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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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☛ 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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☛ 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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☛ Metallic Cat and HERDA 5-18-17

Posted by on May 18, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE LAWSUITS, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, MAJOR EVENTS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

METALLIC CAT OFFSPRING DOMINATE SUPER STAKES OPEN FINALS

 

BUT ARE BREEDERS BEING CAREFUL TO ELIMINATE HERDA?

  

By Glory Ann Kurtz
May 18, 2017
Edited May 20, 2017

 

Metallic Cat offspring dominate Super Stakes Open finals

A cutting horse dynasty started with the 1967 stallion Doc O Lena, the son of a severely foundered great mare Poco Lena. He was trained and ridden by Shorty Freeman to the championship of the 1970 NCHA Futurity, following a clean sweep of the futurity’s preliminary go-rounds, semifinals and finals. It was the bloodline that everyone wanted in a cutting horse and the most sought-after sire to breed to.

 

Next came his son Smart Little Lena, out of Smart Peppy, born in 1979, and ridden by Shorty’s son Bill Freeman. The pair not only won the 1982 NCHA Futurity, but also the NCHA Super Stakes and Derby. After he was retired to stud, his offspring won $34.9 million, according to AQHA records.

 

Showing she was just as prolific as her sire, Smart Little Lena, Smart Little Kitty produced High Brow Cat, sired by High Brow Hickory. Although he was not a great money earner himself, High Brow Cat was honored at this year’s NCHA Convention as the NCHA’s leading sire for the 12th consecutive year, having sired 483 money earners and up to 2015 had earned nearly $4 million, according to his owner Darren Blanton. Blanton stated he was “truly a magical genetic mix that only God himself could have created.” Blanton had purchased the 1998 stallion, bred by Hanes Chatham and Stewart Sewell as part of a package deal that included the colt’s mother from Jack Waggoner in January 2013.

 

METALLIC CAT
Today the bloodlines of these great cutting horses is ongoing with the 2006 stallion Metallic Cat, a double-bred Smart Little Lena offspring sired by High Brow Cat out of Chers Shadow, sired by Peptoboonsmal out of Shesa Smarty Lena by Smart Little Lena. Shesa Smarty Lena was out of Shesa Playmate (Freckles Playboy x Lenaette by Doc Olena), going back to Doc O’Lena on both the top and bottom side.
Metallic Cat Pedigree

 

Bred by the Roan Rangers, Weatherford, Texas, Metallic Cat was sold as a 2-year-old on Sept. 11, 2007 to Beau Galyean, who sold him one year later on Sept. 10, 2008 to Alvin C. Fults, Amarillo, Texas. Seven years later, on Oct. 1, 2015, Metallic Cat’s ownership was changed to Metallic Cat Ltd., Amarillo, Texas, who currently owns the stallion.
Click for Metallic Cat Ownership>> 

 

With a 2009 NCHA Futurity Championship, Horse of the Year title and an induction into the NCHA Hall of Fame under his belt, Metallic Cat is the second highest money-earning stallion (behind his sire Smart Little Lena) in the history of NCHA, earning $637,711. Beau Galyean, who owned the stallion at one time, rode the stallion in the finals of all the major events and never lost a cow. He is the highest money earning stallion of all of High Brow Cat’s offspring and the highest money-earning aged-event stallion in a 27-year-history.

 

According to Quarter Horse News statistics, the highest money-earning offspring of High Brow Cat is the mare Dont Look Twice, owned by Phil and Mary Ann Rapp, Weatherford, Texas, earning $845,476. It’s interesting to note that the two highest money-earning horses, all-ages, all-divisions, follow the same bloodlines, with Red White And Boon (88g), being sired by Smart Little Lena and Sister CD (02g) being sired by CD Olena, a son of Doc O’Lena.

 

Metallic Cat was the NCHA Sire of the Year in 2016 and with 1,894 offspring currently registered with AQHA, they have earned over $12.2 million. He is standing at the Fults Ranch in conjunction with Timbercreek Veterinary Hospital, for a $10,000 breeding fee.

 

METALLIC CAT’S GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT AS A SIRE:
However, Metallic Cat’s greatest achievement so far has been the recently held NCHA Open Super Stakes Finals that paid out $635,528, with High Brow Cat and his offspring as sires took home 74 percent of the total Open Finals purse – or $471,949! Metallic Cat, with nine Open finalists, earned 53 percent ($334,148) of the Total Open Finals purse.

