Pages Navigation Menu








By Glory Ann Kurtz
Nov. 15, 2018

The AQHA has made a statement regarding the Dufurrena  and Vogel situation and the adjusting of AQHA records.


Attached is their statement; however, in the end, the AQHA is saying they “will not take any action to change the status quo of its records unless and until a final outcome or resolution of the litigation has occurred by either the entry of a final Judgment or the execution of a Settlement Agreement between the parties.”


The AQHA also states that the reciprocity agreement with NCHA allows AQHA to reciprocally suspend a member who has been suspended by the NCHA for an offense of using prohibited drugs, unsportsmanlike conduct or inhumane treatment. Since the NCHA suspension of Brandon, Ed and Rieta Dufurrena falls outside of the reciprocity agreement., the AQHA has not suspended them.



Read More

☛ American Horse Council sues former employee for embezzlement 10-10-18






Oct. 10, 2018

According to an article in the Denver Post, dated Sept. 26, the American Horse Council (AHC) filed a federal civil lawsuit against a former employee, accused of embezzling nearly $600,000 in what they called a carefully planned criminal enterprise.


Filed in U. S. District Court for the District of Colorado, the lawsuit, filed Sept. 25,  says that former employee Ashley Furst stole at least $588,061 and attempted to cover up her actions by hiding information from management by falsifying bank statements and payroll documents, as well as applying for an unauthorized loan intended to replenish stolen funds.


The Denver Post stated that Furst and her husband Christopher Furst are co-defendants in the lawsuit that says that Ashley Furst was fired June 25 on suspicion of theft and fraud. The AHC then reported the activity to law enforcement and the FBI has opened a criminal investigation.


The lawsuit filing reported that the AHC hired Ashley Furst in January 2010 as an office administrator. She had administrative duties that expanded over time until she was promoted to director of communications. In 2017, she was approved to move to Highlands Ranch, Colo., and telecommute for work.


In the lawsuit, AHC alleged that Furst used at least five schemes to steal from the organization from 2013 into this year, including making direct electronic payments from AHC for her personal loans and credit cards; writing checks from the AHC’s operating account to herself by using forged signatures to hide the payments; transferring money from an AHC Pay Pal Account into her own account; directing AHC’s payroll company to increase her salary while falsifying W-2s to hide the increase and applying for a loan in the AHC’s name in an effort that the AHC says was intended to replenish  stolen funds.


Since AHC policy requires two signatures for checks, they allege Furst forged signatures to meet that requirement. However, the AHC became aware there was a problem when a check issued to a consultant bounced.  When they met with representatives from the bank, they discovered their bank statements didn’t match those maintained by the bank.


Court documents allege that the Fursts used the money to “help purchase or lease two cars valued at $96,050 and purchase a $630,500 home in Highlands Ranch.”


According to the American Horse Council, they are a trusted voice for the horse industry to the public and to government authorities. They synthesize and promote consensus-based AHC legislative and regulatory objectives.


Read More

☛ NCHA Suspension and Appeal Guidelines Getting An Overhaul 9-21-18






By Glory Ann Kurtz
Sept. 21, 2018

According to an interesting e-mail that I received, following the Dufurrena/Vogel situation I previously wrote about, the NCHA is revising Standing Rule 37 and 38, which cover members who have done something that places them on probation or suspends them from the NCHA by the Grievance Committee, Amateur, Non-Pro Review Committee, Medication Review Committee or any other committee authorized by NCHA for violating any rule.


Following are the major parts of the new suspension and appeal guidelines:


Rule 37: Non-members involved in NCHA rule violations may also be denied privileges of the Association for “violation of or assisting in the violation of NCHA rules.”  When the NCHA rule in question contains specific provisions concerning disciplinary actions or burdens of proof, any disciplinary action taken by an initial Hearing Committee, the Executive Committee or an Appeal Committee should be consistent with that provision.


Any member can file a complaint regarding any alleged violation of NCHA rules by submitting the complaint in writing to the NCHA Executive Director (ED), signed or identified by the person filing the complaint, and sent with a check or credit card payment for $50, payable to the NCHA, unless the person filing the complaint is an NCHA Director, a class representative, show management or a judge. Anonymous complaints will not be accepted, investigated or acted on by the NCHA, with the exception if a complaint is reporting a violation of the Zero Tolerance policy or for a complaint submitted by an NCHA Director, a class representative, show management or a judge. Anonymous complaints will not be accepted, investigated or acted on by the NCHA.


