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☛ Horse Rescue Founder guilty of mail and tax fraud 6-24-17

Posted by on Jun 24, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE ABUSE, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

IT’S HAPPENED AGAIN!

HORSE RESCUE FOUNDER GUILTY OF MAIL AND TAX FRAUD

June 24, 2017

Unfortunately it’s getting to be an old story: “Horse Rescue Founder Found Guilty of Mail and Tax Fraud.”

The latest story is of Pamela Vivirito, 46, formerly of Valencia, Pa., who founded a West Deer, Pa., horse rescue called “Equine Angels Rescue.” Vivirito recently pleaded guilty to two federal charges including mail fraud and tax evasion.

 

The guilty plea came after an investigation into Vivirito’s handling of Equine Angles Rescue’s finances and taxes.

 

Initially prosecutors filed an interference with commerce by extortion charge against Vivirito in 2015 after the FBI investigated Vivirito’s affair with an undentified local businessman, who she used to extort donations from him in exchange for keeping the affair a secret from his wife. However, prosecutors indicated they will move to dismiss that charge at sentencing as part of her plea deal.

 

She also pleaded guilty to filing a fraudulent non-profit tax return with the IRS for her non-profit Equine Angels Rescue. According to various articles in publications regarding Vivirito, prosecutors found that she used nonprofit resources, including cash to pay for personal bills and items and she also filed a fraudulent 990 form with the IRS in 2013, which is the latest filing available.

 

Vivirito listed her personal compensation as $46,877 when in reality it was approximately $93,000.

 

However, this isn’t Vivirito’s first rodeo as only two years after filing her nonprofit in 2013, she was sued by five people for blackmailing them into signing over their horses. The lawsuit stated that she would sneak onto people’s property, take photos, and threaten to expose them to the media if they didn’t sign the horses over to her.

Sentencing has been set for July 20 by U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti.

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☛ Horseback riding can help stroke victims 6-18–17

Posted by on Jun 18, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

HORSEBACK RIDING CAN HELP STROKE VICTIMS RECOVER FASTER

 

A SWEDISH STUDY PUBLISHED BY REUTERS SAID HORSEBACK RIDING AND MUSIC THERAPY CAN MAKE VICTIMS FEEL LIKE THEY’RE RECOVERING FASTER

June 18, 2017

According to an article on Newsmax.com Health published June 16, 2017 and originally published by Thomson/Reuters, a small Swedish study of stroke patients finds that activities such as horseback riding and rhythm-and-music therapy can hep them feel like they are recovering faster, even if their stroke occurred years earlier.

Co-author Dr. Michael Nilsson told Reuters Health by phone that the results counter the attitude that stroke patients can’t improve if a year has passed since their brain damage occurred.

The study included 12 weeks of twice-weekly lessons, 56 percent in the riding group and 38 percent in the music group said they had experienced meaningful recovery compared to 17 percent who were not given any extra activity. The self-reported benefit persisted six months after the lessons stopped.

Nilsson, who directs the Hunter Medical Research Institute in New South Wales, Australia, says, “For a big big, big, big group of stroke survivors, it’s highly unethical to say nothing can be done after 12 months. That attitude can kill the motivation for further rehabilitation.

On average, the 123 Swedish volunteers started the study nearly three years after suffering their stoke. The Nilsson team speculated that the physical and social aspects of riding or moving to the music were responsible for the improvements. However, it did not compare them to patients who were given other types of extra attention, such as twice=weekly group outings

The interventions were done on patients who were moderately debilitated. All could walk, use transportation services for the disabled and use the toilet without assistance.

Horseback riding sessions, which lasted four hours and included special exercise, grooming, equipping the therapy horse and 30 minutes of sitting on the horse as it was being led, produced an immediate jump in perceived improvement.

Horseback riding produced immediate and significant improvements in gait and balance in all three tests used by the researchers but by the sixth month of follow-up, only one of the three tests was still showing better performance.

Although limited, the data might help doctors tease out the best types of activities for retraining the brain.

For further information, go to http://nws.mx/2roYqu9

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☛ Think animal abuse law is really a felony? 6-18–17

Posted by on Jun 18, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE ABUSE, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, Uncategorized, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

THINK THE ANIMAL ABUSE LAW IS REALLY A FELONY?

30-YEAR-OLD SENTENCED TO 99 YEARS

June 18, 2017

If you think that the Animal Abuse law passed in 2014, making animal abuse a felony, doesn’t have teeth in it, think again – especially if you live in Alabama.

According to WSFA of Alex City, Ala., Nick Patterson, a 30-year-old from Alex City was sentenced to 99 years in prison after pleading guilty to aggravated animal cruelty charges,

Patterson, in a plea deal, pled guilty to nine counts of animal abuse plus three counts of financial transaction card fraud.

