U.S. TENTH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS RULES AGAINST BLM ON WILD HORSE ISSUE
Release by 10th Circuit Court Of Appeals
Oct. 15, 2016
For the second time this week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit has ruled in our favor on a precedent-setting issue concerning wild horse management on public lands.
In 2014, the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) treated more than a million acres of public land in the Wyoming Checkerboard as private land for purposes of wild horse management. The “Checkerboard” is a large area in Wyoming that consists of alternating parcels of public and private lands.
Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that BLM violated the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act by removing hundreds of federally protected will horses from public lands under the agency’s limited private land removal authority, and in the process ignoring the legal requirements that BLM must satisfy before permanently removing wild horses from public lands.
Because all herd management areas either contain private lands within their boundaries or are adjacent to private lands, today’s ruling has enormous precedental implications for wild horse management throughout the American West.
For the court ruling, click here.
On Jan. 9, 2016, Rick Dennis posted an article on this site where he notified the Office Of The Inspector General requesting a criminal investigation into the BLM regarding the wild horses and burros, due to their violation of the Wild Free-roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 , which he felt would not only save taxpayers dollars but also for the protection of America’s wild herbivore populations being born and living on public land. He also encouraged punishment of any federal employee found violating this law and encouraged individuals to write or call the Office of the Inspector General. His philosophy regarding this matter was directly in line with this ruling.
Click for Rick Dennis Jan. 9 article>>
ATTENTION HORSE TRAINERS!!!
CRUEL TRAINING PRACTICES COUD COST YOU LOTS OF MONEY –AND MORE
By Glory Ann Kurtz
Sept. 13, 2016
Bella Gunnabe Gifted, a money-earning reining horse, was put down from a basilar skull fracture after being bitted up with a curb bit and left alone in a solid round pen for more than an hour. Trainer Mark Arballo recently settled with the owners for a $160,000 settlement, plus he is servinhg three-years probation and not allowed to triain horses during the sentence.
According to an article on RateMyHorsePro.com, a trainer that three years ago caused the death of a horse he was training recently reached a $160,000 settlement with the horse’s owner. Although the trainer’s settlement is not an admission of liability in civil court, he pleaded guilty to felony animal cruelty in March 2015, which is now a felony in all 50 states, and is serving a three-year probation sentence in North Carolina and is not allowed to train horses during his sentence.
Click for FBI article>>
Mark Arballo, an NRHA reining horse trainer who was working as Arballo Reining Horses LLC for Martha Torkinton at her River Valley Ranch, in the County of San Diego, Calif., at the time of the incident, currently resides in the County of Nash, N.C. According to court records it was reported that Arballo’s co-defendant and former partner Patrice Hohl, are believed to be romantically involved.
Arballo, who along with other trainers were permitted to train horses at the River Valley Ranch, joined the group in February 2011. In September 2013, Arballo bitted up 6-year-old Bella Gunnabe Gifted with a curb bit and left her alone in a solid round pen for more than an hour with her head “tied around,” while he taught lessons.
When the mare was discovered, she was unable to get up, had blood in her ear and her eyes moved rapidly back and forth. Bella’s euthanasia ended her suffering and it was a veterinarian’s determination that she had suffered a basilar skull fracture or a broken skull. A basilar skull fracture is a fracture of the basilar bone of the skull, which is part of the floor of the skull that holds the brain, resulting in the cerebral spinal fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, to leak from the nose or the ear.
Bella, a Paint mare was sired by Colonel’s Smoking Gun, an NRHA Hall of Famer better known as “Gunner,” and like her sire, she had found success in the reining arena. Torkinton said that her eggs would be valuable due to her great pedigree.
In August, the defendants’ dog bit Bella on the nose and in September, they noticed a bump on the mare’s head after a training session, which Arballo denied causing. Torkinton was working on a process to terminate Arballo’s contracts and remove the defendants from the property when the training incident and death of Bella happened.
Even though the defendants tried to add two additional terms regarding a “confidentiality agreement,” Torkinton’s attorney said that “a confidentiality clause that restricts First Amendment rights is anything but standard and was not discussed with the court,” and the defendants did not get their confidentiality clause – but rather got a huge fine.
