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☛ T. E. Vinci passes away on Easter Sunday 4-20-17

Posted by on Apr 20, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE ORGANIZATIONS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

T. E. VINCI, A LONGTIME AQHA JUDGE PASSES AWAY ON EASTER SUNDAY

April 20, 2017

T. E. Vinci

“T. E.” Thomas Edward Vinci, Covington, La., passed away from cancer on Easter Sunday, April 16, 2017.

Vinci, a longtime AQHA Judge, as well as a Steward, was born on Feb. 21, 1942 to Sybil de la Houssaye and Salvador “Ike” Vinci. He was a resident of Covington since 2000, although he was a native of New Orleans.

Vinci, worked with horses for over 50 years and was a judge for more than 40 years, a cutting horse competitor and most recently a steward at the All American Quarter Horse Congress and the AQHA World Show for the last several years. He was also active in his local Louisiana Quarter Horse Association.

He was married for 39 years to Jane Trimble Vinci and is also survived by his daughter, Tiffany Vinci White (Mike); two sons – James Salvador Vinci and Michael Vinci (Katy); his mother Sybil Vinci Johnson; sister – Dianne L. Vinci; two brothers – Donald W. and David L. Vinci and three grandchildren – Kaitlyn V. McGlothren, Michael “William” Vinci and Kafey Elizabeth Vinci. He was preceded in death by his father and one brother – Robert A. Vinci.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, April 29 at E. J. Fielding Funeral Home, 2260 W. 21st Ave., Covington, LA 70433. Visiting hours on Saturday will be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Following the service everyone is invited to a Celebration of Life at the home of Mike and Tiffany White, 420 Moonraker Drive, Slidell, La 70458.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Quarter Horse Foundation, Professional Horsemens’ Crisis Fund, Catherine Meck (806) 220-3322.

You can offer your condolences or visit the Tribute Wall at www.ejfieldingfh.com.

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☛ Additional legal action taken against Hartman 4-11-17

Posted by on Apr 11, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE LAWSUITS, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

ADDITIONAL LEGAL ACTION TAKEN AGAINST HARTMAN

 

MINSHALLS FILE FOR DAMAGES IN HERDA CASE

 

By Glory Ann Kurtz
April 11, 2017
Last month, a seven-day trial was held in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, in Sherman, Texas, to determine who was guilty for a HERDA positive foal, sired by Auspicious Cat, that was born to Shawn, Lisa and Lauren Minshall’s mare. The eight-member jury’s determined that Edward and Shona Dufurrena, Gainesville, Texas, who headed up the Dos Cats Partners that owned Auspicious Cat, were 60 percent responsible for their foal being born with full-blown HERDA, the Minshalls were 30 percent responsible and David Hartman, DVM’s Hartman Equine Reproduction Center, P.A., the veterinarian that collected the semen and shipped it to the Minshalls, was 10 percent responsible.

 

However, since the Minshalls had already sued Hartman but damages were not a part of the lawsuit, they have taken additional legal action against Hartman in a “Plaintiffs’ Motion For Miscellaneous Relief,” filed March 30, 2017.

 

The judge’s responses on following documents have not been signed by the judge and are; therefore, not in force.

 

Since Hartman was only found guilty of “negligence, the suit calls for $30,000 for the difference in value Otto (the offspring with HERDA) would have had if he had not been HERDA-affected, $28,408 for the reasonable and necessary expenses related to foaling, raising, boarding and training Otto in the past, $75,000 for the reasonable and necessary expenses, in reasonable probability, the Plaintiffs will incur related to caring for Otto in the future and $30,000 for lost profits, for a total of $163,408.

Click for Plaintiffs Motion for entry of Judgment>>

 

JUDGE’S UNSIGNED FINAL JUDGMENT:

In a Final Judgment, Judge Amos L. Mazzant II, ordered but did not sign: 1) a sum of 10% of the jury’s verdict of $163,408, totaling $16,340.80; Reasonable and necessary attorneys’ fees of $203,535; 3) costs of action, taxed at an amount to be determined by the Court after Plaintiffs submit an appropriate bill of costs; 4) Prejudgment interest of 1.02% simple interest per annum on total sum awarded beginning on Oct. 30, 2015 and ending on the date this judgment is signed and 5) Post-judgment interest on the total sum awarded from the date this judgment is signed until paid at a rate of 1.02% simple interest per annum.

