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☛ Tommy Manion apologizes – court hearing cancelled 10-12-17



By Glory Ann Kurtz
Oct. 12, 2017

In a one-page letter, entitled Exhibit A, to the NCHA, Tommy Manion, who had been suspended from the association for horse abuse, for shooting his unruly horse with a BB gun at a Whitesboro, Texas, NCHA-approved show, apologized. Manion said he was sorry that the method he subsequently used for  correcting his unruly horse caused such a controversy.

“I deeply regret that this event took place,” said Manion. “I’m committed to the NCHA and will endeavor to continue to conduct myself in a professional manner for the remainder of my career. We are pleased that this matter is resolved. and look forward to putting it behind us.”

Manion continued, “I join with the Association in continuing to take a strong stance against animal abuse and in protecting the animals we all love so dearly. I appreciate the NCHA’s continued commitment to completely eliminate abuse in our industry,”

As a result, the hearing scheduled for Friday, Oct. 13, at the Tom Vandergriff Civil Courts Building courthouse in Fort Worth, Texas, was cancelled.To date, the NCHA has not answered Manion’s apology on their website.

tommy manion apology

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☛ Just in case you’re interested 9-27–17

Posted by on Sep 27, 2017 in HORSE ABUSE, HORSE NEWS, TO THE EDITOR, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments



By Carol Harris
Sept. 27, 2017

The following letter was sent to me today by two Quarter Horse lovers, Betty Marshall and Liz Hickling.  For some reason it got me upset all over again.  A year and a half ago I was more or less asked not to write anymore “On The Fence” articles because it disturbed the halter horse people too much.  No telling who this will disturb, but the subject of people not knowing the difference between right and wrong still disturbs me a great deal.


Today I have only touched on one of my most disturbing subjects which includes the following:


We have allowed too many inhumane trainers to become judges who continually reward each other at the horse shows.  These trainer/judges have been permitted by our Association to totally ruin our once extremely popular sport by participating in conflicting jobs at horse shows and by refusing to listen to good advice and good criticism that has been given to them for years.


If our leadership and our members do not know the difference between right and wrong, they should try to remember that there is “NO RIGHT WAY TO DO SO MANY WRONG THINGS”.  That is exactly what they have been doing to our horses, our membership and our Association for countless years.   I predict we will never be what we once were because too many intelligent voices have tried to get the attention of those in command – – – and failed.  No one has even had the guts to try and make a wise improvement, they just close their ears and fail to remember that our multiple leveled classes are extremely boring and AQHA membership is still decreasing every day.

Carol Harris

Betty Marshall shared Liz Hickling‘s post — with Linda Byrdsonge and 29 others.
  • Some people are honest and brave enough to tell it like it is.

Liz Hickling

So they said – western pleasure horses are moving much better, more fwd movement etc etc.
I decided to watch the Farnham 2 yr WP Stakes at the APHA World Show. Holy crappola – same canted into the rail, crippled movement – nothing changed BUT — two horses were different.
JS Heaven Sent owned by Jan and Jay Williams, actually loped and came off the rail to pass the cripples. KUDOS to them for letting their horse move naturally and having the balls to do that at the World Show. Was a pleasure to watch.
Mark Gilmore had the only other horse that moved better than the rest of them.
Guess what – the best moving horse placed last out of 9 – what a frigging surprise. Mark was 4th in the Limited and I believe about the same in the open.
So I guess all the BS about the pleasure horses moving more naturally and freer is just that BULL SHIT. And the statement that the judges have to use what they see. Well tonight they saw a western pleasure horse moving naturally, not canted in, head not down to the knees. Even in the back up – the rider of JS Heaven Sent was the only rider who didn’t have to yard her lines up to her ears to get the horse to back up – all the others did. Did they reward that movement – HELL NO!!

Saves me from watching any more pleasure classes.

Just my opinion which along with a dollar will get you nothing.

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☛ From the Editor 9-26–17



By Glory Ann Kurtz

Sept. 26, 2017

I always seem to pick the worst times to be away. The past few months have been crazy. But I have sold my horse facility and I and my animal menagerie of animals including Cougarand, a 31-year-old champagne stallion sired by Peppy San Badger, out of an own daughter of Doc Bar, and my little dog Billie, will be moving into my new home in Grandview, Texas, with my daughter.

