FBI TO START TRACKING ANIMAL CRUELTY CASES;
CHANGES “OFFENDER” CATEGORY
MISDEMEANOR AND FELONY CHARGES EXPLAINED
By Glory Ann Kurtz
Sept. 28, 2014
FBI Director James Comey officially announced a historic change in the identification and reporting of animal cruelty crime statistics. According to a press release dated Sept. 17, 2014, issued by the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), the FBI will now report animal cruelty crimes as a separate offence under the agency’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR) Program, the prime source of information on crime in the United States.
Comey said that the FBI is expanding its crime reporting to include animal cruelty as an offender category, which is in the same category as “hate crimes.” Previously those who abused or neglected animals were included in a catch-all “other” category.
Click for FBI Offenders category>>
“The change instituted by the FBI formally recognizes the seriousness of animal abuse crimes and their negative impact on the welfare of society,” said Cathy Liss, president of the AWI. “Animal cruelty crimes will be classified as distinct Group A offenses, joining other major crimes such as arson, assault and homicide and will require the reporting of both incidents and arrests. The reported crimes will be categorized as simple/gross neglect, intentional abuse and torture, organized abuse and animal sexual abuse.
Critical assistance from the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA), which submitted its own request; the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA), and the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) helped achieve the positive recommendation for the reporting change from the FBI’s advisory committees.
Click for link to Animal Welfare Institute press release>>
The above change could affect the future of the Sherri Brunzell and her husband, Rick Brunzell’s, case in Black Forest, Colorado, when the skeletons of 18 horses were found dead in a barn the Brunzells leased in the 5400 block of Burgess Road. Black Forest is located just north of Colorado Springs, where the Brunzells live.
When Rick Brunzell was asked by a KOAA News 5 about the skeletons of the horses, he responded, saying he didn’t own the horses, but his wife did. But he continued that he helps with the care of the animals and the barn. He admitted that leaving the horse remains in the barn is not ideal, saying, “I left them in there and you know I should have taken them to the dump.”
Ten surviving horses (six stallions and four mares), including Dual Peppy, a well-known stallion, were sent to an undisclosed location on the front range specifically designed for horses involved in law enforcement cases. They will be free-fed grass and water and their stalls will be cleaned on a daily basis.
In a release published yesterday by the m.gazette.com, Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Greg White said Sherri Brunzell has 10 days from when the horses were removed to petition and try to get them back. If she does, the daily price for caring for the 10 horses and a bond total will be determined at a hearing She will have to pay in three-day increments for their care until her court case on Dec 31. Until her court date, the facility and the Sheriffs Office are sharing the costs of caring for the horses but a judge could order that Brunzell has to repay all or part of those costs.
Actually, both Sherri and Rick Brunzell own the horses as they were registered with the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) with Dual Peppy Partnership, consisting of both Sherri and Rick Brunzell, being the owners. However, the AQHA was quick to react after being informed about the horses and immediately rescinded all of the Brunzell’s privileges, including Sherri’s membership, and all AQHA registration papers and IDs.
White said that the horses will be held at the facility until the resolution of the court case. A judge will determine whether or not Brunzell regains ownership of the horses if she petitions and is found innocent.
If she does not petition or is found guilty, White said the El Paso County Sheriff’s office could take over ownership and decide what to do with the animals. He also confirmed that the Sheriff’s Office is working with an investigator with the District Attorney’s Office. District Attorney Dan May spoke to the board of County Commissioners Tuesday (Sept. 21) and said he wanted his office to aid with the investigation. Staff members at the rehab facility will keep track of how the horses are doing and that will also be used as evidence for a court case against Sherri Brunzell. Her first court appearance is set for Dec. 31.
Affecting charges is the fact that bones from the skeletal remains were sent to Colorado State University (CSU) to analyze, as testing bone marrow could determine whether the horses died from colic, as the Brunzells claim, or from starvation. According to Kate Anderson, DVM, the program administrator of the CDA Bureau of Animal Protection, which is under the state veterinarian’s umbrella, the expected range for bone marrow fat content in a healthy horse is between 60 and 90 percent, according to experts.
In an article in RateMyHorsePro.com, stockbroker Benjamin Glidden owns the barn where the horses were found. He said that he knew she lost some horses but didn’t know the skeletons were being stored there. “Do you know what hay prices are out here?” Glidden asked.
In response to that statement, I researched the prices of hay in Colorado and found on the site of the HayCountry.com that small square bales were from $6 to $8 per bale and large 3 x 4 bales were $55. Mixed large round bales were $120 and included grass, red fescue, timothy, red and yellow clover and alfalfa. Small bales of quality alfalfa were $6 a bale. This price is much cheaper than what I pay in Texas.
Link to Hay Country>>
Link to USDA hay reports>>
Also on the Colorado Department of Agriculture web site I found a section on the Colorado Horsecare Foodbank, a 501(c) 3 non-profit specializing in raising money to purchase and stockpile hay to feed Colorado’s horses. CHF provides hay to Colorado horse owners who are struggling to get back on their feet after fires, floods or financial problems. Their web site says that “Emergency hay from Colorado Horsecare Foodbank provides a needed safety net that keeps horses with their families, rather than sending them away forever because of a temporary financial problem. In 2013, Colorado Horsecare Foodbank distributed more than 300 tons of emergency hay to Colorado horses, including 200 tons for northern Colorado families after the Sept. 2013 floods; 85 tons of hay for horse owners recovering from the Black Forest fire in June 2013 and additional hay disbursements to families dealing with financial crises throughout the year.”
