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☛ When barrel racing turns into a lawsuit 10-16-17

Posted by on Oct 16, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, HORSE LAWSUITS, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 1 comment

 

 

WHEN BARREL RACING TURNS INTO A LAWSUIT

By Glory Ann Kurtz
Oct. 16, 2017

 

Today, barrel horses bring a lot of money – and that’s because they can win a lot of money. It doesn’t matter if the rider is a boy or a girl, a man or a woman, 10 years old or 60 years old, a newcomer or a professional. However, the important thing is how old the horse is, how well trained it is and most important of all, how sound it is – which means, “How long will he or she last by staying sound?”

 

A court case in Madisonville County, Texas, began on May 22, 2016, in which Savannah Robertson, Los Osmos, Calif., purchased a barrel horse named Crown N Diamonds, a.k.a. “Rosie” and “Cinderella,” from Hope B. Martin, Huntsville, Texas, through her agent/broker Michelle Alley, Madisonville, Texas, a professional in the barrel racing industry. Prior to the purchase, Robertson was told that Cinderella was a sound barrel-racing performance horse, even though the May 13, 2016 contract for the $10,000 sale stated the horse was being sold “as is.”

 

The purchase soon turned into a legal battle with the agent Michelle Alley being the Plaintiff filing a lawsuit against the defendants Hope B. Martin, the owner, and Savannah Robertson, the buyer. The reason was that approximately three days after Robertson took possession of the horse, on May 22, 2016, Cinderella experienced a “patella lockup” or an upper fixation of the left hindquarter stifle ligament. The first patella lockup occurred in the round pen and the second patella lockup occurred while Robertson was riding the mare, causing the horse and rider to go to the ground.

 

Thereafter, the horse was brought to a California veterinarian who identified the locking patella or upper-fixation condition and referred the horse to the Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center, Los Olivos, Calif. Upon evaluation, the veterinary clinic also identified this abnormality and treated the horse for the patella lockup condition.

 

What is a patella lockup?

 Horse-Jumping stifle. … A locking stifle (in vet words, an upward fixation of the patella or UFP, a common problem in horses that is often unrecognized and often misdiagnosed as general hind leg lameness or overlooked altogether. The stifle joint in a horse’s hind leg corresponds anatomically to the knee joint in the human leg. However, instead of appearing halfway down the limb like the human knee, the horse’s stifle doesn’t even look like a joint because it is hidden within the structure of the horse’s upper hind leg. If you put your hand on the front of the horse’s hind leg where it ties into the flank, you can feel the patella, a small bone that is the anatomic equal of the human kneecap. The patella sits just above the stifle joint where the horse’s femur (upper leg bone that ties into the hip) and the tibia (long bone above the hock) meet.

 

The medial patellar ligament has the important function of hooking over a notch in the end of the femur when the horse is standing still. This stabilizes the stifle and allows the standing or snoozing horse to bear weight on the hind leg without muscular effort. Normally, the ligament slides out of the notch when the horse swings its leg forward as it begins to walk. If the ligament gets hung up and doesn’t slip into an unlocked position, the hind leg can’t be flexed forward and the horse has to drag the stiffened limb forward for a few steps before the ligament releases. This is commonly known as a locking or sticking stifle. While veterinarians term the condition “upward fixation of the patella,” old-time horsemen have a simpler descriptive phrase: “That horse is stifled.” They might add, “Back him up a few steps to get it to release,” and this trick often works. The following image depicts a horse with a locked stifle. The situation becomes problematic for the horse and rider when the stifle inadvertently locks while the equestrian team is in full performance mode. A locked stifle in the performance arena or while under saddle in generally utility riding can cause serious injury to the rider and horse or in the worst case scenario – death or permanent paralysis, if the horse goes down.


 

It wasn’t long before a demand letter from Savannah Robertson’s attorney, Robert Wagstaff, McMahon, Surovik, Suttle PC of Abilene, Texas was forwarded to the seller Hope B. Martin and her agent Michelle Alley on Sept. 30, 2016 stating damages and violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, especially – Section 17.46 of the Texas Business Commerce Code. More specifically, “Deceptive Trade Practices.” Unlawful – (a) False, misleading, or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce are hereby declared unlawful and are subject to action by the consumer protection division under 17.47, 17.58, 17.60 and 17.61 of this code.

 

However, upon receipt of the demand letter for payment of damages, court documents indicate the agent Michelle Alley hired attorney David Hammitt of Madisonville, Texas, to represent her in this matter by filing a lawsuit in her behalf against the buyer Savannah Robertson and the seller Hope B. Martin. Alley, the agent, had sued the buyer, Savannah Robertson, for breach of contract for desiring a rescission of the sale contract and a refund of funds. Thereafter, Robertson’s attorney countersued Alley, alleging violations of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DPTA) as previously stated, along with a realignment of Plaintiff and Defendants. More specifically, aligning Savannah Robertson as the Plaintiff and the agent Michelle Alley and the seller Hope B. Martin as the Defendants.