A complaint must be filed, postmarked, faxed, emailed or hand-delivered within seven (7) days of the closing date of the show involved or within seven (7) days of the alleged rule violations. The timing for filing a complaint alleging a violation of the Zero Tolerance Policy is contained in Standing Rule 35.6. No complaint is required regarding a member’s competitive status (non-pro or amateur rules) or for violation of the NCHA Medication and Drug Rules.


The ED will refer complaints to (1) Grievance, (2) Medication Review, (3) Non-Pro Amateur, (4) or any other hearing or review committee. A quorum of an initial hearing committee will consist of three members with one being elected chairman.


The NCHA will notify the alleged violator in writing of the complaint and alleged action being investigated, each NCHA rule(s) potentially violated, the disciplinary actions applicable to the alleged violation and request that the violator file a written election with the ED to contest or not contest the alleged violation within 10 business days. If not received in that timeframe the case will be deemed not contested.


Initial Hearing:

The initial Hearing Committee shall schedule a hearing not less than 15 days‘ notice of the hearing date but not less than five business days notice of the hearing date. The alleged violator and NCHA shall exchange all proposed documents and evidence to be considered in the hearing no less than three days prior to the hearing. Legal counsel for NCHA and the alleged violator may appear and participate in the evidentiary position of the hearing. The hearing committee shall deliberate in private and shall render a decision in contested matters by majority vote and shall notify the EC of the decision in writing. The initial Hearing Committee will only be required to note in its report the NCHA rule(s) violated and will not be required to provide a detailed reason or opinion for its decision.


The Medication Review Committee shall consider potential violations of the Medication and Drug Rules and guidelines. Potential disciplinary actions for proceedings relating to alleged violations are contained in Rule 35A.7. The alleged violator bears the burden of proof to establish that he or she has NOT administered any drug or medication in violation of the NCHA Medication and Drug rules.


The Non-Professional Amateur Review Committee shall initially consider all violations of the NP and Amateur rules. The potential disciplinary actions for proceedings relating to alleged violations are in rules 50-51. The alleged violator bears the burden to establish entitlement to hold NP and/or Amateur status.


The Grievance Committee (GC) shall initially consider all violations of rules relating to alleged violations of NCHA Zero Tolerance Policy (35A) alleging improper conduct toward judges and monitors (35B), alleged improper conduct by and between members (35C) and alleged violations of other rules that are not considered by the Medication Review Committee, the Non-Pro Amateur Review Committee or Executive Committee.


For matters for which the rule allegedly violated contains suggested disciplinary action, the GC should consult those provisions in connection with discipline to be assessed for such rule violations. In cases where the rule allegedly violated does not contain suggested disciplinary action, the GC should consult the following general guidelines:  (i) First Offense: fine, probation or both. A first offense will be removed from a member’s record if that member has no further infractions for two years after the first offense is committed. (ii) Second offense within 2 years of first offense (a) increased fine (b) increased probation, (c) suspension or all of the foregoing. (iii) Additional offenses within 2 years will be dealt with severely, including heavy fines, lengthy probation and suspension will be increased as deemed appropriate by the committee.


Effects of Membership Probation and Suspension: Probation will be for a length of time decided by appropriate committee and also set a term of suspension imposed in the event the probation is violated. The term of suspension shall only become effective upon the probated member’s violation of the terms of his probation. In the event suspension is imposed for subsequent rule violation(s), the balance of the probated suspension shall begin on the day after the suspension for the subsequent rule violation s completely served.

Any membership Suspension that went into effect on or before Aug. 21, 2018 will not be allowed to participate in any way (owner, agent of horse, contestant, helper mounted  or on foot, in an NCHA approved or sponsored cutting horse contest. A suspended person can only attend an NCHA approved or sponsored cutting horse contest as a spectator seated in the stands. Any horse owned or controlled in whole or part by a suspended person will not be allowed to enter or compete in an NCHA approved or sponsored cutting. In the event a suspended person violates this rule, an additional six months will be added to his suspension. The rider of any horse ineligible to enter or compete in an NCHA-approved or sponsored cutting horse contest under this rule will be subject to a six-month membership suspension.


Membership Suspensions that went into effect after August 21, 2018:

Any person who has had their membership suspended, where suspension commences after August 21, 2018, will not be allowed in the premises of an NCHA approved or sponsored cutting contest. “Premises” include all show arenas, practice pens, loping arenas, sales barns, exhibit halls, trade shows and all other parts of the show grounds.