After finding 14 living but malnourished dogs in outdoor enclosures where Patterson lived last June, with only dirty water to drink, fed sporadically and neglected for months, police also found the remains of six other collies on the property. Patterson was sentenced to 10 years on each of the nine animal cruelty and abuse counts and three years on each fraud charge. All sentences will run concurrently.

Patterson also tried to flee from police, all the while fraudulently using credit cards and stolen checks. He turned himself in to authorities in Council Bluffs, Iowa on July 24.

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He may be eligible for parole after he serves a  minimum of 18 years and is not allowed to ever own an animal again.

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☛ Tragedy strikes Joe Suiter 6-8-17

Posted by on Jun 8, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 1 comment

TRAGEDY SRIKES JOE SUITER

Reprinted from articles on Facebook
June 8, 2017

 

Joe Suiter loses everything – even his dog!

Tragedy struck at the home of 1990 Futurity Champion Joe Suiter this last week of April. Joe not only lost irreplaceable possessions, all of his clothing, a roof over his head, but most importantly one of his pet chihuahuas “Joey”.

We are seeking funds to rebuild or purchase a small manufactured home for Joe. He is also in need of clothing so any type of assistance & donation is appreciated. Items can be dropped off at his residence in Litchfield Park, AZ.

$1, $5, $10, $20 donations can go a long way during a time of need. Please help us help Joe by donating on GoFundMe!!!! Thank you to all who have donated!!! We are also seeking building materials to be delivered to Joe Suiter 4620 N. Perryville Rd.,

Litchfield Park, AZ 85340.

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☛ Are bad breeding practices animal abuse? 5-26-17

Posted by on May 26, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE HEALTH, HORSE LAWSUITS, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, MAJOR EVENTS, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 11 comments

BAD BREEDING PRACTICES

 

IS THIS ANIMAL ABUSE?

 

By Rick Dennis
May 26, 2017

As an AQHA breeder, my requirements are to breed an animal that is genetically correct with excellent conformation, the right temperament, enough athleticism to perform multiple events, enough cow instinct to perform in cow horse or cutting, free of genetic defects and with enough bone and stamina to withstand the rigors of the show pen for many years.

 

My article entitled, “AQHA Genetic Pool Shrinks,” dated Jan. 10, 2015, delineated an ongoing problem within the Quarter Horse industry in that the genetic pool is shrinking. Undesirable genetic traits and diseases are being passed from generation to generation. The following articles were the proto types of my article that would later play out in a courtroom in Texas in 2017 involving HERDA.

 

ARTICLE EXCERPTS:
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 individual classes of horses used to produce those top performers. If you’re breeding for a specific category of horse (i.e.) reining, cutting, cow horse, etc., the gene pool is further narrowed within this subgroup.

 

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.

 

“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 horse. The amount an individual horse 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. 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.”

 

Also, a recent statement from Nena J. Winand, DVM, PhD and a specialist on HERDA that was a witness for the Plaintiffs in a recent lawsuit regarding HERDA mentioned later in this article, said, “I’d point out from a medical perspective, ANY shared ancestry, no matter how remote (far back) is considered inbreeding, because it provides a chance for an individual to inherit the same gene derived from the common ancestor from both parents.”

 

ANALYZING 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.

 

BAD BREEDING PRACTICES:
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 horse’s genetic impact. Even the practice of always breeding the ‘best to the best’ can contribute to increased inbreeding in a sub-population.

“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 sub-population, 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.”

Click following for AQHAGenetic Pool Shrinks>>

 

FIRST LAWSUIT ENTERS COURT OVER HERDA:
In a lawsuit entitled, “Minshall Vs Hartman Equine, Dos Cat Partners, Shauna and Ed Dufurrena” was tried in a Texas courtroom in 2017. The basis of the lawsuit encompassed fraud with the AQHA stallion Auspicious Cat. The owners of the horse advertised the stallion as being HERDA Negative when in fact the horse was designated N/Hr (a carrier of the HERDA gene) by the American Quarter Horse Association.

 

Prior to this lawsuit, the AQHA required genetic testing of breeding stallions on a graduated scale based on the number of mares bred until Jan. 1, 2016. After this date, each breeding stallion was required to have genetic testing which included a 5-Panel group of designated tests that were designed by AQHA and performed by UC Davis.

 

Up until the filing of this lawsuit, AQHA reserved the right NOT TO RELEASE the 5-Panel test results, except to the owners of the specific horse. This nondisclosure prevented anyone breeding to a specific stallion from obtaining the 5-Panel status of the stallion; therefore, running the risk of passing on a defect to the impending foal.

 

After the filing of the above-captioned lawsuit, AQHA has changed its posture to include releasing the 5-Panel test results to anyone who contacts them and asks for it. It’s also planned that the test results will be on the horse’s pedigree when their new computer database is online. Further, AQHA intends to embed the horses’ 5-Panel test results directly onto the stallions’ registration papers as a permanent record.

 

However, the curious nature of AQHA’s testing requirements does not include breeding mares, which, in my opinion should be a requirement as well. After all, mares carry the same number of genetic chromosomes as stallions do, which includes the mares’ lineage as well.