 

Further, Robertson’s lawsuit states the cause of action is “preexisting but undisclosed medical condition of the horse prior to the sale, that disqualifies Crown N Diamonds (Cinderella) as useful for the purpose identified by Robertson, i.e. a barrel-racing performance horse.” Therefore, disqualifying Crown N Diamonds (Cinderella) as a performance prospect for Robertson.

 

The lawsuit also stated that if these preexisting conditions would have been known prior to sale, it would have greatly affected Robertson’s opinion and she would have not bought the horse. The lawsuit further states this non-disclosure of disqualifying preexisting medical conditions was used to induce Robertson to buy the horse.

Link to the lawsuit>>

 

Then comes a strange twist:

 

Afterwards, Robertson’s attorney issued a series of subpoenas in this matter and the results are revealing and alarming to say the least. First, it was disclosed that while under the care, ownership and control of Michelle Gilbert of Bryan, Texas, the horse did in fact exhibit a series of medical treatments, (i.e.) locking patella, blistering the soft tissue surrounding the stifle ligament, hock injections, stifle injections, neck injections, colic treatment and treatment for a lameness of the right front hoof and proof of preexisting medical conditions. The treatments had been performed by Dr. Cameron Stoudt of the Texas Equine Hospital, Bryan, Texas who is also a contributor to “Barrel Horse News.”,

Medical Records

 

Other evidence contributing to a preexisting medical condition for the horse is included on the Facebook social media page of Gilbert where Gilbert openly admits the horse suffered from a locking patella as well as other injuries during training. A review of Stoudt’s medical records indicate after the last medical treatment, the owner (Gilbert) was selling the horse. A recovered advertisement by Gilbert states the horse is being sold as a “broodmare-sound-only horse, but may be runable in the future.”

 

Court documents report that the horse was sold by Gilbert to Hope B. Martin for $4,500, as a broodmare-sound-only mare. In Martin’s deposition, she states she was made aware of the preexisting medical conditions for the horse but “thought it was no big deal.” A scrutiny of the deposition transcripts didn’t reveal a challenge to Martin’s statement by Robertson’s attorney as to her veterinary knowledge that is sufficient for Martin to make such a medical evaluation of soundness.

 

Subpoenaed medical records also indicate Martin, by referral of Cameron Stoudt DVM, had the horse evaluated and treated at Texas A&M Medical University for the right front hoof injury and the records indicate the horse was also suffering from a degenerating navicular bone. For the record, Dr. Stoudt injected the horse’s right front navicular bursa on March 18, 2015. Also, for the record, court documents indicate none of these pre-existing medical conditions and treatments for the horse were ever conveyed to Savannah Robertson prior to the sale of the horse by Hope B. Martin and her agent Michelle Alley.

 

Another curious impact to this lawsuit indicates there are four individuals involved with this horse: Michelle Gilbert, Hope B. Martin, Michelle Alley and Cameron Stoudt DVM. It should be noted that Dr. Cameron Stoudt is the veterinarian of record for all three owners: Michelle Gilbert, Hope B. Martin and Savannah Robertson. It should also be noted that Dr. Stoudt treated the horse for Michelle Gilbert and Hope B. Martin as well as being the veterinarian of record who conducted the pre-purchase exams for Martin and Robertson. Dr. Stout passed the horse as sound on each pre-purchase veterinary exam.

 

When the depositions and other documents were scrutinized, it was learned that the agent Michelle Alley and the owner, Hope B. Martin, were advertising the horse as “Sound and Sane,” without mentioning any preexisting medical conditions and that the horse was in training with Michelle Alley to make her a “super star.” However, while under deposition scrutiny, each one denied having any alleged videos in their possession riding, exhibiting or showing the horse due to the fact that each of their cell phones had either been lost or collapsed prior to the depositions, which required replacement phones and a total loss of data.

 

But it was determined in Michelle Alley’s deposition that she is a “professional horsewoman” who makes a living training and exhibiting barrel horses as well as boarding, brokering, buying and selling horses. Another curiosity is in Alley’s lawsuit, where her attorney refers to Alley in this matter as a “consumer” rather than an “agent or broker” for the sale of Crown and Diamonds (Cinderella). For clarification, a “consumer” is one who buys a product. An Agent is one who represents an individual in the sale of a product or sells it in their behalf. Further scrutiny revealed professionals in the business are held to a higher standard than an individual just selling a personal horse.

 

On Sept. 11, 2017, an agreed-to “Order of Dismissal with Prejudice of Certain Claims” was filed jointly by the attorneys for Alley and Robertson, which essentially states Alley is dismissing her claims against Hope Martin and Savannah Robertson “with prejudice,” and Savannah Robertson dismissed her claim against Alley “with prejudice,” which essentially means the action can’t be filed in this court or any other court after dismissal.

 

However Robertson’s claim against Hope B. Martin remains intact and the lawsuit has been realigned as Savannah Robertson (as Plaintiff) vs Hope B. Martin (as Defendant).

 

 

Is the Seller a professional?

