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☛ Vogels and Dufurrena settle – Alvin Fults purchases Stevie Rey Von 2-10-18






By Glory Ann Kurtz
Feb. 10, 2018

After close to eight years of disagreements and lawsuits, Ed Dufurrena, Gainesville, Texas, on Thursday, Feb. 8, agreed to sign over three horses to Don and Janie Vogel, Saint Jo, Texas, during a private settlement in the Fort Worth office of their lawyer Lew Stevens.

But these weren’t just any horses. They included Auspicious Cat , a 2005 stallion sired by High Brow Cat out of Lenas O Lady by Peppy San Badger, with over $333,000 in lifetime earnings;  Stevie Rey Von, a 2012 son of Metallic Cat out of Miss Ella Rey and the winner of the 2015 NCHA Open Futurity, earning over $340,000 and Creyzy Train, a trained cutting mare that is a 2012 daughter of Auspicious Cat out of Miss Ella Rey by Dual Rey with earnings of close to $14,000.

The venture started on March 29, 2011, when Janie Vogel wrote a check for $105,000 to Ed Dufurrena Cutting Horses for 49 percent of four horses. They included three (3) registered horses including Auspicious Cat for $49,000, Whata Sneaky Cat ($20,000) and Ozzum Cat ($3,500).  Ozzum Man (registration pending) was listed at $2,500.  Two embryos out of Miss Ella Rey by Auspicious Cat and Metallic Cat (which later turned out to be Stevie Rey Von, the winner of the 2014 NCHA Futurity) were listed at $15,000 each.  Also, a 2011 embryo out of Miss Hickory Wheel by Auspicious Cat was included for 100% of reproductive costs.

Among other things, the hand-written contract stated that the purpose of the alliance was to promote cutting horses through training, showing, breeding and sales for a potential profit. The agreement stated that the Vogels had purchased the percentage of those horses and embryos, which would be known as Dos Cats Partners. The owners would share all expenses, including board, vet care, farrier, advertising, training, showing, nominations, hauling, insurance and any other expense incurred in the care and promotion of horses proportionately. The horses would be managed by Ed Dufurrena, including training, showing and advertising.  Diufurrena agreed to use acceptable practices of animal husbandry in the care and condition of the horses – as well as being the stallion manager.

Asked how the couple got involved in the cutting horse business, Janie said, “Our vet got injured badly in an accident loading horses in a trailer on New Year’s Eve. After five months in the hospital, she sold her practice. So when we went to an auction and bought some breedings for stallions, someone gave me Ed’s number and Shona helped me get my three mares bred.”

“I’ve always been fascinated with cutting horse and went to their shows,” continued Janie. “I had some halter horses that I loved to death – but for a long time I really liked cutting horses.”

Her husband, Don, was born in Muenster, Texas and they lived in South Lake, where they owned a swimming pool concrete company.

“When we decided to retire, we sold the company and bought a farm in Saint Jo, Texas,” sad Janie.


However, in a lawsuit filed six years later on Sept. 27, 2017, the Vogels (the plaintiffs) sued Dufurrena (the defendant), stating that in the beginning, the partnership owned four horses; however, presently the horses remaining in the partnership were Auspicious Cat, Creyzy Train and Stevie Rey Von (at that time ann embryo by Metallic Cat out of Miss Ella Rey). The rest of the horses in the agreement had been sold by Dufurrena. The terms included all expenses being shared proportionately by the ownership interests of each partner; all earnings from any source were to be shared proportionately according to the ownership interests of each partner and the defendant would manage the horses.

Also, expenses were allegedly incurred in the partnership with Dufurrena  being responsible for sending an invoice to the Vogels, that was prepared by Dufurrena, or at the direction of him, providing a description of the expense and the proportionate share owed by the Plaintiffs.

Stevie Rey Von went on to win the 2015 NCHA Futurity, taking home over $300,000 – without Dufurrena paying the Vogels their proportionate share of the winnings. At that time Stevie Rey Von’s breeding fee was $4,000 plus a $650 chute fee.

The Vogels response was that they had  not received their share of the breeding fees, with Dufurrena responding by sending the Vogels “self-generated” invoices containing expenses. When the Vogels requested the expenses be substantiated, they claimed the defendant never complied. In fact, at the time of the lawsuit, none of the expenses had been substantiated by Dufurrena.

The Vogels also claimed gross misrepresentations of material facts by Dufurrena. For example, the number of breedings of the stallions. The Vogels learned that Dufurrena permitted at least 100 breedings to Stevie Rey Von, during that period. The Vogels anticipated that the same would be true for 2015 and 2017 for Stevie Rey Von as well as Auspicious Cat.

According to the lawsuit, at the time of the agreement, Dufurrena represented to the Vogels that Auspicious Cat had no physical defects, which was untrue as it was later learned he was a cryptorchid (only one testicle) and carried the HERDA gene. They claim Dufurrena also misrepresented expenses of the partnership, claiming expenses for things that had not incurred, as well as inflated expenses and some that were not authorized and/or excessive. They also claim the horses generated income but that the Vogels never received their share.