 

2016 NCHA FUTURITY & 2017 SUPER STAKES OPEN FINALS:
I took the results of the Open finals of the 2016 NCHA Futurity and the 2017 NCHA Super Stakes, pulling out the offspring of Metallic Cat that earned money, offspring of High Brow Cat that won money and the offspring of High Brow Cat (other than Metallic Cat) whose offspring won money.

 

2016 NCHA Futurity
In the Open finals of the 2016 NCHA Futurity, a $1,516,020 total purse was paid out, with High Brow Cat’s offspring as sires winning $238,486 (16 percent of the total Open Finals purse); Metallic Cat offspring winning $312,778 (21 percent) and other sons of High Brow Cat’s offspring taking home $328,933 (22 percent), for a total of $880,197 or 58 percent of the total Open Finals purse.

 

2017 NCHA Super Stakes
However, the 2017 NCHA Super Stakes was a deal breaker. With a $635,528 total Open Finals purse being distributed among 21 finalists, in the Open Finals High Brow Cat and his offspring as sires – won $471,949 – or 75 percent of the total Finals purse. Only 33 percent of the finals horses were not High Brow Cat bred. Nine of 14 High Brow Cat-bred money earners (64 percent) were sired by Metallic Cat and they earned $334,148 or 52.6 percent of the total Open finals purse. They included the Champion Hashtags, the Reserve Champion Melting Snow, 4th place Some Like It Metallic, 5/6 tie Metallic Ina, 7/9 tie Kopykat, 12/13 tie Metallic Boom, 15 Kreepin Cat, 16/18 Johnny English and Magnetik Playboy.

 

Three more finalists were sired by other sons of High Brow Cat, including Bet Hesa Cat, Herding Cats and WR This Cats Smart. There were also three that were not related to High Brow Cat on the top side but they were out of mares sired by High Brow Cat and his son Smooth As A Cat. That left only four horses in the 21-horse finals (19%) that were not High Brow Cat related. (Incidentally, the Super Stakes Champion Hashtags, owned by Jose Raul Garcia, Caracas, Venezuela, ridden by Tatum Rice, was the only Metallic Cat offspring that took home an Open Finals paycheck in both the 2016 NCHA Futurity and the 2017 Super Stakes.)

3) Click for 2017 NCHA Super Stakes Open Finals>>

 

WHAT’S THIS GOT TO DO WITH HERDA?
A lot! In March 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. Prior to the trial Edward and Shona Dufurrena, who headed up Dos Cats Partners, Gainesville, Texas, the owners of the stallion Auspicious Cat, a stallion they had advertised as being HERDA N/N and told to the mare owners and Dr. David Hartman, the veterinarian that collected him and shipped semen, that he was HERDA N/N.

 

THE HERDA LAWSUIT:
However, it was later discovered the stallion was H/N – or a carrier of HERDA. The Minshalls had bred their Smart Little Lena mare that was H/N to the stallion and as a result had a full-blown HERDA affected offspring named Otto, with lesions on his body appearing while he was in training. They testified in court that they had previously been told by Dufurrena that Auspicious Cat was HERDA N/N.

 

When the Minshalls threatened to sue the Dufurrena’s, they immediately settled. The amount of the settlement is unknown since it was a private transaction. The Minshalls then sued Dr. Hartman, owner of HERC. The jury found the Dufurrena’s 60 percent responsible, the Minshalls 30 percent responsible and Hartman only 10 percent responsible; however, no damages were announced at the trial.

 

However, on March 30, 2017, the Minshall’s lawyers sued Dr. Hartman, who collected the semen from Auspicious Cat and shipped it to the Minshalls, for legal fees of $203,535. (In a previous article I said that the Minshalls had sued Hartman for legal fees; however, Lauren Minshall called me and said it was the lawyers who filed – even though that was not noted in the lawsuit documents, as, according to legal advice given me, the lawyers had to go through the original lawsuit to sue Hartman for legal fees.)

Click for Minshall lawsuit>> 

 

Almost a month later, Judget Mazzant issued a Final Judgment on April 26, 2017, that said, “Based on Memorandum Opinion and Order and the verdict, it is ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that judgment is entered in favor of Plaintiffs Shawn Minshall, Lisa Victoria Minshall and Lauren Victoria Minshall in the amount of $3,000 plus costs and pre- and post-judgment interest thereon at the rate provided by law, against Defendant Hartman Equine Reproduction Center, P.A

Click for Final Judgment>>

 

ATTORNEY FEES:
On that same date, Judge Mazzant issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order, which said, “The jury only found Defendant negligent and did not find Defendant liable under any other cause of action.”