As Equine Legal Solutions explains: “Is the seller someone who sells horses as part of their business, such as a trainer or breeder, or are they an individual horse owner who sells a horse only occasionally?  If the seller is a professional, the sale may be subject to the Uniform Commercial Code, which provides that a “warranty of merchantability” is implied in every sale by a “merchant.”  In laymen’s terms, this means when a breeder or trainer sells a riding horse, there is an implied term that the horse is sound enough to be used as a riding horse. No warranties are implied in sales by individuals. The implied warranty of merchantability can be overcome by a specific statement in the sale contract disclaiming this warranty. Note, however, that contract statements such as “As Is,” “no warranties,” or “seller disclaims all warranties” are insufficient to successfully disclaim the warranty of merchantability – the word “merchantability” must be specifically mentioned in the contract disclaimer.

Click for Alley Perf Horses>>

5-Down the Alley PerformanceHorsesClick >>

 

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

Posted by on Oct 12, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE ABUSE, HORSE LAWSUITS, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

TOMMY MANION APOLOGIZES – COURT HEARING CANCELLED

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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☛ Ed Dufurrena in court again!

Posted by on Oct 10, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE LAWSUITS, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

LIGHTNING STRIKES DUFURRENA TWICE

ALLEGATIONS OF FRAUD RESURFACE IN FILED COURT DOCUMENTS BY EUGENE AND JANIE VOGEL

By Glory Ann Kurtz
Oct. 10, 2017

Ed Dufurrena from his website.

Edward L. Dufurrena, the owner of Dufurrena Cutting Horses LLC, Gainesville, Texas, is headed back to court in yet another civil lawsuit.The latest lawsuit filed against Dufurrena is entitled Donald Eugene Vogel and Janie S. Vogel vs Edward L. Dufurrena (CV17-00588). The lawsuit was filed in The State of Texas, County of Cooke, 235th District Court on Oct. 2, 2017 at 11:58 a.m. by the Vogels’ attorney Lisa C. Bennett of Adams, Bennett, Duncan & Henley, located at 100 East Broadway, Gainesville, Texas. For the record, the Vogels are the Plaintiffs and Edward L. Dufurrena is the Defendant. The Vogels are senior citizens, who were 66 at the time of the agreement.

As you may remember in a previous article regarding Dufurrena, included a seven-day trial held in April of this year, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, in Sherman, Texas, to determine who was guilty for a HERDA positive foal, sired by Auspicious Cat, that was born to Canadians Shawn, Lisa and Lauren Minshall’s mare. The eight-member jury’s determined that Edward and Shona Dufurrena, Gainesville, Texas, who headed up the Dos Cats Partners, the owners of Auspicious Cat, were 60 percent responsible for their foal being born with full-blown HERDA, the Minshalls were 30 percent responsible and David Hartman, DVM’s Hartman Equine Reproduction Center, P.A., the veterinarian that collected the semen and shipped it to the Minshalls, was 10 percent responsible.

The suit alleged advertising fraud. Dufurrena, the Defendant, willfully and knowingly advertised his stallion Auspicious Cat, as HERDA negative (HN) when court documents revealed the stallion carried the (HN) designation on his AQHA registration papers, meaning he carried the HERDA gene, which can result in a disease that make a horse lose their skin, leaving huge sores on their body, making them unridable and they usually have to be put down. This court case resulted in out-of-court settlements and assignments of responsibility by a jury trial which I covered in length.  Essentially, the Minshalls bred a mare to Auspicious Cat that produced a HERDA foal.

Click on link below for copy of HERDA trial>>

http://allaboutcutting.net/?p=10092

 

DOS CAT PARTNERS RECENT LAWSUIT
In the most recent lawsuit filed by the Vogels, I reviewed Legal documents that indicate the subject of the lawsuit is a Partnership named Dos Cat Partners (herein after referred to as the  “Partnership”.  The Partnership was formed by written agreement on March 29, 2011 by and between Donald Eugene and Janie Vogel and Edward L. Dufurrena.  The Vogel’s invested $105,000 in the Partnership for a 49 pecent share with 51 percent of the Partnership belonging to Ed Dufurrena, also the defendant in this case.

The purpose of the Partnership was operating a business for profit. The principal business of the Partnership is to promote cutting horses through training, showing, breeding and sales for profit. The partnership was, at all times mentioned in this petition, in operation.

Court documents state that at the beginning, the Partnership owned four horses: Auspicious Cat, Ozzum Man, Ozzum Cat and Whata Sneaky Cat, as well as three embryos: one from Miss Ella Ray sired by Auspicious Cat, one from Miss Ella Ray sired by Metallic Cat and one out of Hickory Wheel sired by Auspicious Cat. Presently the horses remaining in the Partnership are the stallion Auspicious Cat, Crezy Train and Stevie Rey Von, also a stallion.  Stevie is the embryo of Miss Ella Rey sired by Metallic Cat.

2-Stevie Rey Von

3-Auspicious Cat

The terms of the Partnership were as follows: (1) all expenses are shared proportionately by owners according to ownership interest of each partner; (2) all earnings from any source are shared proportionately according to the ownership interests of each partner and (3) Ed Dufurrena, the Defendant, was to manage the horses.