Click for unsigned Final Judgment>>

 

HARTMAN’S RESPONSE:

Hartman immediately responded the following day (March 31, 2017), stating that the Judgment is inconsistent with the Court’s instructions to the jury and is incorrect as a matter of law. It stated that Plaintiffs should only be allowed to recover 10 percent of the recoverable damages for negligence only and should not be allowed to recover attorney’s fees.

 

The document continues that since Hartman was only found liable for negligence and its responsibility was limited to 10 percent, his maximum liability would be $3,000. The Plaintiffs’ proposed judgment, seeking compensation for all compensatory damages, is not consistent with the Court’s instructions for a finding of negligence.

 

Plus the Plaintiffs’ proposed judgment also seeks an award of attorney’s fees which, according to Hartman’s attorney, are not recoverable as a matter of law. Also the document says that the Plaintiffs prevailed only on a negligence claim and did not plead to recover attorney’s fees under a negligence cause of action theory. Also Chapter 38 of the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code only authorizes a recovery of attorney’s from an individual or a corporation while the Defendant is neither. There were also several other reasons pointed out in the document why the Plaintiffs could not recover attorney fees.
Click for Hartman’s response>>

JUDGE’S UNSIGNED ORDER:

The judge then posted an unsigned order that Hartman Equine Reproduction Center, P.A.’s objects to the Plaintiffs’ Proposed Final Judgment are SUSTAINED, saying HERC is only responsible for the damages recoverable for a finding of negligence and is not responsible for Attorneys’ Fees to the Plaintiff.
Click for judge’s unsigned order>>

 

PLAINTIFFS’ RESPONSE TO DEFENDANT’S OBJECTIONS:

On April 4, 2017, the Plaintiffs filed a response to the Defendant’s objections to Plaintiffs’ Proposed Final Judgment, asking it to be overruled for a litany of reasons, requesting that the Court sign their proposed Final Judgment and for such other relief in law or equity that they may show themselves justly entitled.

Plaintiff response to Defendant objections>>

 

PLAINTIFFS’ ATTORNEY’S FEES FILED:

Also, on March 30, 2017, an affidavit of the attorneys’ fees and support thereof , totaling $203,535.00 were filed with the court.

Affidavit of attorney’s fees>> 

Stay tuned for the next chapter of this case.

 

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☛ A great friend, Bobby George, dies at age 96 4-7-17

Posted by on Apr 7, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, FROM THE EDITOR, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

A GREAT FRIEND BOBBY GEORGE PASSES AT AGE 96

 

By Glory Ann Kurtz
April 7, 2017

Bobby George, a dedicated horseman, shown only months before he passed away at age 96.

It is with a heavy heart that I have to report that a friend of mine and my deceased husband Bob, Bobby Robert E. “Bobby” George, passed away on Tuesday, April 4, 2017, at the Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pa. He was 96.

 

Bobby was a partner with Bob on many horses when Bob lived in Pennsylvania, including Tabano Raider, a Tabano King stallion that Bob brought to Texas with him and stood at stud for several years. They both rode descendants of Tabano Raider for years after the stallion’s death.

 

Bobby and his daughter Becky called me the day before he died and he kept thanking me for all the good times he had with Bob and me. His voice sounded very weak and I knew he was failing, saying he thought he had bronchitis. He died the following evening.

 

But Bobby had a great life and enjoyed almost every bit of it. Bob and I had spent many summer days going to horse events in Pennsylvania with Bobby, as well as trail riding in the mountains. He and his daughter and a friend came to our cabin in Colorado one summer and we had a great time trail riding in the Colorado mountains. After Bob’s death, I continued to go to Pennsylvania and visit with Bobby George and his children.

 

Bobby was a farmer and owned a butcher market called George Farms, but his true love was his horses, a love he shared with his children and grandchildren. Bobby was especially proud of being a breeder of Quarter Horses for 50 years.
He was a member of Masonic Lodge 224, of Danville, the Mooresburg Presbyterian Church, the Liberty Township Fire Co., the Susquehanna Valley Corral, and the American Quarter Horse Association.
Bobby was born Aug. 10, 1920, in Catawissa, a son of the late Edgar and Ella May (Creasy) George. He was married to the late Ruth E. (Auten) George for 41 years, before her passing in 1985.