After 37 years in one place, it was a huge move, as well as being rather heart-wrenching. My Mother and my husband, Bob, both died in that house and it had many memories of buying and selling hundreds of horses, as well as raising hundreds of babies, as well as a little bit of showing.

Its also stressful to decide what to take and what not to take. And the “what-nots” need to be more things than you ever dreamed of getting rid of. But a statement I heard during my move helped: “If you’re not going to be using it, get rid of it because your kids don’t want it.” Good advice and very true I’m sure!

It seemed my most valuable possessions were horse magazines and horse sale catalogs: the Quarter Horse Journal, The Cutting Horse Chatter and Quarter Hsorse News.  I had some of them back into the 1970s and I finally got the nerve to throw some of them away, most interestingly enough, the more recent ones.

I gave my Chatters to Gala Nettles, as she is doing some historical articles on the National Cutting Horse Association. I advertised that I would give away my Quarter Horse Journals, dating back into the 1970s and had one phone call – a woman who wondered if I had the November 1973 issue of the Quarter House Journal as there was an article about her horse in it, I did have it and sent it to her free of charge. That’’s the only call I got. I guess I should have charged for them and I’d have had more takers! That’s usually the case.

But I realized that the summer was about gone. My daughter and I took a trip to North Dakota for my 60th class reunion, which was a blast.  We have them every five years and I don’t miss them – but they miss Bob as he brought that Pennsylvania home brew that his friend Bobby George made, and he enjoyed them even more than I did and it was my reunion!  I’m sorry to say that Bobby George also passed away a couple of months ago.

Also, I had only spent a couple of weeks in the mountains of Colorado. so I dumped my furniture and boxes, as well as Cougarand, off with my daughter to care for and headed to Colorado for what was left of the summer. Only days later, he got cast in his stall. She got the help of one of her employees, they tipped him over and got him up. When he started chasing the help’s dog, they knew he was OK.

Today, the aspens are all turning red and yellow, the morning and evening clouds are lowering themselves into our valley, it is freezing some at night and there is snow on the mountains. In fact, as I speak, it is raining now after a gorgeous day. I Guess I better think about coming back to Texas for the winter!

I’m still planning on continuing my site: to keep you updated on interesting things going on in the horse industry. I know some of you will love that – while others will hate it; however, guys and gals, that’s life and I’m going to enjoy it to the fullest!

I have to thank Rick Dennis for helping me keep up my site by writing many interesting articles and forwarding news to me. If you haven’t read the articles on cell phones – you need to. It will enlighten you about the item that EVERYONE has to have. The articles give valuable information on the cell phones themselves, as well as the carriers. Also, as a risk analyst, he has written several articles about the horse industry and kept me up to date.

Following are a couple of articles of interest in the horse world:


The latest news in the cutting world, is that Tommy Manion has sued the NCHA for suspending him for two years, putting him on probation, fining him $15,000, and also giving him a five-year probationary period to be served after his suspension, for violating the NCHA’s Zero Tolerance Policy. At an NCHA cutting in July, Manion was videoed when he shot his stallion with a BB gun “to calm him down from his aggressive and anti-social actions.”

The stallion, Smooth Maximus is a full brother to Million Dollar sire Smooth As A Cat. He said he did it because the stallion was “kicking at people and horses, trying to bite people and horses, rearing up and trying to charge at other horses, Manion said he couldn’t approach the stallion safely, so he shot him with a BB gun.” The incident was all filmed on a cell phone and sent to the NCHA,

I reported how the NCHA Executive Committee, as well as Grievance Committee found that he was guilty of the association’s Zero Tolerance Policy.

However, the latest is that in his lawsuit, he is asking that the NCHA’s disciplinary action be voided and that he receive more than $1 million in monetary relief.He has also asked the judge to issue a temporary injunction to block the NCHA from enforcing the action while the civil case is pending.

The NCHA contends that it  has a right to suspend Manion or any other member for the association’s rule violations.

When I get back to Fort Worth (after a quick jaunt to Nebraska to attend a friend’s wedding, who was a former employee of mine at Quarter Horse News), I will make a mad dash to the Tarrant County Courthouse and get the court documents and publish them.