4-copy of new lawsuit

 

2-PARTNERSHIP HORSE VALUES
Stevie Rey Von, considered as a “very valuable horse,” is owned by the Partnership and is an embryo offspring of Miss Ella Rey sired by Metallic Cat as indicated in the Partnership Agreement. In December 2015, Stevie Rey Von, ridden by Dufurrena, won the NCHA Cutting Horse Futurity for 3-year-olds. The winnings were substantial, consisting of $341,570. According to court papers, Dufurrena, the Defendant, collected all of the winnings, never sharing with the Vogels for their 49 percent. However, the win made the horse a substantial asset for the Partnership.

As of June 10, 2017, Stevie Rey Von has a total lifetime NCHA earnings of $341,570. Stevie Rey Von is currently advertised by Dufurrena (Defendant), standing at stud for a breeding fee of $4,000 plus a $650 chute fee.  Auspicious Cat is the second most valuable horse owned by the Partnership and stands at stud for $3,650 per breeding.

FAILURE TO PAY
Filed court documents state, ”After the large winnings, Dufurrena, the Defendant, did not pay the Vogels (Plaintiffs) their proportionate share. The Vogels requested that they be paid according to the partnership agreement; however, Dufurrena responded to the Plaintiff’s) by sending them self-generated invoices. The Vogels examined the invoices containing expense,  questioning the expenses and requesting that the expenses be substantiated. Dufurrena never complied and to date, Dufurrena has not substantiated those questioned expenses.

INSPECT THE PARTNERSHIP RECORDS
The lawsuit went on to say that the Plaintiff’s have requested to see the records of the Partnership. Beginning, January 2016, the Vogels contacted Dufurrena, advising him that they wanted to see the bills. Again, Dufurrena failed to comply. Thereafter, week after week and continuing through 2017, the Vogels said they requested documentation from Dufurrena and he always had a reason for not complying. They state that To date, Dufurrena has not complied.  In the suit, the Vogels also demand they should be allowed to inspect all the records of the Partnership.

GROSS MISREPRESENTATION OF MATERIAL FACTS
A. Number of breedings: A number of breedings of Stevie Ray Von were misrepresented by Dufurrena to the Vogels. Dufurrena represented to the Vogels that Stevie Rey Von had 40 breeding’s in 2016 (foals would be born in 2017);however, the Vogels recently learned that Dufurrena had permitted at least 100 breedings to Stevie Rey Von during that period. (This information is not yet available from the AQHA; however, 40 breedings would be worth $160,000, while 100 breedings would be worth $400,000, a different of $240,000.) The Vogels said in the court documents that they anticipate that the same will be true for 2015 and 2017 for Stevie Rey Von, as well as for Auspicious Cat. AQHA does not release the number of breedings by a stallion in given year; however, they do release the number of foals registered from those breedings.
Click for number of foals registered in 2016>>

B. Condition of Auspicious Cat: Dufurrena represented to the Vogels that Auspicious Cat had no physical defects.  However, since then the Plaintiff’s have learned that the horse is a cryptorchid (only has one testicle), a genetic condition which is very serious for a breeding sire and also has the genetic condition HERDA H/N, meaning he carries the HERDA gene and could pass it on. Both of these conditions greatly affect the horse’s value.

C. Expenses and Income: The Vogels claim that Dufurrena has misrepresented the expenses of the Partnership. They claim that Dufurrena has claimed expenses for things that were not incurred, as well as expenses that were inflated. They also claim that Dufurrena has claimed expenses that were not authorized and expenses that were excessive.  The Vogels previously questioned the expenses and requested that the expenses be substantiated; however,  Dufurrena provided little or no substantiation documents for the expenses.

D. Horse Ownership Papers: Court documents state that Dufurrena did not title the Partnership horses in the name of the Partnership nor did he include the name of the Vogels on the ownership papers, with the exception or Auspicious Cat. Dufurrena titled Stevie Rey Von’s ownership papers originally in the name of his son  (who showed the horse and won money in major NCHA events) and then in his name only – never in the name of the partnership. He also titled Crezy Train’s ownership papers in the name of his son and never informed the Vogels of his actions.

E. Representation to the Public: Court papers also state that Dufurrena has misrepresented the ownership of the horses not only to the Vogels, but also the public – namely the National Cutting Horse Association. Unknown to the Vogels at the time, Dufurrena showed Stevie Rey Von at the 2015 National Cutting Horse Association Futurity and represented himself as the sole owner, which if proven, is a serious violation of the rules and regulations of the National Cutting Horse Association. Also, advertisements for the horse indicated that Ed Dufurrena was the sole owner.

F. Conversion.  If the foregoing facts above are proven to be true,Dufurrena has committed conversion against the Plaintiffs.  Dufurrena has sold Partnership property without the right to do so  and against the benefit of the Plaintiffs.  Dufurrena has sold Partnership property without paying the Vogels their proportionate share or without their permission, including but not limited to: Dufurrena has received money for breedings from Stevie Rey Von, and has not paid to the Partnership or Plaintiff’s proportionate share. Dufurrena has received prize winnings that he has not paid to the Partnership or paid to the Plaintiff’s proportionate share. Dufurrena has invoiced and been paid for expenses that have not been incurred or were not for the benefit of the Partnership property. Those amounts due the Vogels have reached hundreds of thousands of dollars.