Any horse owned or controlled in whole or part by a suspended person or in which the suspended person holds any future rights of any kind, will not be allowed to enter, compete or transfer existing entries in an NCHA-approved or sponsored cutting horse contest. This includes horses owned by a corporation, partnership or any entity in which the suspended member has any ownership interest. If a suspended person violates this rule, an additional six (6) months will be added to his suspension. The rider of any horse in any NCHA approved or sponsored horse contest which is ineligible to enter or compete under this rule will be subject to six-month membership suspension.


Failure to timely pay fine:  When a member is assed a fine in addition to a suspension and/or probation, as a result of a committee finding made after Aug. 21, 2018, such fine must be paid in full within 15 days after the fine is assessed. In the event the fine is not paid in full in that timeframe, the corresponding suspension and/or probation will be extended by a period equal to the number of days over 15 that it takes for the member to pay to fine in full.


Transfer of horses owned by suspended member: This applies to all membership suspensions that went into effect after Aug. 21, 2018. A horse owned by a suspended member at the time of his/her suspension that is sold, gifted or for which ownership is otherwise transferred to an immediate family member, or that is sold, gifted or for which ownership is otherwise transferred to any corporation, partnership or any other entity of any kind in which the suspended member has any present or future ownership interest will not be allowed to show in any NCHA approved or produced event during the term of that member’s suspension. In the event the NCHA questions the legitimacy of a transfer made by a suspended person during his/her suspension, the suspended person shall bear the burden of proof to establish the legitimacy of the transfer.


Suspension by other associations: Every person suspended by the AQHA or APHA for unsportsmanlike conduct at a show or contest or for inhumane treatment of horses, shall stand suspended by the NCA upon official notification to this Ass’n from the AQHA or the APHA of any such disciplinary action which has become final and  non-appealable. The NCHA may honor the disciplinary actions of its affiliate organizations when supplied with satisfactory evidence that the person so disciplined has been given a full and impartial hearing by the affiliate organization involved; however, any action taken by an affiliate will not limit any authority of jurisdiction of the NCHA.


Publication of Findings:When disciplinary action is taken the results will be published in the Cutting Horse Chatter. Also, all decisions a final and binding unless subsequently overturned by an appeal committee under NCHA Standing Rule 38.


Rule 38: Appeal Guidelines:

Appeal Prerequisites: (a) Anyone found in violation of any NCHA rule by an Initial Hearing Committee, is entitled to appeal so long as (1) written notice of such request for appeal by each person appealing the ruling is received by the NCHA ED within 21 days of the date of the letter notifying the person of such action taken by the Initial hearing Committee and (2) an appeal fee as required by section (b) below is also received by the NCHA ED within the 21-day period.


(b) The appeal fee is $6,000 per person appealing that decision. For cases in which the Initial Hearing Committee has assessed a suspension of membership or competitive status, the appealing party shall have the right to request an expedited appeal as described in section (c) below. The appeal fee for an expedited appeal is $10,000 for each person filing an expedited appeal of the decision of an Initial hearing Committee. Appeal fees will not be refunded unless all findings of the initial Hearing Committee are completely overturned by an Appeal Committee.


(c) In the case of a non-expedited appeal, the appealing member(s) shall be given not less than 15 days notice of a time and place for appeal hearing to be heard by the EC or by an Appeal Committee appointed by the NCHA President. In cases of an expedited appeal, the appealing member(s) shall be entitled to an appeal hearing no more than five business days after the expedited appeal is perfected.


Appeal Proceedings: (a) An appeal is a “de  novo” proceeding that could result in a new finding concerning whether or not there was a violation of any NCHA rule(s) and either an affirmation, enhancement or decrease in the disciplinary action taken by the Initial Hearing Committee. (b) Eight members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum. (c) The NCHA President may appoint a Special Appeal Hearing Committee  (the “Appeal Committee”) to conduct any appeal hearing or disciplinary actions. This Committee shall have a minimum of five members and a maximum of nine. Each member must be a member in good standing of the NCHA. Five members of the Appeal Committee members shall constitute a quorum for hearing an appeal. (d) No continuance of an appeal hearing shall be granted unless a written request is received by the ED at least 7 days prior to the hearing and good cause is shown as determined at the sole discretion of the President or Chairman of the Appeal Committee. (e) At the hearing the appealing member shall have the opportunity to be heard, be represented by legal counsel, present evidence in his/her own behalf and to hear and refute any evidence offered against them. (g) The decision of the EC or Appeal Committee in an appeal proceeding under this rule shall be final and binding on all parties. The committee hearing an appeal shall only be required to note in its report the NCHA rule(s) it found were violated and shall not be required to provide a detailed reasoned option for its decision. (h) When disciplinary action is taken, the results in probation or suspension, the person’s name, the rule violated, and the disciplinary action taken will be published in the Cutting Horse Chatter.