Click for Colorado free hay>>
Glidden admitted to knowing very little about horses but said he would continue renting to Brunzell. When he was reminded there was a pending criminal investigation, Glidden stated, “It’s not criminal in Colorado.”
But that may not be the case.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MISDEMEANOR AND A FELONY?
According to the veterinarian Kate Anderson, animal abusers can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony depending on the situation. “In order for a felony charge to be brought, she says the person must be a repeat offender or there must be aggravating circumstances.”
I asked Rick Dennis, a risk analyst who has 44 years experience as a criminal investigator, is a 16 year Drug Enforcement Agent with the Federal Office of Drug Abuse Law Enforcement, an elite Drug Enforcement Division of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs as well an agent with the Southeast Louisiana Regional Bureau of Drug Enforcement, for a Risk Analysis of this case. The following is his report:
“During my tenure as a former Drug Enforcement Agent as well as a Law Enforcement Officer I have prepared search warrants and assembled evidence for use in the prosecution of individuals incarcerated for a multitude of crimes.
“The most important aspect of any criminal investigation is the assembling and explicit documentation of evidence in a case for later use in the prosecution of the accused in a court of law. This documentation and assembling of evidence is often referred to as a “Chain of Custody” of evidence and the presentation of such evidence in a criminal trial is often referred to as either “Direct Evidence” or “Circumstantial Evidence” or both.
“To prepare a case for criminal prosecution requires an explicit recording of evidence, a search warrant without loop holes (where applicable), the inclusion of forensic evidence including laboratory analysis reports as well as a criminal investigation report written in such a fashion that the report itself is indisputable. Above all the rule of law shall be interpreted and applied accordingly and equally.
“Each violation of the law carries a different penalty that is usually classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Each legal description carries a legal penalty in fines as well as a length of time of incarceration, if found guilty, of the crime charged with, – a minimum and a maximum. The difference between the two is differentiated by the amount of the fine and the length of time of incarceration. A felony is the more severe of the two criminal classifications. Generally, the laws for a specific crime vary from state to state and then the federal version is different from the state laws.
“In analyzing the Brunzell animal cruelty case I discovered the Animal Cruelty Law in Colorado has a specific set of law applications ranging from a misdemeanor to a felony. Therefore, what is the penalty for someone who is found guilty of animal cruelty?
“The penalties for animal cruelty under Colorado’s state statutes vary widely and the actual sentence given in a case depends largely on the charges filed and the facts of the case in question. In Colorado, cruelty to animals is a Class 1 Misdemeanor, which carries a maximum fine of $5,000, with a mandatory minimum fine of $500, and could include jail time up to 18 months. The court must also order a mandatory evaluation prior to sentencing for the purpose of determining the appropriate sentence, which may or may not include a an appropriate treatment program.
“Aggravated animal cruelty, which includes knowingly torturing, needlessly mutilating or needlessly killing an animal, is a Class 6 Felony with a maximum fine of up to $100,000, with a mandatory minimum of $1000, and a minimum of 90 days in prison or in home detention. If the defendant is convicted of a subsequent charge of aggravated cruelty, the penalty is increased to a Class 5 felony.
“Animal fighting or a subsequent conviction of aggravated animal cruelty is a Class 5 Felony with a maximum fine of $100,000 and imprisonment for up to 3 years.
“Prosecutors frequently ask for additional sentencing provisions such as a prohibition on animal ownership by the defendant for a set period of time, and regular unannounced inspections of their home by probation officials. If there are unpaid costs associated with the seizure, care, or disposition of animals in the case, defendants may be required to pay restitution for those costs.
“Cases prosecuted under local law do not necessarily follow the same sentencing provisions and vary from municipality to municipality.
“Generally, the rule of law application is applied to each and every animal which is determined to have been abused and carries a separate rule of law charge and application for each one, e.g., in this case the 10 survivors and the 18 deceased animals could carry a separate charge for each and is applied by the investigating officer, affirmed by the criminal prosecutor at the conclusion of the criminal investigation and affirmed by the court (upon conviction) at trial or a guilty plea by the offender. Notwithstanding, this criminal investigation is in its initial stages and the end result will be determined by the rule of evidence and the rule of law.”
Click for Dennis web site>>
While individuals in the comments section of my web site and others, are asking for more rigorous penalties, at the present time, Sherri is facing “Class 1 misdemeanor prosecution.” Colorado misdemeanors are broke down into different classifications. Class 1 misdemeanors are the most severe and have the highest possible sentencing while Class 3 Misdemeanor has the lowest possible sentence.
If a person is convicted for more than one misdemeanor he or she can have all the charges added together to make them consecutive sentences. This decision is made by a judge. Alternatively, a judge can allow all charges to be served at the same time.
The Colorado constitution names a felony as any offense where an offender can be sentenced to a state penitentiary. It also states the court’s authority to sentence an individual is statutory and only the General Assembly can authorize the suspension of any sentences.