G. Fraud.  The Vogels have hired an attorney to assist them in enforcing their rights under the Partnership Agreement.  According to court documents, Dufurrena provided some documentation to the Vogels, through his attorneys and as such, the Vogels have  discovered in the documents that Dufurrena has committed forgeries.  If such action by Dufurrena is true, that would  constitute fraud.

H. Breach of Fiduciary Duty of Loyalty.  Based on the foregoing facts, Dufurrena has breached the duty of loyalty owed to the Vogels under the law and under the terms of the Partnership. He has used Partnership property for his own personal gain and to the deprivation of the Plaintiffs. The Vogels  claim Dufurrena has billed expenses to them  wrongfully, including expenses that never existed, were improperly applied or grossly inflated. The Vogels also claim that Dufurrena improperly titled Partnership property in his own name.

I. Dissolution of Property.  The Vogels seek a dissolution of the Partnership, and demand an accounting from Dufurrena. The Plaintiffs are requesting to be paid all monies due to them from Dufurrena. The Plaintiffs also demand that a receiver be appointed for the sale of all Partnership property including, but not limited to, Stevie Rey Von.

J. Fraud.  Based on the foregoing facts set out above, if proven to be true, Dufurrena has committed fraud on the Vogels and according to the court documents, to date, he has continued the fraud against the Vogels.

Risk Assessment
At my request, the following 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, Rick has been involved in the private security industry as an entrepreneur and currently is the Managing Member of the Wind River Company LLC.

Rick’s 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. Rick has a total of 47 years experience in his fields of representation.

In addition to the above, Rick is the author of two books: THE AMERICAN HORSE INDUSTRY, Avoiding The Pitfalls as well as CROSS TRAINING 101, Reining, Cutting, Cowhorse, a freelance writer and contributing writer to allaboutcutting.com.

In Rick’s opinion, “If all of the allegations included in this petition are proven true, it may produce a domino effect for the Defendants.  It will not only produce a civil lawsuit, as it already has, but it may also invoke a litany of criminal investigations into this matter as well.  These crimes could include: 1) Fraud, 2) Forgery, 3) Theft, 4) Violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices act which pays out three times the damage award if proven true, 5) taking advantage of the elderly, and 6) mail fraud — to name a few. However; as in all cases, each individual is innocent until proven guilty. Therefore, only law enforcement authorities, after a careful review, will be able to determine if criminal actions are warranted in this matter.

However, the Vogels are not the only ones that may be impacted by Dufurrena’s  actions. Again if proven true, the American Quarter Horse Association may be impacted by the misrepresentation of ownership of a specific horse, as well as all of the data in their cumulative records. The National Cutting Horse Association may certainly be impacted by the improper disbursement of horse earnings as well asthe data in the horse and rider earnings that they keep and publish. For example, accompanying a disbursement of funds above $600, the NCHA is required by IRS law to disburse a 1099 to the winner.

If fraud in this matter is proven true, the NCHA earnings checks should have been disbursed to Dos Cat Partners, who in turn should have disbursed a proportionate share of the earnings to the Vogels, along with an appropriate 1099. In this case, the NCHA may have to amend previously filed State or Federal Tax returns which cost money and, in turn, may affect the Vogel’s tax filings in this matter – adding further damages to them by Dufurrena’s actions.

Then there are also rule violations (where warranted) to take into account for either/and/or the American Quarter Horse Association and the National Cutting Horse Association. Overall, this legal filing is going to produce a lot of paper slinging on both sides and a big headache for the AQHA and the NCHA.

Note: a First Amended Petition was filed in court today (Monday, Oct. 9), by the Vogel’s attorney at 3:04 p.m. correcting a statement in the original filed petition which states “Stevie Rey Von won the American Cutting Horse Association Futurity” with a correction stating “Stevie Rey Von won the National Cutting Horse Association 2015 Futurity.”

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☛ Kountz pleads guilty for animal cruelty 8-18-17

Posted by on Aug 18, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE ABUSE, HORSE LAWSUITS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

DAYLE KOUNTZ  PLEADS GUILTY FOR ANIMAL CRUELTY CASE

 

OWNER OF BOZEMAN, MONTANA’S  KOUNTZ ARENA CHANGES PLEA

Aug. 18, 2017

Dayle Kountz, right, owner of Kountz Arena, appearing in Gallatin County Court. Photo by Bozeman Chronicle.

According to a Aug. 17 article in the Bozeman Chronicle, Dayle Kountz, the owner of Kountz Arena in Bozeman, Montana, is set to change his plea of animal cruelty to a felony  charge of animal cruelty for failing to provide appropriate medical care for his stallion Young Doc Bar. Kountz and his lawyer are deciding whether he will plead guilty or no contest to the charge but he will be entering a plea next Wednesday, Aug. 23, in Gallatin County District Court before Butte-Silver Bow Judge Brad Newman, whois overseeing the case.