Also, Dufurrena did not include the Vogels ownership on the AQHA registration papers of the partnership horses in the name of the Partnership nor the name of the Vogels. Auspicious Cat was  not transferred to Dos Cats Partners until Jan. 16, 2008, even though the date on the sale was Dec. 30, 2006 and he alone pocketed the $345,000 paycheck for winning the Open NCHA Futurity.

According to AQHA registration papers, Stevie Rey Von was  bred and owned by Brandon Dufurrena (Ed and Shona Dufurrena’s son), but his AQHA registration shows the stallion was transferred to Edward L. Dufurrena on 12/1/15 – just in time for the pair’s win in the 2015 NCHA Futurity, but the ownership of the horse was not actually recorded by the AQHA until Feb. 4, 2016. Note: Stevie Rey Von had never been transferred into the Vogels’ names.)

Dufurrena represented himself as the sole owner of the stallion, which is a serious violation of the rules and regulations of the National Cutting Horse Association. Also, advertisements of the stallion also indicate that Ed Dufurrena was the sole owner. And when breedings were received due to the advertisements, Dufurrena kept all the money and did not pay the Vogels their proportionate share.


The Vogels hired Lisa Bennett, of the law firm of Adams, Bennett, Duncan and Henley in Gainesville, Texas, who on Sept. 27, 2017 filed a lawsuit against Ed Dufurrena.

The lawsuit filed by Bennett, claimed that Dufurrena had committed conversion against the Vogels by selling partnership property without the right to do so and against the benefit of the Plaintiffs. Also Dufurrena had sold partnership property without paying the Plaintiffs their proportional share or permission of the Plaintiffs. This property included breedings from Stevie Rey Von, the prize winnings from the NCHA Futurity (over $340,000)  and by invoicing “paid for” expenses that had not been incurred or were not for the benefit of the partnership.

The suit also included the producing of documentation that Dufurrena had committed forgeries, breached the duty of loyalty owed to the Plaintiffs under the law and terms of the Partnership and using Partnership property for  his own personal gain and to the deprivation of the Plaintiffs, stating that the Vogels were billed expenses to Dufurrena wrongfully – expenses that never existed or were improperly applied or grossly inflated. Also that Dufurrena improperly titled Stevie Rey Von’s ownership with the AQHA in his own name only.

Also, when the Vogels demanded an accounting from Dufurrena, they said Dufurrena refused, breaching his fiduciary duty to the Plaintiffs.

The Vogels sought a dissolution of the Partnership, demanding an accounting from Dufurrena, all monies due them be paid from him and that a receiver be appointed for the sale of all partnership property, including, but not limited to, Steve Rey Von.

The suit claimed that Fraud had been committed on the Plaintiffs and that a points in Vogel’s pleading be filed against Dufurrena within the jurisdiction of the court.

The judgment directed Dufurrena to account for all profits earned on the transactions that are a subject of the suit; prejudgment and post judgment interests as provided by law, an order directing Dufurrena to surrender the records of the Partnership to the Plaintiffs for inspection, appoint a receiver to take custody and control of Partnership property for safekeeping and sale; appoint a receiver to take custody and control of Partnership property for safekeeping and sale; that proceeds from the sale of partnership property be placed in the registry of the court, as well as costs of the suit and any further relief to which the Vogels are entitled.

On Oct. 2, 2017, the Vogels made a motion for the appointment of a receiver, stating that if the assets of the partnership were not immediately placed in a receivership and liquidated, irreparable harm will ensue to Plaintiffs. The present assets of the partnership are the three horses, with Stevie Rey Von being the most valuable since he had won the 2015 NCHA Cutting futurity, giving him a value of $1 million. Auspicious Cat was valued at $160,000 and Creyzy Train at $8,000.

Also the suit claims that Dufurrena has insured the horses, with his and his wife’s names being the beneficiaries and when the Vogels insisted that they be included in the ownership interest in the policy. Dufurrena failed to do so.

The Plaintiffs requested the appointment of a receiver to have authority after the hearing, immediately taking possession of the horses, safe keep and maintain the horses and sell them at public auction. They submitted that Jeremy Barwick of Western Bloodstock Company would be an appropriate person for that since Western Bloodstock put on the big NCHA Futurity sales in December. But since the case was not closed before the NCHA Futurity sales, that never happened.


On October 7, 2017, Dufurrena filed a counterclaim suing the Vogels, who were 66 (and considered elderly by the court*) at the time of the partnership agreement, and their company Jandon Ltd., a Texas Limited Partnership, for disclosure, stating that “over the years the Vogels had placed 10 horses with Dufurrena and were not current with their account, accumulating an unpaid balance of approximately $340,000. On Feb. 6, 2017, when the Vogels came back to pick up their horses, it was discovered that Dufurrena had a possessory lien under Texas law as agisters, requiring the person in possession of the horses to retain possession so that it may be sold to apply the prices of the sale to the unpaid balance of the charges subject to the lien.

