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

Posted by on Feb 11, 2015 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

CLARENCE CHOWN PASSES AWAY AT AGE 87

 

A HORSEMAN AND FATHER OF HORSEMEN


Feb. 11, 2015

Clarence and Mary Jean Chown along with Bo Branquinho.

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

AQHA NAMES NEW EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT

 

CRAIG HUFFHINES OF AMERICAN HEREFORD ASSOCIATION TAPPED

 

Feb. 11, 2015

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Click for article in Drive Magazine>>

 

 

 

 

 

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☛ Cross Training 101 – 2-7-15

Posted by on Feb 7, 2015 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 3 comments

CROSS TRAINING 101; Reining, Cutting, Cow Horse

 

The latest book in a training series written by Rick E. Dennis

 

 

By Glory Ann Kurtz
Feb. 8, 2015

 

The front and back covers of Cross Training – Reining, Cutting, Cow Horse
Photos by Midge Ames

CROSS TRAINING 101 – Reining, Cutting, Cow Horse is the second book in a training series that is soon to be published by Rick Dennis. This book is solely devoted to “carrying on and continuing” the history and legacy of the Spanish Vaquero (Cowboy), the “Old Style” of traditional training methods and the reined cow horse.

 

The book was written and based on Rick’s 24 years of experience in the performance horse industry as a multiple-event exhibitor, both as a non-pro and professional, as well as his success and experience as a judicially certified professional reined cow horse trainer, student instructor, clinician and Quarter Horse breeder specializing in multiple-event performance prospects.

 

When Rick was 40 years old, he learned two new hobbies: 1) How to fly high-performance airplanes and 2) how to ride performance horses. During his equestrian career, he competed in registered and non-registered horse show competition from the East Coast to the West Coast of the U.S. and points in between. He and his horses have earned National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) reined cow horse championships, an American Cutting Horse Association (ACHA) world finalist cutting title, National Reining Horse Association (NRHA)/MSRHA reining championships, American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) state championships in cow horse and cutting as well as circuit championships, over 170 AQHA points, AQHA Register of Merits (ROM), AQHA World Show qualifications, an AQHA Open all-around trophy, Stock Horse/stock horse show championships and IRS tax-return documented money earnings in team penning, team sorting, reining, cutting, reined cow horse, and 52 belt buckles along the way.

 

According to Rick, from inception, his intent was to traverse the spectrum of the performance horse industry while participating in multiple-event competition. After six horse purchases, he was still lacking in adequate horsepower to accomplish his goal, as well as the proper equestrian training. However, his disciplines and equestrian career changed in 1997 after he saw his first cow horse class as a spectator while participating in a team sorting in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

 

“I witnessed what I thought back then and still view today was the most exciting equine discipline to watch as well as the most eloquent display of horsemanship I’d ever witnessed – a cow horse class,” says Rick.

 

“I marveled at the athletic ability of the horses and the experience of the riders as they maneuvered their horses through the two-event requirements of the AQHA cow horse class: reining and cow work, or bringing a cow down the fence. Soon afterwards, I was on a quest to acquire a horse capable of such magnificent maneuvers and the required horsemanship training to compete in multiple-event cow horse competition. Ultimately in 1998, my search landed me at the legendary Ward Ranch in Tulare, Calif.

 

“On my first trip I met legendary Hall of Fame inductee and the “Master” of the reined cow horse industry – Mr. Greg Ward. On this initial trip, I was able to watch the “Master” at work readying his 3-year-old string for the upcoming National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Snaffle Bit Futurity, which was amazing to say the least. Later that year, I was fortunate enough to witness Greg win his last NRCHA Futurity and watch Dual Train become a finalist in the non-pro division at the same futurity, with his daughter aboard.

 

“Additionally, on this trip, I met Dual Train, a mare that would turn out to be the foundation mare of my reined cow horse training-and-breeding facility in Louisiana. In 1999, I established Louisiana’s first facility solely devoted to the reined cow horse: the Wind River Ranch. I also acquired the ranch’s foundation stock, which also included a stallion Nic Chex. My visionary design, for the ranch was to introduce better stock and training techniques to the region.”

 

In 2000, Rick turned pro and established Louisiana’s first NRCHA reined cow horse affiliate, the Southeast Reined Cow Horse Association; conducted the first Louisiana reined cow horse clinic, featuring John Ward as the clinician, and hosted the first Louisiana reined cow horse show.

 

For the next three years, Rick traveled to the Ward Ranch learning to breed, break, start, train and exhibit the reined cow horse in the prestigious West Coast reined cow horse events, incorporating all four NRCHA required traditional training methods: snaffle bit, bosal, two-rein and bridle.

 

Also, during this time, he said he was very fortunate to have stock horses in the finals of major events of the NRCHA, earning a World Champion finalist title, Superior titles, and other championships, awards and earnings, with all money documented on his tax return, during their showing career.

 

“The Ward Ranch and the NRCHA taught me the true concept of the reined cow horse: one horse, three events: reining, cutting and cow horse,” said Rick.

 

By doing these disciplines riding only one horse, he used this concept to eliminate the three horses he was using to show in multiple events and replaced them with one reined cow horse. He soon discovered that the realignment of assets significantly reduced his overhead expenses and yet afforded him the opportunity to compete in multiple events, in style.

 

“Of all the nonprofit horse organizations I’ve been a member of and shown with, the NRCHA ranks at the very top,” says Rick. “While circulating in the West Coast NRCHA show circuits, I met some of the most amazing folks of my equestrian career and I’m extremely proud to call them friends.”

 

It was during Rick’s experiences in the West Coast NRCHA reined cow horse market that he gained the upmost respect for the multiple or three-event reined cow horse professional trainers, as well as the NRCHA and its highly competitive members.

 

“In my opinion, these trainers are the best in the business and it takes a very special individual to master the art of training a horse for three-event competition,” said Rick. “Unlike other trainers specializing in one performance horse events, which is arduous to master in itself, reined cow horse trainers have to master three events: Herd work, which is similar to cutting; Rein Work, running a reining pattern and Cow Work – bringing a cow down the fence, turning it twice and circling it once each way. They also have to master the four training methods of the Traditional Vaquero: Snaffle Bit – for 3 and 4 year olds; Bosal, 5 year olds; 2-Rein, 6 years old and Bridle, 7 years of age and up.

 

“The reined cow horse training philosophy is to bring a horse along slowly, showing it in it’s designated age group. This takes several years of training and not just a quick train for their futurity year, which creates a lot of ‘throw-away’ horses.”

 

Rick said there was always someone to help him in the herd work, give support and cheer him on while he was competing, offer help in guiding him through a class and was genuinely sincere in congratulating him for his win.

