Pages Navigation Menu

ON-LINE MAGAZINE & WEB SITE - SCROLL DOWN FOR NEWS

☛ Dennie Dunn pleads guilty to a felony 3-6-18

Posted by on Mar 6, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, FROM THE EDITOR, HORSE LAWSUITS, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

DENTON (DENNIE) DUNN, FORMERLY HEAD OF THE NCHA GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE, PLEADS GUILTY TO A FELONY

By Glory Ann Kurtz
March 6, 2018

Denton (Dennie) Dunn, Salt Lake City, Utah and Peaster, Texas, a long-time member of the NCHA, who was previously an NCHA Director from Utah and head of the NCHA Grievance Committee, pleaded guilty to Attempted Communications Fraud, a 3rd degree felony, in a Salt Lake City, Utah, courtroom on Oct. 10, 2017.

Click for guilty plea>>

On July 15, 2015, Dunn had been charged with 10 felonies, including Communications Fraud (4), Theft (4), Attempted Communications Fraud and a Pattern of Unlawful Activity; however, after two years of court cases, he pleaded guilty to Attempted Communications Fraud, a 3rd degree felony.

Dunn originally was sentenced to “an indeterminate term of not to exceed five years in the Utah State Prison; however, the prison term was suspended and he was placed on probation for 12 months. The probation is to be supervised by “good behavior” probation. Any early termination of probation will require notification to the prosecutor. Dunn was placed on Court Probation, meaning he could violate no laws and must complete 80 hours of community service at the rate of 10 hours a month beginning on Jan. 1, 2018. A Restitution hearing was scheduled for Nov. 13, 2017.

 2-criminal sentence

However, the Restitution Hearing was held earlier, on Oct. 16, 2017, when the court ordered Dunn to restitution in the amount of $95,047, to be paid at the rate of $150 a month beginning on Jan. 1, 2018

 

THE FRAUD:

According to Salt Lake City court documents that are open to members of the public, commencing on or about March 3, 2014, Dunn and his wife Barbara devised a scheme or artifice to defraud Brad Hall And Associates or to obtain from them money, property or anything of value by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, promises or material omissions. Dunn communicated directly or indirectly with him with the purpose of executing or concealing the schemer artifice, and the total value of the property, money or thing obtained or sought to be obtained by the scheme or artificer was more than $5,000 in violation of Utah law. This violation is a second-degree felony under Utah law.

The state requested bail of $50,000 for each defendant as they engaged in a clear pattern to defraud. They misrepresented the financial condition of Dunn Oil to Stan and Blake Parrish. They pushed the Parrishes to make a large financial contribution to a company that was struggling financially. They also deliberately ran up a large bill with Brad Hall And Associates, disregarding payment requirements put in place by Brad Hall because Dunn Oil already was indebted to Brad Hall for a substantial sum.

They did this in full knowledge they were going to declare bankruptcy (which they did – twice) and leave Brad Hall without recourse once their malfeasance was discovered. Their financial fraud cost Brad Hall in excess of $100,000.

Dunn’s next step was a meeting in court with the State of Utah Assistant Attorney General Brian Williams, on Oct. 10, 2017. Dunn’s wife, Barbara, was no longer included in the case, which had been reduced to a single charge: Attempted Communications Fraud, a 3rd Degree Felony, to which Dunn pleaded Guilty through his attorney Loni F. Deland.

The Court advised Dunn of his rights and penalties;  however, he waived the reading of the information as well as the time for sentence. He was convicted of Attempted Communications Fraud and sentenced to an indeterminate term of not to exceed five years in the Utah State Prison; however, the prison term was suspended.

He was then placed on probation for 12  months, supervised by “good behavior probation,” with early termination of probation requiring notification to the prosecutor and placed on court probation.  He could violate no laws and complete 80 hours of community service at the rate of 10 hours a month, beginning on Jan.1, 2018. The restitution hearing was scheduled for Nov. 13, 2017.

However, the Restitution Hearing was actually held on Oct. 16, 2017, when the court ordered restitution to Hall in the amount of $95,047 to be paid at the rate of $150 a month, beginning 1/1/2018.

3-Minutes Restitution 

In the process of all of the Dunn’s financial problems, he and his wife filed, not one but two, bankruptcies: Chapter 13 on Aug. 11, 2014 and Chapter 7 on Sept. 25, 2015 in the Northern District of Texas.

