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☛ Tragedy at the AQHA World Show 11-17 -17

Posted by on Nov 17, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, FROM THE EDITOR, HORSE HEALTH, INDUSTRY NEWS, MAJOR EVENTS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

TRAGEDY AT THE AQHA WORLD SHOW

 

SHARIN HALL LOSES A YOUNG CONTENDER IN THE JUNIOR BARREL RACE

A news and opinion piece by Glory Ann Kurtz
Nov. 17, 2017

AQHA photo.

After winning the first go-round of the Junior Barrel Race at the AQHA World Show, barrel racer Sharin Hall, of Winning Edge Stables, Harrah, Okla., and her top barrel mare Dreaming Of Foose (Foose x Hawks Dream Glrl), nicknamed Cali, were giving it their all in the final go-round on Nov. 15. While turning the second barrel, the mare fell and broke her pelvis and lacerated an artery which caused internal bleeding so bad that she passed away before they could get her to a veterinarian.

According to a report from the AQHA, “The mare became acutely lame during her barrel racing run and was provided emergency medical care. It was quickly determined to be in the horse’s best interest to be transported to a referral hospital. She was loaded into a trailer following medication administration to ease the pain and help control inflammation, but passed away enroute,” said Dr.Dave Frisbie of Equine Sports Medicine.”

Sharin is originally from Sunbury, Ohio. She was born to love, train and ride  horses as her father, Jackson Hall, was an accomplished horseman and a barrel horse trainer. Her mother is also into horses.

Sharin is a well-known trainer and competitor in barrel racing circles, having won and placed at many major barrel racing events, including “The American. Cali, a 2013 mare, was the 2017 Summer Shootout 1D Champion, Reserve Champion at Parker Wood Memorial Slot Race. She was also the Ultimate Isabella Quarter Horse Slot Race and Futurity Champion.

WAS THIS MARE’S DEATH PREVENTABLE?

However, from all the responses on Facebook, many barrel racers felt the death of this great mare was preventable. According to her friend Lainie Whitmire, who is also an accomplished barrel racer, the ground was the culprit.

“Multiple horses slipped in the prelims,” said Lainie in a post on Facebook. “Some went completely down and were pulled up. Great horses were unable to keep their footing in order to compete. I feel like the officials should have prepared the arena better before the finals. JMO. It might not have changed the outcome. This is a horse I know very well, owned by a friend, so it’s personal to me”

This was a terrible thing that happened to this young mare but it could have just as easily killed the rider. As a result, many petitions to the AQHA were started on my Facebook page as well as others I am sure, that were signed (including one I started by accident when I just thought I was signing another one) and sent to Pete Kyle, AQHA Executive Director of Shows and Judges,  stating, “There need to be changes made to the ground at the World Show, as well as other AQHA-approved events.”

One, signed by Amanda Earles, said, “After multiple horses going down, having footing problems and even passing away at the AQHA World Show in the barrel racing event held in Oklahoma City, Okla., the third week of November 2017, there need to be changes made to the ground. AQHA needs to bring in people, such as John Jamison, to evaluate and properly prep and work the ground before and during there AQHA World Show and other AQHA-approved events (such as the show during the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo.)

“The petition is to make AQHA take responsibility for their mismanagement of the round conditions at their shows and to fix this problem and hire outside organizations and/or people that are skilled in this area. This needs to happen now!”

MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE:

When I was younger and was hauling my daughter to barrel races, I occasionally ran barrels myself, I had a scary experience at the John Justin Arena, located in the Will Rogers Complex in Fort Worth. As I rounded the third barrel, I heard my horse’s shoes hitting the cement under the dirt in the arena . Many of my friends watching said the gelding was leaving sparks as he rounded the barrel for home. Luckily, this was an older, seasoned barrel horse that was raised in Montana and he knew how to handle bad ground.

Since then, Will Rogers and the John Justin arena have done a lot to change the ground, storing different ground for different events, like the NCHA Futurity that’s going on now, with the ground being deeper in front of the chutes where they cut. There are individuals out there who specialize in ground preparation for different events. The All-American Quarter Horse Congress has had problems for years as they also try to run various events in the same arena on the same ground. However, the last time I was there, they had additional buildings where they could run the timed events on different ground from the halter, pleasure and reining horses.

But now is the time for show management of all sizes to make an assessment of the ground for their shows, especially if they have several different classes, including timed events. If they don’t, there could be some big lawsuits in the wings if someone gets hurt badly or even killed.