The lawsuit also claimed Dufurrena had received a $100,000 check from the account of Jandon LLC which was “no good” and did not clear the bank despite multiple requests by the plaintiffs that the check be covered. He claims the defendants have refused to make good on the check and unpaid balance of the invoices. Dufurrena claimed damages of $340,000, exclusive of attorneys’s fees, costs and pre-judgment interest.

Dufurrena was represented by Bryan H. Burg of Siebman, Burg, Phillips & Smith, LLP, Plano, Texas, who also represented him in a previous lawsuit regarding Auspicious Cat. Brandon Dufurrena was represented by Larry Sullivant, a Gainesville, Texas lawyer.

* If a criminal case were filed in this case and the party suing losing are considered “elderly,” the penalty is 3 times the damages.


In an October 20 response to Dufurrena’s counterclaim, the Vogels requested to see Dufurrena’s records of the Partnership, including the bills but Dufurrena failed to comply. Thereafter, through 2017, the Vogels said they requested documentation from Dufurrena and he always had a reason for not complying. As partners, they demanded they be allowed to inspect the records.

What the Vogels saw was a gross misrepresentation of material facts. A number of breedings to Stevie Ray Von were misrepresented by Dufurrena. He said that Stevie Rey Von had 40 breedings in 2016 (foals would be born in 2017), when the Vogels learned that Dufurrena actually had 100 breedings to Stevie Rey Von during the period. The Vogels said in court documents that they anticipate that the same was true for 2015 and 2017 for Stevie Rey Von, as well as for Auspicious Cat. (AQHA does release  the number of breedings to a stallion in a given year; however, they do release the number of foals registered from those breedings.)

The Vogels also claimed that Dufurrena did not title the Partnership horses in the name of the Partnership nor the name of the Vogels, with the exception of Auspicious Cat. Dufurrena titled Stevie Rey Von’s ownership papers originally in the name of his son Brandon and then in his name – never in the name of the partnership. Also, he never informed the Vogels of the ownership papers of Creyzy Train’s ownership papers in the name of his son and never informed the Vogels of his actions.

During the lawsuit, a Risk Assessment/Risk Analysis was performed by Richard E. “Rick” Dennis in this matter. Rick is a former Professional Drug Enforcement Agent and a Law Enforcement Officer. Since 1986, he has been involved in the private security industry as an entrepreneur and currency is the managing member of the Wind River company. His company specializes in providing private security, personal protection, security consultation as well as employee drug and alcohol testing and risk management services to the private sector including Risk Assessment and Risk analysis.

He has a total of 47 years experience in his fields of representation and is the author of two books: THE AMERICAN HORSE INDUSTRY, AVOIDING THE PITFALLS AND CROSS TRAINING 101, Reining, Cutting, Cowhorse and is a freelance writer and contributor for

Ricks Response 2-10-18


Lisa Bennett, the lawyer defending the Vogels, felt the case needed to be co-counseled by someone who specialized in horse cases. Rick Dennis, thought Lew Stevens, a Fort Worth lawyer who not only specialized in horse cases, but was also personally involved in the horse industry, and had  a lot of experience in it and the legal aspects of the law, was perfect for the job. Lew then teamed up with Lisa Bennett.

“We had a lot of people and curious friends tell us we ought to go to Lew, which we did,” said Janie Vogel, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease. “We were happy when he said he would help us.”

After seven years had gone by in this case, Stevens, in his first day of a formal appearance by Janie Vogel (that had been set up for her deposition), got the defendants to agree to an out-of-court settlement.

The settlement had just eliminated additional months and possibly years of payments to lawyers by the Vogels but Lew didn’t want to take all the credit. In an interview, he said, “A case is never settled by one person. Everyone has to work toward a common goal.”

“I thought we were going to Lew’s office for depositions,” said Janie Vogel. “All of a sudden I was caught by surprise of a settlement.”


The private settlement included the Vogels receiving Auspicious Cat, Stevie Rey Von and Creyzy Train, who are all at Jo Ellard’s Stallion Station and training facility in  Whitesboro, Texas. Both Auspicious Cat and Stevie Rey Von will be standing at the Ellard facility which has 24 x 14 stalls and an underground tornado shelter for the valuable stallions.

The legal case will show up in court records as “case closed.”

Auspicious Cat (High Brow Cat x Lenas O Lady) will be standing for $3,650, which includes the farm fee and Stevie Rey Von (Metallic Cat x Miss Ella Rey) will stand for $4,650, which includes the farm fee.

Janie Vogel said the plan is to get Creyzy Train, who is a trained cutting mare with close to $15,000 in earnings, to be shown.

She continued, “We’d like to stay in the cutting horse business and ‘dabble’ in it.’ ”


And “dabble” Don and Janie Vogel can, as less than 24 hours after the settlement, it was announced that Alvin and Becky Fults, Amarillo, Texas, who previously owned Metallic Cat, the sire of Stevie Rey Von, had purchased Stevie Rey Von for $2 million.

Asked about their relationship with Dufurrena, a gracious Janie said, “We’re just going to try to get along with them. I don’t want to be enemies with anyone.”