I usually don’t report hear-say; however I did hear that the SPCA checked out the situation and let Manion off the hook if he gelded the stallion, which he did. If they would have charged him, that would have been a felony and he could have faced a severe financial penalty as well as serve some time in jail.  Also, I heard the stallion was owned by a syndicate and that the syndicate members are upset and thinking of suing Manion as they didn’t know anything about the incident or the gelding the stallion. I’ll also check that out when I get home,


On a side note about cruelty to animals, On Tucker Carlson’s TV show, he reported that several jurisdictions may soon consider motions to create registries for animal abuser the same way sex offenders are documented, He said Tennessee is currently the only state that has such a registry but such legislation has been passed in Cook County, Ill, which is home to Chicago. Also Massachusetts and Arizona are also considering legislation to create such lists.

Carlson said that “animals are helpless in the hands of humans and that it is up to us to treat them fairly, Your relationship with them is governed only by empathy and if you hurt an animal, it says a lot about how you treat people.”

That statement has been proven by the FBI, as I previously wrote an article about that.Those kids who torture and kill animals are more likely to do the same to people later in life.

To wrap this up, I had a telephone call from a Senior Editor of the Star Telegram who are covering the Manion incident and he told me it has morphed into an “animal abuse” article. He wanted to interview me about that; however, I had such poor phone coverage that I told him that would be impossible until I get home.

I should be home next week and if I can find my computer and printer, I will continue to try to give you more ”horsey” news!

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☛ Manion found guilty or NCHA Zero Tolerance Policy 9-7–17




By Glory Ann Kurtz
Sept. 8, 2017

Following a meeting of the NCHA Appeal Grievance Committee, who reviewed evidence regarding a complaint filed against Tommy Manion, Aubrey, Texas, on Sept. 6, 2017, it was determined that Manion violated NCHA’s Zero Tolerance Policy and Standing Rule 35.a.1 during a cutting in Whitesboro, Texas, held on Saturday, July 15, when he was videoed shooting his horse with a BB gun. There was no evidence he violated rule 35.a.2.

NCHA Rule 35.a.1 & 2

The Committee determined that Manion should be suspended for two years and placed on NCHA membership probation for five years at the end of his suspension. If he is found to violate any NCHA rule during his probation period, he will receive an additional one-year suspension. He was also fined $15,000 for violation of NCHA rules, payable immediately to the NCHA.

The Appeal Grievance Committee appointed by President Lewis Wray included, Bronc Willoughby, Chairman; Ron Pietrafeso; Jack Holt; David Pilcher and Chris Benedict. Manion’s legal counsel Rick Hagan, NCHA attorney Jim Morris and Administrative Assistant Tammy Kimmel were also present at the hearing.

Manion’s legal counsel gave the opening statement that was followed by testimony from Brandon Dufurrena, Sarah Sanderson and Manion.

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☛ Horse with severe injuries photographed at C.T. Bryant training facility 9-1-17





By Glory Ann Kurtz
Sept. 1, 2017

For the second time in a month, a prominent NCHA member has been accused of horse abuse – and a cell phone picture has been the compelling evidence.

Last week it was Tommy Manion who shot a tied-up horse with a BB pistol. Last I heard, he has used all his appeals except going to the Appeals Court of NCHA, consisting of five (5) NCHA Executive Committee members and four (4) other members in good standing. He could be suspended from NCHA for life, but that’s probably the least of his problems as he is being investigated by the SPCA and the County District Attorney. Horse abuse is now a federal offense, which includes a severe financial penalty and prison time if found guilty.

Today I received a copy of  four gruesome photos that were on Facebook.The photos were taken by a friend of Marie AuBuchon, Glenrose, Texas, who posted them on Facebook.

Horse in training with C. T. Bryant. He said in an interview that he was trying to get the horse to lower his head. Photo by Marie AuBuchon.

I talked with Marie who said the photos were of “a 3-year-old Futurity colt in training with C. T. Bryant Cutting Horses, Hico, Texas.The grandson of Freckles Playboy belonged to Punk Carter. She said the colt was injured last Friday or Saturday, Aug 25th or 26th, and as of Monday, Aug. 28, no vet has been called .

Marie has a recording of Bryant’s conversation with her, saying he didn’t want to call a vet because he wanted the bicycle chain under the browband sitting right across the top end of the gash as the colt was now trying to escape the chain digging into the wound and  finally keeping his head down.”