From the Editor:

As a member of the NCHA for close to 20 years, I was sued at one time by the NCHA for asking for Rick Ivey’s salary and refusing to sign a non-disclosure form to prevent my dissemination of the information I was provided. (They dropped the suit when I told them I didn’t need his salary, I found it out another way.) As an investigative journalist and the owner of this website, my only remark about the above Guidelines is that they should include: “Any NCHA member who loses a lawsuit filed by another NCHA member regarding the other member’s actions, including taking advantage of the elderly, providing false or erroneous invoices to an NCHA member by a trainer, running an illegal business or training operation within the confines of the NCHA as defined by the State of Organization or Operation, providing false documentation to an NCHA committee during an appeal or suspension committee hearing, the loss of a customer’s horse due to abuse by the trainer or the trainer’s agent or assign including, but not limited to, employees, contractors or subcontractors, or charging exorbitant fees for other services, such as double dipping customers for travel or hauling expenses, should receive a lifetime suspension, without preferential treatment or exception.”


The trainers are basically unregulated by the above problems.  I hear these complaints all the time and instigating these rules could bring back some of the many well-heeled members who have left the NCHA…..and get rid of some the bad actors or unscrupulous trainers contributing to the demise of the membership numbers.

Glory Ann Kurtz

Read More

☛ Oregon horse sues former owner for neglect 8-23-18






Reprint from The Oregonian/Oregon Live
By Everton Bailey Jr.
May 4, 2018


Justice, an AQHA horse emaciated from months of little food or shelter. His owner was later convicted of animal neglect and now the horse is being represented in a lawsuit against the ex-guardian seeking damages for pain and suffering. (Animal Legal Defense Fund photo)

A horse is suing his former Washington County owner for $100,000 in damages in a rare case in which an animal is listed as a plaintiff in legal action against its guardian.


The Animal Legal Defense Fund in Portland has filed suit against former owner Gwendlyn Vercher, 51, of Cornelius on behalf of the horse. Justice, an 8-year-old AQHA horse is seeking damages for negligence that left him 300 pounds underweight and afflicted with lice, a skin infection and damaged genitals from severe frostbite, according to the lawsuit filed in Washington County Circuit Court. He will require special medical care for the rest of his life, the suit said.


Justice, formerly known as Shadow when he lived with Vercher, was removed from the Cornelius property in March 2017 and now lives at a horse rescue in Troutdale.


horse lawsuit


Sarah Hanneken, one of the attorneys representing the horse in the case, said state case law has shown animals have legally protected rights. She said Justice should be allowed to recover the costs of damages for pain and suffering, just as a human victim would.



“The Oregon legislature clearly established an anti-cruelty statute for the safety and protection of animals,” she said. “Victims of crimes can sue their abusers and animals are sentient beings that are recognized as victims under Oregon law. So with that premise, we’ve come to the conclusion that animals can sue their abusers and we’re confident of our stance in this case.”

Read More

☛ NCHA gives Janie Vogel 3 years probation 8-21-18






By Glory Ann Kurtz
August 21, 2018


In a recent meeting of a chosen NCHA committee that was to determine blame in the Ed Dufurrena/Don & Janie Vogel case, it’s plain to see that the NCHA protects its trainers. The committee, almost unanimously, determined that Janie Vogel had “aided and abetted”theDufurrenas because she “allowed” Rieta Dufurrena to ride one of the Vogel’s horses in the 2015 NCHA Futurity.


Records indicate that Rieta Dufurrena a total of $14,145 when she won the NCHA Non-Pro Limited Class at the NCHA 2015 Futurity on Stevie Rey Von, collecting $9,145 and $5,000 in the Non-Pro. For the record, Stevie Rey Von was the 2015 NCHA Futurity Champion, ridden by Ed Dufurrena, for take-home pay of $200,000.