 

“From the likes of Greg Ward, John Ward, Barney Skelton, Teddy Robinson and Smokey Pritchett, I learned the devotion these professional trainers contributed to maintaining the legacy of the California Stock Horse or reined cow horse during their lives,” said Rick. “I also learned the true meaning of professional training, mastering the sport and honest competition. However, the most important lesson I learned from each involved their individual techniques in training and showing the Reined Cow Horse and why this remarkable horse is rightfully dubbed the enviable title “King of the Cow Horses!”

 

 

History of the Reined Cow Horse.

 

The original “stock horse” name is a historic phrase as is cow horse or cow pony and is still used colloquially today, referring to a particularly small agile cattle-herding horse, a term that dates back to 1874. Such horses are characterized by agility and quickness, with powerful hindquarters. They are usually noted for intelligence and “cow sense,” which includes having an instinctive understanding of how to respond to the movement of cattle so as to move livestock in a desired manner with minimal or no guidance from their rider. These horses are used both as working animals on livestock ranches or stations and also in competition where horses and riders are evaluated on their ability to work cattle and perform rein work.

 

The long-standing history of the reined cow horse or stock horse has been traced and directly attributed to the Old Style or Vaquero (Spanish) training methods of the California and Southwest regions of the U.S. The California (Spanish) Vaqueros are credited with the development of these specific horse-training styles and equipment that brought a horse along at a slow pace and ultimately produced a superior animal for use on the ranch to perform daily chores or working cattle.

 

It was this early life style of the Spanish Vaqueros, their horses and specialized horse-training methods that eventually developed into competition on the western ranches among Vaqueros and their coveted horses. This centuries-old training method provided the Vaquero with his most prized possession and working partner: a stock horse that was light and collected, controlled with a whisper and yet exhibited the raw-bone strength, speed, athleticism, heart and stamina to perform daily ranch duties, (i.e.) cattle herding, roping, calf separation, branding, fence building, range riding as well as general ranch duties.

 

Recently Rick spoke with Jay Winborn, the current Executive Director of the National Reined Cow Horse Association, who said, “The current state of the association is extremely good, the 2014 Snaffle Bit Futurity sale was as good as it has been for a long time, membership is at a record high and membership participation is increasing in all showing levels.” Winborn went on to state that he received a personal phone call from the AQHA Executive Director Don Treadway, congratulating him for the record-setting entries in the cow horse class at the AQHA 2014 World Show.

 

The Reined Cow Horse comes to Louisiana:

 

“Due to my affiliation and showing experience with the NRCHA, the reined cow horse and the training I received at the Ward Ranch, I was able to return to Louisiana and establish a new performance horse market: the reined cow horse market,” says Rick. “I also introduced the California Stock Horse, a remarkable multiple-event equestrian performer, to the state.

 

“While incorporating traditional training techniques with West Coast stock horses and genetics, my Wind River Ranch’s stock or students have produced a phenomenal record of success including: World, National and State champions, circuit champions, World Show finalists and qualifiers, Superior awards, Register of Merit awards, open all-around trophies as well as point and money earners in reining, cutting, cow horse, team penning, team sorting, barrel racing, calf roping and dressage.”

 

This book provides the reader with a working knowledge of training the reined cow horse using traditional training methods and equipment through all of its life stages – from colt breaking and starting in the snaffle to the finished bridle horse in the three NRCHA required events.

 

Today, the Wind River Ranch continues to carry on and continue the legacy of the reined cow horse by standing two breeding stallions: Dualin Oak and Dual N For Me, a stallion sired by Dualin Oak. Dualin Oak, a Ward Ranch creation wearing the coveted GW brand, is sired by Mister Dual Pep and out of Tessa Oak by Docs Oak. He is Louisiana’s 2009 top-siring cow horse sire, being a proven sire of multiple-event performers and money earners.

 

“From the ranch’s humble beginning, we’re now able to breed, break, start, train and exhibit stock sired by Dualin Oak, who carries on the genetics of the famous California Stock Horse,” says Rick.

 

“My latest top gun on the show circuit is Chelsi Guillory, riding Some Hot Chic (nicknamed Cali), a Ward Ranch creation I trained and finished in the bosal, two-rein and bridle,” says a proud Rick. “Chelsi and Cali are not only triple-crown champions and money earners in reining, cutting and cow horse in the Louisiana Stock Horse Association, the duo has illustrated the versatility of the reined cow horse by crossing over and becoming barrel racing champions and money earners as well. The pair are not only a credit to the history of the reined cow horse, the Vaquero training methods and our ranch stock, but are also a credit to this remarkable and fascinating industry.

 

CROSS TRAINING 101 – Reining, Cutting, Cow Horse,” was authored by me as a tribute to the California Stock Horse, the “Old Style” or Spanish Vaquero (Cowboy) traditional training methods and the men and women who have devoted their lives’ work to continuing to preserve this legacy in our nation’s history.

 

“It is with simple gratitude that $2 from each book sale will be donated to the NRCHA for use in their Youth Scholarship Fund.”

 

For more information about Rick Dennis and the Wind River Ranch, go to :

 

Web Site: http://www.windrivercompanyllc.com

 

FROM THE EDITOR:

EVERYONE IS WELCOME TO LEAVE A COMMENT, GOOD OR BAD FOLLOWING ARTICLES. HOWEVER, IF YOU MAKE PERSONAL ATTACKS ON INDIVIDUALS, YOU MUST LEAVE YOUR NAME AND A WORKING E-MAIL ADDRESS OR YOUR COMMENT WILL BE REMOVED.

 

 

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☛ Equine Nonprofits-winners/losers 1-28-15

Posted by on Jan 28, 2015 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 8 comments

EQUINE NONPROFITS

 

WINNERS –  AND MOSTLY LOSERS

 

By Glory Ann Kurtz
Jan. 28, 2015

During 2014 a lot of chatter, supposition and hypothetical projections erupted trying to predict a specific cause for the on-going and continuous decline in the horse industry. But more important than the decline is determining the GPS compass direction the horse industry is headed in.

 

This is an ongoing conversation existing today among nonprofit members.  However, one fact remains conclusive in support of this phenomena, (i.e.) a continuous loss of revenue experienced by the equine nonprofits and substantiated by their individual IRS 990 tax filings posted on Guidestar.org.

 

To further this investigation I conducted an analysis of equine nonprofits’ IRS 990 tax filings and separated the organizations into two categories: Breed organizations and Performance or Event organizations. After charting the IRS 990 filings, it’s very apparent by the domination of red ink, that these organizations are experiencing significant money woes across the spectrum of the nonprofit horse industry. If the IRS 990 equine nonprofit tax filings are any GPS indication of the direction the horse industry is headed, then I would have to place it in the negative category.