 

This is exactly what happened in this case as two N/Hr (HERDA carrier) horses were bred together, producing a HERDA affected foal. The Plaintiff’s had simply relied on the honesty and integrity of the stallion owner. Does AQHA have any culpable liability in the matter from their previous posture of not releasing stallion specific genetic testing results?

 

The other curious nature of this saga is that my article AQHA Genetic Pool Shrinks, along with its predetermined scientific facts and warnings about inbreeding, ended up in this courtroom drama two years later.

 

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE FOALS OF THESE MISGUIDED BREEDINGS?
Just about every cutter I’ve talked to wants a High Brow Cat-bred horse because of their winning nature. In fact, some even breed for horses carrying the HERDA gene due to this phenomenon, which is exactly what happened in this lawsuit. The Plaintiffs desired to breed to a High Brow Cat stallion that carried the AQHA N/N designation and ended up breeding to an N/Hr horse. Since their mare carried the N/Hr designation, two N/Hr horses produced a HERDA-affected foal that required an enormous amount of money to maintain.

 

So at the end of the day, what happens to the foals that wash out due to genetic deficiencies: euthanasia, the horse slaughter pipeline, retired and crippled at two or three years of age perhaps? Has our industry become so callous and money hungry that they throw caution to the wind when breeding? What about the poor horse that suffers due to this selfish act? This is an arduous fact to quantify simply due to non-reported statistical data. In my opinion just breeding to a particular line of horses just because they’re winning is a very poor excuse, especially in lieu of the fact that a known line is capable of producing undesirable genetic traits in the American Quarter Horse. We experienced this in the HYPP line of horses!

Also, it’s my opinion that AQHA being the breed registry for the American Quarter Horse should live up to its own Mission Statement and step in to prevent this well-known and established HERDA gene from permeating the American Quarter Horse breed. After all, they are the rule makers and some of their established and unorthodox   breeding rules have and continue to contribute to the shrinking genetic pool of the American Quarter Horse, thus causing direct harm to the breed. Only AQHA can stop or control the insertion of bad genetics into the American Quarter Horse Gene Pool!

 

BREEDING PREREQUISITES 101:

1)         Mare owners should have their horses genetically tested by the AQHA 5-panel prior to breeding.

2)         Mare owners should perform due-diligent research into the genetic test results of the impending desired stallion prior to breeding.

3)         Prior to breeding, consult with a geneticist to determine whether the match up would produce any undesirable traits in the produced foal, especially if a shared lineage or line of horses is in the background of both horses.

 

GENETIC DEFICIENCIES IN THE THOROUGHBRED LINE:
Unfortunately, bad breeding practices and catastrophic results aren’t limited to the American Quarter Horse Industry. In a later article I’ll discuss and delineate the bad breeding practices in the Thoroughbred Industry.

 

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

 

WIND RIVER COMPANY LLC
Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
Managing Member
Office/Mobile: (985) 630-3500
Email: windrivercompany@gmail.com
Web Site: http://www.windrivercompanyllc.com

 

 

 

 

 

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☛ PRCA’s Stressman to retire 5-26-17

Posted by on May 26, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, RODEO & BULLRIDING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

PRCA COMMISSIONER STRESSMAN ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT

Press release from PRCA
May 26, 2017

Karl Stressman

After nearly nine years at the helm of the PRCA, Commissioner Karl Stressman has announced that he will be retiring, effective Dec. 31, 2017.

Commissioner Stressman has stewarded meteoric growth of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association since 2008. Under his leadership, the organization signed a record $175 million contract that keeps the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas through the year 2024.
     Stressman also played a major role in negotiating a television broadcast agreement with CBS Sports Network through 2019; successfully protecting the organization’s rights to provide equal opportunity to all association members, and not just a select few athletes; and accepting fiduciary responsibility for generating substantial cash reserves for the organization, while returning nearly 90 percent of all income generated to benefit members and membership services.
     “I sat down in the Commissioner’s chair for the first time in September 2008, and I made a promise to myself that I would give my very best efforts each and every day to improve the sport of Professional Rodeo,” Stressman said. “I made myself another promise that I would stay at the PRCA as long as I enjoyed the job. Well, it’s time to say goodbye! I will be retiring at the end of 2017, after completing my 10th Wrangler National Finals Rodeo as Commissioner of the PRCA.”
     Even as he plans his departure, Stressman has put into place a future path that will allow for the PRCA’s top rodeos to gain even more prominence, and for the PRCA membership to profit as the organization enters into new digital content opportunities. Commissioner Stressman’s iconic leadership tenure stands as a landmark for professional rodeo and the entire western industry.
     “It has been an amazing run, but certainly not without a few battle scars,” he said. “It has been my privilege to have had the opportunity to serve the members, our committees, our great sponsors and the best fans in the sporting world. I thank you all for the opportunity! Long Live Cowboys!”
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