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☛ From the Editor 7-20-17

Posted by on Jul 20, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, FROM THE EDITOR, HORSE ABUSE, INDUSTRY NEWS, MAJOR EVENTS, REINING NEWS, SALES INFORMATION, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

FROM THE EDITOR

By Glory Ann Kurtz
July 20, 2017

Yesterday I sent out a notice in “Latest News” that a “well-known horse owner shot a tied-up unruly stallion multiple times with a BB pistol at an NCHA cutting in Whitesboro, Texas. An update to that information is that the show was held on Saturday, July 15, rather than July 8. Also, that well-known horse owner is a top non-pro. NCHA’s Director of Judges Russell McCord was called and told what was going on and he told the caller to do whatever it took to stop it and make the person shooting the horse leave, which he did.

A bystander did take a video of the shooting which is now in the hands of the NCHA, and I understand that they have initiated the process against the person that did the shooting, as it is definitely against’ the NCHA’s highly advertised zero tolerance “horse-cruelty” policy. Still no mention of that person’s name but I do know that that person is a Non-Pro and a large advertiser in the Cutting Horse Chatter, giving the NCHA some hard choices.

I was given the name of the perpetrator; however, that person who told me about the shooting was not at the show and heard the information from someone who was. I would like to hear it from anyone who was present at this cutting who knew who the shooter was. I will not reveal your name. Call me at 940-433-5232 or 940-393-1865 or e-mail me at glory.kurtz@gmail.com. Since the NCHA has taken action, If that person’s name is not revealed sooner, I’m sure the perpetrator’s name will show up eventually in the Chatter under “Suspensions,” or possibly (but hopefully not) under “Probations.”

NCHA SUMMER SPECTACULAR NEWS:

The second go-round of the Open Classic/Challenge was completed yesterday, with those 26 scoring a 435.0 and above, advancing to the finals. Jon Burgess, riding Littlemak (Starlights Gypsy x Just a Swinging), owned by Anderson Cattle Co., Victoria, Texas, topped the two go-rounds with a 440.5 total score.

Grant Setnicka, not only finished a close second by scoring a 440.0 riding Ichis My Choice (Cat Ichi x My Little Abra), owned by J Five Horse Ranch Mgmt, LLC, Weatherford, Texas, but was the only rider to qualify three horses for the Finals. Also tying for second with a total score of 440.0 was Ed Flynn, riding Play Miss Boonsmal (Peptoboonsmal x Play Miss) for Danny R. Jones of Canada. The Open Classic/Challenge Finals is scheduled for Saturday,July 22, following six sets of the NCHA Derby Amateur and UnlimitedAmateur first go-round.

The Non-Pro and Limited Non-Pro in the Classic/Challenge  go-round is being held today. Also, don’t forget that the Western Bloodstock Summer Spectacular Sale,with 145 consignments, will be held Saturday, July 22, in the Watt Arena, starting at 9 a.m.

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☛ Reined Cow Horse industry to have 3 major futurities 7-14-17

Posted by on Jul 14, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, MAJOR EVENTS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

REINED COW HORSE ENTHUSIASTS TO HAVE THREE MAJOR FUTURITIES IN 2015

 

EVENTS TO BE HELD 1,640 MILES APART

 

By Glory Ann Kurtz
July 13, 2017

There’s a new kid on the block that is holding a reined cow horse futurity and sale within the industry’s list of reined cow horse futurities.

 

At first there was one: the National Reined Cow Horse Association Futurity in Reno Nev. Then a branch of members broke off and started the National Stock Horse Association, which holds an annual Futurity in Paso Robles, Calif. And now a new group, headed by Smoky Pritchett, has formed the Reno Snaffle Bit Futurity, which will take place in Reno, Nev., since the NRCHA Futurity that had been held in Reno, has moved to Fort Worth, Texas.

 

THE NEW EVENT – RENO SBF:

This year, the NRCHA announced that they were moving their Reno event over 1,600 miles from Reno to Will Rogers Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas, where they would receive state and city money for the event. That left Reno without a Reined Cow Horse Futurity.

 

That didn’t sit well with several California owners and riders of snaffle bit horses. In an open letter on the Internet, Smoky Pritchett wrote, “You are all aware of the move of the Snaffle Bit Futurity from Reno to Texas. California lost the Hackamore Classic along with the Bridle Spectacular several years ago. Now we are losing our largest show and sale (The NRCHA Futurity and Sale).”