George Farms was a fourth generation family business. He routinely went to Curb Market. Bobby loved his family and their regular gatherings.

He is survived by three daughters: Jane Aikey and husband Larry, Rebecca Bourbeau, and Alice Ann George, all of the Danville area; two sons, Edgar R. George and Peter George, all of the Mooresburg area; a daughter-in-law, Sharon George; longtime friend, Clara Benfer; seven grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.
In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by a son, Martin S. George Sr.; a sister, Ruth Marqueen Wintersteen; and a daughter-in-law, Lorraine George.

He was well loved in his community and will be missed by many, including me!
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, April 10, at the Mooresburg Presbyterian Church, 9 Church Drive, Danville, with the Rev. John Shaw III officiating. Friends may visit at the church from 9 to 11 a.m. prior to the service. The family recognizes that many people might like to pay their respects, so friends are also welcome to visit after the services in the church.

Burial will take place in the Moorseburg Presbyterian Cemetery.

The family gratefully declines flowers. For those wishing, donations may be made in Bobby’s memory to the Mooresburg Presbyterian Church, Liberty Township Fire Company QRS, or the Mooresburg Presbyterian Cemetery Fund.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Brady Funeral Home, Danville.
Please send online condolences to BradyFuneralHome.com. – See more at: http://obituaries.dailyitem.com/story/robert-george-1920-2017-902769592#sthash.2ih6gqmC.dpuf

 

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☛ Has AQHA done enough to reveal horses’ genetics? 3-31-17

Posted by on Mar 31, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, EQUI-VOICE, FROM THE EDITOR, HORSE HEALTH, HORSE LAWSUITS, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 3 comments

FROM THE EDITOR:

HAS THE AQHA DONE ENOUGH TO REVEAL HORSES’ GENETICS?

 

WHAT IS AQHA DOING TO AVOID LAWSUITS? 

 

An opinion piece by Glory Ann Kurtz
Editor and owner of AllAboutCutting.com
March 31, 2017 – Updated 4-1-17

HERDA is a genetic skin disease.

Earlier this month, I spent seven days at a jury trial in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division in Sherman, Texas, to settle a lawsuit brought by Shawn, Lisa and Lauren Minshall, Hillsburg, Ontario, Canada, against David Hartman DVM, owner of Hartman Equine Reproduction Center, P.A. (HERC), Gainesville, Texas. It is interesting to note that I was the only member of the news industry and the only interested bystander at this trial, which I felt, and many others thought, would be very important to the Quarter Horse industry.

Click for article on original lawsuit>>

Following the trial, an eight-member jury decided that the responsibility for the HERDA-infected foal, sired by Auspicious Cat,  was placed 60 percent on the shoulders of Edward and Shona Dufurrena (30 percent to each), who headed up Dos Cats Partners, Gainesville, Texas, the owners of the stallion –  even though they were not named in the lawsuit nor were they present at the trial as Dos Cats Partners and Edward and Shona Dufurrena had settled with the Minshalls prior to the trial.

Dr. Hartman, who collected the semen of Auspicious Cat, a stallion who was later discovered to be a HERDA (Heredity Equine Regional Dermal Asthenia)  carrier, and sent it to the Minshalls to breed their mare Miss Tassa Lena was the last one on the list who they felt had a hand in this disaster, as the result of this breeding was a HERDA-affected offspring nicknamed “Otto.” Otto was born with full-blown HERDA, a genetic skin disease that was discovered when the colt was a 2-year-old and lesions appeared on its body while in training.

The jury was given questions of responsibility, rather than guilt, with all six Defendants being found responsible for “Negligence incurring damage.” All other questions regarding Hartman’s responsibility were answered by a “No” and the jury gave him the smallest amount (10 percent) of the responsibility. The Dufurrenas had also been found responsible for committing fraud and received 30 percent each, for a total of 60 percent (the most), even though they were not present at the trial. Also, 30 percent of the responsibility was laid at the feet of the three Plaintiffs, the Minshall family, at 10 percent each.

The most interesting aspect of the trial was that it focused on FRAUD – mainly false advertising committed by the Dufurrenas concerning Auspicious Cat’s Positive HERDA status and the long-term care of a HERDA-Positive foal resulting from the breeding of Auspicious Cat and Miss Tassa Lena.