 

Contrary to the popular belief of my colleagues in the equine media industry, who still project an exuberant round of applause for those in charge of the equine nonprofits, the IRS 990 tax filings paint an entirely opposite picture with an ominous conclusion. It seems the nonprofits have adopted the government tax-and-spend theory instead of the reduce-and-save theory evolving from astute business practices.

Click for Frankly Speaking article>>

 

Instead of reducing the overall costs spilling this red ink on the tax returns, some powers-that-be have simply elected to raise rates and pass this increase on to the members, many of which are already strapped by a down economy, all the while increasing their own salaries. This is evident in the Breed associations’ 990s, as when total Revenues were in the red in all but one case, the officers drastically reduced their liabilities, but not their own salaries.

 

One such example of this is seen with the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), the largest breed association on my list, who has restructured their classes to include more show days in one class-day, which simply equates to an increase in costs to participate, (i.e.) multiple entry fees, judges’ fees, drug-test fees and in some cases an increase in ground fees. The oddity of this masterful manipulation of money is that we don’t see a decrease at all in the salaries paid to the six-figure powers-that-be at the top. Coincidentally, these same individuals are the ones who have been at the helm for decades, driving the largest equine breed in the world in a continuous sea of red ink of loss as evidenced on their IRS 990 tax filings, including membership loss, show participation loss, reduced revenue, and a decline in investments to name a few.

 

Another example can be seen with the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA), the leading performance event association on my list, who coincidentally, according to Guidestar.org, hasn’t filed an IRS 990 since their 2012 filing in which their year ended on Dec. 31, 2012. That’s two years ago!!! Why??

 

As an example of increased charges to members, a recent letter was distributed by the NCHA Executive Director Mr. Jim Bret Campbell announcing yet another increase in fees for the upcoming NCHA Super Stakes, including an additional surcharge of $25 for cattle and a $50 increase in the cost of stalls. The letter stipulated that contestants will be required to pay those additional fees before they can enter the herd during the Super Stakes event.

Click for Campbell’s letter 1-25>>

 

In response to Mr. Campbell’s correspondence, a well-written and articulate rebuttal in an open letter was returned to Campbell by Mr. Maurice Tynes, a Louisiana lawyer who is a past director and judge of the NCHA events and was instrumental in a re-write of the NCHA constitution and governance. Tynes’ dissertation certainly “tells it like it is” in his very matter-of-fact and very business-like concern for the future of the cutting horse industry and specifically the NCHA.

Click for Tynes’ response 1-25>>

Click for Campbell response 1-26>>

Click for Tynes Response 1-27>>

 

After reading Campbell’s first letter from Jan. 25, 2015, one of the peculiarities that I identified in the document is that he uses “prior litigation” costs as one example for a justified increase in show expenses. The perplexing afterthought to this single cause is, “Why do litigation costs require relevance in this scenario?” Didn’t the NCHA have liability insurance to cover the costs of litigation, some of which were caused by their own arrogance and relentless theory that a nonprofit can do whatever it wants to maintain operating in a shroud of secrecy and “Its our-way-or-the-highway mentality?”

 

A perfect example of this can be found in the lawsuit “Lainie Whitmire v NCHA where the NCHA lost the case and the Texas Courts upheld her “False Imprisonment” and “Breach of Oral Agreement” arguments. Perhaps Mr. Campbell should delve into the Texas laws pertaining to nonprofits and ascertain who really owns one, as well as what a nonprofit can and cannot do legally to its members and in operating the corporation.

 

EQUINE NONPROFITS’ 990s

 

Performance or Event Nonprofits:

Overall, the Equine Performance Nonprofits made a better showing financial-wise than the Breed Nonprofits. I included five Performance or Event nonprofits, including the American Cutting Horse Association (ACHA), National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA), National Reining Horse Association (NRHA), National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA).

 

In the tax returns from the five Performance or Event non-profits, all but one – the NRCHA – showed an increase in total revenue, with the NCHA leading the pack with a $2,481,089 increase in 2012 over 2011 ($24,740,912 to $22,259,823). However, $4,301,380 of that revenue was Major Event Trust Fund Money from the State of Texas (Gov’t Grants) that is being reduced every year, and without that Revenue, the NCHA would have total Revenue of $20,439,532, and $24,358,524 in Expenses, a loss of $3,918,992 for the year.

 

Also, it’s almost unfair to include the NCHA 2012 tax return in this report since it is an entire year prior to the rest of the performance events included in these charts. The million-dollar question is did their finances get any better in 2013 and why haven’t they filed their 2013 return – or why isn’t it on Guidestar.org?

 

Thanks to the $4,301,380 Major Event Trust Fund Money reported on their 2012 990, NCHA’s Assets were also the highest in this division, increased $1.7 million in one year from $11,212,246 to $12,918,178. However, their Liabilities increased $1.1 million, from $4,424,250 to $5,540,503, leaving them with an increase in Net Assets of only $589,679. Without the Trust Fund money, the NCHA would be over $3.7 million in the red. (Trust fund money received by the association is not necessarily in the year that it is listed on the Trust Fund report from the State of Texas, as it is paid on individual events and takes several months following an event for the association to receive the money.)

Click for Texas Trust Fund Money>>

Equine Nonprofits Trust Fund chart>>

 

With Jim Bret Campbell mentioning legal fees in his letter, the NCHA’s return showed $365,028 in legal fees from an independent contractor source plus $424,446 in in-house legal fees for a total of $789,474. No income was shown for Insurance or other kind of repayment covering these charges. Also, those were the largest legal fees paid by any other association, regardless if they were Breed or Performance associations.

 

One other strange set of figures was the number of individuals in the governing body of the ACHA – at 650, with only three employees. Obviously this nonprofit does not have an Executive Committee to run the association.

 

The ACHA’s revenue was up $13,298 (from $393,079 to $406,377); however, their expenses were also up $15,573 (from $376,790 to $392,363). In the end, they had a loss of $2,275 for the 2013 year.

 

One of the most interesting Performance Nonprofit 990s, was that of the NRCHA. It lists the business at 46216 Dry Creek Drive, Room 3, Badger, Calif. Yet its Principal Officer, Paul Bailey, lists his address as Sparta, Tenn. and all business for the association seems to come out of Oklahoma, where the CPA is located in Pauls Valley. It shows no income for any person yet in the Expenses Chart it lists “Compensation of current officers, directors, trustees and key employees at $143,750 and other salaries and wages at $165,431. Also no money is included in the Independent Contractors section. Is its principal officer not being paid or is it buried in the expenses?

Click for Performance Nonprofits chart>>

Click for ACHA 990>>

Click for NCHA 990>>

Click for NRHA 990>>

Click for NRCHA 990>>

Click for PRCA 990>>

 

Breed Nonprofits:

The four Breed Nonprofits that I received 990s for included the AQHA, American Paint Horse Association (APHA), Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC) and the Palomino Horse Breeders Association (PHBA). Obviously, the AQHA’s numbers were the largest as they advertise that they are the “largest breed association in the world.”

