle blankets are the rules for the successful trainer.



 An avenue available to the general public for unwanted horses is a horse rescue.  Overall, these facilities are usually very generous in caring for unwanted horses.  However, there have been repeated reports of horse-rescue owners being criminally charged with horse abuse. It’s essential for the horse owner seeking to relinquish their horse to a group of this type to perform a due diligent investigation into the available groups’ reputation, including interviewed referrals. Some rescues rehabilitate the malnourished or abused horse and in-turn adopt the horse to a forever home for an adoption fee. Verification of this humane process can seen in the Dual Peppy case, where the well-known Quarter Horse stallion was taken away from his owner due to abuse and given to a very reputable horse rescue operation in Colorado, who found the stallion a “forever home.”



 One of the most controversial topics to raise its ugly head in modern times is the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) involvement in removing our wild mustangs and burros from federally regulated public land and sending these animals to slaughter under the ruse there’s an overpopulation of this species. Documented facts have proven over and over again this is simply not the case. It’s easy to create a ruse of overpopulation when the testifier doesn’t completely tell the truth, or in this case reveal the entire facts.


The Wild and Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 requires the protection, management and control of wild, free-roaming horses and burros on public lands. So how does the BLM sidetrack this law? In my opinion, this is done by restricting the available land to wild and free-roaming horses and burros while, at the same time, introducing more cattle to fill the void that was previously available to the endogenous species. Therefore, the BLM creates a mathematical shell game to justify its actions. After all, these ranchers only contribute approximately 2 percent to the overall beef production in the U.S.A.


ROOT-CAUSE ANALYSIS EXAMPLE: The real analysis in this equation can be realized when the BLM restricts an endogenous species like wild mustangs and burros to a specific area of land to appease cattle grazers who are using our federal lands for grazing their cattle. Therefore, BLM uses the reduced available land numbers to justify a reduction in the endogenous species by simply stating the current land allotment is unsustainable for the existing endogenous populations.


However, BLM uses the endogenous species removal as an opportune time to increase the cattle populations among ranchers. BLM leases public land to cattle grazers for a nominal fee. However, the adverse effects to the endogenous or natural species is devastating. What the BLM is really doing is playing a mathematical mind game at the public’s expense as well as the expense of the mustangs and burros being removed from their home range and sent to slaughter to make room for more cattle.



 The adverse effect to the economy of the U.S. can be derived in the simple fact that most public land grazers are receiving some type of government subsidy checks from the American taxpayer. These government subsidy checks are not simply limited to individually owned ranches but also include major corporations and millionaires and some from other countries, who have tapped into loopholes in the system with their own public land leases. Some of these ranchers have adopted the theory that this is their individual right to use this land as they see fit which is nothing more than a whimsical fairy tale. These federally protected lands were set aside for the public taxpayers of the United States. The Bureau of Land Management is the overseer, nothing more.



 Approximately $500 million annually.



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



 For the most part, a significant amount of revenue of an equine association is derived from the annual registration of new foals, stallion breeding reports as well as genetic-panel testing. An association also makes revenue on transfer reports derived from the sale and transfer of ownership of a horse and membership dues from those involved. A reduction in breeding would most definitely affect an association’s bottom line. However, the breed-more, kill-more theory is not a viable resolution of the overpopulation problem that our industry is faced with. Therefore, it’s vital that equine associations become more involved in devising program adjustments to help reduce horse overpopulation numbers.



 One of the areas contributing to an annual explosion of new horses is equine association futurities that are available for 2- and 3-year old horses of various performance categories. As a veteran participating in futurities, I’ve personally had two horses compete in the prestigious National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Reined Cow Horse Futurity in Reno, Nevada. Performance horse and breed specific associations realize a tremendous amount of money from futurities as does the general community in which the events are held. If these entities were eliminated, there would be a definite adverse affect on the horse industry and local communities.


However, futurities create the hurry-up trained horse whose joints, bones and minds can’t take the pressure. After the event, many become crippled and throw-away horses that end up as breeding animals only or slaughter-house candidates. If elimination is too costly for the associations, how about futurities raising the age of futurity horses from 2- and 3-year olds to 4 and 5 year olds when the horses can better handle the wear and tear to their bodies and minds?



 Individuals who have horses for non-intended performance purposes could do well by gelding all non-breeding stallions on their property. This will eliminate accidental or non-intended breeding of horses.



 In my opinion our industry is facing a crisis that will only escalate if we, as horse owners, don’t take action to try to control the already out-of-control horse population problem. It’s also my opinion that the slaughter industry is not the solution to the problem. Our country’s heritage is too closely aligned with the noble horse to seek this route as an advocacy of controlling horse populations in the United States.