 

With the help of Lucas Oil and Save The Harvest, who have been sponsoring a lot of horse events lately, there will now be a new Snaffle Bit Futurity, Horse Show and Sale called the Reno Snaffle Bit Futurity & Sale, scheduled to be held Sept. 8-17 in Reno, Nev., taking the place of the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity. The new group advertised that there will be a whole day dedicated to the Amateur riders on Sunday, Sept. 17.

 

They need your support so as not to lose more California cow Horse events, especially in Northern California. We have entry forms available if you cannot download one from their web page: https://www.renosnafflebitfuturity.com.

 

So this year, there will be three snaffle bit futurities, starting with the National Stock Horse Association’s event, scheduled for Aug. 22-27 in Paso Robles, Calif. Next will be the new snaffle bit futurity event in Reno Sept. 8-17, with $200,000 in added money, and the final event will be the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity in Fort Worth, Texas, with added money of over $606,000..

 

Editor’s Note: A call was made to Shawn Martin of the NSHA regarding the added money for their Futurity; however, my call was not returned. Martin can be reached at 623-217-3879

 

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☛ Association News 7-13-17

Posted by on Jul 13, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, MAJOR EVENTS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

ASSOCIATION NEWS:

 

July 13, 2017

Kurt Crawford, the former senior sale executive at the National Cutting Horse Association, has joined the AMERICAN PAINT HORSE ASSOCIATION (APHA), where he will be director of business development, which includes their sales and sponsorship program.

 

Crawford was also previously the Executive Director of the Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association, director of operations at M3 Companies, and director of sale and marketing at Rancharrah.

 

Crawford is a native of Pennsylvania; however, he earned two degrees at Western Kentucky University. His history in the performance horse industry included competing in reining, cutting and cow horse events.   You can contact him at (817) 222-6445 or e-mail him at kcrawford@apha.com.

 

The AMERICAN QUARTER HORSE ASSOCIATION (AQHA) has added to their staff with Tex Ann Kraft becoming the new senior director of business development. Having numerous marketing awards under her belt, she will be responsible for AQHA’s corporate partnerships and will help provide guidance for the association’s publication and digital media assets. She has previously held executive positions with Turn-Key Marketing & Promotions, Sprint, AMC Theaters and Hallmark Cards.

 

Also, Jazlyn Rice was promoted to business development manager and will direct the management of all advertising accounts. She joined the AQHA in 2016 as an account executive coming from being a territory sale manager for Ariat International.

 

The NATIONAL CUTTING HORSE ASSOCIATION will be holding their Summer Spectacular beginning Monday, July 17, going through Sunday, Aug. 6 at the Will Rogers Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas.

 

The NCHA Summer Spectacular, held over 20 days, is the final leg of the NCHA Triple Crown of Cutting and features the NCHA Derby for 4-year-olds, and the NCHA Classic Challenge for 5/6-year-olds and offers a purse of over $2 million.

 

According to the NCHA, as the third jewel in the NCHA Triple Crown, the NCHA Derby has seen just three Open horses, and one Non-Pro horse claim the Triple Crown title.

 

Also, the NYCHA Convention and Scholarship Cutting are held in conjunction with the Spectacular which brings the youth to the forefront of the competition. Go to www.nchacutting.com and click on Triple Crown events for a schedule and results of the show.

 

During the Calgary Stampede in Calgary, Canada, the NCHA held a high-paying Mercuria cutting with David and Stacie McDavid, Fort Worth, Texas, taking home the largest paycheck of $13,330 for a 225 score by Clint Allen riding their 9-year-old QB Cat (High Brow Cat x Quintan Blue) in the Open Division. The pair is also ranked fifth in this year’s NCHA World Championship Open Standings. The Reserve title went to Kevin and Sandy Knight’s Eazee E, ridden by Tatum Rice to a close 224, and colleting a $9,553.33 paycheck for the Weatherford, Texas couple.

 

In the Non-Pro division, Shannon Lamb, Boerne, Texas, riding Rue Du Ichi took home the top paycheck of $9,646.67 for a 220.5 score. The Reserve title went to Kaila Stewart, Crossfield, Alberta, Canada, riding Clays Little CD to a 220, taking home 47,352.67.

 

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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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☛ New ED and rules for NCHA 2-27-17

Posted by on Feb 28, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, MAJOR EVENTS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

NEWS FROM THE NCHA

NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR; NEW RULES

 

By Glory Ann Kurtz

Feb. 27, 2017

Chuck Smith will take the reins of the Executive Director of the NCHA following the June convention.

More than likely the biggest news coming out of the NCHA is the fact that Chuck Smith, the current interim Executive Director, will be named the full-time Executive Director after the Convention held June 2-4 at the Hilton DFW Lakes Hotel in Grapevine, Texas.