Yet, in reality, in a recent conversation with Janie Vogel, who is in ill-health, she told me she didn’t even know that the NCHA Futurity was going on or that one of her horses was showing in it. The first she knew about it was when a friend in attendance called her and told her that one of her horses made the NCHA Futurity finals. The only thing she did know was that Ed Dufurrena was training several of her horses – including Stevie Rey Von. When she called Shona, who received no penalties for aiding and abetting her kids riding in the event, to ask her about the win, Shona replied, “Oh, I thought you knew!”


The problem becomes even more exasperating, when the actual facts surrounding the Dufurrenas and the Vogels are delineated and the real facts are known in this continuing saga of nightmarish events that started long ago.


The events started when Ed Dufurrena was sued in a prior lawsuit entitled: Minshall vs Ed Dufurrena, et al, with the Plaintiffs claiming advertising fraud by Dufurrena for advertising “Auspicious Cat” as HERDA Negative when, in fact, the horse is HERDA positive.This fact was confirmed by AQHA registration records. For the record, advertising fraud was proven in court, during the Hartman trial, and the jury assigned 60 percent responsibility for the damage to Dufurrena. The Minshall lawsuit alleges the Dufurrenas concocted a fraudulent advertising scheme which resulted in their foal by Auspicious Cat being HERDA positive, thereby, causing permanent injury and damage to the foal which requires enumerable funding during its lifetime for maintenance costs.


The curious nature of the Minshall lawsuit is that it also included the “Dos Cats Partners” being sued along with all of its members, except the Vogels – who were never mentioned. Perhaps, the reason the Vogels were never mentioned is that no one knew about the Vogels and the second “Dos Cats Partners” and perhaps by Dufurrena design.


Again, and for the record, the Vogels entered into what they thought was a “hand-written contract” named “Dos Cats Partners,” which was the identical (dba) or “an assumed name” used in the Minshall lawsuit that the Dufurrenas executed on March 25, 2011, between the parties and in consideration of the Vogel’s $105,000 investment.


 However, my investigation proves the Vogel’s were duped into investing in an unregistered Dufurrena business entity, operating without registration or legal status as required by Texas business law. Further, the Dufurrena’s duped the Vogels into investing in an unregistered Texas business entity called “Dos Cats Partners” when, in fact, Dufurrena had already sold shares in the business which was revealed in the Minshall lawsuit.


The simple fact is that if the Vogel’s would have been told by the Dufurrenas that “Dos Cats Partners” wasn’t in compliance with Texas Business Law and there were other pre-existing investors in the bogus business entity of the same name, I’m sure it’s safe to say they would have saved their money!


More specifically, how is it feasible or possible for the Dufurrenas to sell a 49 percent share to the Vogels when a 49 percent share had already been sold to the “Dos Cats Partners” identified in the Minshall lawsuit? A good question and perhaps the NCHA would like an answer too! That is, if the TRUTH can be determined. One sure fire way to figure this out is by an IRS audit, an Investigation by the Texas Attorney General’s office or a law enforcement investigative agency in Cooke County. I’m sure they could clear all of this business maneuvering by the Dufurrenas right up.



 However, the problem for the Dufurrenas in this matter, that is perhaps a little tricky for the NCHA, is that NONE of Dufurrena’s dba’s or “an assumed name” business entities were legally registered in the State of Texas at that time, as required by law, including Ed Dufurrena Cutting Horses, Dos Cats Partners, Dufurrena Cutting Horses and “Dos Cats.”  According to the Texas Secretary of State filings, the foregoing listed dba’s or “an assumed name” Dufurrena business entities had never been registered with the State of Texas, as required by law.  Yet Dufurrena is allowed to participate in NCHA cutting events and even earn money. Therefore, according to the Texas Businesses Practices Act, this is an unconscionable contract.


For the record, Dufurrena received a check for some $200,000.00 for winning the 2015 NCHA Futurity on Stevie Rey Von and Rieta won $14,145 for a total of $214,145. However, reviewed documents, including Dufurrena invoicing, indicate the Vogels were 49 percent vested interest partners in Stevie Rey Von when the horse won the Futurity, yet the Vogel’s have never received a dime of the winnings.  In fact, to illustrate how enlightened the Vogels were, they didn’t even know the horse was in the NCHA Futurity or the Finals until they were tipped off by a friend who was at the event.