It came out in the trial that Ed Dufurrena had previously told both the Minshalls and Dr. Hartman that Auspicious Cat was HERDA-Negative and the Dufurrena’s had placed ads in horse publications advertising that fact with written confirmation. It came out in court testimony that the Dufurrenas had the stallion tested in 2009 and had received a certificate from the AQHA saying that the stallion was HERDA N/H, meaning he could pass on the genetic disease to an offspring, especially if he was bred to another HERDA N/H mare and Miss Tassa Lena was such a mare. The Minshalls had told the the Dufurrenas the reason why the stallion had to be HERDA Negative was because their mare was HERDA H/N and had already had a High Brow Cat foal born with HERDA.

Auspicious Cat is a son of High Brow Cat out of Lena O Lady by Peppy San Badger. Lena O Lady’s dam was Doc O Lady by Doc O’Lena. This puts Doc O’Lena in the third generation of both the sire and dam side of Auspicious Cat’s pedigree, which on paper meant there was a high probability of the stallion being a HERDA carrier. In fact, during the trial David Hartman exposed a stark reality, relating a conversation with Dufurrena regarding Auspicious Cat’s HERDA designation, Dufurrena had assured Hartman that Auspicious Cat was HERDA Negative, and Hartman responded, “Most good sons of High Brow Cat are HERDA carriers.”

Dufurrena’s response was, “Not Aussie,” which was his nickname for Auspicious Cat.

Click for Auspicious Cat pedigree>>

The jury’s decision, including compensatory damages, included: 1) The difference in the value of Otto now and what it would have been if not HERDA affected – $30,000; 2) Reasonable expenses related to foaling, raising, boarding and training Otto in the past – $28,408; 3) Reasonable vet expenses – $0; 4) Reasonable expenses incurred for caring for Otto in the future – $75,000 and 5) Plaintiffs’ lost profits: $30,000 – for a total of $163,408. (To date, the division of financial responsibility by the jury’s decision have not been available to the press.)

Click for verdict>>

I checked with the AQHA, asking “if  a stallion owner is found guilty of fraud, is there a rule infraction and if so, what is the penalty?”. The response from Sarah Davisson, AQHA Manager of Publicity and Special Events, was, “While it is possible that a judgment against an AQHA member for fraud may correspond to an AQHA rule infraction and hence possible disciplinary action, such would depend on the facts of the case and whether a final non-appealable judgment has been entered. With respect to the Minshall lawsuit, AQHA to date is unaware of a final judgment being entered in which a party was found guilty of fraud. While AQHA is aware of the Verdict Form in the lawsuit, Davisson said, “It does not constitute a final non-appealable judgment.”

AQHA GENETIC POOL SHRINKS:

If there was ever a circumstance to prove an article’s legitimacy, this trial certainly was a proving ground for an article AQHA Genetic Pool Shrinks, previously published on Jan. 15, 2015 on allAboutCutting.com and written by my contributor and freelance writer Rick Dennis.

Dennis addressed HERDA and the shrinking genetic pool of the American Quarter Horse, the hazards of inbreeding, various AQHA breeding rules directly affecting the genetic pool shrinkage, the types of performance horses with the most inbreeding (cutting), as well as the HERDA disease itself. In a mere two years, this article’s ominous projection was being fulfilled and played out in a high-stakes Federal courtroom.

Click for article on how Genetic Pool Shrinks>>

During court testimony, it was surprisingly said by Dr. David Hartman that some owners and trainers breed for HERDA-affected foals as they are winning the most money. This could be due to the fact, which was explained by Nena Winand, a veterinarian and Senior Research Associate at Cornell University regarding HERDA, who testified and had done years of genetic research on HERDA. She said that “In HERDA-affected horses, the collagen is not produced and assembled into fibers that are as strong as those of normal horses. People have extrapolated that observation to HERDA carriers and speculated that subtle changes in their collagen may make them more supple and acrobatic.

However, she cautioned, saying, “There is at present no published peer reviewed science to support this idea and that it is likely that carriers would also be more susceptible to injury (particularly orthopedic injury) if that were the case.”

Also, it came out in court that some individuals are breeding affected mares on purpose. Winand feels that one should not be able to register foals with the AQHA out of affected mares and those affected mares should also be ineligible for breeding leases.