 

The Memorandum continued, “The Plaintiffs argued they were statutorily entitled to attorneys’ fees under Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 38.001(6), which states that ‘a person may recover reasonable attorneys’ fees from an individual or corporation, in addition to the amount of a valid claim and costs, if the claim is for … killed or injured stock.’ ”

 

It continued, “Plaintiffs’ complaint did not seek recover of attorneys’ fees under Section 38.001(6). Further the jury did not make any findings regarding whether Otto was ‘injured’ for purposes of Section 38.001(6). Plaintiffs’ request for attorneys’ fees is denied.”
Click for Memorandum-Opinion>>

 

MOTION TO RECONSIDER:
On May 9, the Plaintiffs Motion to Reconsider Memorandum Opinion Order, denying Plaintiffs’ Motion for entry of Judgment (Dkt #1351) and Motion to Amend Final Judgment (Dkt #136) in which the Plaintiffs requested the Court amend the Final Judgment and award Plaintiffs $16,340.80, 10 percent of the total compensatory damages award of $16,340.80, $203,535 in reasonable and necessary attorneys’ fees and for such other and further relief in law or in equity to which Plaintiffs may show themselves justly entitled. Pursuant to Local Rule CV-7(g), and Plaintiffs requested an oral hearing.

 

CERTIFICATE OF CONFERENCE:
On May 9, 2017, Drew Thomas, counsel for Plaintiffs, emailed Caleena Svatek, counsel for Defendant, regarding this motion. No agreement could be reached due to an irreconcilable difference of opinion regarding Texas law on negligence and attorneys’ fees. Caleena Svatek confirmed Defendant was opposed to Plaintiffs’ motion via email correspondence on May 9, 2017. The discussions have ended in an impasse, leaving an open issue for the Court to resolve.

 

CASE CLOSED:

That Conference was the final legal document and after that document, the case was marked, “Case Closed.”

Denying Plaintiffs Motion=final judgment 5-9-17

 

LESSONS LEARNED FROM THIS LAWSUIT:
These lawsuits were the results of a HERDA H/N (carrier) stallion being bred to a HERDA H/N (carrier) mare and they show how expensive the results can turn out to be – especially if the sire is not advertised correctly. I checked with the AQHA (Since the trial, you can now call the registration department of the AQHA and find out the HERDA status of any horse) and Metallic Cat is H/N (a HERDA carrier) – even though his HERDA status was not advertised on the current ads for the stallion. Obviously Auspicious Cat (and for that matter Metallic Cat) SHOULD NOT have been bred to a HERDA H/N mare, as proven by the birth of Otto, with full-blown HERDA.

 

However, breeders evidently did their breeding to Metallic Cat, or other sons of High Brow Cat, correctly, (as far as HERDA is concerned) in this case, as their offspring in the 2017 NCHA Super Stakes Open finals, included the 14 High Brow Cat-bred finalists that were out of mares sired by Dual Rey, Dual Pep (2), Spots Hot, Doc’s Hickory, Peptoboonsmal (2), Dulces Smart Lena, Freckles Playboy (3), Docs Stylish Oak, Son Of A Doc and Hesa Peptospoonful.
Click for Metallic Cats Offspring

 

However, we don’t know how many offspring of Metallic Cat were born with HERDA symptoms after he was crossed with HERDA H/N mares – or if there were any in the 2013 crop of 321 foals registered with the AQHA. I only checked the nine in the 2017 NCHA Super Stakes Open Finals.

 

A disturbing fact that came out of the trial was that the owners of several stallions who are H/N (carriers of the HERDA gene) have advertised if, as a result of their breeding to a particular stallion, the offspring is born with HERDA symptoms, the mare owner will receive a rebreed. To me, this encourages breeding for possible “throw-away” horses, as the Minshall lawsuit exposes what it costs to keep one.

 

AS A RESULT, AQHA CUTTING HORSE GENETIC POOL IS SHRINKING
On Jan. 15, 2015, I published an article on www.allaboutcutting.com written by Rick Dennis and entitled “American Quarter Horse Genetic Pool Shrinks,” which revealed an article in the American Quarter Horse Journal, stating that “the present state of the breed is becoming more and more inbred” (It is now worse two years later) and AQHA is allowing it even though AQHA’s Mission Statement includes “maintaining the welfare of its horses.” I am including a link to this article as I feel every breeder of cutting horses should read and digest it. In short, according to the article, the “highest average inbreeding was found in Quarter Horses bred for cutting.

 

According to Dr. Molly McCue, “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.”