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☛ AQHA requesting delay of ELD Mandate 2-1-18



Press release from AQHA
Feb. 1, 2018

The American Quarter Horse Association is involved with requests to delay the impending Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) electronic logging device (ELD) mandate for one year. The mandate went into effect on December 18, 2017. At that time, livestock haulers were granted a 90-day waiver to comply with the mandate, and that waiver will expire March 18, 2018.

The rule limits the amount of time a commercial truck driver can drive and mandates a specific amount of off-duty/non-driving time, and requires the use of electronic logging devices to track the driving and non-driving times.

While there are some exemptions from the ELD mandate for farm and agricultural hauling, many of the rigs used for hauling horses and the activities horse owners participate in may not be exempt.

AQHA and other livestock organizations are concerned about the regulation requiring 10 consecutive hours off duty and how that will affect the welfare of animals being transported. Livestock industry guidelines recommend that drivers avoid stops when hauling livestock, as stopping for long periods of time would have a detrimental effect on the animals being hauled.

AQHA Executive Vice President Craig Huffhines commented on the National Pork Producer Council’s request to United State Department of Transportation for a waiver and exemption from the ELD mandate for livestock haulers. AQHA supports the exemption and is pursuing a one-year delay to address the additional issues created by changes to 49 CFR Part 395.

“AQHA members are involved in showing, racing, ranching, rodeos and recreation, and it is common for AQHA members to haul their horses interstate over long distances (much like other livestock haulers),” Huffhines said in his letter to the DOT. “We encourage the Department of Transportation to grant a one-year enforcement delay followed by a waiver and limited exemptions from compliance with the December 18, 2017, implementation date for the final rule on ELDs and hours of service. This will allow the department the opportunity to take appropriate steps to alleviate any unintended consequences that this mandate may have on the hauling of horses or other livestock.”

Read the full letter sent by Huffhines on behalf of AQHA and the Association’s members.

Overall, the Association believes more time is needed to reach out to the horse industry and ensure that industry education programs include ELD compliance and use. A one-year exemption will provide the horse industry the opportunity to educate members and allow the opportunity for the FMCSA to develop livestock-specific solutions to the ELD and underlying hours of service concerns of the industry.

What can members do?
Currently there is language in the House passed Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill that would delay the implementation of electronic logging devices for commercial motor vehicles transporting livestock and insects. Please contact your Senators and Representative to support the ELD one-year delay to give the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration time to make the necessary adjustments to hours of service rules to address animal welfare concerns. (Their contact information can be found here.)

Additionally, you can tune-in the American Horse Council webinar about the ELD mandate at 2 p.m. Central on February 12. The webinar will address the details of what the ELD mandate includes and who is required to have an electronic logging device. Register for the webinar here. If you can’t watch the webinar on February 12, it will be recorded and posted on the AHC website. To read more about the implementation of electronic logging devices, visit and search “ELD Rule.”

To read more about the implementation of Electronic Logging Devices, visit and search “ELD Rule.”

View brochures created by the American Horse Council for more information on the Electronic Logging Device Mandate and Commercial Drivers Licenses.

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☛ Lonnie Allsup passes at age 84 – 1-29-18





By Glory Ann Kurtz
Jan. 29, 2018

Lonnie Allsup riding Shiney Shorty in 1997.

In 1956 the Texas-native Lonnie Allsup and his wife, Barbara, borrowed $6,500 to open Lonnie’s Drive-in Grocery in Roswell, N.M. While Barbara did the bookkeeping in their bedroom, Lonnie implemented features like cooked food, extended business hours and top placement for high-traffic items. The high school sweethearts were married in 1950.

As business boomed, Allsup expanded into other small cities during the opening decade of what we now call the convenience-store industry, making the Allsups millionaires. However, even though the Allsup chain of convenience stores will still go on, Allsup passed away at the age of 84 on Sunday, Jan. 28 at the Allsups’ home in Clovis, N.M.

Growing up in Morton, Texas, Allsup attended Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene, Tx. from 1952 to 1953 and after a short stint in the Air Force, it was fast-forward from then on when he purchased that first drive-in grocery that lead to a huge success in the convenience store industry.

In 1964, Allsup sold his 12-store chain to 7-Eleven owner Southland Corp. of Dallas in a deal that netted him $250,000 and due to an extremely weak non-compete clause, he was able to restart his business a few years later 100 miles away in Clovis, N.M.


Lonnie Allsup in front of an Allsups store with an unidentified girl.

According to financial articles, as one convenience store chain after another took Chapter 11 bankruptcy, including 7-Eleven, Circle K, Stop ‘n’ Go, Allsup prospered through niche marketing and a careful attention to costs. Part ownership of a co-operative food warehouse allowed him to sell goods at slightly lower prices. In 1996 and still growing, his stores numbered 310 in New Mexico–including several in Roswell, as well as Texas and Oklahoma. According to Allsup, at that time revenues were at $180 million.


While Lonnie ran the chain, the company is more than a one-person band. Barbara is the corporation’s financial vice president, while his son Mark is the chain’s operations manager.