However, the plaintiffs were responsible for a lien as Torkinton’s property insurance carrier, Markel Insurance Company, asserted a lien for payments made to the Torkintons after the death of Bella.
However, trainers must keep in mind that the court’s decision and the FBI’s felony law on cruelty to animals now has a “set precedent” on cruelty to animals in a training situation.
Rick Dennis wrote a great article for AllAboutCutting.com in the May 15, 2015 issue called “Bridles, Bits and Abuse,” that everyone should read – even if they have read it before. It is an indepth study about the abuse of horses by trainers , including how they do it, what equipment they use and what the horse associations are doing about it.
Following is the one paragraph that I like the best and encompasses the answer to horse abuse:
“The truth of the matter is there are no shortcuts in training a horse – only lazy trainers! To properly train a horse requires hard work, hours-upon-hours of saddle time, wet saddle blankets and devotion to the job at-hand. I know this truth to be self evident, as I’m a judicially certified professional multiple-event reined cow horse trainer. The antiquated abusive training techniques developed over the years by unethical self-professed horse trainers should be prohibited and removed from the industry, along with the trainers practicing these unorthodox and abusive training practices. At my training facility, horses are ridden into submission, not beaten into submission, and trained the right way.”
Click for Bridles, Bits & Abuse>>
DAKOTA LINDSEY HARRELL INDICTED FOR SECOND FELONY
HEARING TO BE HELD OCT. 20 AT 1:30 P.M. IN COOKE COUNTY COURT
By Glory Ann Kurtz
Aug. 18, 2016
Dakotah Lindsey Harrell, 28, Whitesboro, Texas, was arrested and indicted by a grand jury for the second time within a four-month period of time, this time for the theft of money, over $1,500 and under $20,000 on March 10-11, 2016, from the bank account of Dale R. Koller, Bethlehem, Pa. She posted a $5,000 bond on July 22.
Click for Dale Koller indictment>>
Harrell was also arrested on March 10, 2016, for theft of up to $300,000 on a warrant filed by Miller Wade Smith, Geary, Okla. With bond set at $50,000, she was released on March 11 after her bail was posted.
Click for Miller Wade Smith indictment>>
A hearing on the first felony was scheduled for Aug. 12, 2016; however, it was decided by the court that a hearing will be held on both indictments on Oct. 20 at 1:30 p.m. at the Cooke County Courthouse in Gainesville, Texas.
Charges on both of Harrell’s arrests included systematically stealing money from Smith’s and Koller’s bank accounts through Internet transactions over the past four years while working for cutting horse trainer Merritt Wilson, Whitesboro, Texas.
The first Indictment for theft of $200,000 or more from Miller Wade Smith was labeled a First Degree Felony, while the second theft of $1,500 or more but less than $20,000 is listed as a State Jail Felony.
Smith and his wife, Tresa, are involved in the cutting horse business, with Wade and their son showing as Non-Pros in NCHA competition. Also a vested-interest partner in the horse business is Wade Smith’s mother, Jimmie Miller Smith, also of Geary.
Koller is a partner with Keith Feister of Brightstone Ranch Stallion Services, Gainesville, Texas, in the ownership of Sophisticated Catt and Palo Duro Cat, full brothers by High Brow Cat out of Shania Cee.
LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST STALLION OWNERS AND VET REGARDING HERDA
SHAWN, LISA AND LAUREN MINSHALL SUE FOR FRAUD REGARDING HERDA DESIGNATION OF AUSPICIOUS CAT
By Glory Ann Kurtz
Aug. 4, 2016
Federal Court filings in the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division, lists a lawsuit entitled Shawn, and Lisa Victoria Minshall, and Lauren Victoria Minshall vs. Ed Dufurrena, Ed Durfurrena Cutting Horses, Anthony And Dufurrena, Hartman Equine Reproduction Center (HERC), and Dos Cats Partners dated Oct. 30, 2015.
The filed public court records allege the Plaintiffs suffered specific damages arising from the material fact that the Plaintiffs bred their mare to Auspicious Cat, a stallion owned by the Defendants, and the produced foal owned by the Plaintiffs suffers from HERDA. The court filings continue to state the Defendants specifically misrepresented the HERDA designation on Auspicious Cat in an advertisement, prior to the breeding, stating the sire was HERDA negative or HERDA N/N.