Winand also said that the Australian Quarter Horse Association has made genetic results available on their website, which could be an example of what the AQHA could do. Click below is an example of their searchable online database:

Access page:

http://www.aqha.com.au/horse/online_services/horse_enquiries.asp

She entered TR Dual Rey, who shuttles for breeding from the US:

http://abri.une.edu.au/online/cgi-bin/i4.dll?1=2231292F&2=2428&3=56&5=2B3C2B3C3A

Click for the result;

http://abri.une.edu.au/online/cgi-bin/i4.dll?1=2231292F&2=2420&3=56&5=2B3C2B3C3A&6=5D5D5C5B5827262621&9=5C505A5C

“Anyone, not members only, can access this information on the Australian Quarter Horse Association Studbook Website,” said Winand. “It’s public access at no cost. This system has been in place since 2007 or 2008. It was set up for HYPP historically (from my memory) and they handled HERDA results with the same level of transparency. At that time Cornell was their testing laboratory but once a patent was issued in Australia, we licensed to the University of Queensland, which is an excellent and well-established provider of equine genetic testing.

“I am not suggesting AQHA would find this format palatable, but they most certainly do have the capacity to track HERDA and any other test result and make it available to members just as they do for pedigree, horse ownership, performance results, etc.  Ideally all horses should be DNA typed (PV’d if necessary) and 5-Panel tested for registration. That is what we should be doing in this day and age.”

 

DOES AQHA HAVE RESPONSIBILITY?

Over the past few years, AQHA has required a 5-Panel test for breeding stallions (at a cost to the stallion owner of $85 or $105, including DNA testing), which reveals genetic diseases in stallions, including HERDA. It started out being only for stallions with a high number of mares being bred; however, effective with the 2015 year, every AQHA-registered breeding stallion had to have this 5-panel genetic test prior to the registration of foals. The test also genetic types horses for GBED (glycogen branching enzyme deficiency), HYPP (hyperkalemic periodic paralysis), MH (malignant hyperthermia) and PSSM (polysaccharide storage myopathy).

According to Davisson in her response from the AQHA, they were the first equine breed association to offer the genetic panel testing to inform the AQHA’s breeders of those animals that are carriers of genetic abnormalities. HERDA test results are reported by UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory to AQHA as follows:

NN = Normal – horse does not have the HERDA gene.

N/HRD = Carrier – horse caries one copy of the HERDA gene.

HRD/HRD = Affected – horse has two copies of the HERDA gene.

 

See the following AQHA link for genetic disease results and descriptions: https://www.aqha.com/media/13951/genetic-disease-descriptions-1.pdf

 

See the following AQHA link regarding genetic testing: www.aqha.com/genetictesting

 

Also, when individuals contact AQHA pertaining to results of the genetic panel tests, they can request a copy of the UC Davis lab results from AQHA.

 

“AQHA constantly continues to research these genetic diseases and potential new threats to the breed through various research projects,” said Davisson. “The AQHA Foundation has awarded a total of more than $11 million to research programs, some of which are specifically dedicated to genetic diseases. Specifically, the breakdown of the amount funded to each of the diseases is as follows (as of Feb. 27, 2017): GBED – $228,132; HERDA – $277,553, HYPP – $277,651, MH – $232,274, PSSM1 – $268,983.50 and Other – $515,243. Other includes genetic research that has been performed on other disorders, such as immunes-mediated and inflammatory myopathies, anhidrosis and equine metabolic syndrome.”

However, according to Davisson, although there are no current rules passed by AQHA members and the AQHA Board of Directors to require genetic testing of breeding mares, the Association strongly recommends that breeders test their mares. “Since Jan. 1, 2012, 41,740 American Quarter Horses have had the five-panel test done. Of those horses, 25,853 were stallions, 15,387 were mares and 500 were geldings,” said Davisson.

However, for a genetic test that costs the members $85 each – that equals close to $3.6 million for the AQHA for the 41,740 horses they say have been done. If you dump in the reported $3 million they made on drug testing, that is a total of $6.6 million – which should be enough to finish the computer program and get them on the AQHA website.