Besides being the founder of Allsup’s Convenience Stores, Inc. he served as its President and Chief Executive Officer. He also served as Allsup also served as Treasurer and Director of Affiliated Foods, Inc. and President of Allsup Enterprises, Inc. He has been Principal of Zia Broadcasting, Clovis, N.M. since 1971 and as Principal of El Cid Land and Cattle Co Inc., a cutting horse operation in Crystal City, Texas since 1986.

Lonnie Allsup and his wife Barbara owned the highly successful Allsups Convenience Store chain.

However, many in the cutting  horse industry knew the Clovis, N.M., resident as the owner of top-bred cutting horses, with his trainer Pete Branch.

Beginning in 1980, Allsup entered cutting horse shows as an owner and rider. According to Branch, he viewed the sport as a great escape from managing his by then 310 stores in 160 towns from Gallup, N.M., to Pilot Point to San Angelo.

“I just love the touch, the smell and the brightness of a horse,” he said in an interview. “Cutting horses appeal to me because they’re bred smart, and they’re very exceptional athletes.”

Lonnie and Barbara own a 2,300-acre ranch near Farwell, just across the border from Clovis, N.M., that includes a 160-acre equine facility.

“On many days, he’s at the ranch by 6 a.m. and stays up to three hours. The ranch is a haven for him,” said Branch, who, according to NCHA has won more than $3.6 million in NCHA earnings.

“Lonnie is very competitive, and of course his business has gotten to be high-stress,” Branch said. “His cutting horse activities feed his competitiveness and gets him away from the stress of the workplace.”

Little Badger Dulce with Pete Branch in the saddle.

His highest money-earning horse was a mare named Little Badger Dulce, who earned $668,460 during her career, which included a Reserve Championship title at the 1992 NCHA World Championship Futurity, ridden by Branch. In 1993, she won the NCHA Super Stakes, with Branch in the saddle. The pair then went on to win the 4-Year-Old Open at Abilene with a whopping 226 score. The pair also were NCHA Open Reserve Champions twice.

Following her aged-event wins, the great mare carried Allsup to the NCHA 1996 Non-Professional World title. Showing how serious he was about his “cutting horse hobby,” in July of 1996, Allsup was in Fort Worth, where his younger horses were competing in the Summer Spectacular, but he also had Little Badger Dulce entered in a weekend show at Dodge City, Kan. He flew to Dodge City, made his 2 1/2-minute run, then flew back to Fort Worth. He made the round trip three times. Allsup’s current lifetime earnings in the NCHA top $555,000.

The great mare was put down in August of 2016 at the ripe old age of 26.

The Allsups also owned Ms Peppy Cat, the winner of the NCHA World Championship Open title in 2008 and 2010, with Branch in the saddle.

Also, in the 1990s, Allsup, who at that time was serving a term as the president of the NCHA, conducted a successful aged event at his Farwell facility that drew many of the sport’s heavy hitters.

In later years, with cutting horses becoming a business for Allsup, he found solace in fishing with his grandchildren.

Jeff Hooper, NCHA Executive Director at the time said, “He’s been very influential. He’s been involved at every level from being a world champion to owning top open horses. He’s one of the premier breeders, and Allsup-bred horses have a big impact.”

At press time, funeral arrangements had not been announced by Muffley  Funeral Home in Clovis.

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☛ To slaughter or not to slaughter 1-26-18






By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
Jan. 25, 2018

The year is 2018, we have a new President, our country’s compass is pointed in a new direction, and yet our government hasn’t advanced very far in fulfilling their legal obligation outlined in the “1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act,” which mandates protection and management of these animals on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service.

“Eighty four percent of Donald Trump’s voters oppose the slaughter of wild horses and a very narrow band of people are for it because they profit from it,” said “Chris Minakowski, a lobbyist and policy analyst.

To date, our government is still rounding up wild mustangs and burros – by barbaric methods, e.g., helicopter or aerial herding which causes a significant amount of animals to be injured or killed. They’re still confining approximately 45,000 animals in holding pens and tax payer dollars are still being wasted paying landowners to house, feed and care for wild horses and burros which would ordinarily care for themselves on the open range where they were born.

The main culprit for this travesty are government-subsidized ranchers using taxpayer dollars that contribute to 2 percent or less of the annual beef production of the United States of America. Annually, these government-subsidized ranchers encroach more and more on public grazing lands with cattle insertion, which increasingly diminishes the grazing lands available for the natural wildlife inhabitants, such as wild horses and burros, among other wildlife species of the herbivore or carnivore type.

How does this happen?  Cattle grazers complain to the BLM that wildlife (wild horses and burros) are encroaching on available grazing lands and request for the natural occupants to be removed to reduce the competition for available food.  However, statistics prove when wild horses and burros are removed, they are simply replaced with commercial cows and sheep.

Carnivores (meat eaters) such as bears, bobcats, coyotes, wolves and mountain lions are removed because they feed on cattle belonging to the government taxpayer-subsidized ranchers. In my opinion, this costly action accomplishes an imbalance of nature on public lands which incidentally belong to American citizens – not the cattle ranchers.