First National Bank-Bankruptcy

 

See articles on background checks

 

FROM THE EDITOR:

As the owner and editor of www.allaboutcutting.com, I don’t go out of my way to find NCHA’s or other horse organization’s officers, directors or members who have committed crimes. Most of my information comes from members or interested parties of the problem created, and the above article is one of those.

I received a letter by mail from “A Concerned Member” regarding Dennie Dunn. The sender listed several statements about Dunn that I could not publish without further investigation to make sure the statements were true. Unfortunately, after my investigation, I found they were very true!

Dennie Dunn letter

 

I did not know, and still don’t know, if the NCHA officers, directors or management know about the legal and criminal charges or bankruptcies of Dennie Dunn. However, the current Membership Directory of the NCHA shows that Dunn lives in Peaster, Texas, located northwest of Fort Worth where the home office of the NCHA is located. However, last night I received a telephone call saying he was in St. George, Utah, where his wife is working for a car dealership.

But I do think that it would be wise to all horse and/or non-profit organizations should do background checks on their officers, directors and employees. A prime example is that today most major companies do this on a regular basis.

Glory Ann Kurtz
allaboutcutting.com

940-393-1865

Read More

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

Posted by on Feb 10, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE LAWSUITS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

VOGELS  AND ED DUFURRENA AGREE ON A PRIVATE SETTLEMENT OF LAWSUIT 

 

VOGELS RECEIVE AUSPICIOUS CAT, STEVIE REY VON AND CREYZY TRAIN;

AFTER PRIVATE SETTLEMENT, STEVIE REY VON SELLS FOR $2 MILLION

By Glory Ann Kurtz
Feb. 10, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

VOGEL LAWSUIT:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE LEGAL BATTLE:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DUFURRENA FILES COUNTERCLAIM AGAINST VOGELS:

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

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

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

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

PLAINTIFF’S RESPONSE TO DUFURRENA:

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

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

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

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

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

Ricks Response 2-10-18

ENTER NEW LAWYER LEW STEVENS:

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

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

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

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

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

THE PRIVATE SETTLEMENT:

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

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

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

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

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

THE VOGELS SELL STEVIE REY VON FOR $2 MILLION:

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

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

Read More

☛ Dufurrena sues Vogels for disclosure 11-28-17

Posted by on Nov 28, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE LAWSUITS, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

DUFURRENA FILES COUNTER CLAIM AND SUES VOGELS FOR DISCLOSURE

By Glory Ann Kurtz
Nov. 28, 2017

On Oct. 7, 2017, Edward L. Dufurrena, the owner of Dufurrena Cutting Horses, LLC, Gainesville, Texas, was sued by Donald Eugene Vogel and his wife Janie S. Vogel, stating that they had become partners in Dos Cats Partners on March 11, 2011, investing $105,000 in the four horses: Auspicious Cat, Ozzum Man, Ozum Cat Cat and What Snaky Cat, as well as three embryos: one from Miss Ella Ray sired by Auspicious Cat, one from Miss Ella Rey sired by Metallic Cat and one out of Hickory Wheel sired by Auspicious Cat.

The suit continued that horses remaining in the partnership include Auspicious Cast, Stevie Rey Von and Crazy Train. Stevie Rey Von is the embryo out of Miss Ella Rey sired by Metallic Cat.

In 2015, Stevie Rey Von, ridden by Dufurrena, won the NCHA Cutting Horse Futurity, winning $341,570. Court papers say Dufurrena collected all the winnings, never sharing them with the Vogels for their 49 percent interest. They contend that Dufurrena never paid them anything according to the partnership agreement, with Dufurrena sending them self-generated invoices, containing questionable and unsubstantiated expenses.

On Oct. 20, Dufurrena filed an answer and counter claim against the Vogels, who were 66 at the time of the partnership agreement, and Jandon LLC, a Texas Limited Partnership, whose registered agent is Donald Eugene Vogel. The claim stated  that “over the years, the Vogels had placed 10 horses with Dufurrena and were not current with their account, accumulating an unpaid balance of approximately  $340,000. On Feb. 6, 2017, when the defendants came to pick up their horses, it was discovered that Dufurrena had a possessory lien under Texas law as agisters, requiring the person in possession of the horse to retain possession so that it may be sold to apply the proceeds of the sale to the unpaid balance of the charges subject to the lien.

Dufurrena’s lawsuit claims he had received a $100,000 check from the account of Jandon LLC which was “no good” and did not clear the bank despite multiple requests by the Plaintiffs that the check be covered. He claims the defendants have refused to make good on the check and the unpaid balance of the invoices.