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☛ A lesson in horse buying 11-14 -17

Posted by on Nov 14, 2017 in COW HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

A LESSON IN HORSE BUYING

By Rick Dennis
Nov. 14, 2017

by Richard E. Dennis

In 2012, I authored and released a book entitled, “The American Horse Industry, Avoiding The Pitfalls.” The book was written from my professional viewpoint and spanned over my twenty years as a professional trainer, breeder, exhibitor and owner.

Initially, the book was designed to help individuals entering the industry, as first-time buyers or investors, to avoid the inherent risks associated with the horse industry during horse ownership, buying, boarding, training, exhibiting and sales.

However, as soon as the book was released and put in production, I learned my book was also being highly regarded and purchased by individuals already in the horse industry as the model and guide to successful horse ownership and equine business operations. The book has never received less than a 5-Star Rating and has been sold in National and International Markets.

The book is unique in a fashion, as it provides the basic knowledge anyone would desire to avoid the pitfalls in the American Horse Industry. The book is comprised of eleven chapters:

1) Horse Operation – Business or Hobby?
2) Equine Warning Law.
3) Selecting A Horse.
4) Equine Drug Testing.
5) Selecting A Horse Boarding Facility.
6) Selecting A Horse Trainer.
7) Non-profit Horse Organizations.
8) Equipment and Applications.
9) Farrier Service.
10) Health and Care of the Horse.
11) Horse Safety.

As previously stated, initially the book was designed as a primer to newcomers in the industry but over time its reading audience has expanded to also include equestrians with many years in the industry.  For many, it has become the “go-to book” for common-sense knowledge to guide them through to become successful equine business operations and horse  owners. Perhaps the best attribute of the book is teaching individuals the steps to take to avoid the court room in costly civil disputes.

COMMON-SENSE HORSE BUYING:
Of late, there seems to be a lot of civil litigation going on involving horses in one fashion or another as well as for other reasons. In assisting individuals in buying a horse, I urge all of my clients to use basic common-sense approaches in the transaction, especially the “TRUST BUT VERIFY” motto. As a whole, I do believe there are more equestrians with honesty than dishonesty in the industry.  However, the industry has its share of bad actors whose intentions aren’t so honorable. Therein lies the pitfalls outlined in my book and how to avoid them.  It really doesn’t matter what breed of horse or what its intended purpose is supposed to be the following rules of horse buying can be applied to them all:

Rules To Avoid The Pitfalls:

1) If your not quite sure of what your looking for or how to go about acquiring it the best approach is to enlist the aid of an experienced reputable trainer who will act as your agent. The agent will locate several prospective animals for  the buyer to evaluate including having the agent ride the horse first to ensure the horse is of the type, kind and performance capability the buyer desires.

2) The agent will also make sure the horse is safe before the buyer ever steps up on the horse. A rule of thumb, so-to-speak, is for the buyer to spend as much time as he or she can with the horse before plunking down that hard-earned money on a horse purchase.

3) Normally an agent will have a contract to sign beforehand and the buyer should take the time to scrutinize it in its entirety to make sure there are no legal loopholes, including attorney evaluation.

4) Normally, the “seller” will also have a contract for the buyer to sign; however, if the “Sellers” contract has stipulations such as “Sold As Is,” “No Warranty,” or “Non-Returnable,” simply walk away from the horse and find another. Every reputable “seller” should guarantee their product.

5) In the event the buyer wishes to represent his or herself, the cardinal rule is to never purchase a horse “Sight-Unseen” or without riding the horse to all of the horse’s performance capabilities prior to making a final selection.

Pre-purchase Vet Exams:

1) Never purchase a horse without a pre-purchase vet exam, including x-rays.

2) Never use the same veterinarian for the pre-purchase exam as the seller. The buyer always wants an independent medical examination and evaluation separate and apart from the seller’s.

3) Have an attorney-at-law draw up a release between “seller” and “buyer” to disclose “ALL” of the medical records for the horse located anywhere and of any type or kind to evaluate and fully disclose any pre-existing conditions, injuries or treatments the horse may have had prior to the sale. In the event the horse has had multiple owners along the way attempt to contact as many as the buyer can to determine the health of the horse.

4) During the pre-purchase veterinarian examination, have the veterinarian draw urine and blood for a drug-test evaluation to see what’s floating around in the horse’s system. In the pre-purchase contract, it should be stipulated that if any drugs of the tranquilizer or sedative type are found in the horse’ s system, the “seller” is responsible for the veterinarian’s bill and the sale is null and void. For the record, I also have a CBC and a liver-function test performed during the pre-purchase.

5) Have an attorney at law draw up a purchase contract whereby the “seller” guarantees the health of the horse as well as its performance capabilities with a guaranteed warranty of performance and health. If the “seller” won’t sign the contract, walk away and find another horse. Most reputable private-treaty sellers wouldn’t have an issue with this type of business transaction. After all, exercise the old motto, “It’s Just Business”.