Colorado places its felonies into varying classifications of severity. The first class is a Class 1 Felony that is punishable by life in prison or death. A Class 2 Felony is punishable by as low as four years in prison and as much as 48 years in prison. This can also include a fine between $5,000 and $1 million dollars and has a mandatory parole period of five years.
Class 3 felonies come with no less than two years in prison and no more than 24 years in prison. A fine between $3,00 and $750,000 is possible with a mandatory parole period of five years.
Class 4 felonies are punishable by no less than one year in prison and no more than 12 years in prison. A parole period of three years follows along with a possible fine between $2,00 and $500,000.
Class 5 Felony can carry up to six years in prison with a minimum of six months in prison. Two years of parole are mandatory with a possible fine between $1,000 and $100,000. The final class is the Class 6 Felony that can have sentences between six months and three years in a state prison. One year of parole is mandatory in Class 6 felonies along with a possible fine between $1,000 and $100,00.
Click for Colorado Felony Guide>>
Time will tell if the FBI announcement regarding a historic change in the identification and reporting of animal cruelty crime statistics and the reporting of animal cruelty crimes as a separate “offender category” under the agency’s Uniform Crime Report will affect the Brunzell court case.
“The change instituted by the FBI formally recognizes the seriousness of animal abuse crimes and classifieds them as distinct Group A offenses, joining other major crimes such as hate crimes, arson, assault and homicide and will require the reporting of both incidents and arrests.
DUAL PEPPY AND SURVIVING BLACK FOREST HORSES MOVED
AQHA TAKES ACTION; BRUNZELL’S FIRST COURT APPEARANCE DEC. 31
By Glory Ann Kurtz
Sept. 25, 2014
Changes happened fast after the El Paso County Sheriff, Terry Maketa, refused to allow *10 surviving horses (six stallions and four mares) and four lamas to go to a humane center, after skeletons of *18 other horses were found dead in a barn in the 5400 block of Burgess Road in Black Forest north of Colorado Springs on Friday, Sept. 19. *(In a previous article, I reported 8 surviving horses and 12 dead horses; however my numbers were corrected by a person on the scene and the figures have since been corrected.)
Sheriff Maketa had made a statement that they “were not able to seize the animals because, while the appearance of the animals was visually disturbing, none of the horses were found to be in immediate danger and none of them had to be euthanized. He continued that he had decided to leave Dual Peppy and the other thin horses in the care of Sherri Brunzell (supervised by the department), who along with her husband Rick Brunzell were the owners of the legendary Quarter Horse stallion, 22-year-old Dual Peppy, through Dual Peppy Partners, as well as the other 27 horses.
When a photo of Dual Peppy was posted on KOAA.com, many recognized Dual Peppy by his GW brand, as he was bred by a legendary horseman Greg Ward, Tulare, Calif., and sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars in 1998 to the Brunzells. He had cutting earnings of over $88,000 and sired offspring winning over $531,000 to date.
KOAA News 5 went to the home of the horses’ owner, Sherri Brunzell. Her husband Rick answered the door. He stressed that he doesn’t own the horses, his wife does. But he helps out with the care of the animals and the barn.
“I’m working the next two to three weeks to get everything cleaned up and get some horses moved out of there and get them sold,” he said. Brunzell admits, leaving the horse remains in the barn is not ideal. “To outsiders it looks a little rough yes,” he said “I left them in there and you know I should have taken them to the dump.”
He said the horses died last winter during the extremely low temperatures from colic, and he and his wife were not in good health to move them.”They’re heavy, they’re thousand pounders,” said Brunzell.
Colic in horses is abdominal pain, it can have many causes and doesn’t always result in death, however it can. It can encompass all forms of gastrointestinal conditions and is usually related to colonic disturbance.
What is colic>>
Click for colic results of functional malnutrition>>
People were rallying outside the Humane Society of Pikes Peak, calling the sheriff’s office so many times that wouldn’t or couldn’t even answer the phone, calling the District Attorney’s office and one lady even created a “Justice For Dual Peppy” fan page that had thousands of likes and hundreds of comments. There was also a petition on Face Book, asking for the maximum penalty for the Brunzells signed by thousands of individuals.
Rick Dennis, who has 44 years experience as a criminal investigator, is a former (16 years) Drug Enforcement Agent with the Federal Office of Drug Abuse Law Enforcement, an elite Drug Enforcement Division of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous as well as an Agent with the Southeast Louisiana Regional Bureau of Drug Enforcement and writes article for this publication, filed a report with Ward Stutz, the new American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Senior Director of Breed Integrity, Animal Welfare and Education concerning the Dual Peppy incident – as well as Jim Brett Campbell, the new Executive Director of the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA). At the conclusion of the AQHA meeting, Rick learned this incident was presently under review and investigation by the AQHA and its staff.
Click for Dennis’ web site>>
The two associations found some influential members who were willing to get a Colorado Judge to hold a hearing, and Monday, Sept. 22, after receiving a court order, the El Paso Sheriff’s office asked the El Paso Pikes Peak Humane Society’s help in seizing the remaining horses – which they did. Sherri Brunzell was issued a citation for Cruelty to Animals, a Class 1 Misdemeanor.