 

Click for AQHA Genetic Testing>>

However, today, on the Horse Ownership Summary of each AQHA-registered stallion on AQHA’s website under “Additional Information,” it states, among other things, whether the stallion has been genetic typed, but does not give HERDA results. The only genetic disease results listed that I could find were the results of the HYPP test. (HYPP is an inherited disease of the muscle which is caused by a genetic defect. This genetic defect has been identified in descendants of the AQHA sire, Impressive, so it does not usually affect cutting horses, as Impressive was a well-known halter horse.)

Click for Auspicious Cat Horse Ownership>>

Click for Miss Tassa Cat Ownership>>

 

RULE CHANGES:

I have also heard from stallion owners regarding individuals wanting to breed their mares who have not been tested for HYYP. The stallion owners feel that if they don’t know the mare’s HYPP status, they could be continuing the breeding of HYPP-positive offspring. This gives rise to the question, “Do mares also need to be genetically tested for HYPP and HERDA?”

Even though 15,387 mares have been genetically tested by the AQHA, if stallion or mare owners want it to be a rule to have mares genetically tested, I’ve been told by the AQHA office that those individuals need to send in a rule change request. For those interested in doing that, the AQHA has provided a link to a press release that breaks down the Association’s rule-change process, starting from when an AQHA member submits a rule change to when new rules become approved.

Click for rule changing press release>>

 

A video of the rule-change process can also be found on You Tube:

Click below for YouTube video>>

 

But my question here is, “Why are the results of the HERDA test not currently being reported?” I reached out to the AQHA with that very question. Their response was, “The results of these genetic panel tests are disclosed to the public as a permanent record of the horse and are prominently exhibited on the backside of the horse’s registration paper. All genetic test results will be available on horses’ records when AQHA’s new computer system is launched. In the meantime, individuals can contact AQHA via phone or email and get the genetic panel test results on any registered American Quarter Horse. Individuals can contact the Association by calling AQHA’s customer service at 806-376-4811 or using their contact form.

As an interesting sidebar, Davisson revealed that at the 2017 AQHA Convention, there were two member requests regarding AQHA’s recording and/or dissemination of five-panel test results were on the Studbook and Registration Committee agenda. They were: 1) Display five-panel test results on the front-as opposed to the back of the registration certificate to increase public awareness and 2) Discontinue any dissemination of five panel test results to non-owners.

The first request was modified from a statement being printed on the front of the registration certificate informing individuals that identification for the horse, including genetic panel tests, are included on the back of a horse’s registration papers. AQHA members and the Board of Directors approved this modification.

The second request to discontinue disclosure of the five panel test, was summarily denied by the Studbook and Registration Committee and was not recommended to AQHA members and Board of Directors. After reviewing the requests,  the Board of Directors also denied this recommendation.

Other genetic diseases have since been brought up to me; however, the AQHA hasn’t taken it upon themselves to monitor these, saying there are not genetic tests for them. One such genetic defect is the deaf horse, which is not a genetic disease that is tested by the AQHA. The great reining stallion, Colonels Smoking Gun, nicknamed “Gunner,” was born deaf and passes that genetic defect on to his offspring. I recently heard from an owner of a deaf offspring who didn’t know Gunner was born deaf, yet was a champion in the performance arena and a great sire but passed deafness on to his offspring. Currently, Gunner has sired a deaf offspring with the owner considering a lawsuit against the owner of the stallion.

According to Davisson, “To our knowledge there is not a genetic test for deafness and therefore it is not recorded by AQHA ‘at this point in time’. Researchers from the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis reported that certain coat patterns and blue eyes appear to be at risk for deafness… There are several tests for the variations of the splash white gene which are available through a color panel test offered by AQHA. However, according to research, not all splashed white horses are deaf and a deaf horses can produce hearing horses.”

 

IN MY OPINION:

It is wonderful that the AQHA is posting some genetic-disease information in the future and that you can now e-mail or call them for that information; however, it has been problematic to the cutting horse breeder (the owner of the mare) prior to this year’s AQHA Convention held in February, as the results of the HERDA test were not released or made available to AQHA members for scrutiny prior to selecting a stallion for breeding their mare or mares until now. Since the results of the 5-panel test were not released, the HERDA test results were concealed from members and breeders and were not included on the Horse Ownership Summary at the time the Minshalls were looking for a stallion to be bred to their HERDA N/H mare Miss Tessa Lena.  In fact, it was only after the Minshalls filed a lawsuit on Oct. 30, 2015 and inquiries were later made by their lawyers to the AQHA, that the subject was put on the AQHA Convention agenda for the 2017 Convention. I feel they were afraid of culpable liability in this case. (Culpable is a term in criminal law that refers to the blameworthiness of the accused. An accused is culpable when he or she is sufficiently responsible for criminal acts or negligence to be at fault and liable for the conduct. Culpability often implies some knowledge of the wrongfulness of one’s actions.)