As breeders, we can do our part by reducing our own breeding programs and become responsible breeders. Horse owners can do their part by limiting breeding of their mares and gelding non-breeding stallions. Trainers can do their part by adjusting their training methods to reduce the risk of crippling a horse during training. This will eliminate horses from becoming yard ornaments or prospects for the horse-slaughter pipeline. And associations can move up the age of futurity horses for those same reasons.


Mare owners can do their part by seeking a specific breeding line from stock already on the ground instead of breeding their own stock. Mare owners can also help reduce the overpopulation by eliminating multiple-embryo transfer from their breeding program and adopting an every-other-year breeding strategy. If members of the horse industry come together, we can reduce the population of unwanted horses and perhaps eliminate the slaughter industry all together.


“Until Next Time, Keep ‘Em Between The Bridle!


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


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☛ Today’s News 3-15-16




March 15, 2016



Texas A&M University System is holding a research project considering the economic impact and current needs of the Texas Equine industry. The purpose is to obtain information about horse ownership and equine-related businesses in Texas and a questionnaire should take 10-20 minutes. You will be asked about your horses and facilities, demographics, participation in the industry, horse-related expenditures and businesses you own or manage related to the horse industry. All information will be kept confidential.

Click for survey>>



According to an article in “Rate My Horse Pro,” a Florida jury recently awarded over $2.5 million to the owners and the insurer of 21 polo ponies after they were poisoned. The horses died in 2009 during the U.S. Open Polo Championship in Wellington, after being injected with an incorrectly compounded supplement made by Franck’s Pharmacy in Ocala. Franck’s Pharmacy and its verification pharmacist Nefertiti Abdullah, held the majority of the liability for the horses’ deaths, as well as compounding lab manager Anthony Campbell. The plaintiffs had sought $4 million.


The horses were given a muscle recovery supplement prescribed as selenium, vitamin B-23, potassium and magnesium; however, Franck’s Lab compounded the medicine with 100 times the selenium prescribed which went unnoticed.



The NRCHA Stakes is scheduled in Las Vegas, Nev., at the South Point Equestrian Center for March 27-April 2. This year will also host cross-entering classes with the AQHA, including AQHA Senior, Junior and Amateur classes, along with AQHA Amateur boxing.


Also, during the event, the ACM Party For A Cause Festival will be held at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds April 1-3 and will feature, giving accesses to a galaxy of country music stars, including Carrie Underwood, Dierks Bentley, Kenny Chesney, Chris Stapleton and more. Tickets for those events are now on sale at ticket #ACM PARTY.


The cause is the charitable arm of the Academy of County Music dedicated to improving lives through the power of music. Through partnerships with artists and strong ties in the music industry, ACM lifting Lives develops and funds music-related therapy and education programs and serves members of the community who face unexpected hardships through its Diane Holcomb Emergency Relief Fund. ACM Lifting Lives funds everything from disaster relief and helping communities in need, to music education in schools and music camps for those with disabilities. For more information, go to


For a schedule and more information on the NRCHA Stakes and ACM party For A Cause Festival, go to



The Flying C Bar Ranch owned by Bruce and Denise Colclasure in Depew, Okla., is advertised for sale. The working horse ranch, built in 1972 includes 98.79 acres with 100% of mineral rights, approximately 300 open-air and enclosed stalls, 2 covered round pens, covered arena, stud and vet building, a 3250-3500 square ft house with 3 bedrooms, 3 full baths. Also a therapy barn, show arena, restaurant, 2  homes and 4 bedroom assistant trainer home, 4 bedroom bunkhouse, 2 bedroom bunkhouse, customer apartment and a cattle feed lot.


For more information go to or call Bruce at 918-671-2422 or Denise at 918-691-7403.



AQHA is currently offering three paid internships each semester: a Communications and Digital Marketing internship, Marketing and Publicity Internship and an AQHA Media internship. All internships are based in Amarillo and reach into all aspects of the equine industry, regardless of discipline. The deadline to submit applications is March 15. Go to





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☛ Is today’s QH being abused in the show pen? 3-8-16


From the Editor,




By Glory Ann Kurtz
March 8, 2016

Rugged Lark and Lynn Palm

The AQHA convention in Las Vegas, Nev., will be held March 11-14 at the South Point Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. There will be AQHA Awards Presentation, AQHA Hall of Fame inductions and banquets.  There will also be a business workshop and industry town hall meeting. If you are planning on attending, I’m sure you have already got all your reservations scheduled.


Over the years, Carol Harris has been a staunch supporter of the AQHA and has written many articles to encourage changes that might produce relief for the horses and bring in new members.  Largely, all Carol’s suggestions along with others can be researched in AQHA’s favorite waste paper baskets.  Membership has sunk very severely and no changes as yet have been announced.


Because she cares, Carol was the force behind the rule that was passed that banned the use of lip chains on stallions in halter classes. However, the new rule had barely passed when, before it went into effect, the trainers objected. With the number of trainers working within the walls of the AQHA office, the rule was reviewed and an alternative  – the lip cord – was made a rule by the Executive Committee and began taking effect on Jan. 1, 2016.