 

It is interesting to note that three of the four associations had a decrease in Revenue for their 2013 990s.  The largest decrease in Revenue from the prior year went to the APHA, which showed a decrease of $291,872 from the prior year, followed by the ApHC with a $51,468 decrease and AQHA with a $22,124 decrease. Only the PHBA showed a small increase of $7,968. All of the associations also showed a decrease in expenses. However, Net Assets also decreased within all four associations, and when liabilities were subtracted, Net assets decreased substantially from the previous year – led by the APHA with a decrease in Net Assets of $495,007. Their charts are obviously drowning in a continuous sea of red ink.

Click for Breed Nonprofits chart>>

Click for AQHA 990>>

Click for APHA 990>>

Click for ApHC 990>>

Click for PHBA 990>>

 

 

Why the Breed associations fared much worse than the Performance associations is just a guess. Both have members and both have events; however, the Performance associations are not burdened with the registration of horses and have many more performance events that can possibly create additional revenue.

 

Six associations, three from the Breed division and three from the Performance Division, are receiving substantial amounts of money from the State of Texas Events Trust Fund for their events held in Texas, including the NCHA, AQHA, APHA, ApHC, NRHA and NRCHA. (It’s interesting to note on the attached 990s that only the NCHA lists this Texas Trust Fund income under Govt Grants. The other associations have buried that money somewhere else in their IRS 990)

 

However, in some cases, this money is being reduced substantially each year, led by the NCHA who are receiving checks totaling $1 million less each year.

 

However, neither the Performance nor Breed nonprofit associations hit home runs. Most of the larger associations, whether they are Breed or Performance associations, still increased top-heavy salaries while their revenue and asset numbers dipped and expenses and liabilities increased.  If this trend continues in the upcoming years and these associations’ members and directors leave those individuals in control who have been at the helm for years, some of these associations may just be a memory.

 

 

In some cases, they could even be labeled Greed associations, as they are not only paying themselves but also their friends, insiders and relatives. If you will study the attached documents, they could answer that question for you.

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☛ Today’s News 1-27-15

Posted by on Jan 27, 2015 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, RODEO & BULLRIDING NEWS | 0 comments

TODAY’S NEWS

 

By Glory Ann Kurtz
Jan. 27, 2015

 

SALE INFORMATION:

It’s time to consign to the Marketplace At Ardmore Performance Horse Sale, scheduled for March 28, 2015 at the Hardy Murphy Coliseum in Ardmore, Okla. The sale has a $250 catalog fee, a $50 fresh cattle charge if you are working cattle, an 8% commission and there is not a “No Sale” fee.

 

For more information contact Susie Reed at 580-490-1103 or e-mail her at polo@ardmore.com. For consignment forms go to www.themarketplaceatardmore.com.

 

The East Texas Spring Spectacular Sale is scheduled for March 13-14 at the George H. Henderson, Jr. Expo Center in Lufkin, Texas. Catalog deadline is Feb. 1. This year’s sale will feature a Team Sorting Draw Jackpot with $1,000 added money. Horses must be entered in the sale on Friday and must sell to qualify to win the cash prize.

 

There’s also a special color gelding and ranch gelding session, featuring ropers and ranch horses, also selling on Friday. A mixed sale session, selling mares, stallions and also geldings featuring cutters, reiners, barrel horses and pleasure horses, will be held on Saturday. For more information go to www.havardsales.com or Call Mike Pedersen at 337-494-1333.

 

NCHA NEWS:

The NCHA has announced a new Horizon/NCHA Senior World Tour to take place during the 2015 point year. The Senior Tour will give open, non-pro and amateur riders who are 60 years of age or older and meet all other NCHA rules regarding status and membership, the chance to compete for a Horizon Senior World Championship. The Senior World Champion will be crowned at the World Champion Award Banquet during the 2015 NCHA Futurity, while the top 15 in all eligible classes will also be recognized. The High Point and Reserve High Point Senior Riders will receive an all-expense paid vacation to the 2016 Horizon Yacht Rendezvous, a spring event held annually in the Bahamas/Florida Keys at a luxury yachting resort.

 

Open senior riders can earn points in the Open, $15K Novice and the $5K Novice. Senior World Champions and Top 15 will also be recognized in the Non-Pro, $15K Non-Pro, $5K Novice/Non-Pro, $50K Amateur, $35K Non-Pro, $15K Amateur and the $2K Rider/any-horse class.

 

Eastern and Western National Championships: The Eastern Championships will be held in Jackson, Miss., March 9-21, 2015 and the Western National Championships will be held in Reno, Nev., April 26-May 5.  The entry fee for the 2014 point year Championships, held in 2015, has been reduced from $600 to $500. Additionally all contestants in the horse classes will be allowed to show three horses. All contestants in the rider classes will be able to show two horses. This does not include the Youth classes. The added money for the 2014 point year Championships will be $15,000 per class, an overall reduction from $200,000 to $150,000. Exhibitors will be required to compete at one affiliate-approved show to qualify for the Eastern and Western Championships, beginning with the 2015 point year (for the Championships held in 2016.

 

The NCHA has a new Family-Owned Horse Rule. Members need to submit a Family Registration Form and mail or answer online on horses that will be shown by Immediate Family Members that are not listed on the ownership. The form must be completed prior to the family member showing the horse. The new rule is Standing Rule 51.1.4.

 

AQHA NEWS:

The Markel AQHA Cowtown Showdown, presented by the City of Fort Worth and celebrating AQHA’s 75th Anniversary will be held March 7 at 5 p.m. at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth during the NCHA Convention. Tickets will be $7.50 and can be purchased at www.aqha.convention.

 

Elite riders from the NCHA, NRCHA, NRHA, and AQHA’s 75-year consecutive breeders and AQHA Professional Horsemen will compete in ranch horse competition.  Representing the ranches so far are the R. A. Brown Ranch, Burnett Ranches, WT Waggoner Estate, Haythorn Land & Cattle, while other historic ranches are expected. Representing NCHA will be Johnny Mitchell, Clay Johnson, James Payne and Lloyd Cox. NRHA will be represented by Lyle Lovett, Shawn Flarida, Dell Hendricks and Tim McQuay. The NRCHA will be represented by Todd Crawford, Todd Bergen, Boyd Rice and Jake Telford.

 

The evening will also include special performances by Lyle Lovett and champion freestyle reiners and entertainer Dan James. The Cowtown Showdown Auction will feature one-of-a-kind AQHA 75th Anniversary commemorative items. Proceeds will go to the AQHA Foundation to preserve and improve the future of the industry.