In one of my studies, I discovered, through BLM-supplied statistics, that the BLM makes more money each year from recreational vehicle slot rentals than it does on grassland grazing fees paid by government taxpayer-subsidized cattle ranchers.

In 2015, I authored an article entitled, “Horse Slaughter – Fact and Fiction”, which precisely details the acquired BLM statistics, as well as other related facts pertaining to the waste of taxpayer dollars. One of the organizations promoting the removal of wild horses and burros is identified in this article as “Protect The Harvest,” an organization owned by Forrest Lucas of Lucas Oil. Today, Mr. Lucas is promoting his business with every major 501(c) 3 horse organization by adding piles of cash to payouts. In fact, I’ve been told that “Protect The Harvest” has booths at the major equine events in order to promote Lucas’s organization. However, what Mr. Lucas fails to inform the general public is that there’s a vast majority of cattle ranchers using public grazing land that are millionaires and the vast majority of the rest are being subsidized by our tax dollars.

The real story that’s not being told is how the wild horses and burros suffer after being removed from their home rangeland and confined to holding pens and all because a minority in the cattle business dictates what happens at the BLM.  For the record, I applied to be on the board of the decision makers who decide on matters such as these and I was turned down due to my law enforcement background. Imagine that!

Click for Horse Slaughter article>>



With historical roots dating back to the earliest days of the nation, the BLM administers the lands that remain from America’s original “public domain.”  Created in 1946 through a government reorganization during the Truman Administration, the BLM is the successor to the General Land Office (established in 1812) and the U.S. Grazing Service (originally called the Division of Grazing and renamed in 1939). The Taylor Grazing Act of 1934 established the United States Grazing Service to manage the public rangelands by establishment of advisory boards that set grazing fees. In 1946 the Grazing Service was merged with the General Land Office to form the Bureau of Land Management.

Fast forward: This year, (2018) the BLM is commemorating two milestone events: It is the 72nd anniversary as an Interior Department agency, and the 42nd anniversary of the principle law defining its mission: the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 commonly referred to by its acronym FLPMA.  As the manager of more land (2.45 million acres) or one-tenth of America’s land base and more subsurface mineral estate (700 million acres) than any other government agency, the BLM carries out a dual mandate under FLPMA: that of managing public land for multiple uses (such as energy development, livestock grazing, mining, timber harvesting and outdoor recreation) while conserving natural, historical and cultural resources, such as wilderness areas, wild horses and wildlife habitat, artifacts and dinosaur fossils.  In the language of FLPMA, the BLM’s responsibility is to administer public lands “on the basis of multiple use and sustained yield” of resources.”

What this means, on a practical level, is that the BLM – except in areas specifically set aside for conservation purposes – must multitask to fulfill its duties.  Nevertheless, consistent with the BLM’s goal of good stewardship of public land resources, “multiple use” does not mean every use on every acre.


A leading headline on ABC News states, “Wild horses facing slaughter after US Government proposes new regulations.”  The BLM controls one-eighth of the country’s landmass but leases over 60 percent of it to cattle ranchers. Since their livestock rely on the same resources as the wild horses do, some ranchers want the wild horses pushed off of the land entirely. There are over 45,000 wild horses in holding areas, costing taxpayers about $50 million annually.  It’s an expense that the U.S. Department of Interior sought to address in its 2018 budget by lifting regulations that prevent slaughtering wild horses. If slaughtering wild horses becomes legal, some animal rights activists are concerned that these horses will become extinct.

“The BLM, the very agency in charge of protecting them, is asking Congress for permission to kill them.”  Netherlands said. “They’ve stockpiled wild horses in holding pens….and so now what are they going to do with all the horses that they’ve stockpiled? The adoption rates are not high enough so they can’t adopt them all out. So now we have a bunch of wild horses, that the taxpayers are paying for, in holding facilities and their solution is to kill them.”

Two of the most ridiculous bureaucratic statements come from Lisa Reid of the BLM.  “There’s three things that wild hoses need: food, water, and obviously space.”

[1] “As you can see, we do have millions of acres out here but not every acre is producing viable forage for the horses. So you know, just as with any type of species, they have to be managed just so they don’t become overpopulated and diseased.”

[2] “The agency’s goal is to always have healthy rangelands, which is aided by controlling their population. They no longer have many natural predators in the wild.”

What makes these statements so ridiculous are the facts: 1), no mention as to the number of commercial cows and sheep that are grazing on the grasslands – only the estimated number of horses. 2) There is no mention of limiting the number of commercial cows and sheep, and 3) there are no predators, which upsets the balance of nature, simply due to the fact that BLM has wasted millions of taxpayer dollars to remove them!

Click for Wild Horses article>>

“A wild mustang charging across an open plain is a symbol of the untamed majesty of nature.  But the predators chasing these majestic beasts are anything but natural.