However, the NCHA allowed Dufurrena to change the ownership records on Stevie Rey Von from Brandon Dufurrena to Ed Dufurrena in the middle of the 2015 NCHA Futurity, or right before the finals on Dec. 1, 2015,, so that any earnings checks would be distributed to Ed Dufurrena (ONLY) and thereby bypassing the Vogels completely. The Vogels did not get Stevie Rey Von transferred into their company name, Jandon Ltd., until Feb. 6, 2018, during their meeting with the lawyers. But the Vogels hit back, as on Feb. 10, they sold the stallion to Fults Ranch Ltd., Amarillo, Texas, for $2 million.

Stevie Rey Von AQHA ownership record


The unfortunate aspect of this Dufurrena “Shell Game of Horse Ownership Records” is that the NCHA “aided and abetted” re-enactment of this “Shell Game” at the NCHA Summer Spectacular, when at the last moment Brandon Dufurrena was allowed to transfer ownership of his horses, to his mother – Shona Dufurrena, in-order for them to be shown, as by then Brandon had been suspended from the NCHA. (Tom Dvorak rode the horse attaining the NCHA Open Finals)


Of course, the horses were gifts to Shona Dufurrena – if you can believe that?  My questions is, when did the NCHA become an agent for the AQHA? My information is, that the AQHA transfers and the money were held at the NCHA office while the horses were showing. For the record, ownership transfers aren’t in full force and effect until AFTER AQHA records them in their data base which is accomplished during usual and customary business hours.


Also, my business records investigation proved:  NONE of the Dufurrena (dba) or “an assumed name” business entities have ever been recorded or registered with the Cooke County Clerks Office, as required by law.Therefore, NONE of the Dufurrena (dba’s) or “an assumed name”  business entitieswere in compliance with “LEGALLY” operating a business in the State of Texas.  I wonder if the NCHA knows that?


An even better question is: How is Dufurrena going to file taxes on business earnings or business entities that are unregistered and don’t exist by lawful requirements and standards?


Info-Secrertary of State – Aug 15, 2018



According to Texas Law, an individual operating an unregistered (dba) or “an assumed name” business entity in the State of Texas is ONLYallowed to answer or defend a lawsuit brought against him or her, NOT institute one. Therefore, the problem for Dufurrena, in this “Shell Game of Mystery and Intrigue” of who he is “from day-to-day” is that filed court documents indicate that he has brought legal action against individuals under the unregistered business name of “Ed Dufurrena Cutting Horses” which is contrary to Texas State Business Law. According to my information, these individuals have the legal right to bring a “counter-action” against the Dufurrenas for filing an “unlawful lawsuit.”



Claudon lawsuit





During my investigation, the sound of bad invoicing rang out loud and clear from my interviewees. Each individual, separate and apart from each other, clearly outlined a business operation, i.e., Ed Dufurrena Cutting Horses invoicing that were so convoluted and filled with inaccuracies that Einstein couldn’t make heads or tails of them. However, one common denominator existed with all of the interviewees: inflated billing information. Another common denominator with the Dufurrena invoicing is that they were sporadically submitted, with some invoicing dates being monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, annually and even exceeding annually.


To further illustrate Ed Dufurrena’s invoicing dilemma, the Vogels claim that they have never received any portions of any earnings check from the Dufurrenas, not even any part of the NCHA Futurity earnings for Stevie Rey Von. Could the NCHA have some culpability by allowing these unorthodox business practices, especially, by a trainer who is entrusted with supposedly operating lawful business practices within the association.


Also, its been reported that the Dufurrenas issue “training credits” instead of cash to eliminate the necessity of issuing year-end IRS 1099s. Again, we all know how and why that one works. It eliminates 1099s from being in the IRS system for tax auditing purposes as well as bringing attention to a specific business entity.


For the record, the Vogel’s – as did the Minshalls – reached an out-of-court settlement with Dufurrena with the Vogel’s paying a sum total of $1,150,000for Stevie Rey von and two other horses and Dufurrena’s allegedly 51 percent interest in an unregistered Dufurrena Texas business entity – “Dos Cats Partners.”


Since the NCHA has aProfessional Trainers Standing Committee, with Morgan Cromer being the Chairman and Bret Davis the Vice Chairman, what has their role been in this fiasco? As I understand it, this group is suppose to make sure the trainers are treating the horses they have in training as well as their ownerscorrectly. Do they not have any authority? I haven’t heard a word out of them. Are they afraid of Dufurrena?