The article approving the lip cord and the description of the rule SHW 355 was published in the February 2016 issue of the Quarter Horse Journal. Within that same article, was a paragraph saying that the Executive Committee will take a “firm stand on animal welfare for the protection of the horse and for the future of the breed.”


Even though Carol has been very vocal about horse abuse, especially targeting the warm-up pens at horse shows, it will be interesting to see if AQHA leadership has made any headway in the last 8-9 years for protecting their horses’ abuse at the shows.


I recently talked to Carol about her desire to inspire protection against AQHA’s horse abuse.  She and the 2015 Protect Them Coalition feel that nothing other than a Tornado, Missile Strike or ISIS Attack will stimulate AQHA to make any beneficial changes to ensure their horses a little relief from excessive and abusive training.


Carol has sent me a letter from a past prominent member of the AQHA, Gale Midwood, that she wishes to share with the AQHA leadership and membership.


The following letter explains how she was very active in the AQHA and showed professionally; however, she soon became “horrified she was to see Quarter Horse trainers and riders beginning to pull horse’s heads back behind the vertical and then continually jerked down. She continued that all kinds of extremely cruel and misguided methods were beginning to be used to achieve an unbalanced way of moving and incredibly these began to be the horses who were being pulled in to win blue ribbons!”


Following is the complete letter:


“Thank you Carol Harris, Rugged Lark and the entire 2015 Protect Them Coalition. You have articulated all I have said and thought for 40 years.  I started showing AQHA shows with my then husband, Bill Haggis in the late l960’s. We both came from a background involved with horses.  I remember a wonderful horse called ‘Illini Duke’ winning Western Pleasure at the first Congress in l967.  He had the most wonderful free flowing lope and trot that made us feel like we could ride him forever.


My husband, Bill, and I ran the first AQHA show in Rhode Island.  We hired a top judge and pulled in horses from all over the East Coast.  I went on to begin writing and eventually became editor of the Eastern Quarter Horse Journal with my husband and Tom Esler, who became one of the top Quarter Horse photographers in the business. We all began to notice many changes in the world of AQHA showing.  I eventually went back to full-time teaching equitation and training and showing Quarter Horses professionally.


Times continued to make changes and as a life-time rider with a foundation in dressage, I was horrified to see Quarter Horse trainers and riders beginning to pull horses heads back behind the vertical and then continually jerked down. All kinds of extremely cruel and misguided methods were beginning to be used to achieve an unbalanced way of moving.  Incredibly these began to be the horses who were being pulled in to win blue ribbons.


Since I, like others was unwilling to participate, I made a sad decision to leave the world of my beloved breed behind.  I was very capable of training a horse to do just about anything but was unwilling to do to horses what had to be done to win at AQHA shows. It broke my heart, so I just left.  Little did I know that things would get even worse, which ensured that my departure would be forever! I had a good clientele, and they went with me back into to world of AHSA. We had bred a few nice Quarter Horses but that stopped also!


It all broke my heart because I loved being a part of AQHA and had seen my entire life with Quarter Horses as forever. The big problem was I would not condone being part of the whole travesty of the constant lowering of head carriage and the artificial robot pace the AQHA shows were permitting and rewarding.


I sometimes wonder how many of us left rather than stayed to dance to that horrible tune of inhumane treatment inflicted on the best-natured breed in the world. I’ve worked with many types and breeds of horses and sometimes think the Quarter Horse’s wonderful calm temperament was their undoing. These poor horse’s faces with their sad eyes and dead tails remind me that today’s youth will never get to see them as they once were.


Thank you Carol Harris and all others for continuing to shine a spotlight of care and reason on this issue.  Shame on you American Quarter Horse leaders, trainers and judges for falling so low by IGNORING THE OBVIOUS. You have taken a beautiful versatile horse and turned it into an equine freak.


I’ve written countless letters and spoken to judges and Association officials, but all in vain. With Carol and all the others like us, I’d like to have hope but the slow way in which our Association moves makes me continue to cry for our horses right now and also for their future.


Gale Midwood
One of Original Founders of Rhode Island QHA
Past Editor of Eastern Quarter Horse Journal
Past Member of AQHA”


The AQHA Mission statement includes the statement: “To ensure the American Quarter Horse is treated humanely, with dignity, respect and compassion at all times.” I don’t know how many AQHA members, who believe in that portion of the AQHA Mission Statement and stand behind eliminating the abuse of the Quarter Horse in the show pen and make-up arena, will attend the convention. How can a breeder and lover of the American Quarter Horse not stand behind eliminating horse abuse in the show pen and make-up arena? Or will most of those members simply stay home?  Or worse yet, could many of those disappointed members no longer be members?



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