“Until Next Time, Keep Em Between The Bridle”

Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
Managing Member
Office/Mobile: (985) 630-3500
Web Site:

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☛ Trainers support Horse Training Integrity Act 1-24-18

Posted by on Jan 24, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments



Press release sponsored by Darby  Dan Farms
Jan. 24, 2018

According to a press release sponsored by Darby Dan Farms, leading North American trainer H. Graham Motion has joined the Water Hay Oats Alliance (WHOA) as the latest member in a growing list of trainers who support efforts for passage of The Horseracing Integrity Act.  To date, 65 trainers are represented on WHOA’s roster, including Hall of Famers Roger Attfield, Michael Dickinson, Neil Drysdale, and Jonathan Sheppard, as well as leading international trainers Ian Balding, John Gosden, Alec Head, Criquette Head-Maarek and Gai Waterhouse.

In a statement to WHOA, Motion shared the following:

From what I have seen WHOA is the only group that is making a serious effort to form a national governing body with uniform rules and penalties covering all 38 racing jurisdictions and in sync with international rules of racing (IFHA) bringing transparency and integrity to US racing.

I have held off joining WHOA up until now, but frustration with the lack of a governing body continues to become more apparent as shown by the problems that several horsemen including myself have experienced in the last few years.

There is a lack of understanding as to how complicated the medication rules have become from state to state and there seems to be a desire from the powers that be to trip us up rather than guide us through these issues.

We cannot compare ourselves to other countries when it comes to medication infractions. In the US we are allowed certain medications within a closer time frame to race day and in my mind herein lies the problem.

There is only one solution and that is a governing body with guidelines similar to other countries where common sense and uniform rules are used. Despite the sensitivity of testing, little has changed with regards to the environment in which our samples are handled.  This also would be better addressed by a group that would oversee all testing protocols. Without change we will continue to give our industry a black eye.

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☛ Sex offenders and background checks 1-19-18





By Glory Ann Kurtz
Jan. 19, 2018

Now is the time when horse organizations accept suggestions from their membership so they can honor some of their members to be in their respective Halls of Fame. Usually suggestions are made by members, with transcripts that include their great accomplishments in their particular industry. But do they really know all the information about the person they are suggesting be given the honors?

That’s kind of how our members of Congress are chosen and we know how that turned out. Or maybe it’s about the businessmen or women or film stars who have been highly successful, in great demand and are very wealthy. A group gets together and decides which of them should be honored … whether it be in film, music or business.  Or maybe it’s the news media who decides which businessmen have accomplishments worthy of some recognition. We also know how that all turned out.

That leads to the big question: “What DON’T we know about these individuals?” That’s been a lesson learned the hard way recently when several members of the U.S. Congress, as well as the top echelon of ownership and management of U.S. companies, who had to step down when they were accused of sexual harassment and assault. A majority of them didn’t even deny the allegations; they simply resigned to “being unmasked” as their female victims had finally came forward, saying  the sexual harassment had been going on for years. That includes the doctor at the Olympics who recently  had to face  his victims in court, with the parent of one of them revealing how her daughter had committed suicide after the sexual assault.

Sexual harassment and assault has also been going on in the horse industry for years – but in a much smaller scale than in the business or movie world as there are not many media outlets trying to seek out the perpetrators and unmask them to the industry. It’s easier to prove horse abuse than it is women or child abuse as usually there isn’t a lot of physical or court evidence available. It’s simply a woman’s or child’s word against the perpetrator’s and usually they are too ashamed or scared to report it in the first place. Personally, I know of instances where young girls have been abused for years and were too frightened of the perpetrator to report it.

However, the web site “,” recently unmasked a National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) long-time member who is a trainer, clinician and a member of their Hall of Fame, who has a conviction for “rape by force or threat.” The site published a state of California rap sheet of him, including a photo and his offenses that took place in 1963. The website, that also does background checks on individuals, stated that the information “was obtained through the public domain and in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act.”

As a result, Les Vogt, 75, of Paso Robles, Calif., was exposed as a convicted felon through California’s Offense Code 261.3 Rape of Drugged Victim in 2002.

Click for Megan’s Law sex offender law in California>>

Recently California passed SB384, which is a new bill regarding sex offenders. However Vogt is still under the rules of the old bill as his offense was in 1963.

SB 384: California’s new 3-tiered sex offender registration system>>

According to his website, Vogt is “one of the horse world’s premier trainers, teachers and innovators, having won 15 World Champion Reining and Working Cow Horse titles, as well as countless other championships. He has been a member of the NRCHA Hall of Fame since 2004! Two years following his conviction for being a sex offender.

Les Vogt | NRCHA Hall of fame

Vogt’s website states, “As a teacher and clinician, Les lectures extensively in the United States, South America and Western Europe. His clinics welcome both professional and  non-pro students and every clinic is tailored for the participants.”

Vogt’s site emphasizes that his clinics focus on various aspects of the Western performance spectrum with special sessions available for reining, showmanship, working cow horse and young horses/young riders.  Vogt has 13 clinics planned for 2018 due to his success in the National Reined Cow Horse Association.

Vogt was also included in the film “Down The Fence,” regarding the reined cow horse that is promoted by the NRCHA and is now available on Netflix or can be purchased on Amazon.