As this pertains to the AQHA, culpable liability means that unless the this data was released to the general public, it was impossible for the breeder or the veterinarian to determine whether the stallion was a HERDA carrier. The Dufurrenas advertised Auspicious Cat as being HERDA Negative, when in fact, his genetic test, that was in the hands of the AQHA, had concluded he was a HERDA carrier. But no one knew that and they were forced to just believe the Dufurrena’s and their advertising.

In my opinion, and in the opinion of many cutting horse breeders, if the AQHA really wants to live up to its Mission Statement of “preserving the integrity of the Quarter Horse Breed,” the association would make this vital information available as soon as possible to AQHA members and breeders since they already have it and they have been paid for by the stallion owners who paid for the tests. That money should be used to make this information public asap. As far as waiting for the upcoming new computer program, from what I’ve heard, the new computer program has already taken far too many years and has cost way too much money.

While these rules were not in effect at the time of the Minshall’s breeding Miss Tassa Lena to Auspicious Cat, they are now available for this year’s breeding program. The only problem is since they are not yet available on the Horse Ownership Summary, one must either e-mail or call the AQHA to find out the stallion’s status.

If the AQHA doesn’t list this information online and members don’t know that they have to e-mail or call the AQHA for test results on a stallion they wish to breed their mare to, what good are the 5-Panel tests, other than a way to make more money from the stallion owners, who were forced to purchase the tests which don’t help the members if they don’t know how to obtain them.

As far as I know, they have not advertised or sent out notices to breeders that this information is available by e-mailing or calling the AQHA. I am an AQHA member, I subscribe to the Quarter Horse Journal and I own a stallion but I have not heard a word about being able to e-mail or call the association for genetic-testing results. Unfortunately, to me, this resembles the drug-testing rules, which seems to be just a money-maker. Horse owners are mandated to pay a drug-testing fee on each horse entered in an AQHA event, yet only a small percentage are ever drug checked.

Furthermore, if the AQHA is interested in cleaning up and preserving the integrity of the American Quarter Horse breed, it should make these test results available on line as soon as they can, and not wait for a new computer program that could be years down the road, so not only the owners of breeding mares but all AQHA members and even veterinarians can find this information immediately. That way, any stallion owner, mare owner or vet would immediately know the genetic-disease status of the stallion and the mare they are breeding.

It has been suggested to me that being able to immediately find out the results of a 5-Panel test only could be a separate report that could be a source of income for the AQHA, with fees of $5 or more for each, rather than the $1 currently being charged for the Horse Ownership Summary.

Also, if stallion owners are found guilty of, or responsible for, fraud by a jury in Federal Court, including false advertising, I feel the AQHA should include that infraction in their AQHA Handbook, along with the penalties that go along with it. The AQHA’s statement, “While it is possible that a judgment against an AQHA member for fraud may correspond to an AQHA rule infraction and hence possible disciplinary action, such would depend on the facts of the case and whether a final non-appealable judgment has been entered. With respect to the Minshall lawsuit, AQHA to date is unaware of a final judgment being entered in which a party was found guilty of fraud. While AQHA is aware of the Verdict Form in the lawsuit, Davisson said, “It does not constitute a final non-appealable judgment.”

Dufurrena’s ad in Performance Horse Journal

I realize that all of these answers from the AQHA, did not originate with Davisson, as she is the AQHA Manager of Publicity and Special Events. She worked hard to find answers for me. However, could it be that the statement given to me as the answer to the question I asked the AQHA regarding the Dufurrena’s actions being rule infractions and penalties for such, included a hint of favoritism since the Dufurrenas are currently major advertisers in every issue of the AQHA’s new publication, Performance Horse Journal?

One must remember, it was proven at trial that the Dufferena’s advertised Auspicious Cat as HERDA N/N when in fact he was HERDA Positive, which they knew from prior genetic testing. Court documents and the jury identified this revelation as FRAUD!