6) The buyer should document all advertisements the “seller” may have provided to “buyer” due to the fact that in some circumstances these may be required later to demonstrate an “implied” or “expressed warranty” by “seller” or “seller’s agent” in a civil lawsuit for damages. Further, the buyer should fully document electronic messages between “seller” and “buyer” or “seller” as well as any provided videos which can also be used to determine “warranty status” if the need arises.

7) The main purpose of a pre-purchase vet exam is to determine whether or not the horse has any pre-existing or current medical conditions which would prevent the horse from fulfilling the performance capability the buyer has chosen to engage in. Bear in mind that it’s not uncommon for a horse to have some bumps and bruises acquired during training or exhibition. If the horse is a true performance horse, this is expected and common.  It’s the nature of the beast “so to speak”. However, my rule is to buy a horse with bumps and bruises I can live with and not purchase a horse with the types of bumps and bruises I can’t.

Deceptive Trade Practices Laws:

There are laws on the books governing horse sales to prevent or prosecute those unscrupulous individuals engaged in deceptive trade practices from taking advantage of an unsuspecting buyer during a horse sale:

1) Federal Trade Commission.
2) Uniformed Commercial Code.
3) Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
4) Attorney Generals Office of the state of residence.
5) The local law enforcement agency can file fraud or theft charges.

Each of these agencies are capable of investigating and, where appropriate, instituting or referring criminal charges as well as civil litigation to the offender for violations found during an unscrupulous horse sale as well as recovering assets for the victim from a bad horse sale including court-ordered restitution.

Auctions/Sale Barns:

In all probability there’s a lot of good horses bought and sold in a sale barn. However, this is not my “cup of tea” so to speak. I’d much prefer buying from a reputable breeder or owner when I’m in need of a horse. Unless the sale barn offers demonstrations ahead of time, don’t buy a horse at this location. The prospective buyer is just rolling the dice or gambling on whether or not the horse lives up to the hype in the sale catalog. Also, beware of the sale barn whose contract stipulates a “hold harmless or indemnification clause” which essentially means you are buying the horse from the “seller” and not from the sale barn. Therefore, if you buy a horse, the sale barn isn’t responsible for the condition or performance capability of the horse at the time of sale. This is a risky buy.

Again, “Trust, But Verify”. Remember not all horse sellers are reputable individuals and the sale barn isn’t responsible if the “seller” lies on the disclosure contract with the auction house. Another important fact to remember is that in some states, Texas for example, it’s unlawful for the purchaser to stop payment on a check after a horse sale. In other words, this deals out criminal penalties to the party stopping payment on a check.

So if and when you get your horse home and it has pre-existing abnormalities or conditions that weren’t disclosed ahead of the sale and make the horse unsuitable for your intended purpose and the “seller” won’t warranty the horse, the only remedies the “buyer” may have are:

1) Expensive litigation in court, or
2) Filing a complaint with one of the agencies herein mentioned above.

“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
Stock Horse Web Site: http://www.windriverstockhorses,com

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☛ 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 | 0 comments

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>>

 

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☛ AQHA to raise rates 11-1-17

Posted by on Nov 1, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, SALES INFORMATION, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

AQHA TO RAISE RATES

By Glory Ann Kurtz
Nov. 1, 2017

Got some horses to register or a stallion breeding report to send to the AQHA. You better hurry! A bevy of increases have been made by the American Quarter Horse Association taking effect on Jan. 1, 2018. They include membership fees, registration fees, genetic testing, stallion breeding report, duplicate certificates, embryo transfer enrollment, breeding permits, leases, rushes and show approvals.

The AQHA  has delivered the information on their website, saying, “To deliver the best service to our members and horse lovers around the world, it is necessary for AQHA to review the Association’s budget and make changes to maintain a strong financial position to support the future of our great Association.

“As the largest single-breed equine association in the world, the American Quarter Horse Association strives for excellence as a breed registry and to provide outstanding customer services as an Association.

“Every year, internal staff develops a tentative budget prior to the beginning of the fiscal year, which is approved by the AQHA Executive Committee prior to October 1, and a final budget, which is approved by the Executive Committee at its April meeting, after the AQHA convention. The AQHA treasurer and chief operating officer presents the Association’s audited financial statements every year at convention, and the financial statements are also published on AQHA.com.

“When developing and updating the Association’s budget, we evaluate all of AQHA’s programs and focus on the pillars of excellence from our strategic plan, which include animal welfare, customer satisfaction, culture and communication. We also evaluate the multiple business areas that support the pillars: technology, business development, growth of the American Quarter Horse Foundation, youth development and operational efficiency. All of these, plus several other factors come into play when evaluating the budget.