While there’s not much an association’s Board of Directors can do to make sure all their fellow members are not sex offenders, it is possible to assure that the members of the board and/or individuals who are honored or voted in as officers or Hall of Fame members and who are role models for their members – especially the youth – are not sex offenders or have any felony  convictions on their record. A conviction of being a sex offender is a felony. As of yesterday, I checked with Megan’s List in California and Vogt is definitely still on the list and is, therefore, a sex offender and a felon.

Click for Sex Offender Registry FBI>>

An association’s Board can make it mandatory that anyone running for an office or the board of directors or are nominated for a Hall of Fam or another honorary position at a equine association, have a “background check” before they are moved into that position. If you don’t control who your officers and Hall of Fame members are, and you know that they have a felony on their rap sheet, the Association could be liable for the actions of these honorary members of that association as the honors given to them by the association usually signifies they are trustworthy as clinicians.

However, Jay Winborn, the Executive Director of the NRCHA  was given a copy of this article prior to it being published, and after consulting with the Board of Directors of the NRCHA, he made the following statement: “NRCHA is an equine association that promotes and produces reined cow horse events and does not comment on situations involving the personal lives of our members.” He also asked that several statements be eliminated that he had previously made.

It is interesting to note that to be an AQHA Professional Horseman in the Trainers Directory, the individuals have to go through a background check.

Also, the NRCHA, along with several other horse organizations, including the NCHA and APHA receive city, state and federal money for their events held at the Will Rogers Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas. There is a possibility if there were a lawsuit filed by a victim of a sexual assault at one of these events, that the facility, city, state or federal government could also be included in the lawsuit. That could be the tipping point to get a background check on the board and officers of each of those associations. At the very least, if it was discovered that some of the individuals on these association’s board of directors had felony convictions for sex offenses, these governmental departments may not want to participate – as well the event’s sponsors.

According to the NRCHA, as of Oct. 23, 2017, nominations were being accepted for the next election cycle for the NRCHA Board of Directors for positions for nomination currently held by Sandy Collier, Brad Barkemeyer, Amanda Gardiner and Dan Roeser. Positions remaining in office for 2018 include Todd Bergen, Paul Bailey, Jake Telford, Joe Carter, Jim Lane, Trey Neal, Diane Edwards and Jon Roeser.

Attached is a copy of the NRCHA 2018 Election Notice, which interestingly includes in disclosure and eligibility requirements: (iv) full disclosure of any felony convictions on record and signing the NRCHA Code of Conduct and Confidentiality agreement.

Click for NRCHA 2018 Election Notice>>

However, there is no known check or penalties in place to make sure those signing it are being truthful, other than, “If discovered, they will be immediately suspended from the ballot or later from the board.” No mention of the loss of their membership in the NRCHA.


Also, another group of members of horse associations who have access to women and children are the horse trainers who have clinics on a regular basis, teaching, among others, such as women and children, how to ride and show horses. The NCHA, AQHA, APHA and NRCHA all have a Trainer’s Directory, so it would be easy to make a background check one of the requirements to be in the Trainer’s Directory, especially if they are training the riders. The cost of the background check could be up to the trainer, or part of their membership fee to be included in the association’s Trainer Directory. Several trainers are having their clinics at their own facilities.

However, according to my legal sources, if you’re not the trainer putting on the clinic, individuals or associations who are putting on clinics should check with the Sex Offender National Registry or the Sex Offender Registry in the state the clinician is living in to see if they are on the sex-offender list. If they fail to do that, the person or people, including associations, putting on the clinic could be involved in a lawsuit if the trainer they hired is accused of a sex offense during the clinic, should there be a complaint regarding sexual harassment or assault.

Also, if you are a horse facility owner and employ a trainer, if you do a background check on them, you can be assured that they are not sex offenders before they have the run of your facility and customers. If the trainer is coming from out of state, that state’s sex-offender registry should be checked if you don’t find them on the National Sex Offender chart. This could also help to alleviate any legal action against you.

Click for National Sex Offender chart>>

By today’s heightened awareness of sexual predation in our society, it seems prudent for 501 C 3 nonprofit organizations to design standards of care and rule adoptions to insure the safety and well being of its members and is especially prudent when an individual is a role model for new and upcoming generations. It would also be relevant for associations to have a hotline where victims can call into the association without being exposed as to who they are.

If you have any further questions regarding this problem, it is covered in Rick Dennis’ book “The American Horse Industry – Avoiding the Pitfalls,” available from Dennis at WIND RIVER COMPANY LLC, Richard E. Dennis, Managing Member

Phone: (985) 630-3500, Email:, Email – Personal:, Web Site:, or from online sources such as


The first question most people ask is, “Where do I go to find someone to do a legitimate background check on upcoming officers or members of the Hall of Fame?” You can do a lot of research yourself by Googling “background checks” for a variety of choices. If you would rather have an outside service do the checking for you, Rate My Horse Pro, who did the background check on Vogt, does background checks as well as do most private investigators. It may be one of the best investments your company, facility or association can make.

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