Shawn and Lisa Victoria Minshall reside in Hillsburgh, Ontario, Canada, and Lauren Victoria Minshall resides in Pine Grove, Ky. Ed Dufurrena and Ed Dufurrena Cutting Horses are in Gainesville, Texas, and according to their website, Hartman Equine Reproduction Center (HERC) have two locations in Whitesboro, Texas and Marietta, Okla.
Dos Cats Partners is a general partnership and includes the following current members and/or former members, identified by Defendants as being involved at all material times: Ed Dufurrena, Shona Dufurrena, Karen Claycomb, Tom Donaghe, Linda Donaghe, Gary Craighead, Barbra Hanselman, Michael Nolan, Tracy A. Agrall, Butch Redish and Blair Vissar.
Specifically, in the Plaintiff’s Third Amended Complaint, dated April 7, 2016, the Defendants represented to the Plaintiffs that their stallion Auspicious Cat (sired by High Brow Cat who is out of Smart Little Kitty by Smart Little Lena) and out of the mare Lenas O Lady, whose dam Doc O Lady was by Doc O’Lena) – meaning the stallion was double-bred Doc O’Lena) was free of the HERDA gene and not a carrier of the disease.
Click for Third Amended Complaint>>
EXPLANATION OF HERDA:
HERDA is a genetic skin disease that surfaces usually in the second year after an afflicted horse begins training and results in large painful lesions over large areas of the horse’s body, as well as hyperextensible skin and scarring. There is no cure and the majority of diagnosed horses have to be euthanized. HERDA has an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance, which means it could pop up in future generations. HERDA carriers is critical for the selection of mating pairs as breedings of carrier horses (those with at lease one recessive HERDA gene have a 25 percent chance of producing an affected foal.
However, nestled in the court documents, was a copy of a web page ad with Dufurrena riding Auspicious Cat, noting he stood at Pinnacle Equine Veterinary services, with Chelsea Makloski-Cohorn as Principal, with a $2,500 stud fee and marked HERDA N/N – meaning he didn’t have the HERDA gene.
Click for Auspicious cat ad in court papers>>
The Minshalls bred their mare, Miss Tassa Lena, to Auspicious Cat, with the resulting foal, Dr. Ozz, coming up positive for HERDA disease after the Plaintiffs incurred significant costs and expenses based on the Defendant’s misrepresentations and other wrongful conduct by Defendants, for which they are now seeking damages allowed by law.
Miss Tassa Lena was sired by Smart Little Lena by Doc O’Lena and out of Duntay Pistolena, whose dam also went back to Doc O’Lena. This made Dr. Ozz’s pedigree going to Doc O’Lena FOUR TIMES.
According to court documents, Dos Cats Partners is, upon information and belief, a general partnership with its principal place of business in Gainesville, Cooke County, Texas. Ed Dufurrena’s wife, Shona Dufurrena, Gainesville, Texas, is also mentioned “as an individual who may be served also – wherever she may be found.”
WHO IS SHAWN MINSHALL?
Minshall is the owner of a top-class Thoroughbred racing operation, which is ranked and held out as one of the top Canadian breeding and training operations for cutting horses.
Click for article on Minshall family>>
Click for Equine sport finds cutting edge>>
Court documents involve Dr. David Hartman of Hartman Equine Reproduction Center. During a deposition of Dr. Hartman on April 6, 2016, it was learned that Dr. Justin Voge and Dr Hartman performed the extraction of semen from Auspicious Cat for use in artificial insemination and he was responsible for handling the logistics of inseminating the mare with Auspicious Cat’s semen. They Plaintiffs claim that Hartman knew that there was a high likelihood that Auspicious Cat was a HERDA carrier while Auspicious Cat was stationed at his vet clinic. He testified that “most good sons of High Brow Cat were HERDA carriers” and he told Dufurrena such in an effort to encourage him to be responsible and test Auspicious Cat for HERDA in 2011.