 

NRCHA NEWS:

To subscribe stallions to the NRCHA Stallion Program, enrollments must be postmarked on or before Feb. 1 or it will cost more money. Any stallion of any breed may be enrolled in the NRCHA Subscribed Stallion program and offspring of subscribed stallions are eligible to compete in the NRCHA Stakes as 4- and 5-year-olds. They are also eligible for consideration for the Snaffle Bit Futurity Select Yearling and Select 2-Year-Old sales. Broodmares in foal to stallions subscribed for the current breeding year (next year’s foal crop) are eligible for consideration for the Select Broodmare Sale.

 

Stallions may be enrolled retroactively to make past foal crops eligible for the NRCHA Stakes! Anyone may nominate a stallion.

 

Before Feb. 1, foal crop for 2010 is $2,500, 2011 $1,750, 2012 $1,500, 2013 $1,250, 2014 $1,000 and 2015 $750 or for 2015-2019 $2,500. After Feb. 1 costs are 2010 $2,500, 2011 $2,500, 2012 $1,750, 2013 $1,500, 2014 $1,250, 2015 $1,000, 2016 $750 or $2,500 for 2016-2020. For more information or forms go to www.nrcha.com.

 

STALLION NEWS:

Metallic Cat, now the highest-earning stallion sired by High Brow Cat, surpassed his sire at the 2014 NCHA Futurity with total offspring earnings of $2.6 million. He is owned by Alvin and Becky Fults, Amarillo, Texas and stands at the Fults Ranch in conjunction with Timbercreek Veterinary Hospital, Canyon, Texas. His breeding fee is $10,000 for 2015. Contact Fults at 806-488-2321 for abfults@att.net or Timbercreek Veterinary Hospital at 806-488-2321.

 

However, Neat Little Cat is the highest-earning son of High Brow Cat with the lowest breeding fee. With lifetime earnings of $279,505, Neat Little Cat will stand the 2015 season for $1,500 with a multiple mare discount, at Brazos Valley Stallion Station. He is owned by Jim and Judy Spaulding, Millsap, Texas. Go to www.neatlittlecat.com or contact Spaulding at jim_Spaulding@hotmail.com or the Brazos Valley Stallion Station at www.braøsvalleystallionstation.com.

 

RODEO NEWS:

Don’t miss the World’s Richest One-Day rodeo, the RFD-TV American, scheduled for March 1 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. With $2.4 million on the line, the best athletes in the world will gather in Dallas to battle for the biggest single paycheck of their lives. The American invites the top 10 athletes from the 2014 PRCA, WPRA and PBR World standings. In addition to the 10 invites in each traditional rodeo event, they invite the top five contestants in each event from the semifinals held Feb. 18-22 in Fort Worth. If the top 10 in the world athlete wins The American, the prize is $100,000. If a qualifier from the semifinals wins The American, that contestant will split an additional bonus pool of $1 million in prize money. The American will be aired live on March 1 on RFD-TV. For more information visit www.americanrodeo.com and www.RFDTV.com.

 

BACKGROUND CHECKS IN HORSE INDUSTRY:

A group of lawyers with a web site called RateMyHorsePro.com have come up with an easy access to background checks in the equine industry. The group says that the comprehensive, accredited screening can help organizations, businesses and individuals make informed decisions and mitigate risk. For more information go to their website at www.ratemyhorsepro.com.

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☛ AQHA wins cloning case 1-14-15

Posted by on Jan 14, 2015 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 1 comment

TODAY’S NEWS – APPELLATE COURT REVERSES OPINION ON AQHA CLONING CASE; TEXAS RANCHERS PLAN TO APPEAL 

 

By Glory Ann Kurtz
Jan. 14, 2015
INFORMATION ADDED 1-15-15 

AQHA wins appeal against Abraham & Veneklasen over clones being registered; Changes for Breeders Invitational in 2015; Augusta Futurity has new Horse Sale Manager in Troy Stewart; NRCHA announces new Board of Directors; Dual Peppy Trial set for Feb. 24 and IRS raises mileage deduction rate for 2015.

 

APPELLATE COURT REVERSES OPINION IN AQHA CLONING LAWSUIT:

In a Judgment filed today the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans, La., by Circuit judges Jolly and Jones and District Judge Africk, it was ordered that the judgment of the District Court for the Northern District of Texas in Amarillo in the Abraham & Veneklasen case against the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) regarding the registration of cloned horses was reversed and judgment was rendered for the appellant (AQHA) in accordance with the Opinion of the Court. It was also ordered that the plaintiffs-appellees (Abraham & Veneklasen Joint Venture; Abraham Equine, Inc. and Jason Abraham) pay to defendant-appellant the costs on appeal to be taxed by the Clerk of the Court.

Click for Judgment>>

Click for Order>>

 In an article by ABC News.go.com, “The ranchers plan to appeal,” said their attorney, Nancy J. Stone of Amarillo. “We are extremely disappointed and will seek to have the trial court’s judgment reinstated,” she said in an email, “Appellate courts are to give great deference to the verdict of a properly instructed jury and we believe the jury’s verdict and trial court’s judgment were proper.”

On the other hand, Don Treadway, Executive Vice President of the AQHA, posted a statement on the association’s website saying, “We always knew our case was sound. Obviously this decision lifts a huge burden from the shoulders of our association and we are relieved to finally have a judgment in our favor.”

Click for article on abcnews.go.com>>

 

CHANGES COMING UP FOR BREEDERS INVITATIONAL:

Due to the significant increase in the cost of cattle, the upcoming Breeders’ Invitational, scheduled for May 9-23 in Tulsa, Okla., will be making some major changes, including the entry fees in most of the classes.

 

Also, the Non Pro Limited Rider class will no longer be a class within the Non-Pro class; that cutters can enter only or in combination. Also, this year therei

s a new mobile version of the show forms/information. You can go to http://biderby.azurewebsites.net or choose the mobile version from the BI website www.breedersinvitational.com.

 

Again this year, you will make room reservations directly with the hotel as each hotel has it own web page. Go to: http://breedersinvitational.azurewebsites.net/bihotels.aspx. Each hotel uses different Group ID codes so pick the one you want and follow the directions for that hotel. Most of them have an online process that will hopefully make it easier for you.

 

The mailer with the pre-printed BI Entry Form will be going out in the next few days but remember that you can always download a blank one from the website. If you prefer you can always call the BI office at 661-327-7511 and I will send one to you.

 

Also a reminder to rent your stall mats early. Last year we ran out before the show started so please go to the website: www.stallmatrentals.com to order or call 855-MATS-200 (855-628-7200) with any questions you might have. Also a reminder to rent your stall mats early. Last year we ran out before the show started so please go to the website: www.stallmatrentals.com to order or call 855-MATS-200 (855-628-7200) with any questions you might have.