However, I have since learned that depending on state laws, if there are horse deaths, a felony charge could be added to the misdemeanor charge – for each horse that died.
According to KRDO.com, the sheriff’s office would not disclose the location of the surviving horses for safety reasons, saying the equine facility they were taken to is specifically designed for horses involved in law enforcement cases. The horses are free-fed grass and water and their stalls are cleaned on a daily basis. When they arrived at the facility, a veterinarian evaluated each one and recorded height and weight measurements. The numbers will help staff members keep track of how they’re doing but it will also be used as evidence. Anything they do to the horses have to be approved by the Judge and the horses will remain at the facility until a judge determines whether they can be returned to the owner. Brunzell’s first court appearance is set for Dec. 31.
Responding to the delay, the sheriff’s office sent out a statement saying, “The Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the citizens we serve that we have a stringent legal process to follow in cases such as this and that by following our established processes, we ensure not just the best chances for a successful prosecution, but the ongoing safety of the animals involved. Poor police work could lead to a dismissal of the case and the further endangerment of the animals.”
Steve Norris, Colorado Springs, Colo., was a sworn Reserve Deputy with the El Paso Sheriffs Office for 14 years and retired about five years ago. He helped to get the mounted unit (of the El Paso Sheriffs Department) started and continues to give support and was on the scene.
“Jim Bret Campbell (the Executive Director of the NCHA), and Ward Stutz called, and I figured I would go help load and look at the horses so I had good information to give them when I called them back.”
“The scene was absolutely horrific,” said Steve. “There were full skeletal bodies all over the small indoor arena where the horses were kept. Dual Peppy did not appear to be foundered. I would have scored him a body score of 1; however, the vet, Dr. Randy Parker scored him a 2.”
Norris continued, “There were bone samples taken from the 18 carcasses and sent to CSU for further testing to see what their body condition was when they died.”
Bones of the Brunzell horses. Norris photo
One of the horse’s hooves. Norris photo
I later was told that the above tests can determine the number of fat cells in the bones and can determine whether or not the horse’s died of starvation or something else. It can also tell the age of the horse.
According to the warrant, Sherri Brunzell told the sheriff’s office that the horses died of colic over the last year and a half. She said the horses were covered with lye and tarps because she did not have the money to have the carcasses removed. She said, “the horses did not have a regular vet due to the expense and unsatisfactory results so she and her husband, Rick, had been doing the vet care for the last few years.”
My question is if the horses died of colic over the last year and a half, did they call a vet during this period of time as dying of colic is a prolonged, painful death – or just let the horses die. If she called a vet, what vet was it and does she have vet bills to substantiate that.
Answering Sherri’s statement that they didn’t have the money to have a vet care for the horses or have the carcasses removed, a day or so after that statement was made, I received the attached documents showing that Sherri acquired ownership of precious metals and minerals on U.S. public land for about $2 per acre and maintains possession of the claim with a small per-acre fee, typically $5 each year.
Click for Brunzell mining claims>>
I later discovered that veterinarian Randy Parker, who often works with the Sheriff’s Office, had also been the Brunzell’s veterinarian.
BRUNZELL CONSIDERED A SECURITY THREAT?
KRDO.com reported that Eli Bremer a former chairman of the El Paso County Republican Party said Brunzell was previously a security threat. She said that Sherri and Rick have spoken before the El Paso County commissioners numerous times and they were confrontational and angry. Rick also gave three different fake names, with one being Juan Valdez, and they were banned from its headquarters in Colorado Springs, saying they “posed a security threat.” She also said they fly an upside-down American flag outside their home, which was evident in a video posted with the article.
She continued that Sherri Brunzell’s family has influenced Colorado Springs history as her dad, Fred Sproul, developed the Security area and the Sproul family was one of two families who gave land for the Colorado Springs airport.
KRDO.com also reported that the El Paso County District Attorney’s Office has now requested to be involved in the investigation and will provide assistance to the Sheriff’s Office. Also on Sept. 22, it was reported that El Paso county commissioners voted to assume control of the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) from the Sheriff’s Office. They voted 4-1 to take responsibility. Commissioner Chairman Dennis Hisey said recent disasters – including last summer’s wildfire in Black Forest – show that while the Sheriff’s Office does well at initially responding, it doesn’t do as well in other areas, such as planning and communication. The county gave responsibility for the OEM to the Sheriff’s Office in 1998.
The commissioners also voted unanimously to put into place a transition committee involving both sides and the change will take place during the first week of December. Hisey said about 12 employees will likely switch from the Sheriff’s Office to the county.
AQHA TAKES ACTION:
On Sept. 24, the AQHA took action on the Brunzell case, saying that as a result of the above information, they have “automatically denied any and all privileges, including privileges association with registration-related transactions and participation in any AQHA events. AQHA also denied Brunzell access or presence on show grounds of AQHA-approved shows. In addition they are denying Brunzell any AQHA privileges, the Association’s action in the present case also results in restrictions for AQHA IDs associated with Brunzell, including joint AQHA memberships; spouse and associated joint AQHA memberships; children and associated joint AQHA memberships and AQHA ID numbers consisting of entities in which any of the previously mentioned have an ownership interest.