The case is being held in the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division, because the Defendants reside in the Eastern District of Texas. Also, the Stallion Service Contract provided by the Defendants, purports to fix venue in Grayson County Texas, because “all of the terms and provisions of (The Agreement) are performable in Grayson County.
DR. HARTMAN’S RESPONSE:
Hartman’s response to the Third Amended Original Complaint filed by the Minshalls, filed April 20, 2016, denied that he engaged in any material misrepresentations and false advertising that resulted in injuries and damages to the plaintiffs related to Auspicious Cat. He denied representing that Auspicious Cat was free of the HERDA gene. He stated he did not have sufficient knowledge of most of the other allegations and although he admitted he was a Texas professional association, he denied that his principal place of business was in Gainesville, Cooke County, Texas.
Click for Dr. Hartman’s response>>
DISMISSAL WITH PREJUDICE:
In the middle of the case, Edward L. Dufurrena, Edward Dufurrena Cutting Horses LLC, Anthony and Dufurrena, Inc. and Dos Cats Partners, settled with the Minshalls. Therefore on April 28, an Order Of Dismissal with Prejudice was granted by United States District Judge Amos L. Mazzant, dismissing all parties in the suit except for Defendants Hartman Equine Reproduction Center, P.A. and Shona Dufurrena. Dismissal with prejudice, means the plaintiff is barred from filing another case on the same claim.
Click for Dismissal With Prejudice>>
PRESS RELEASE FROM PLAINTIFFS’ LAWYER:
Following the dismissal of the case, the Plaintiffs’ lawyer, Aaron J. Burke of Hartline Dacus Barger Dreyer LLP, Dallas, Texas, put out a press release on July 11, 2016, regarding the settlement of the case, stating “the owners of a nationally ranked stallion have paid $60,000 to settle claims that they made false and material misrepresentations and failed to disclose the status of their stallion as a carrier of HERDA.”
Burke said that he learned through discovery that the defendants’ stallion had indeed tested positive for HERDA years before and those results had never been revealed. He also said that “sometimes stallion owners, incentivized by large breeding fees, have been known to intentionally misrepresent a stallion’s status, claiming the stallion is not a carrier of HERDA or hiding test results.”
He also claimed his clients “had offered to settle prior to litigation for the approximate cost of raising and training the foal to that point, the defendants rejected the offer and the mare owners had no choice but to seek the court’s help in adjudicating their claims.”
Click for Attorney Aaron J Burke’s press release>>
AUSPICIOUS CAT OFFSPRING:
According to AQHA, Auspicious Cat has 138 foals, with 2 foaled in 2010, 10 in 2011, 12 in 2012, 45 in 2013, 45 in 2014, and 24 in 2015. He has sired 10 performing foals in 2016. A total of 14 of his foals have been performers.
CAUSES OF ACTION:
Causes of Action in the lawsuit include 1) Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act against all Defendants state they indirectly engaged in false, misleading and deceptive acts and practices declared to be unlawful to the DTPA, Tex. Bus & Comm. Code 17.46(a) and (b); 2) Breach of Contract against all defendants for breaching contract dated April 15, 2012; 3) Negligent Misrepresentation and Negligence against all defendants by representing that Auspicious Cat was not a carrier of the HERDA gene; 4) Fraud against all defendants; 5) Fraudulent Concealment/Fraud by Nondisclosure against all defendants; 6) Joint Enterprise against defendants, Mr. Dufurrena, Dos Cats and HERC for obtaining profits from marketing, sales and promotion of Auspicious Cat’s semen by breed it with mares; 7)Civil Conspiracy against Defendants, Mr. Dufurrena, Dos Cats and HERC, incorporating all the previous allegations and 8) Aiding and Abetting Liability (against HERC), for assisting, encouraging and participation in Mr. Dufurrena’s negligent, tortuous and/or fraudulent conduct.
WHAT PLAINTIFFS ARE ASKING FOR:
The Plaintiffs are asking for 1) a trial by jury on all issues triable to a jury; 2) an award of up to three times Plaintiffs’ actual damages and mental-anguish damages, based on Defendants’ willful and intentional violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, 3) Plaintiffs’ actual damages and benefit-of-the-bargain damages; 4) an award of exemplary damages based on Plaintiffs’ fraud by nondisclosure claim based on a showing by clear and convincing evidence; 5) Plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees, pursuant to Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code, Texas Business and Commerce Code and other provisions of the law; 6) an award of court costs, prejudgment interest and post judgment interest and 7) any and all additional relief to which Plaintiffs show themselves to be entitled.