 

TROY STEWART TO MANAGE AUGUSTA FUTURITY SALE:

The Augusta Futurity Sale will be under the new management of Troy Stewart when it is held Jan. 24, starting at 9 a.m. at the James Brown Arena. The Futurity is scheduled from Jan. 17-24 in Augusta, Ga. The sale was previously managed by Ben Emison. For further information contact Troy at 325-646-2767, or mobile 325-642-1943 or 888-600-5741 fax, or e-mail him at troystewartranch@gmail.com.  For sale catalog and availability deadlines contact Ken Smith 803-778-1543 or e-mail him at ktsmith@hotmail.com.

 

NRCHA ELECTS NEW BOARD MEMBERS; ADDRESSES CROWDFUNDING:

The ballots have been counted in the 2015 National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Board of Directors election with five board members being re-electedand one new Board member. Returning are Paul Bailey, Sandy Collier, Amanda Gardiner, Dan Roeser and Jon Roeser. The new Board member is Brad Barkemeyer. Board members not up for re-election include Jerry Peters, Jake Telford, Todd Bergen, Joe Carter and Bill Tointon. Officers will be elected at the upcoming Board meeting in February and the new President will have the option to appoint up to four additional board members to serve a one-year term in 2015.

 

In a release, the NRHA recently addressed the issue of “crowdfunding” – the practice of raising money for a project or venture using a widespread Internet appeal – and whether this is an acceptable method for a Non Pro competitor to pay his or her show fees.

 

“While an undeniably creative approach, crowdfunding is in violation of the NRCHA’s Non-Pro definition, rule 2.1.1. This rule prohibits a Non Pro from accepting remuneration, monetary payment or other compensation, for training, showing, lessons or other related activities.

If a Non Pro uses crowdfunding or other outside revenue to pay entry fees and/or expenses, NRCHA rules dictate that he/she would lose Non Pro status for the remainder of the current show season and would also have to sit out the following season before being able to re-apply for Non Pro status (assuming all other eligibility conditions were met.)

 

As long as they do not compete as Non-Pros, Youth riders are permitted to use crowdfunding or other outside revenue for show expenses. However, using this type of revenue would render them ineligible for Non Pro status for the current show year and the following show year. Questions about Non Pro eligibility, entry fees and related issues should be directed to the NRCHA office at 940-488-1500.

For a PDF copy of the NRCHA Rule Book, go to: http://nrchadata.com/pdf/news/2015/2015NRCHARuleBook-WebFile.pdf

 

DUAL PEPPY JURY TRIAL SET FOR FEB. 24, 2015:

In a Dec. 15 hearing, Sherri Brunzell pleaded “Not Guilty” in regard to charges filed in the Dual Peppy case. Judge Sletta has set a jury trial date of Feb. 24, 2015 to begin at 8:30 a.m. in Colorado Springs, Colo.  Brunzell had been charged with animal cruelty when several horses she owned were found dead, covered with lye and tarps, with others starving at the same location. The live horses were taken from her. According to the Facebook page, Justice For Dual Peppy, they have been told that more charges may be filed but that information has not been confirmed

 

GAS PRICE AT LOWEST; DEDUCTION RATE GOES UP:

And now for the good news! Gas prices are at their lowest point in more than four years, yet the Internal Revenue Service has raised the tax break for employees using their vehicles for work in 2015. The IRS revised its standard business mileage – the amount the federal agency will allow taxpayers to deduct for unreimbursed driving expenses for cars, vans, pickups and panel trucks – to 57.5 cents per mile, up from 46 cents in 2014. The 2015 rate is the second-highest in the tax service’s history.

 

FROM THE EDITOR:

EVERYONE IS WELCOME TO LEAVE A COMMENT, GOOD OR BAD FOLLOWING ARTICLES. HOWEVER, IF YOU MAKE PERSONAL

ATTACKS ON INDIVIDUALS, YOU MUST LEAVE YOUR NAME AND A WORKING E-MAIL ADDRESS OR YOUR COMMENT WILL BE REMOVED. THANK YOU.

 

 

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☛ AQHA Genetic Pool shrinks 1-10–15

Posted by on Jan 10, 2015 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, SALES INFORMATION, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 46 comments

AMERICAN QUARTER HORSE GENETIC POOL SHRINKS

WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT?

 

By Rick Dennis
Jan. 10, 2015

 

Recent articles in the American Quarter Horse Journal entitled “The Changing Landscape of Quarter Horse Genetics, Part 1 and Part 2,” really caught my eye because of two reasons: 1) I’m an American Quarter Horse breeder specializing in multiple-event reined cow horses and 2) I’m a Life Member of AQHA.

 

Part 1′s first paragraph essentially sets the stage for the present state of the breed in that it’s becoming more and more inbred, stating, “Talk to an equine geneticist long enough and you are bound to hear two assertions made about the American Quarter Horse breed that sound like opposites: First, it is one of the most genetically diverse equine breeds in the world and second, it’s becoming increasingly inbred.”

 

The second and third paragraphs of Part 1 outline the history of the breed and a factor causing this shrinking of genetics, stating: “Beginning in colonial America, the breed began from a diverse genetic base of largely Thoroughbred and Spanish blood that was added to and developed for roughly 200 years, focusing on producing quickness and durability. But fast-forward to the modern era of specialized American Quarter Horse performers, especially at the highest levels, and you find specialization in the horse-breeding herd too: specific groups of individuals used to produce those top performers.

 

That suggests there are narrowed gene pools in those subgroups and now a genetic study clearly shows it. A research team from the University of Minnesota has published its findings in an issue of the Journal of Heredity, “The American Quarter Horse: Population structure and relationship to the Thoroughbred.” The 2012-2013 study was partially funded by the American Quarter Horse Foundation.

 

The Sample


The team analyzed six Quarter Horse performance subgroups identified as halter, western pleasure, reining, working cow horse, cutting and racing. The team pulled the top 200 performers for each group in 2009 and 2010, selecting by money-earned for the reining, working cow, cutting and racing groups, and by AQHA points earned for western pleasure and halter.

 

The team then eliminated half and full siblings, making the sample as diverse as possible. From the remaining horses, the team ran genetic and pedigree analyses on 24 random individuals in each subgroup.

 

“We genotyped them for about 65,000 genetic markers … and we pulled their five-generation pedigrees so we could compare what both sets of information told us about the relationships between the individuals,” said Dr. Molly McCue

 

What They Found

“The groups clustered into three genetic groups,” said Dr. McCue. “The racing Quarter Horses stood out on their own genetically, the pleasure and halter horses clustered together and the working cow, cutting and reining horses formed the third group. We were able to prove quite clearly that horses were in a specific genetic cluster depending on what performance group they came from.

 

“In the pedigree analysis, some groups shared no common sires, such as halter and racing, but other groups did, such as reining and working cow horse. Although popular sires within one group were rarely shared with another group, all the pedigrees reflected the common roots of the Quarter Horse.