 

Since the AQHA’s Mission Statement in part is “To record and preserve the pedigree of the American Quarter Horse while maintaining the integrity of the breed and welfare of its horses,” Dennis questioned whether the executives at the AQHA, their Executive Committee members, especially the Stud Book and Registration Committee, had any forethought about the ramifications their expansive breeding rule adoptions would have on the Quarter Horse breed and industry over time.

 

As a “risk analyst,” Dennis examined the specific breeding rules adopted by the AQHA, namely Multiple Embryo Transfer and Frozen Semen, which he felt is aiding the inbreeding of cutting horses, which he feels is actually a form of “animal cruelty.”

Click for AQHA Genetic Pool Shrinks>>

 

Although the Minshalls spent a lot of money on a lawsuit without receiving much in return, I thank them for getting a “set precedent” on the court case as far as responsibility is concerned, getting the AQHA to make HERDA information available to all members on every registered horse (currently by a phone call and later when their new computer system is online), as well as all the other valuable information for breeders of cutting horses that came out in court.

 

 

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☛ Brunzell court documents revealed 5-8-17

Posted by on May 8, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, EQUI-VOICE, HORSE LAWSUITS, HORSE NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

SHERRI BRUNZELL COURT DOCUMENTS REVEALED

May 8, 2017
By Glory Ann Kurtz

On April 27, 2017, I published the following article about Sherri Brunzell going to jail for 60 days for animal cruelty; however, today  I have received  the court documents regarding the penalties that Brunzell received and am attaching then at the end of this article.

Although Sherri only got 60 days in jail, along with a 5-year probation term, she paid royally for letting those horses starve with a few even dying. With 14 charges against her, she was acquitted on six of them and found guilty on eight.  She could have originally gotten 550 days in jail; however, 490 days were suspended pending the successful completion of probation – restitution for 91 days and 60 months probation.

Sherri was fined $500 for each of the eight counts of guilty, she was ordered to not possess, own, manage, lease, or care for any horses, llamas, livestock or any other herd animal; pay costs and fines imposed; ordered to attend 16 individual counseling sessions and two post-treatment assessments as per animal evaluation; forfeit horses to El Paso County and provide registration on each horse. Total costs to Brunzell for this case totaled $40,191.50.

During her jail time, she must serve 60 days straight, a work release is not authorized and the court will review in 120 days for potential proposed plan/possibility of unsupervised probation.

“THE SHERRI BRUNZELL CASE:

Showing the difference a couple of years can make, Sherri Brunzell, who owned the 10 horses, including an emaciated Quarter Horse cutting stallion, Dual Peppy, along with llamas that were found living in a crypt-like Black Forest, Colo., barn in 2014. The barn contained the decomposing remains of the living horses’ former stablemates..

In May 2015, an El Paso County jury convicted Brunzell of eight “misdemeanor” counts of animal cruelty; however, she filed appeal after appeal until they ran out. However, Brunzell had paid a financial price, as she was ordered to pay $5,400 per month for the horses’ care and the AQHA automatically suspended her and denied her any and all privileges, including privileges associated with registration related to transactions and participation in any AQHA events. The horses were sent to a Colorado rescue and Sherri never received ownership of the horses again.”

All that time, Judge Stephen James Sletta said he would have liked to give her more time, but during her 2015 jury trial, that was all he could give her, according to the law at that time.

If this case would have been held in 2016, Sherri could have more than likely been sentenced to prison for years rather than days. On Jan. 1, 2016, horse abuse became a felony.

Click for Brunzell court records>>

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☛ Animal cruelty now a felony 4-29-17

Posted by on Apr 29, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, EQUI-VOICE, HORSE ABUSE | 0 comments

IT’S A NEW DAY FOR ANIMAL CRUELTY

 

THE YEAR 2016 MADE ANIMAL CRUELTY A FELONY

 

By Glory Ann Kurtz
April 29, 2017

 

The Dayle Kountz case:

According to a May, 2015 article in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Dayle Kountz, owner of Kountz Arena in Bozeman, Mont., was charged with two felony animal cruelty charges after a horse with a missing foot and a comatose calf were found on his property. Kountz was charged with aggravated animal cruelty and a second offense of cruelty to animals.

 

A deputy contacted Kountz, who owned the horse named Young Doc Bar. Kountz told the deputy that the animal was 22 or 23 years old and he was going to get some semen from the horse and then put him down. He said the horse was injured around Christmas 2014 when he got his foot caught between panels and “hurt the foot real bad.” He claimed he cared for the horse but the foot was so damaged that it fell off. The horse was never taken to a veterinarian. Kountz had previously been convicted of misdemeanor cruelty to animals in Gallatin County in 1999.