The plea comes as part of an agreement with the Gallatin County Attorney’s Office, which will dismiss the additional counts of aggravated animal cruelty and felony animal cruelty that Kountz has been charged with. The state will recommend Kountz receive a two-year suspended sentence to the Montana Department of Corrections and serve no jail time. However, his lawyer said they will be asking for a deferred sentence.

Kountz, who had previously been convicted of a misdemeanor cruelty to animals in Gallatin County in 1999, was charged at a March 2015 horse show at his Kountz Arena in Bozeman  when it was reported that a horse was missing a foot, lying in his own feces and suffering in a small stall. The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office responded, finding the horse named Young Doc Bar – as well as a calf suffering from seizures

Kountz told investigators that the horse was injured in December 2014 when the horse accidentally got his leg caught in a corral panel. He said he sought medical advice and followed treatment recommended by a vet. The animals were euthanized and the sheriff’s office closed the case with a warning; however, several witnesses who were at the arena on the day of the horse show came forward and provided photographs and information the sheriffs officer further investigation.

Therefore, about two months after the show, the county attorney’s office charged Kountz, who sought to have his upcoming trial moved out of Gallatin County, claiming that “inflammatory” editorial and social media attention to the case made it so Kountz would not receive a fair trial. Several news outlets, multiple TV stations, a Facebook page called “Justice for Young Doc Bar” was created and a petition Change.org lobbied for Kountz to be prosecuted; however, Judge Newman denied the request, saying that while news and social media accounts of the case had been “extensive,” it didn’t show widespread community prejudice against Kountz.

However, a felony charge is a very serious crime. A person who commits a felony, upon conviction in a court of law, is known as a convicted felon or a convict. In a move seen as a big win for animal rights activists, the FBI has added animal cruelty to its list of Class A felonies, alongside homicide and arson.

Cases of animal cruelty fall into four categories — neglect; intentional abuse and torture; organized abuse, such as cock and dog fighting; and sexual abuse of animals — and the FBi is now monitoring them as it does other serious crimes. Also, starting Jan. 1, 2016, data is being entered into the National Incident-Based Reporting System or NIBRS, the public database the FBI uses to keep a record of national crimes.

It is felt that the FBI’s decision will not only be a way to stop cases of animal abuse but also can help to identify people who might commit violent acts. According to the Christian Science Monitor, psychological studies show that nearly 70 percent of violent criminals began by abusing animals and keeping statistics on such cases can help law enforcement track down high-risk demographics and areas.

In some states, those committing multiple felonies can be double billed or double-sentenced and can receive 20-40 years in prison.

Some of the information in this article came from the Bozeman Chronicle.

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☛ Are bad breeding practices animal abuse? 5-26-17

Posted by on May 26, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE HEALTH, HORSE LAWSUITS, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, MAJOR EVENTS, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 11 comments

BAD BREEDING PRACTICES

 

IS THIS ANIMAL ABUSE?

 

By Rick Dennis
May 26, 2017

As an AQHA breeder, my requirements are to breed an animal that is genetically correct with excellent conformation, the right temperament, enough athleticism to perform multiple events, enough cow instinct to perform in cow horse or cutting, free of genetic defects and with enough bone and stamina to withstand the rigors of the show pen for many years.

 

My article entitled, “AQHA Genetic Pool Shrinks,” dated Jan. 10, 2015, delineated an ongoing problem within the Quarter Horse industry in that the genetic pool is shrinking. Undesirable genetic traits and diseases are being passed from generation to generation. The following articles were the proto types of my article that would later play out in a courtroom in Texas in 2017 involving HERDA.

 

ARTICLE EXCERPTS:
Recent articles in the American Quarter Horse Journal entitled “The Changing Landscape of Quarter Horse Genetics, Part 1 and Part 2,” really caught my eye because of two reasons: 1) I’m an American Quarter Horse breeder specializing in multiple-event reined cow horses and 2) I’m a Life Member of AQHA.

Part 1’s first paragraph essentially sets the stage for the present state of the breed in that it’s becoming more and more inbred, stating, “Talk to an equine geneticist long enough and you are bound to hear two assertions made about the American Quarter Horse breed that sound like opposites: First, it is one of the most genetically diverse equine breeds in the world and second, it’s becoming increasingly inbred.

 

The second and third paragraphs of Part 1 outline the history of the breed and a factor causing this shrinking of genetics, stating, “Beginning in colonial America, the breed began from a diverse genetic base of largely Thoroughbred and Spanish blood that was added to and developed for roughly 200 years, focusing on producing quickness and durability.

 

But fast-forward to the modern era of specialized American Quarter Horse performers, especially at the highest levels, and you find specialization in the horse-breeding herd too: specific groups of individual classes of horses used to produce those top performers. If you’re breeding for a specific category of horse (i.e.) reining, cutting, cow horse, etc., the gene pool is further narrowed within this subgroup.