 

“Additionally, pedigree analysis showed that the most common 15 sires across the groups were all direct tail-male descendants of Three Bars (TB), with several of those stallions showing more than one cross to the Thoroughbred in the first four generations.

 

“Inbreeding” refers to the mating of relatives and results in an “inbred” individual. The amount an individual is “inbred” can be estimated from its pedigree or genetic data.  In a pedigree analysis, determining an individual’s “co-ancestry coefficient” gives an idea of how closely related individuals are on a pedigree page. Two individuals can be highly related without either of them being inbred, but if you breed two individuals with a high co-ancestry coefficient, their offspring will be inbred.

 

“Diversity quantifies the amount of genetic variation there is in a population. Typically, a highly inbred population has low genetic diversity.

 

“Using both pedigree and genetic analysis gives a more complete picture of a population’s relatedness, inbreeding and diversity. For example, the average Thoroughbred could very well exhibit a much lower genetic diversity in its genome than the average Quarter Horse, even though the Thoroughbred might show no repeated individuals in its five-generation pedigree.

 

As a point of reference, and to fully illustrate the long term adverse effects of inbreeding please refer to the following CBS article: “Amish Inbreeding Causes Genetic Mutation and Mental Retardation.”

 

Click for article on Amish inbreeding>>

 

“(In this study) the lowest genetic diversity within a sub-population was in the cutting and racing groups. The highest average inbreeding was found in cutting.

 

“When inbreeding was calculated from the pedigree analysis, the reining group had the lowest average inbreeding when it was calculated with genotype; the pleasure group was the lowest.

 

“Halter horses, on average, were about 3 percent inbred, although some individuals were as high as almost 27 percent inbred.”

 

“What’s more, the study found that, due to the contribution of popular sires, relatedness within the groups is on the rise. This increase in relatedness, or co-ancestry, is likely to lead to an increase in the number and extent of inbred individuals,” continued Dr. McCue.

 

Click to read Part 1>>

 

Analyzing the Quarter Horse Breeding Rules:

From this study, it’s clear that the present American Quarter Horse breeding rules require scrutiny to determine: 1) their contribution to this shrinking genetic pool and 2) the adverse affect each adopted breeding rule may or may not have on the breed itself.  I wonder if the executives paid six figures at the AQHA and the Executive Committee members, especially the Stud Book and Registration Committee, had any forethought in the ramifications their expansive breeding rule adoptions would have on the Quarter Horse breed and industry over time?

 

As a private sector Risk Analyst, I’m commonly faced with the task of analyzing practices and concepts to determine either the detriment or usefulness an existing concept or practice has on an organization. In order to shed light on the topic, I examined two specific breeding rules adopted by AQHA: Multiple Embryo Transfer and Frozen Semen. I also examined the impact each adopted breeding rule may have on the breeding populous as well as a correlation of each one’s compliance with AQHA’s Mission Statement.

 

AQHA Mission Statement

 

Your Association adheres to the highest standards.

 

AQHA Mission Statement:

 

  • To record and preserve the pedigree of the American Quarter Horse while maintaining the integrity of the breed and welfare of its horses.
  • To provide beneficial services for its members which enhance and encourage American Quarter Horse ownership and participation.
  • To develop diverse educational programs, material and curriculum that will position AQHA as the leading resource organization in the equine industry.
  • To generate growth of AQHA membership via the marketing, promotion, advertising and publicity of the American Quarter Horse.
  • To ensure the American Quarter Horse is treated humanely, with dignity, respect and compassion at all times.

 

Multiple Embryo Transfer

The first analysis and breeding rule comparison involved the Multiple Embryo Rule adoption.  On one hand, the first statement of the AQHA Mission Statement asserts “maintaining the integrity of the breed and the welfare of its horses” but on the other hand, this AQHA breeding rule adoption and Dr. Mc Cue’s study raises challenges to the credibility of this profound statement concerning the integrity of the breed and welfare of its horses under their present approved breeding methods.

 

Past court testimony of Dr. Glenn Blodgett an AQHA Executive Committee member and in-line future AQHA President brings a challenge to this assertion. Dr. Blodgett’s sworn oath expert witness testimony, during the Kay Floyd V AQHA trial, fully illustrates and verifies this contradiction as well as the dangers and hardships the breeding mares were subjected to during an egg and embryo flush. The hypocrisy is fully realized when Dr. Blodgett, who at the time was the Chairman of the Stud Book & Registration Committee, the group who consider the proposed rules of registration and answer to no other committee, fully exposed these dangers and hardships on a horse while voicing his opposition under sworn oath testimony. However, Dr. Blodgett has been one of the most prolific users of multiple embryo transfer technology since 1985, long before the Kay Floyd v AQHA lawsuit.

 

Click for Dr. Glenn Blodgett Testimony>>

 

As a breeder, I have always been opposed to many of the breeding rule adoptions of AQHA, (i.e.) Multiple Embryo Transfer that allows a mare to produce multiple same genetic-type foals in a single breeding season instead of adhering to the “one-mare, one-foal” breeding theory, essentially limiting or maintaining the narrowing of the genetic pool by eliminating or controlling mass production of a single genetic type. By Dr. Blodgett’s testimony, this breeding rule also contradicts AQHA’s own mission statement, “To ensure the American Quarter Horse is treated humanely, with dignity, respect and compassion at all times.”

 

The magnitude of the mass expansion of a specific genetic line of horses by multiple embryo transfer is realized in past computations resulting from the analysis of seven (7) separate Quarter Horse Racing mares that produced 174 foals during a specified time, averaging 24.85 babies each. Such an expansion of a specific genetic line also has an adverse effect on the breed in that it further narrows the genetic pool, which under normal circumstances reduces the odds of inbreeding. In addition, this breeding technology also contributes to an over population of Quarter Horses.

 

In Part 2, of the article, Dr. Molly McCue specifically addresses the effect Multiple Embryo Transfer is having on the industry.

 

Click for Horse Genetics Part 2>>

 

What It Means

“We are changing the genetic landscape in the Quarter Horse within the top-level performance groups,” stated Dr. McCue. “This study clearly demonstrates that we’re concentrating the genetics within certain lines of Quarter Horses and we’re increasing inbreeding within particular performance groups.

 

“A horse’s conformation affects his ability to perform certain tasks. Read more about this interesting concept in AQHA’s Form to Function report.

 

Click for “Form To Function” Report>>

 

“Longstanding breeding practices likely contribute to that. Habits such as “popular sire syndrome,” which is the tendency for many breeders to breed to a top-performing stallion, or the use of assisted reproductive techniques such as frozen semen and embryo transfers can greatly amplify one individual’s genetic impact. Even the practice of always breeding the ‘best to the best’ can contribute to increased inbreeding in a subpopulation.