Marie’s friend was working at Bryant’s training facility but was fired Monday after she returned from a divorce court hearing and was accused of letting Bryant’s stallion out on Highway 6. Marie said it was impossible for her friend to have let the stallion out as she wasn’t back from the court hearing yet and the timing did not make sense. She was at Bryant’s facility on Monday with her friend when Bryant was talking to her friend.

Bit used on this 3-year-old. Photo by Marie AuBuchon

Marie posted on Facebook that the  second photo was the high-port bit this 3-year-old colt was being ridden in and is still being ridden in. The bicycle chain under the browband sits right across the top end of the gash.

The same colt hanging from the arena fence after he collapsed. C. T. Bryant’s website claims his program emphasizes on highly competitive horses, quality care and attention to customer needs. Is this an oxymoron? Photo by Marie AuBuchon

“The third photo is the same colt hanging from the arena fence after he collapsed after Bryant hammered on him and then beat the colt because he wasn’t performing well,” said Marie.

One response on Facebook was sticking up for Bryant, saying Bryant had told him that  “One of his helpers did that to the horse.”

However, Marie said, “As you can see, there are photos published and additionally I have witnesses to back up what I am stating here.“

Marie said she called Justin Caraway, the Sheriff of Hamilton County who said that he had been out to the Bryant Ranch and said, “There was no ‘probable cause’ for action.”

A call made to SPCA made it clear that SPCA does not work on animal abuse in Hamilton County. AQHA’s Ward Stutz said that Bryant was not a member; however, according to his website, Bryant is standing Royal Caesar Boon and needs to file reports with the AQHA. An E-mail to Director of Judges Russell McCord, President Lewis Wray, Vice President Ron Pietrafeso of the NCHA was answered with a press release that’s on their website:



NCHA Statement On Horse Abuse

Aug 31, 2017, 17:14 PM by NCHA

In recent days, the NCHA has received reports of horse abuse allegedly occurring on private property, outside the context of NCHA approved or produced shows.

The NCHA wants to make clear that it is strongly committed to protecting the health, safety and well-being of the horse.  To that end, the NCHA has a long established Zero Tolerance Policy which prohibits mistreatment of a horse on the show grounds of any show approved or produced by the NCHA.  The NCHA has in the past, and will continue in the future, to strictly enforce this policy at all NCHA approved or produced shows.  The NCHA urges you to report any kind of horse abuse occurring on the show grounds of an NCHA approved or produced show to the NCHA Executive Director.

The NCHA does not have authority under its rules to police any kind of alleged horse abuse that occurs on private property and not within the context of an NCHA approved or produced show.  However, the NCHA is ardently opposed to mistreatment of a horse in any venue.  Each state has laws that prohibit mistreatment of animals.  Therefore, if you have knowledge of any conduct abusive to a horse that is occurring outside of an NCHA show, the NCHA encourages you to report such conduct to local law enforcement agencies for investigation.


Bryant is a AAAA NCHA judge and according to his website has been a horseman his entire life and has been involved with such legends as Matlock Rose, John Carter, Don Dodge, Sonny Rice, Stanley Bush and Pat Patterson. He has judged such major events such as the NCHA Futurity in 2014, NCHA Super Stakes, NCHA Derby, Western Nationals, Pacific Coast,  Augusta Futurity, Reno, Las Vegas, Memphis, Arizona and the Southern Futurity.




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☛ Manion appealing to NCHA Appeal Board 8-28-17



By Glory Ann Kurtz
Aug. 28, 2017

For all of you wondering what is happening in the Tommy Manion animal-abuse case within the NCHA, the Executive Committee evidently found him guilty as, according to a Facebook posting by NCHA Vice President Ron Pietrafeso, Manion then appealed to the Grievance Committee.

After the Grievance Committee heard the case, they obviously also found him guilty as now Manion is appealing that decision to an Appeal Board which is included in the 2017 NCHA Rule Book.That Board is appointed by the NCHA President and will have a minimum of five (5) and a maximum of nine (9) members. Each member must be in good standing of the NCHA. A majority Of the committee members shall constitute a quorum for hearing purposes.