The association continues to monitor this situation and communicate with authorities in Colorado Springs to gather more information and to offer assistance.
AQHA Suspension of Brunzells>>
A Face Book website had been set up called “Justice for Dual Peppy” and recently they had set up a donation’s site; however they recently released this statement on the site:
“After having consulted the public relations staff of the American Quarter Horse Association regarding the best way to collect donations aimed at helping the Brunzell/Black Forest horses. The consensus with how best to handle the overwhelming issue of people wanting to help is to place all funds in a central, non-profit & reputable organization that would be better suited to handle the funds for dispersal to the horses.
“There have simply been too many donation sites set up with less than clear intentions for us to encourage people giving their hard earned money to any site without having the accountability of an operating nonprofit. Donations will be tax deductible and AQHA pledges their support to monitor the donations and where they will be used.
“So, starting this evening, we request that all donations be sent to the Harmony Equine, Dumb Friends League that we have provided the link to below. Your current donations of $400 will be transferred to their account as well. Thank you for your support, not only for the horses, but your support of our growing cause.”
-Justice For Dual Peppy Team
Click below for Harmony Equine Center info>>
The agency was founded in 1910 and the Dumb Friends League is a national leader in providing humane care to lost and abandoned animals, rescuing sick, injured and abused animals, adopting pets to new homes, helping pets stay in homes and educating pet owners and the public about needs of companion animals.
Also, Barbara Brooks, past president of the NCHA, posted that it is accepting donations for this cause through their existing National Cutting Horse Association Foundation. Be sure to mark your checks sent to either place, “To be designated for Black Forest Rescue Horses.”
SUGGESTED ADDITION TO REGISTRATION FEE FOR ANIMAL ABUSE CASES:
Recently Rick Dennis sent a proposal to AQHA’s Ward Stutz to require a $5 added fee to horse registrations with the funds set aside and used for animal abuse cases such as this for feed assistance, legal fees, etc.
STARVING HORSES IN COLORADO GO TO HUMANE SOCIETY AFTER 18 FOUND DEAD
TEN SURVIVORS INCLUDE DUAL PEPPY, A LEGENDARY COW HORSE SIRE
By Glory Ann Kurtz
Sept. 22, 2014
Sept. 24, 2014 updated
It was an end to a horrendous discovery of a 18 dead horses and 10 more neglected, starving horses that brought an international outrage from horse lovers. It happened this evening when a press release from the El Paso Sheriffs Department was reported on KRDO.com that eight remaining horses had been examined by a veterinarian and seized from the property by the Colorado Humane Society, located in Denver, Colo., out of the El Paso County Police Department’s jurisdiction, who had earlier ordered the neglected horses remain in the same facility with those that had died and be cared for by the people who neglected them. The release continued that charges would be filed against those responsible.
Ironically, the horror started just three days prior to the start of the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Snaffle Bit Futurity, one of the industry’s leading sires was discovered in a barn with the skeletal remains of approximately a dozen horses, in the 5400 block of Burgess Road in Black Forest north of Colorado Springs, at approximately 3 p.m. on, Sept. 19.
Dual Peppy, owned by Dual Peppy Partners, consisting of Rick H. and Sherri A. Sproul Brunzell, who reportedly lived with her mother at 6655 Sproul Lane, Colorado Springs, Colo., was one of the 10 lucky ones (6 studs and 4 mares) that were found alive but malnourished with ribs and hipbones protruding. With no water or feed in sight, the horses were obviously left to starve to death. It was learned today that a financial firm has sued the partnership for $100,000 of the money they lent them to purchase Dual Peppy.
Dual Peppy ownership records from AQHA>>
Two women, who lived in a home on the same property as the barn, discovered the horses after Denise Pipher’s dog went into the barn and she and her daughter-in-law Diana Ragula followed to retrieve the dog. A horrific scene and smell of dead and decomposing horses, along with alpacas met them. The women told KOAA News in Colorado Springs, Colo., that Sherri Brunzell, 62, a horse breeder, was boarding the horses there. Ragula and Pipher said the owners “kept to themselves and denied their requests to help out or visit the horses.” However it wasn’t explained whether the owners were owners of the barn or the horses.
Click for KOAA article>>
The El Paso County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the property on Burgess Road on Friday evening, Sept. 19, and investigated the scene. In a statement published Saturday night, Sept. 20, on KOAA.com, the Sheriff’s department said they were working with the owner of the horses who they said was cooperating with the investigation. They continued that they “were not able to seize the animals, because while the appearance of the animals was visually disturbing, none of the horses were found to be in immediate danger and none of them had to be euthanized.”
They said that at this time it had not been determined how the horses died. As to why they didn’t have legal rights to take the horses the statement says, “Rest assured, had any of the animals been in immediate jeopardy, they would have been removed from the location.”
In the hundreds of comments following the article on KOAA.com, one individual posted that the El Paso County Sheriffs Department “has decided to leave Dual Peppy and the other emaciated horses in the care of Sherri Brunzell (supervised by the department),” the owner whose “care” likely caused the death of 12 other animals. The HSPPR (Humane Society of Pikes Peak Region located at 610 Abbott Lane, Colorado Springs, Colo., was not involved or in control.