 

That suggests there are narrowed gene pools in those subgroups and now a genetic study clearly shows it. A research team from the University of Minnesota has published its findings in an issue of the Journal of Heredity, “The American Quarter Horse: Population structure and relationship to the Thoroughbred.” The 2012-2013 study was partially funded by the American Quarter Horse Foundation.

 

“In the pedigree analysis, some groups shared no common sires, such as halter and racing, but other groups did, such as reining and working cow horse. Although popular sires within one group were rarely shared with another group, all the pedigrees reflected the common roots of the Quarter Horse.

“Additionally, pedigree analysis showed that the most common 15 sires across the groups were all direct tail-male descendants of Three Bars (TB), with several of those stallions showing more than one cross to the Thoroughbred in the first four generations.

“Inbreeding” refers to the mating of relatives and results in an “inbred” individual horse. The amount an individual horse is “inbred” can be estimated from its pedigree or genetic data. In a pedigree analysis, determining an individual’s “co-ancestry coefficient” gives an idea of how closely related individuals are on a pedigree page. Two individuals can be highly related without either of them being inbred, but if you breed two individuals with a high co-ancestry coefficient, their offspring will be inbred.

“Diversity quantifies the amount of genetic variation there is in a population. Typically, a highly inbred population has low genetic diversity. In this study the lowest genetic diversity within a sub-population was in the cutting and racing groups. The highest average inbreeding was found in cutting.”

 

Also, a recent statement from Nena J. Winand, DVM, PhD and a specialist on HERDA that was a witness for the Plaintiffs in a recent lawsuit regarding HERDA mentioned later in this article, said, “I’d point out from a medical perspective, ANY shared ancestry, no matter how remote (far back) is considered inbreeding, because it provides a chance for an individual to inherit the same gene derived from the common ancestor from both parents.”

 

ANALYZING QUARTER HORSE BREEDING RULES:
From this study, it’s clear that the present American Quarter Horse breeding rules require scrutiny to determine: 1) their contribution to this shrinking genetic pool and 2) the adverse affect each adopted breeding rule may or may not have on the breed itself. I wonder if the executives paid six figures at the AQHA and the Executive Committee members, especially the Stud Book and Registration Committee, had any forethought in the ramifications their expansive breeding rule adoptions would have on the Quarter Horse breed and industry over time?

As a private sector Risk Analyst, I’m commonly faced with the task of analyzing practices and concepts to determine either the detriment or usefulness an existing concept or practice has on an organization. In order to shed light on the topic, I examined two specific breeding rules adopted by AQHA: Multiple Embryo Transfer and Frozen Semen. I also examined the impact each adopted breeding rule may have on the breeding populous as well as a correlation of each one’s compliance with AQHA’s Mission Statement.

 

BAD BREEDING PRACTICES:
A horse’s conformation affects his ability to perform certain tasks. Read more about this interesting concept in AQHA’s Form to Function report.
Click for “Form To Function” report>>

“Longstanding breeding practices likely contribute to that. Habits such as “popular sire syndrome,” which is the tendency for many breeders to breed to a top-performing stallion, or the use of assisted reproductive techniques such as frozen semen and embryo transfers can greatly amplify one horse’s genetic impact. Even the practice of always breeding the ‘best to the best’ can contribute to increased inbreeding in a sub-population.

“Any time we take a single individual and increase its ability to generate offspring, that is going to decrease the genetic pool that is reproducing.

“Additionally, when you increase inbreeding and reduce diversity, you increase the incidence of undesirable genes making an appearance.

“A good example is the incidence of HERDA (hereditary equine regional dermal asthenia) in cutting horses. It’s very frequent within this sub-population, which might be the result of decreasing diversity and/or the ‘popular-sire’ effect. A previous study revealed that 28.3 percent of cutting-bred individuals carried the recessive gene for HERDA.”

Click following for AQHAGenetic Pool Shrinks>>

 

FIRST LAWSUIT ENTERS COURT OVER HERDA:
In a lawsuit entitled, “Minshall Vs Hartman Equine, Dos Cat Partners, Shauna and Ed Dufurrena” was tried in a Texas courtroom in 2017. The basis of the lawsuit encompassed fraud with the AQHA stallion Auspicious Cat. The owners of the horse advertised the stallion as being HERDA Negative when in fact the horse was designated N/Hr (a carrier of the HERDA gene) by the American Quarter Horse Association.

 

Prior to this lawsuit, the AQHA required genetic testing of breeding stallions on a graduated scale based on the number of mares bred until Jan. 1, 2016. After this date, each breeding stallion was required to have genetic testing which included a 5-Panel group of designated tests that were designed by AQHA and performed by UC Davis.

 

Up until the filing of this lawsuit, AQHA reserved the right NOT TO RELEASE the 5-Panel test results, except to the owners of the specific horse. This nondisclosure prevented anyone breeding to a specific stallion from obtaining the 5-Panel status of the stallion; therefore, running the risk of passing on a defect to the impending foal.