Click for NCHA Rule Book on Special Hearing Committee>>


Background of the case:

For those of you who don’t know the background on this animal-abuse case, I previously wrote an article stating that on Saturday July 15, Tommy Manion, a top Non-Pro, shot a tied-up unruly stallion multiple times with a BB pistol at an NCHA cutting at Whitesboro, Texas. A member took a video of the event and called NCHA’s Director of Judges Russell McCord, who told him, “to do whatever it took to stop it and and make the person shooting the horse leave,” which the caller did.

I talked to several witnesses who all told me that Manion not only shot the stallion with a BB pistol but at one time had the pistol under a jacket draped over his hand, dropped it on the ground and bent over to pick it up – all of which is shown on the video.

The shooting was definitely against the NCHA’s highly advertised ZERO tolerance “horse-cruelty” policy.

After receiving and confirming the reported horse abuse by Manion, I reached out to Rick Dennis, a Threat Assessment/Risk Analyst who is also a former Drug Enforcement Agent, for clarification of penalties resulting from Manion’s actions – for Manion, those who witnessed the event and the NCHA committees that are now determining Manion’s fate.

Essentially, Rick informed me there are two laws in play here, one Federal, the other state, as well as two NCHA rule infractions.

The Federal Law:

There is a little-known Federal Law entitled 18 USC 4 – Misprision Of A Felony, which specifically states:  “Whoever having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.” Animal abuse is now a Federal Felony with hefty fines and prison sentences.

The State of Texas law:

Also, the State of Texas Animal Cruelty Law, which rates animal abuse as a Felony, states those prosecuted could be punishable by two years in a state jail and/or a $10,000 fine.

Therefore, since the NCHA has already been notified of the animal cruelty case, along with being supplied with a video of the act, Manion has placed the association in a precarious spot, as whoever doesn’t report this gross violation to law enforcement in accordance with the provisions set forth in the USC 4 Code -Misprision of a Felony – is in direct violation of the federal law and could be subjected to arrest and prosecution themselves at a later date.

This includes Russell McCord, who received the phone call, as well as the Executive Director and the entire Executive Committee who met after being informed of the incident and who determined their association’s punishment for the offense – and possibly even the lawyer who was informed of the infraction and gave the Executive Committee advice, as well as show management.

Difference of penalties between NCHA and governmental agencies:

The other curious nature of Manion’s act is the two violations in the NCHA Rulebook pertaining to animal abuse and cruelty and how they differ from Federal and State laws.

More specifically, the NCHA Rulebook states “if show management or a judge at any NCHA-approved or sponsored event discovers inhumane treatment or abuse of a horse, they may immediately bar the responsible party and contestant’s horse from further competition in the event and the judge will give a score of zero. The Executive Director must be notified within seven (7) days of the closing date of the show involved and the complaint will be referred to the appropriate NCHA Committee for investigation and consideration. Note: the Federal law says “as soon as possible It must be made known to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States and (the person) is to be fined or  imprisoned for not more than three years.”

While the NCHA disciplines animal cruelty by offense with a fine ($1,000 to $10,000), probation and/or suspension, the State of Texas Animal Cruelty Laws say that the perpetrator could be punished by two years in a state jail and/or a $10,000 fine.

Also, the NCHA should make sure that the abused animal is made available as soon as possible to a licensed veterinarian for any damage that has been done, especially since the person who described the incident to me said the when the BBs hit the stallion, he crouched and his body shook in fear.

What has been done?

According to a notification on the NCHA website, the NCHA has fulfilled its obligation to satisfy the Misprision of a Felony law by submitting a complete evidence package in this matter to the District Attorney in the county where the animal abuse violation occurred.

The notification further stipulates the District Attorney has provided the evidence to the Sheriff’s Office in this county for investigation as well as referral of criminal charges (where warranted).  Further, I’ve learned the SPCA is also investigating this matter.

Notwithstanding, there are two motivating factors: 1) The ZERO Animal Abuse policy rule violations of the NCHA and 2) Criminal charges (where warranted).  Each entity operates separate and apart from each other. In other words, the NCHA has to make a decision and law enforcement has to make a decision. The incident becomes problematic for the NCHA due to existing membership rules and member opinion.

In my opinion, the NCHA should be commended on the “fast track” this incident has been placed on and a final decision should be determined on prima facia evidence (only) and regardless of Manion’s financial affiliations with the NCHA. After all, a rule violation is a rule violation. Evidence is evidence. A decision should be made on the facts of the case, and the facts alone.

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