The Plaintiffs are demanding a jury trial which is currently tentatively set for sometime in January.
The latest item on the case in the court docket is that a Mediation Session was held on July 28, 2016 by John B. Shipp, the assigned mediator; however, the mediation did not result in a settlement. “I will continue to work with the parties to try to bring this matter to resolution,” said Shipp in the Mediator’s Report.
PARKER COUNTY LAW ENFORCEMENT BENEFITS FROM DRUG DEALERS
By Glory Ann Kurtz
July 3, 2016
Parker County, Texas, is known for its top cutting horses, the industry’s best trainers and million-dollar ranches. But it’s also known for something else now – drug dealers.
But not for long! On June 28, the Parker County Post reported that a home had been seized from Jimmy Wayne Mack, 41, Weatherford, Texas, who was arrested on March 22, 2012. In 2013, he was convicted of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance and sentenced to 20 years in federal prison. The home sold last week for $225,000.
The case was on appeal for nearly three years before the judgment was affirmed by the Eastland Court of Appeals and the home could be sold, according to Assistant District Attorney Jeff Swaim, who handled the case. He said, “At his peak Jimmy Mack was the biggest methamphetamine dealer in Parker County. He was dealing upwards of a half-pound of meth per week.”
Since the seizure was initiated by the Parker County Special Crimes Unit, proceeds from the sale will be divided evenly between the Parker County Sheriff’s Office, Weatherford Police Department and the Parker County District Attorney’s Office.
Click for complete article>>
DAKOTAH LINDSEY HARRELL INDICTED BY GRAND JURY
By Glory Ann Kurtz
Updated July 7, 2016
On June 28, 2016, I reported that on June 24, 2016, a Cooke County, Texas, grand jury of the 235th Judicial District Court handed down an indictment against Dakotah Lindsey Harrell, 28, with the last known address of Whitesboro, Texas. Harrell had previously bonded out of a bond set at $50,000.
The indictment against Harrell stated that “on or about Oct. 1, 2013 to Oct. 31, 2016, Harrell unlawfully appropriated, by acquiring or otherwise exercising control over property, to-wit: United States currency of the value of $200,000 or more from Miller Wade Smith, Geary, Okla., the owner thereof, without the effective consent of the owner and with intent to deprive the owner of the property.”
Obviously, the Oct. 31, 2016 date has not yet happened and one cannot be indicted on a date that has not yet happened. Yesterday I called the District Clerk’s office of Cooke County and asked if a new copy of the indictment, with the correct date, had been received in her office. She said it had not.
The grand jury indictment was originally scheduled for May 11, 2016 with Assistant District Attorney Lisa Decker; however, was put off until June 24.
Smith and his wife, Tresa, are involved in the cutting horse business, with Smith showing in Non-Pro competition. Also a vested-interest partner in the business is Wade Smith’s mother, a well-known horse owner, Jimmie Miller Smith, also of Geary.
The Smiths breed, buy and sell horses and have them trained and shown by various trainers, including Merritt Wilson, Whitesboro, Texas, where, according to Harrell’s Facebook page, she was employed at the time of her arrest as an assistant trainer.
Following the theft, freelance writer and contributor to allaboutcutting.com, author, risk analyst and risk manager Rick Dennis was hired by Jimmie Miller Smith to evaluate this incident and establish a Risk Management Program to prevent further thefts of funds from their bank account. According to Dennis, this has been completed.
An arraignment hearing, where Harrell will be allowed to plead guilty or not guilty, has been set for Aug. 12, 2016 at 1:30 p.m. Stay tuned to allaboutcutting.com for upcoming information on this situation.
Click for Harrell’s indictment>>
Click for copy of Harrell’s arrest warrant>>
Click for Harrell’s book-in with photo>>
Click for Harrell’s Facebook page>>
Click for additional Facebook page>>