According to an article I’ve previously released on my site, Ed Dufurrena violated the provisions of his suspension by being in the practice pen that required the aid of law enforcement to remove him. According to the anonymous source letter, a written complaint was signed and submitted, by an NCHA member, who  adamantly opposed Dufurrena being in the NCHA practice pen.  However, the problem for the NCHA in this matter is multiple issues, e.g., Ed Dufurrena shouldn’t have been in the practice pen or on horseback for that matter, as NCHA rules of suspension say he is only “allowed to sit in the stands.” NCHA President-elect Ron Pietrafeso wrote on my Facebook page that Dufurrena wasn’t in violation of NCHA rules, when in fact and according to the filed and signed complaint he was, and now the NCHA is strapped with the arduous task of adding six months to Dufurrena’s suspension time for this act according to the NCHA rule book.



Now, my question is – “Exactly why is NCHA aiding Dufurrena to show horses and why are they protecting Shona?” My next question is – “Exactly why is the NCHA President Phil Rapp insulating Ed Dufurrena?”


Ladies and gentlemen, this is how you run valuable, investing members out of the horse business – which the NCHA just did – and keep the trainers who ran them out.



Read More

☛ Understanding and learning about Risk Management 8-1-18




By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
Certified Protection Professional
Aug. 1, 2018


You’re on the board of a horse association, or the owner of a large horse facility, and a major problem erupts when a situation has risen that could compromise the financial stability of your organization or horse facility and maybe even you personally. Your first instinct? “Call a lawyer!”


However, there is another answer called “Risk Management.” Managing your “risk” is what you can do before that major problem erupts. A Risk Management program can save you a lot of money in legal fees so perhaps you should consider counseling with a Risk professional first.


Also, a Risk Management program may also have kept you out of the dispute in the first place, by implementing “common-sense and  risk-avoidance practices in your business or personal dealings to heighten your awareness of “Risks in the horse business.”



Risk management is the identification, evaluation and prioritization of risks (defined in ISO 31000 as the effect of uncertainty on objectives), followed by coordinated and economical application of resources to minimize, monitor and control the probability or impact of unfortunate events or to maximize the realization of opportunities.


Risks can come from various sources including uncertainty in financial markets; threats from project failures (at any phase in design, development, production or sustainment life-cycles); legal liabilities; credit risk; accidents; natural causes and disasters; deliberate attack from an adversary (personal protection) or events of uncertain or unpredictable root-cause. There are two types of events i.e. negative events can be classified as risks while positive events are classified as opportunities.


Several risk management standards have been developed, including the Project Management Institute, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, actuarial societies, and ISO standards [2][3] methods, definitions and goals which vary widely according to whether the risk management method is in the context of project management, security, engineering, industrial processes, financial portfolios, actuarial assessments or public health and safety.


Strategies to manage threats (uncertainties with negative consequences) typically include identifying the threat, avoiding the threat, reducing the negative effect or probability of the threat and implementing counter-measures which are maintained on a regular basis to prevent future occurrences.



Risk Management is the continuing process to identify, analyze, evaluate and treat loss exposures and monitor risk control and financial resources to mitigate the adverse effects of loss.




There’s a litany of businesses and government agencies that use Risk Management  and Risk Analyst services on a daily basis:


  1. Insurance companies: to minimize accidents, loss payouts and maximize loss prevention.

2. Financial institutions: including banks, investment firms, Wall Street and the U.S. Government.

3. The Federal Government: the United States Department of Defense (DOD), including all military applications, as well as: DEA, IRS, FBI, CIA, etc.

4. Law enforcement agencies: to combat crime and dismantle criminal enterprises.

5. The petro-chemical industry: including oil and gas Drilling, production, and refining.

6. The telecommunications industry: including computing.

7. The U.S. mining industries.

8. The U.S. agriculture industry.

9. The U.S. aviation industry.

10. The U.S. marine industry: maritime shipping.





One industry not yet fully indoctrinated and inclined to use Risk Management services is the U.S. equine (horse) industry. Conventionally, when conflicts arise between individuals in the horse industry, the first thing that comes to mind is the injured party utilizes a law firm and a lawyer to settle disputes and provide a legal remedy.


In the end, after a very expensive litigation process, the parties usually end up in an “out-of-court” settlement, which may or may not be exactly what the Plaintiff desired. However, there’s another “over-looked option” to the injured party that’s usually never considered and that is: law enforcement processes or criminal arrest and prosecution.