 

After the filing of the above-captioned lawsuit, AQHA has changed its posture to include releasing the 5-Panel test results to anyone who contacts them and asks for it. It’s also planned that the test results will be on the horse’s pedigree when their new computer database is online. Further, AQHA intends to embed the horses’ 5-Panel test results directly onto the stallions’ registration papers as a permanent record.

 

However, the curious nature of AQHA’s testing requirements does not include breeding mares, which, in my opinion should be a requirement as well. After all, mares carry the same number of genetic chromosomes as stallions do, which includes the mares’ lineage as well.

 

This is exactly what happened in this case as two N/Hr (HERDA carrier) horses were bred together, producing a HERDA affected foal. The Plaintiff’s had simply relied on the honesty and integrity of the stallion owner. Does AQHA have any culpable liability in the matter from their previous posture of not releasing stallion specific genetic testing results?

 

The other curious nature of this saga is that my article AQHA Genetic Pool Shrinks, along with its predetermined scientific facts and warnings about inbreeding, ended up in this courtroom drama two years later.

 

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE FOALS OF THESE MISGUIDED BREEDINGS?
Just about every cutter I’ve talked to wants a High Brow Cat-bred horse because of their winning nature. In fact, some even breed for horses carrying the HERDA gene due to this phenomenon, which is exactly what happened in this lawsuit. The Plaintiffs desired to breed to a High Brow Cat stallion that carried the AQHA N/N designation and ended up breeding to an N/Hr horse. Since their mare carried the N/Hr designation, two N/Hr horses produced a HERDA-affected foal that required an enormous amount of money to maintain.

 

So at the end of the day, what happens to the foals that wash out due to genetic deficiencies: euthanasia, the horse slaughter pipeline, retired and crippled at two or three years of age perhaps? Has our industry become so callous and money hungry that they throw caution to the wind when breeding? What about the poor horse that suffers due to this selfish act? This is an arduous fact to quantify simply due to non-reported statistical data. In my opinion just breeding to a particular line of horses just because they’re winning is a very poor excuse, especially in lieu of the fact that a known line is capable of producing undesirable genetic traits in the American Quarter Horse. We experienced this in the HYPP line of horses!

Also, it’s my opinion that AQHA being the breed registry for the American Quarter Horse should live up to its own Mission Statement and step in to prevent this well-known and established HERDA gene from permeating the American Quarter Horse breed. After all, they are the rule makers and some of their established and unorthodox   breeding rules have and continue to contribute to the shrinking genetic pool of the American Quarter Horse, thus causing direct harm to the breed. Only AQHA can stop or control the insertion of bad genetics into the American Quarter Horse Gene Pool!

 

BREEDING PREREQUISITES 101:

1)         Mare owners should have their horses genetically tested by the AQHA 5-panel prior to breeding.

2)         Mare owners should perform due-diligent research into the genetic test results of the impending desired stallion prior to breeding.

3)         Prior to breeding, consult with a geneticist to determine whether the match up would produce any undesirable traits in the produced foal, especially if a shared lineage or line of horses is in the background of both horses.

 

GENETIC DEFICIENCIES IN THE THOROUGHBRED LINE:
Unfortunately, bad breeding practices and catastrophic results aren’t limited to the American Quarter Horse Industry. In a later article I’ll discuss and delineate the bad breeding practices in the Thoroughbred Industry.

 

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

 

WIND RIVER COMPANY LLC
Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
Managing Member
Office/Mobile: (985) 630-3500
Email: windrivercompany@gmail.com
Web Site: http://www.windrivercompanyllc.com

 

 

 

 

 

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☛ Metallic Cat and HERDA 5-18-17

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

METALLIC CAT OFFSPRING DOMINATE SUPER STAKES OPEN FINALS

 

BUT ARE BREEDERS BEING CAREFUL TO ELIMINATE HERDA?

  

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

 

Metallic Cat offspring dominate Super Stakes Open finals

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

WHAT’S THIS GOT TO DO WITH HERDA?
A lot! In March I spent seven days at a jury trial in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division in Sherman, Texas, to settle a lawsuit brought by Shawn, Lisa and Lauren Minshall, Hillsburg, Ontario, Canada, against David Hartman DVM, owner of Hartman Equine Reproduction Center, P.A. (HERC), Gainesville, Texas. Prior to the trial Edward and Shona Dufurrena, who headed up Dos Cats Partners, Gainesville, Texas, the owners of the stallion Auspicious Cat, a stallion they had advertised as being HERDA N/N and told to the mare owners and Dr. David Hartman, the veterinarian that collected him and shipped semen, that he was HERDA N/N.

 

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

 

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

 

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

Click for Minshall lawsuit>> 

 

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

Click for Final Judgment>>

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

CASE CLOSED:

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

Denying Plaintiffs Motion=final judgment 5-9-17

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

According to Dr. Molly McCue, “The study found that due to the contribution of popular sires, relatedness within the groups is on the rise. This increase in relatedness, or co-ancestry, is likely to lead to an increase in the number and extent of inbred individuals.”

 

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

 

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

Click for AQHA Genetic Pool Shrinks>>

 

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

 

 

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