The Colorado Cruelty to Animals Statutes, Title 18. Criminal Code states: “(1) Abandon means the leaving of an animal without adequate provisions for the animal’s proper care by its owner, the person responsible for the animal’s care or custody, or any other person having possession of such animal.” Mistreatment means every act or omission that causes or unreasonably permits the continuation of unnecessary or unjustifiable pain or suffering and Neglect means failure to provide food, water, protection from the elements, or other care generally considered to be normal, usual and accepted for an animal’s health and well-being consistent with the species, breed and type of animal.”
On Sept. 22, KOAA.com published an article stating that they had gone to the owners’ home, with Rick answering the door and stating he didn’t own the horses, his wife did, but he helps with their care. He said the horses died last winter during the extremely low temperatures from colic and he and his wife were not in good health to move them. As for the horses still alive, Brunzell said they were in good condition and have fresh food and water. “My wife met with her vet there yesterday and they know those horses well.” However, Brunzell also said they were having trouble with one particular horse that was thin, Dual Peppy.
Click for article with Rick Brunzell statement>>
I decided to call the El Paso County Sheriff (Colorado Springs is in El Paso County) to find out what was going on so I looked him up on Google. To my surprise, dozens of articles sprung up and I soon realized that Sheriff Terry Maketa was already in a lot of trouble with the FBI and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation who were already investigating him on Federal and state criminal charges.
They were probing his office due to allegations made by the El Paso County commissioners, as well as former employees of Sheriff Maketa, for budget improprieties, sexual impropriety, discrimination, creating a hostile work environment, violating the civil rights of those who work for the Sheriff’s office, using intimidation to keep quiet about his misdeeds and removing almost all oversight of the Sheriff’s budget. The commissioners had asked him to resign and residents launched a recall campaign; however, his term ends in January. He has refuted all allegations. However, it’s interesting to note that the married Sheriff’s staff consists of all females: the undersheriff, the head of training for dispatchers and the controller.
Click for complaints filed against Sheriff>>
Another irony of this case may be that the Sheriff’s non-action regarding dead and starving horses could be his demise. This morning, Rick Dennis filed a report with Wade Stutz, AQHA Senior Director of Breed Integrity, Animal Welfare and Education concerning the Dual Peppy incident. At the conclusion of the meeting, Rick learned this incident is presently under review and investigation by the AQHA and its staff. There are also a couple of petitions on Facebook: one asking for the maximum penalty for the Brunzells, which needs 5,000 signatures and as of tonight have close to 3,700. If you are interested in signing the petition, click here:
An emaciated Dual Peppy
Several individuals posting comments following the newspaper articles recognized Dual Peppy as one of the horses still alive from a photo of the emaciated horse and the famous GW, Greg Ward’s brand. There were also several offers to come and get him and care for him.
The 1992 stallion was bred, raised and shown by famed reined cow horse trainer and showman Greg Ward, Tulare, Calif., and his wife Laura. Greg has since died of cancer shortly after winning his last NRHA Snaffle Bit Futurity in 1998 riding Reminics Pep.
Dual Peppy, sired by one of the performance horse industry’s leading sires Peppy San Badger, was out of the great mare Miss Dual Doc by Doc’s Remedy. He was shown in cutting, reined cow horse and reining competition.
On Jan. 30, 1998, horseman Pete Bowling orchestrated the sale of the great stallion for over $600,000 to the Brunzells. In 1998 he had won the Open Senior cutting at the All-American Quarter Horse Congress and was the 5 & 6-year-old Classic Open Champion with a 225 score. In 1998, 1999 and 2001, he qualified for the Sr. Cutting at the AQHA World Show and in 1999 he earned his American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Register of Merit (ROM) in Performance with 24.5 Open Performance points. He earned over $88,400 in NCHA earnings, and earned his NCHA Certificate of Ability (COA) and Bronze Award as well as being honored by the NRCHA with his Superior Cow Horse Award.
Dual Peppy in his “hay day”
But his greatest success is as a sire. He has sired 315 foals, with 120 of them being performers. During 2014, 51 of those foals are still performing.
Click for AQHA Sire Summary of Dual Peppy>>
The Wards test bred him as a 2-year-old and in 1995 he had one foal: Dual Train, a mare out of Nics Train by Reminic, with the bottom side going back to King Fritz. The filly went on to become the high money-earning horse sired by Dual Peppy and competing in three events: cow horse, reining and cutting.
Dual Train and Reminics Pep were the last two horses trained by Greg Ward and were shown at the 1998 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity in Reno, Nev. Dual Train won the Paso Robles Futurity while being shown in the non-pro division by Greg Ward’s daughter, Wendy Ward Lorenco and the pair went on to be non-pro finalists at the 1998 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity.
Rick Dennis made arrangements to buy the mare in 1998 but couldn’t complete the sale until after the 1998 Snaffle Bit Futurity in order for Greg to show one last time with his son John and daughter Wendy, which was Greg’s wishes and Rick’s concession.