 

It is now 2017 and Kountz hasn’t had a trial yet and he was recently denied a request for a change of venue in his upcoming trial for animal cruelty, saying that despite the defense’s claims, media coverage of this case has not been overwhelming. In an order issued Tuesday, April 25, Butte-Silver Bow District Judge Brad Newman denied a request by Kountz to move his trial to Madison County.

 

In a motion filed by Kountz’s defense attorneys in September, the defense claimed that stories written by the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the Belgrade News and two local TV stations were sensational, inflammatory and one-sided. The motion also noted a Facebook page called “Justice for Young Doc Bar created by animal supporters and a Change.org petition lobbying for Kountz to be prosecuted. However, Gallatin county Deputy Attorney Erin Murphy; however, said pretrial publicity was not overwhelming or prejudicial and the judge ultimately agreed, stating the news media coverage has been factual rather than editorializing designed to sway public opinion. The case is scheduled to go to trial before Newman in Bozeman for seven days starting Sept. 11.

 

However, the most important part of this case is that it is being held in 2017, rather than 2015 when the animal abuse charges were filed. On Jan. 1, 2016, “acts of cruelty against animals” was counted alongside felony crimes like arson, burglary, assault and homicide in the FBI’s expansive criminal database. At that time the Bureau’s National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) began collecting detailed data from participating law enforcement agencies on acts of animal cruelty, including gross neglect, torture, organized abuse and sexual abuse.

 

Before Jan. 1, 2016, crimes that involved animals were lumped into an “All other Offenses” category in the FBi’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program’s annual Crime in the United States report, a survey of crime data provided by about 18,000 city, county, state, tribal and federal law enforcement agencies.

 

In September, Kountz could be found guilty of a felony and be sentenced from a database as if he had committed a burglary, assault or even a homicide, which could include years in prison, rather than days in jail.

 

The Sherri Brunzell case:

Showing the difference a couple of years can make, Sherri Brunzell, who owned the 10 horses, including an emaciated Quarter Horse cutting stallion, Dual Peppy, along with llamas, that were found living in a crypt-like Black Forest, Colorado, barn in 2014. The barn contained the decomposing remains of the living horses’ former stablemates.

 

In May 2015, an El Paso county jury convicted Brunzell of eight “misdemeanor” counts of animal cruelty; however, she filed appeal after appeal until they ran out. However, Brunzell had paid a financial price, as she was ordered to pay $5,400 per month for the horses’ care and the AQHA automatically suspended her and denied her any and all privileges, including privileges associated with registration related to transactions and participation in any AQHA events. The horses were sent to a Colorado rescue and Sherri never received ownership of the horses again.

 

At that time, the judge said he would have liked to give her more time, but during her 2015 jury trial, that was all he could give her, according to the law at that time

 

But her freedom time was up! This week, after her appeals were exhausted, the same Colorado judge ordered her guilty of horse abuse, giving her a 60-day jail term, beginning at 7 p.m. that evening, followed by a 5-year probation term and banned her from owning or possessing livestock, including horses and llamas. .

 

If this case would have been held in 2016, Sherry could have more than likely been sentenced to prison for years rather than days in jail.

 

Robert Dimitt, a hoof-carving horse trainer:

Recently, an Oklahoma judge sentenced a hoof-carving horse trainer to five years in prison for the mutilation deaths of multiple horses.

 

Robert Dimitt, Sallisaw, Okla., looked shocked when Sequoyah County District Judge Jeff Payton announced his fate. Officers immediately remanded him to custody to begin serving his sentence. After he is released, he will spend 10 years on parole and he is prohibited from being around any horses during that time. If he skirts the conditions of his release, he will be returned to prison. Dimmitt’s attorney had sought probation for his client.

 

Dimitt was arrested in August 2015, when authorities were alerted about dead horses on his property. He had cut the frogs out of the horses’ hooves to “make them run faster.” Several racehorses died, one in a paddock without water or veterinary care before her body was burned.

 

Awesome Ashley had to be euthanized after three weeks of treatment, as the mare’s foot turned to mush causing her coffin bone to protrude through her hoof. A third filly, Gold Digging Ashley was a race winner in her 3-year-old division. Her left hind foot separated from the coronary band. She also suffered from pneumonia; however, a veterinarian reported her other three feet had injuries similar to the left rear from the severe trimming, frog mutilation and infection. Dimitt even “applied live electric wires to her chest to make her cough,” according to a vet.

 

Had Dimmitt gone to court and been sentenced in 2015, he would have more than likely had to serve only days in jail rather than years in prison.

 

 

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