The defendants are claiming damages of $340,000 exclusive of attorneys’ fees, costs and pre-judgment interest.

In his counter claim Dufurrena said the Vogels entered into a co-owners agreement pursuant to which the Vogels owned 49 percent of certain horses and embryos. One of the embryos died and no foal was produced. He said that with the knowledge of the Counter-Defendants, the Dufurrenas provided at their cost a replacement foal, which was accepted by counter-defendants. He said the Dufurrenas had no obligation to replace the failed embryo.

He continues that neither of the Counter-Defendants nor any partnership known as Dos Cats Partners owns any co-ownership or other interest in the horses known as Auspicious Cat, Creyzy Train or Stevie Rey Von. Counter-defendants interests in Auspicious Cat and Creyzy Train were applied against their unpaid accounts pursuant to the co-owners agreement. Dufurrena said Stevie Rey Von as not part of the co-owners agreement and Counter-Defendants have no interest in such horse, thus, they have no interest in his winnings.

Counter-Plaintiffs also seek a declaration that neither Counter-Defendant owns any interest in Stevie Rey Von, whether through a co-owners agreement, partnership or others well as Creyzy Train or Auspicious Cat, saying those interests were terminated before 2017. They Counter-Plaintiffs say they are entitled to an award from the Court for their costs and reasonable and necessary attorney’s fees as are equitable and just.

The documents went on to say that “If there is a finding that Counter-Defendants now own any interest in the horses made the subject of the co-owners agreement,  Counter-Plaintiffs seek a recovery of all charges due for such horse that were not paid when the offset was made – plus reasonable and necessary attorney fees.

The latest word on this case is that they are in mediation.

Click for Ed Dufurrena response>>

Click for Ed Dufurrena Request 4 disclosure>>

Read More

☛ Lawsuit filed in barrel horse case 11-7-17

Posted by on Nov 7, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE LAWSUITS, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, REINING NEWS, RODEO & BULLRIDING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 1 comment

LAWSUIT FILED IN MADISON COUNTY, TEXAS REGARDING A BARREL HORSE 

 

SAVANNAH ROBERTSON FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST VETERINARIAN CAMERON STOUDT AND TEXAS EQUINE HOSPITAL

By Glory Ann Kurtz
Nov. 7, 2017

On or about May 13, 2016, Savannah Robertson, Los Osmos, Calif., entered into a contract with Michelle Alley, Madisonville, Texas, an agent for Hope B. Martin, Huntsville, Texas, the owner of a barrel horse named Crown N Diamonds, a.k.a.“Cinderella.”

Prior to the purchase Robertson consulted Cameron Stoudt, DVM of the Texas Equine Hospital, Bryan, Texas, to conduct a pre-purchase report on the horse. Relying on her Dr. Stoudt’s pre-purchase report, Savannah Robertson believed the horse was sound and fit for performance purposes.

Approximately three days after Robertson took possession of the horse, 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 occurred while Robertson was riding the mare, causing the horse and rider to fall 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 in Los Olivos, Calif. Upon evaluation, the veterinary clinic also identified this abnormality and treated the horse for the patella lockup condition.

Click for Locking patella explanation>>

Robertson realized the horse she had just purchased was not sound due to the locking patella, and would be unfit for barrel racing or any other performance purpose. She notified both the agent Michelle Alley and seller Hope Martin of their violations based on the deceptive sale of the wholly unfit performance horse.

Robertson also learned after the sale that the veterinarian Cameron Stoudt DVM had previously seen and treated the horse on a number of occasions and had given the  horse multiple injections for the stifle lock issue, knowing that the horse was unfit as a performance horse – yet failed to disclose that information. Dr. Stoudt was employed by Texas Equine Hospital.

The purchase turned into several lawsuits filed by the seller and the agent. with the most recent being filed by the buyer, Savannah Robertson, who hired attorney Robert Wagstaff of McMahon Surovik Suttle, P.C. of Abilene, Texas, who sent a demand letter for payment of damages 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 (DTPA), especially  Section 17.46 of the Texas Business Commerce Code.

Court documents state that on Nov. 3, 2017, Robertson, filed a First Amended Original Petition in the 278th Judicial District of Madison County, Texas, against the seller Hope B. Martin, the veterinarian Cameron Stoudt, DVM and her employer Texas Equine Hospital PC stating the “Plaintiff intends to conduct discovery under Level 3 of Rule 190.3 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure with the damages sought being  within the jurisdictional limits of the court.”