During my tenure in the horse industry, I’ve been involved in a litany of legal disputes from a Risk Management and Analyst perspective, where my Risk Analysis expertise has been utilized to offer clients a list of alternative options, i.e. civil, criminal or both, providing referrals, after reviewing the client-provided documents. Instead of a client being limited to just one legal option, e.g., the civil litigation option, I also provide the client with the criminal review option when it’s warranted and applicable. However, only a law enforcement agency or an attorney at law can approve and apply my suggested areas for professional review.


However, and for the record, most civil lawyers, adamantly detest hearing the word “law enforcement” used in the same context as “civil litigation,” simply due to the fact that a criminal court can usually perform the function as a criminal prosecutor to convict and imprison the violator, as well as the court acting as a civil lawyer for a recovery of assets for the victim. This one-stop shopping is “free” to the victim and reduces or eliminates the vast amounts of wealth that a civil attorney can accumulate during a lengthy litigation process.


Notwithstanding, various criminal applications can be used in the civil litigation process. One of my favorites is the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act called (RICO). The risks and dangers of the RICO act to the criminal violator is that it carries criminal fines and penalties, civil fines and penalties, as well as asset recover for the victim. However, not all criminal cases are eligible for the RICO Act application. Actually, when I was in Drug Enforcement, this single law is where I honed my skills as a Risk Analyst and learned the most while writing RICO conspiracies for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Orleans, Louisiana.


Under the guidance of the United States Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service – Enforcement Division, I learned a myriad of ways to combat crime, protect and recover assets and criminally charge and prosecute criminal violators. Vice-Versa, I’ve transposed those much-needed and learned lessons from my prosecutorial refinements, into the private security sector in performing Risk Management and Risk Analysis services – and at a high success ratio, I might add.





Today, the American Horse Industry seems to be nothing more than a reincarnation of the old “Wild West”, which is directly due to the fact it’s a virtually unregulated industry. Essentially, the only protection members and participants have against roving pilfers and con artists infiltrating the industry is by relying on law enforcement. However, this false security is usually and unfortunately realized as a reactionary approach, meaning after a crime is committed rather than a pro-action approach to prevent crime before it happens. If your reliance is on the 501 (C) (3) nonprofits, then your assurances are certainly misguided – unless the violator is a horse abuser.


It’s been observed through time and memory, that nonprofits seem to have no interest in preventing criminals and those with immoral character from entering the industry, even after it’s been proven in court of his or her criminal activity while in the industry. Notwithstanding, the violator usually continues their criminal activity on another victim after being relinquished from a previous violation by an out-of-court settlement. However, there are ways the American Horse enthusiasts can protect themselves and their family members from the “pitfalls” associated with the American horse industry, i.e.:


  1. In my book, “THE AMERICAN HORSE INDUSTRY, Avoiding the Pitfalls” I offer real-life solutions to these inherent risks and problems associated with the American Horse Industry. In fact, this book was written entirely from my expertise as a Risk Manager, analyst and former law enforcement professional, as well as my personal knowledge of the con artists I’ve observed at work, who have caused a litany of problems for their unsuspecting victims in the horse industry. One of my favorite cliches that I use in my book is, Trust But Verify.”


  1. Whenever you engage in a training, boarding or showing agreement with a boarding facility or horse trainer, have an attorney at law draw up the document in order to cover all the bases ahead of time. If the individual or facility won’t sign a contract agreement, find someone else.


  1. In the event you become involved in any circumstance where a law enforcement agency can be used to prosecute an individual for an applicable law violation, i.e. padded billing, mail fraud, wire fraud, conversion, (converting your personal property to his or her use unlawfully, etc.), one should use law enforcement instead of civil litigation as a “first-line-defense” for a remedy. When a person is arrested, prosecuted for a crime and possibly imprisoned and they’re looking at you from behind a set of prison bars, it makes them think twice about pulling another stunt like that on another unsuspecting victim.


Until the industry takes a proactive stance of prosecuting frauds, con artists and other criminal violators in the industry and punishing them for their crime, I’m afraid we’ll just see the “same ole’, same ole’.”


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


Richard E. “Rick” Dennis (CPP)
Managing Member
Professional Reined Cow Horse Trainer
Quarter Horse Breeder and Enthusiast
Office/Mobile: (985) 630-3500
Web Site:


Wind River Security, Personal Protection, Risk Management (Analysis)
Wind River Employee Drug and Alcohol Testing Consortium Services
Wind River Stock Horses – Breeding, Training, Exhibition, and Sales

Read More