If the AQHA wants to live up to their Mission Statement of “preserving the integrity of the Quarter Horse breed,” they need to do it by informing the breeding public of results from all genetic tests as quickly as possible, so mistakes like the Minshalls made won’t show up in Federal Court in the future. Also, those responsible will suffer the consequences and it won’t be a veterinarian’s responsibility if he collects a stallion and ships semen from a HERDA-carrier stallion to a HERDA-carrier mare. If the stallion owner won’t give him a copy of the stallion’s HERDA status, he can simply go to the AQHA site and get one – for both the stallion and the mare being bred.

What I got out of this lengthy and costly seven-day jury trial in a Federal Court is that if you are a stallion owner and standing your stallion to the public, that stallion and breeding mare’s genetic information should be available on the AQHA website immediately, whether or not it’s a stand-alone document or included under the Horse Ownership Summary. It would eliminate a lot of heartache, lawsuits and lawyer bills.

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☛ Horse trainer gets 5 years for torturing horses 3-31-17

Posted by on Mar 31, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, EQUI-VOICE, HORSE ABUSE, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

HOOF-CARVING HORSE TRAINER SENTENCED FOR TORTURING HORSES

ROBERT DIMITT GETS FIVE YEARS FOR DEATHS OF SEVERAL HORSES

March 31, 2017

Almost two years  after Robert Dimitt, 57, a horse trainer from Sallisaw, Okla., was arrested, the hoof-carving horse trainer was sentenced to five years in prison on March 23 for the mutilation deaths of multiple horses. With the new year, comes new laws about animal abuse, which changes their penalties to a felony.

Dimitt will also spend 10 years on parole after he is released and he is prohibited from being around any horses during that time. If he breaks any of these rules, he will be returned to prison.

A month ago, Dimitt modified his plea from to guilty to no contest, which allowed the judge to decide his fate rather than a jury. Dimitt’s attorney had sought probation.

According to an article in the Sequoyah County Times, the sentencing followed a lengthy investigation following a tip from Charlotte Northam. She said she went to pick up three horses and instead of three healthy horses, she found one dead and two starved with mutilated feet. The owners of one of the horses had turned down $500,000 for her as she had won in excess of $355,000 in 15 months. The only horse alive was Gold Digging Ashley, with the mare spending a long time at the Oakridge Veterinarian Clinic in Edmond.

Agent Larry Bailey said that a number of horses taken from Dimitt’s care showed signs of being beaten or tortured.

“The horses had considerable damage to their back feet. We were told that Dimitt was bleeding their back feet to let the demons out,” said Bailey. Sheriff Ron Lockhart said that investigators found several horse carcasses on the ranch and the veterinarians had to check on the other horses that were still alive. The sheriff’s office had contacted the owners of the animals and many were surprised to find out the horses they thought were being taken care of Dimitt was released on $25,000 bond.

Northam, a agent for Kentucky racehorse owner Edward D. Leslie, MD, said “Dimitt cut the frogs out of the horses’ hooves to “make them run faster.” Northam says she hopes this case will make horse owners more aware of what can happen when you don’t check on your horses in training. “People need to make more physical well-being checks and be very careful of what trainer they use.”

Information for this article was taken from the Sequoyah County Times and Rate My Horse Pro articles.

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☛ C. T. Babcock Celebration of Life scheduled 3-24-17

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

C. T. BABCOCK CELEBRATION OF LIFE SCHEDULED

March 24, 2017

The family and friends of Clayton Thomas (CT) Babcock is inviting everyone to attend a Celebration of Life. A memorial has been set for 2:30 pm Sunday, March 26, 2017, in Sanger, TX at the Babcock Ranch, located at 2300 S. Stemmons (on W. side of I-35 between the school and ball park).

In lieu of flowers a trust account has been set up for C.T.’s three children: daughters, Riley Evelyn (17), Ryan Lane (15) of Aubrey, Texas and son, Jaxon Burdette (4) of Gainesville, Texas at the First State Bank of Gainesville. The account is listed as C.T. Babcock Benefit Account, FBO Riley Evelyn, Ryan Lane, and Jaxon Burdette Babcock.

There have been many items donated also for a benefit auction for C.T.’s children as well. They are hoping to be able to coordinated the auction with the Memorial. Please join them for a time of sharing cherished memories from his many treasured friends. There will be  further postings regarding any additional auction information.

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