 

“Any time we take a single individual and increase its ability to generate offspring, that is going to decrease the genetic pool that is reproducing.

 

“Additionally, when you increase inbreeding and reduce diversity, you increase the incidence of undesirable genes making an appearance.

 

“A good example is the incidence of HERDA (hereditary equine regional dermal asthenia) in cutting horses. It’s very frequent within this subpopulation, which might be the result of decreasing diversity and/or the ‘popular-sire’ effect. A previous study revealed that 28.3 percent of cutting-bred individuals carried the recessive gene for HERDA.”

 

 

Frozen Semen

A textbook example of the advantages of the “Frozen Semen” breeding rule, as it relates to a specific classification of horse, can be illustrated by examining the history of an AQHA Quarter Horse Racing member Frank “Scoop” Vessels and his history-making stallion First Down Dash. Mr. Vessels, an avid Quarter Horse Racing breeder, died in a plane crash on Aug. 11, 2010. On Nov. 28, 2010, a press release from the AQHA announced that First Down Dash died on Thanksgiving Day at the Vessels Breeding Farm in California.

 

Under the old rule, frozen semen could only be available until the end of the year the stallion died in. However, thereafter, the AQHA quietly changed the frozen semen breeding rule to extend a stallion’s frozen semen indefinitely. This extension makes a dead or sterile horse immortal, so-to-speak. Even though he died in 2010, according to the AQHA records, in 2012 he sired 68 foals.

 

Breeding dead horses from the grave and sterile horses that should be culled, (i.e.) removed from the genetic pool at death or sterility, are still introducing their genetic lines in today’s breeding market. The normal course of a breeding sire is that he is born, lives, reproduces and dies. Afterwards, his progeny carries on the genetic line from generation to generation. By allowing the reintroduction of a dead or sterile horse’s genetics over the years simply means he could be breeding with horses that already carry his line of genetics, further shrinking the genetic pool and possibly causing a concern of inbreeding and disease among the industry.

 

A more prudent option would be to seek a genetic out-cross instead of an in-cross. A plausible question for the AQHA powers-that-be emanating from the frozen semen breeding rule is: “Why are stallion owners with live horses having to compete for a fair market breeding share against deceased or sterile horses that should have been removed from the breeding roster at death or sterility?” At this stage of the breeding game, wouldn’t it be more responsible for AQHA to design a genetic breeding profile similar to the “Magic Cross” that breeders have used for years to breed performance horses, to minimize or eliminate the in-breeding concept identified by Dr. Molly McCue’s study.

 

Dissecting the Recent Select Yearling Sale:

For a look at today’s diversity, or lack thereof, in the cutting horse, the 50 horses auctioned off during the NCHA Select Yearling Sale, held Dec. 9 during the NCHA Futurity, were put in a data base. The yearlings were the highest of the six sales, averaging $71,655, carrying a $53,000 median (halfway between the highest- and lowest-selling horse), and the high seller brought a whopping $255,000. This sale was chosen as it represented the best-of-the best of today’s upcoming cutting horses.

 

Twelve stallions were represented, with every stallion having Three Bars represented on both the top and bottom sides of their pedigrees, mostly through Doc Bar. Of the 47 dams represented, only four didn’t have Three Bars on both sides of their pedigrees. The results were amazing.

 

Tracking included how many times the sires of the horses selling went back to Three Bars, along with the dams of the horses selling – then those figures were added together to get a total and that total was ranked by the median, which is half-way between the highest and lowest total, with the highest total representing the most Three Bars in the pedigree and the least diversity.

 

The highest median (meaning the least diversity) went to yearlings sired by Spots Hot, with four going under the gavel (included were horses that sold and horses that didn’t, using their last bid). The median for those four head was 12.5, meaning that the yearlings went back to Three Bars, both on the top and bottom side, 12.5 times. The highest was 13 and the lowest 10. As an individual Spots Hot goes back to Three Bars three times on the sires’s side and three times on his dam’s side, for a total of six.

 

His sire Chula Dual went back to Three Bars through his sire Dual Pep, out of Miss Dual Doc by Doc’s Remedy by Doc Bar by Lightning Bar by Three Bars. Chula Dual’s dam, Smart Fancy Lena, is sired by Smart Little Lena by Doc O’Lena by Doc Bar. Smart Fancy Lena’s dam, Docs Fancy Peppy, is out of Docs Fancy Pants by Doc Bar.

 

Spots Hot’s dam, Sweet Shorty Lena went back to Three Bars three times, with her sire Shorty Lena being sired by Doc O’Lena by Doc Bar and her dam, Quixotes R Sugar by Son O Sugar by Sugar Bars by Three Bars and dam Zan Ote by Doc Quixote by Doc Bar.

 

Next was Metallic Cat, whose offspring went back to Three Bars a median of 11 times with the highest being 11 (4 of them) and the lowest 8.

 

The individual sale horse with the highest individual score, a 16, was Miss Stylish Katz, selling for $152,000. She was sired by High Brow Cat out of Miss Stylish Pepto by Peptoboonsmal. She went back to Three Bars three times through her sire High Brow Cat and 13 times through her dam. Miss Stylish Pepto went back to Three Bars nine times through her sire One Stylish Pepto and four times through her dam Miss Silver Poppy who was sired by Dualin Gun out of Docs Poppy King.

 

The highest-selling yearling, Tappin A Cold Brew, bringing $255,000, was sired by Smooth As A Cat out of Tapt Twice by Dual Pep. Smooth As A Cat went back to Three Bars four times through Doc Bar and Tapt Twice also went back to Three Bars four times through Doc Bar for a total of 8. Smooth As A Cat had a median of 8.

 

Click for Yearling Sale chart>>

 

 

With all of this information in mind, wouldn’t it be beneficial for the AQHA and the Quarter Horse Industry to take a step back and rethink and reexamine the impact these two breeding methodologies are having on the American Quarter Horse and its members and adjust accordingly instead of providing breeding rules that may be harmful to the breed and cater to the rich and affluent members of the association? Coincidentally, the rich and affluent are the only ones who can afford such extravagant breeding methods anyway.

 

In conclusion, I would recommend to AQHA, pursuant to my Risk Analysis of the multiple embryo transfer and frozen semen rules, that these two rules in their present form and use is in direct conflict with AQHA’s Mission Statement and is a direct contributor to the shrinking of American Quarter Horse genetics as stated in Dr. Molly McCue’s study.

 

Also, who was the officer in charge of Breed Integrity during these rule changes? I believe it was Tom Pereschino, Executive Director of Competition and Breed Integrity, who in the last IRS 990 was shown as receiving a salary of $181,187, which included a $7,873 bonus and is a $25,440 increase from the prior year.

 

Until Next Time, Keep ‘ Em Between The Bridles!

 

Copyright 2015, Rick Dennis, all rights reserved. ©

 

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