In January 1999 the sale was completed and Rick and Dual Train went into training at the Ward Ranch in Tulare, Calif., and they continued to show and train from the Ward Ranch for the next three years, winning thousands of dollars in maturities, derbies and qualified and competed in the 2000 AQHA World Show in cow horse and later shown by Rick in the Bosal, Two-Rein and Bridle. He showed the mare at stock shows in reining, cutting and cow horse, earning championships and money in each category. They later returned to Rick’s ranch in Louisana where the pair continued to show and win.
Dual Train is the dam of “Johnny,” the reined cow horse that Clayton Edsall rode to win the cutting division of last year’s NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity, and was on his way to win the whole event when in the finals, the cow tripped the horse on the fence and both the horse and rider took a tumble. A friend jumped into the arena, caught the horse and finished the pattern and still received a check in the finals.
The high money-earning offspring of Dual Peppy, showing in just two events, was Dualin For Me, a 1997 stallion out of Me O Lena by Doc O’Lena, who earned over $81,000 in NRCHA competition and just over $33,000 in NRHA reining competition for a total of over $114,000. The stallion reportedly later sold for $250,000 to Arcese Quarter Horses.
According to AQHA records, Dual Peppy sired 315 foals with an astounding 120 (38%) performing. Currently 51 are performing. His largest book was in 2001, the year he had 43 foals, followed by 39 foals in 1996 ad 38 in 2002. In 2003, Dual Peppy had 32 foals but then they dropped to 18, 13, 8,7,3,2 in 2004 through 2009, when he had only two foals.
Click for AQHA records of performing offspring of Dual Peppy>>
Other brothers of Dual Peppy include the great sire Dual Pep, who reportedly sold as a yearling for $100,000-plus to Bobby Pidgeon; Dually Pep, selling to Pete Bowling for $450,000 and Mr Dual Pep, selling for $4 million to Sheila Head. (the above prices are not official as private sales are not documented, but they are well-known in the industry).
After reading the comments following the articles, I have sent Sheriff Maketa a Freedom of Information request, inquiring if there had been any past complaints about the Brunzells and their horses. I have never covered an event that changed by the hour for three days and I’m sure by tomorrow there will be more news to report. As soon as I receive more news, I will be publishing it – all the while hoping it will be good news – especially for Dual Peppy!!!
Triangle Sales Begins New Chapter
Upcoming October Fall Sale will run as scheduled
Press Release from Triangle sales
Sept. 22, 2014
Jim Ware and Cindy Bowling
After more than three and a half decades as the equine auction spot for all-around performance horses representing almost every discipline, Triangle Sales Company is under new ownership. The sales company that was created by Cindy Bowling and her late husband, John, in 1979 has been sold to Jim Ware, who is a former partner of Western Bloodstock. Ware learned the auction business from his family while growing up in northeastern Louisiana and has been active in the equine industry his entire life.
After celebrating a milestone birthday, Bowling, who is an avid scuba diver and reining horse competitor, made the decision to sell the company.
“I would never sell my company to someone that I didn’t think was going to go on and make it better, promote it, do better things and keep the name,” Bowling said. “I think Jim is honest and fair, and I think he’ll make me proud. His goal is to make it bigger than it is now and better like it used to be back in the glory days.”
“It’s been in business for 36 years, and you don’t do something for 36 years without doing something right,” Ware stated. “They’ve done a good job, and it’s in a great location that is convenient to a lot of different parts of the United States. It’s a lot more than just an auction to a lot of people. It’s kind of like family to a lot of folks.
“I’ve always had a big admiration for Triangle Sales,” Ware added. “It brings people from all over the world and not just for one particular discipline but many. I enjoy that. I like selling more than one type of horse.”
Ware takes management of Triangle Sales on October 8th, immediately following the upcoming Fall Sale and is planning some changes and improvements to the January 16-18, 2015 sale.
Shorter sale days are planned, and Triangle will offer “click to bid” Internet purchasing options through Superior Productions. Buyers will have peace of mind through free and immediate fall-of-hammer insurance that will be in effect for 24 hours. While the sale will still be held at Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center in Shawnee, Oklahoma, it will move to a different building so that horses will be able to be worked live on cattle while being sold. Pre-sale barrel and rope horse demonstrations will be more formal to allow potential buyers to evaluate auction horses. Big screen TVs will be installed to enhance the sale experience, and Visa and MasterCard will be accepted for payment.
“I’ve sold thousands and thousands of cutting horses,” Ware said. “I have learned that there are a lot of great horses that may not be the flavor of the month at one sale but they may be a big attraction at Triangle for multiple disciplines. We’re always going to put a special emphasis on cutting horses because I know that’s the nucleus of performance horses, but expect a great variety of horses at the sales.”
“I have some employees that have been here since we started,” Bowling said. “The sale-day staff is a very cohesive group. They are more like family because we’ve all been doing this so long together. It is my hope that it continues to have that family atmosphere.
“It’s also that way with the customers – the consignors and buyers,” Bowling said. “Many of them have been coming here year after year. We had people that got married here, and one couple named their child Shawnee. The same familiar faces have been here a long, long time, and my goal is that it continues to have that honest reputation and family atmosphere, and I think Jim will do that. That’s very important to me. I have faith and trust in him that he will do this.”
Ware will add some well-known names to the Triangle staff.
“We’ve assembled a great team to sell the horses,” Ware said.