“AQHA has supplemented its income for years with investment earnings to keep fees as low as possible for AQHA members. We have arrived at a point where the Association’s fees need to reflect the Association’s services provided to our members, and we must continue to be a financially healthy Association with at least a half of a year to a full year budget in reserves.

“With that being said, the Executive Committee reviewed the tentative budget during its September meeting and recently approved multiple fee increases that will go into effect January 1, 2018.

“Membership fees are included in the fees that will increase on January 1, 2018. Membership fees support the services and programs that are provided by AQHA. Members receive 10 issues of the members-only America’s Horse, an official AQHA membership ID card, access to AQHA programs and direct access to members-only discounts, provided by Ford, SmartPak, John Deere and more.

“Other fees affected are:

•Registration fees (Members can log-in to Member Services to save $5 by using the online registration form. Submitting the form online will also reduce the processing time for this request.)

•Genetic testing fees

•Stallion breeding report fees

•Certificate fees

•Embryo transfer enrollment fees

•Breeding permit fees

•Lease fees

•Rush fees

Show approval fees

View a list of the increased fees; this list only includes fees that will change as of January 1, 2018, and the show approval fees, which are effective immediately for 2018 shows. All fees can also be found in the 2018 AQHA Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations, which will be available soon.

While we know the fee increases will affect our members, like you, I can assure you that we kept the fees as low as possible in order to be cost effective for our members, provide members with the best services available and help our great Association stay financially strong, not only for today, but for years to come.”

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☛ Drug suspensions by AQHA getting severe 11-1–17

Posted by on Nov 1, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE HEALTH, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

SUSPENSIONS BY AQHA FOR DRUGGING  HORSES HAVE NEVER BEEN SO SEVERE

By Glory Ann Kurtz
Nov. 1, 2017

Showing that the American Quarter Horse Association  is serious about getting tough on the doping of horses, the reigning racing champion of the AQHA has just been suspended for 19 years and fined $110,000 by stewards in Texas. The article in the Paulick Report came after five of trainer Judd Kearl’s horses tested positive for the Class 1 drug nomifensine – a human antidepressant medication taken off the market in the1980s.

Kearl will not be eligible for reinstatement until July 30, 2036. He was suspended one year and fined $10,000 for the first violation, three years and $25,000 for the second and five years and $25,000 for each subsequent violation.

Two other trainers were sanctioned at the same time after the horses they had in training tested positive for the medication. They included Brian Stroud, who received a one-year suspension and a $10,000 fine for one nomifensine positive and Jose Sanchez, who was suspended four years and fined $35,000 for two positives.

Kearl’s violations occurred over several weeks beginning on May 22, Kearl’s horses testing positive at Sam Houston Race Park in Houston and continuing at Retama Park in San Antonio for the other seven. The drug was detected and identified by the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab and the “split samples” were confirmed by the Pennsylvania Toxicology and Research Laboratory.

Testing by the “split sample” method has recently been adopted by the AQHA. Split specimen urine drug testing is used extensively by businesses and  is only slightly different from regular testing. In this process, the urine sample is split into two vials and sent to a certified lab for urine testing. One of the vials is tested and the other is stored. If the first vial is tested as positive for any reason, the person who submitted the sample can request that the other vial be tested. If this happens the second vial is then tested by another lab.

According to the rulings, all three trainers used the same veterinarian – Dr. Justin Robinson (who did not testify at the hearing) and from the evidence it was logical that he was responsible for the administration of the drug to all of the horses in question. The trainers claimed the drug was given to the  horses without their knowledge; however, the ruling stated that ignorance does not relieve them of responsibility.

Nomifensine was withdrawn from the market in the 1980s and its FDA approval was revoked in 1992. Any appeal will be heard by an administrative law judge appointed by the state of administrative hearings.

Kearl was named AQHA champion trainer after horses he trained won 129 races from 474 starts in 2016 for earnings of $4.6 million. Stroud and Sanchez also have won major Quarter Horse races during their careers.

For the full article in The Paulick Report, click on the following link:

https://www.paulickreport.com/news/the-biz/aqha-champion-trainer-kearl-suspended-19-years-stroud-sanchez-also-sanctioned/

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

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

 

 

WHEN BARREL RACING TURNS INTO A LAWSUIT

By Glory Ann Kurtz
Oct. 16, 2017

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

What is a patella lockup?

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

 

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


 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Link to the lawsuit>>

 

Then comes a strange twist:

 

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

Medical Records

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Is the Seller a professional?

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

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