According to an article on the NCHA website, “After reviewing the resumes of numerous applicants for the position, the Executive Committee felt Chuck’s combination of experience in the cutting horse industry, knowledge of the Association and its members and the love for the sport of cutting and the cutting horse uniquely qualify him to lead the Association into the future.

“NCHA staff had the opportunity to work with Chuck as an Interim Executive Director and believes this arrangement provides continuity and fully supports Chuck in this role.

“The Executive Committee is excited Chuck has made this commitment and looks forward to working with him and continuing to grow the Association under his leadership.”

At their Nov. 1, 2016 meeting, the Executive Committee gave the DFW Lakes Hotel in Grapevine a three-year contract for the Convention. During this time, the hotel room rates will be $134.00, guaranteed for the full three years with free airport shuttle, free parking and plenty of meeting space.  The upcoming dates for the Convention will be June 1-3, 2018; May 31-June 1-2, 2019 and June 5-7 in 2020.

Dave Brian reported that total entries in the 2016 NCHA Futurity were up 91 in 2016, compared to 2015’s numbers. Even so, several motions passed that were designed to cut costs to the Association, as they have been losing membership in most regions.

YOUTH SCHOLARSHIP CUTTING:

At the Nov. 1, 2016 Executive Committee meeting, Judy Morris presented the Youth Committee’s recommendation to increase the entry fee of the Scholarship cutting from its current $90 ($75 entry fee, $15 drug) to $150 ($135 entry fee – $15 drug). After discussion, it was moved by Phil Rapp, seconded by Tatum Rice and passed to increase the Youth Scholarship cutting entry fee, doubling it to $180.

MEMBERSHIP REPORT:

A motion was made by Lewis Wray, seconded by Jay Klamon and passed to approve the mailing of one Chatter for split joint lifetime memberships. Also ranches and businesses that have life memberships will no longer receive a Chatter but are allowed to vote in director and officer elections.

When a husband and wife both have separate memberships but a horse’s ownership is listed under both of their names, a motion passed that all partnerships are required to purchase a separate membership

Also, Rule 50.d.4, requires that all horse ownership transfers be filed with the breed registry within 30 days of the transfer and certain paperwork must be in place before that horse is shown. The Rule book states a $500 fine can be levied but there is not a procedure listed. Now the individual will receive a letter from NCHA counsel notifying them they have 30 days and after 30 days, the individual will receive a letter from counsel notifying them again and giving them 14 days to comply or a $500 fine will be assessed and the member will be advised of the appeal process.

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS:

Three years ago, the NCHA voted to provide $15,000 as seed funds for the European championships. Also Europe did not have to pay the $2 Championship fee and were allowed their non-pros the opportunity to ride two horses in shows with $199 and less in added money. These and other concessions will no longer be available as it is felt they have had time to develop a self-sustaining program.

REDUCTION IN SHOW CATTLE:

It was moved by Tatum Rice, seconded by Phil Rapp and passed to remove a quarter of a cow from all TRIPLE CROWN classes, beginning with the 2017 Super Stakes. The motion was later amended to NOT remove the quarter cow during the second go rounds and let it remain at four cows. It was also recommended to eliminate the current rewards from the Novice, Gelding and Senior classes at the Triple Crown events, stating this would result in savings of approximately $40,000. It was also determined that some type of award/prize would be given to those winners.

PAYOUT TASK FORCE:

With this meeting being held prior to the 2016 NCHA Futurity, the Payout Task Force proposed that the Futurity Open finals would pay the top six finishers all over $100,000. This was made possible through sponsors bonus money, which would be awarded in addition to the standard NCHA payout and count toward lifetime earnings. However a policy was instituted saying: Bonus Money contribution and distribution plan may be offered by member/sponsor/etc. at their discretion directly to rider(s). NCHA will not take part in the marketing, distribution plan and said Bonus Money will NOT be counted for lifetime rider and horse earnings. NCHA would provide the opportunity for “Bonus Money” to be presented on the arena floor immediately following the NCHA awards.

AWARD PROGRAM:

There was discussion of awarding fewer buckles in the Triple Crown events. It was moved and passed that a re-designed buckle, that will be awarded at the three national championship shows, would be reviewed.

SENIOR TOUR:

It was moved by Chris Dublin, seconded by Tatum Rice and passed to discontinue the Senior Tour in 2017. Reason being was that the NCHA software doesn’t adequately support the entry format at this time and many secretaries will not even offer it in their shows because of the difficulty in tracking entries and results.

Click for Nov. 1, 2016 NCHA minutees>>

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