The auctioneers for upcoming sales will be equine sale veterans Steve Friskup and Don Green. Ware will offer his pedigree analysis along with Triangle mainstay, Ron Berndt and Wade Cunningham.
Other additions that Ware plans to make include adding a special session for AQHA Ranching Heritage breeders and a special Barrel Racing and Speed horse session.
“A lot of people that are raising the versatility ranch-type horse don’t have their own sale or access to what they really need so we’re going to try to make that a really great venue for each of those people,” Ware said. “They will be special guests and have their own session at every sale.” Ware added, “My involvement with racing Quarter Horses has really opened my eyes to the need for a market for barrel prospects throughout the calendar year. We intend to fill that void at Triangle.”
Bowling will stay on with Triangle Sales through April and then plans to devote her time to diving, reining, visiting family and volunteering with the Kairos Prison Ministry.
“I’m going to do everything in my power to make the transition as easy as possible and to make it a success,” Bowling said. “It’s my goal to make sure that Jim’s very successful in the future. Triangle has been here 36 years and there’s no reason it can’t be here another 36 years. I believe we are the oldest and largest.”
For more information about upcoming sale dates, visit http://trihorse.com or jimware.net.
NRCHA SNAFFLE BIT FUTURITY SALES SCHEDULED FOR OCT. 2-4
HISTORIC WARD RANCH CONSIGNS 13 HEAD
By Glory Ann Kurtz from NRCHA release
Sept. 15, 2014
Thirteen horses from the historic Ward Ranch cow horse-breeding program have been consigned to the Snaffle Bit Futurity Sales, scheduled for Oct. 2-4 during the annual NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity, held in Reno, Nev., Monday, Sept. 22 through Saturday, Oct. 4.
According to Dar Hanson, the Ward Ranch manager who also serves on the NRCHA Sale committee, eleven of the Ward Ranch horses are in the Classic Yearling & Broodmare Sale, which is the first sale of the three and scheduled for 4 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 2, with 168 consignments. According to the current catalog (see below), a total of 334 consignments will come through the sale ring over the three days.
The other three sales included the Performance Horse Sale, with 38 consignments, held Friday, Oct. 3 at approximately 11 a.m. It will be followed by the 63-consignment 2-Year-Old Select Sale. The final sale, the Select Yearling and Broodmare Sale, featuring 65 consignments, will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 4. The sales are presented by Markel Insurance and managed by Parnell Dickinson.
“When you’re looking at the quality of horses, and the value for the dollar, the Classic Sale is one of the best opportunities all weekend, said sale manager Jake Parnell. “It is a very worthwhile place to shop. There have been a lot of ‘steals’ out of that sale.”
In most cases, the only difference between Select Sale yearlings and Classic Sale yearlings are the accomplishments of their dams. As for broodmares, Classic Sale consignments offer equal pedigree power as the Select mares, but may have less on their performance or produce resume.
“Horses in the Classic sale are every bit as good. A lot of those Classic yearlings have a grand-dam that made six figures, but maybe their mother was hurt and couldn’t be shown, or she didn’t win as much,” Parnell said. “There are also opportunities to get good broodmares that didn’t qualify for the Select sale. There are exceptional bloodlines in the Classic sale, but the mares may not have the performance or the production record to qualify for the Select.
“The Classic sale is a great place to buy horses,” he continued. “A lot of yearlings in that sale have dams that might be one futurity season away from being in the Select Sale category, because they might have only one foal of show age and haven’t built that produce record yet.”
According to Hanson, his goal is to place horses where they have the best opportunity to bring their maximum value.
“The Classic sale is a great place to buy horses,” Hanson said. “A lot of yearlings in that sale have dams that might be one futurity season away from being in the Select Sale category, because they might have only one foal of show age and haven’t built that produce record yet.”
Buyers should also keep in mind that all yearlings, whether purchased through the Classic Sale or the Select Sale, are eligible for the Yearling Incentive purse. The horses must be enrolled at the sale, and the fee may be paid either by the buyer or the consignor. The Futurity Sale incentives will be described in more detail in another installment of our series.
For further information contact the sale company at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Jake Parnell at 916-662-1298 if you have any questions.
Sale catalogs are online now! Click links below to view:
Click for Classic Yearling & Broodmare Sale>>
Click for Performance Horse & 2-Year-Old Sale>>
Click for Select Yearling & Broodmare Sale>>
FRESH CATTLE, GOOD DIRT AND REASONABLE FEES
TOP MARKETPLACE AT ARDMORE SALE
Sept. 11, 2014
With the next Marketplace at Ardmore sale, held in Ardmore, Okla., Nov. 1, 2014, consignments opened on Aug. 1. With a catalog fee of only $250 and a fresh cattle charge of $50, there will be no “no-sale” fees and an 8% commission.
The sale is advertised as a “solid show horse market where all cutters work as they sell.”
Sale manager Susie Reed recently announced that “in addition to fresh cattle in our live demo while selling, a flag is now available in the practice pen.”
For further information go to http://www.themarketplaceatardmore.com or contact Susie Reed at email@example.com or call 580-276-4830, cell 580-490-1103 or fax: 580-276-4281.
Click for consignment form>>