Click for Texas Equine Hospital website>>

The documents state that the Texas jurisdiction is proper since the parties entered into a contract in Texas, to be performed in whole or in part, in Madison County, Texas. Also, because a substantial part of the conduct giving rise to the lawsuit occurred in Madison County, Texas, and a substantial part of the events and omissions which created this cause of action occurred in Madison County, Texas.

Robertson notified both Michelle Alley and Hope B. Martin of their DTPA violations based on the deceptive sale of the wholly unfit performance horse. Further, it was learned after the sale that Defendant Cameron Stoudt, DVM had previously seen and treated the horse on a number of occasions and had given the horse multiple injections for the stifle lock issue and; therefore, knew the horse was unfit as a performance horse, yet wholly failed to disclose it. At all times she was acting in the course and scope of her employment with defendant Texas Equine Hospital P.C.

CAUSE OF ACTION CLAIMED AGAINST SELLER HOPE B. MARTIN:

In the court documents, Robertson claims Hope B. Martin committed DTPA violations by representing that the barrel horse had “characteristics, uses, benefits and qualities” which it did not and she failed to disclose the information concerning the barrel horse, which was known at the time of the transaction and as such filed to disclose the information to induce Robertson into a transaction in which she would not have entered, had the information been disclosed.

CLAIMED DAMAGES INCURRED BY HOPE B. MARTIN:

Court documents state that on Sept. 30, 2016, Robertson provided written notice to Hope B. Martin, advising her of specific complaints and the amount of damages, including reasonable attorney’s fees incurred as of the date of the letter. Robertson said she suffered economic damages in an amount within the jurisdiction limits of the court, for which it now sues, including but not limited to: the original purchase price of the  horse, the costs of all veterinarian exams, transportation and boarding costs and all other costs association with the sale and purchase of the  horse.

Also claiming mental anguish damages, Robertson sued for actual and incurred damages, mental anguished treble (3 times amount of damages) allowed by law.

CLAIMED CAUSE OF ACTION AGAINST VETERINARIAN DR. CAMERON STOUDT:

Robertson claims that prior to her purchase of the barrel horse, she consulted Cameron Stoudt, DVM, an experienced veterinarian in the Brazos Valley region, to assess the horse’s present and future soundness and any abnormalities that may adversely affect the horse’s ability to perform for the sole reason of purchase – barrel racing.

She claims that Dr. Stoudt made negligent misrepresentations to her regarding the horse’s health, soundness, medical conditions and ability to perform. She claims the vet supplied false information to her, upon which Robertson relied and as a result suffered damages.

Court documents claim that Dr. Stoudt failed to disclose that the horse was not sound, as its patella locked up in its left rear leg, making the horse unfit for barrel racing or any other performance purpose. Robertson said she had relied on the veterinarian’s Pre-Purchase Assessment and Report in her decision to purchase the horse and enter into the contract with Michelle Alley and Hope B. Martin.

The document included the fact that the acts and omissions of Dr. Stoudt occurred while she was in the course and scope of her employment with Defendant Texas Equine Hospital, who the court case claims is directly liable to the Plaintiff for the acts and omissions of Dr. Cameron Stoudt, DVM and The damages proximately caused thereof.

CLAIMED DAMAGES INCURRED BY DR. CAMERON STOUDT AND TEXAS EQUINE HOSPITAL: 

Damages for which Dr. Cameron Stoudt, DVM and the Texas Equine Hospital are liable for include her purchase price of the horse, expenses incurred in the transaction, expenses and upkeep of the horse since the date of the purchase and lost profits and business opportunities for having a  horse that was unfit for its particular purpose: a barrel racing horse. Robertson also seeks recovery of pre- and post-judgment interest and reasonable and necessary fees for expert witnesses, copies of depositions and costs of court, as authorized by law.

Robertson is also demanding a trial by jury for which required fees have been paid. She is asking, “the defendants be cited to appear and answer the suit. Also, she is asking that upon final hearing of the case, the judgment be entered for the Plaintiff and against the Defendants for damages in an amount within the jurisdictional limits of the Cost, together with pre-judgment interest at the maximum rate allowed by law, post-judgment interest at the legal rate, costs of court, reasonable and necessary attorneys’ fees and other such and further relief to which the Plaintiff may be entitled at law or in equity.”

Click for court documents>>

 

Read More

☛ 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 >>

 

Read More

☛ 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

Read More