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☛ AQHA is on the right track 10-15-18




By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
October 15, 2018


On August 6, 2014, I authored and released an article for publication on entitled “MECHANICAL HORSE, A Horse Under the Influence of Drugs.”  At first glance this article suggests to the reader an apparatus resembling a horse traveling on rails making a series of stops and turns and acting much like the mechanical cow we see in the training arena.  However, this article is about the horse that performs, whether on the racetrack or in the performance arena, under the influence of illegal or prohibited drugs.


The article was authored due to the heightened awareness of horse doping bestowed on us by the main stream media and other news outlets, as well as by legislative action in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. More specifically, the bill introduced by Senators addresses the horse-doping fiasco in the United States, e.g., “The Chronic Abuse of race horses with pain killers and other drugs are dangerous and just plain wrong,” Udall said. US Senator Tom Udall, D – New Mexico is a cosponsor of the bill.


Essentially, the bill addresses the horse-doping epidemic in the United States by establishing a federal regulatory commission empowered to design a uniform, federally controlled enforced and prohibited drug policy for the welfare of the horse.  This bill mimics the federally mandated drug and alcohol – testing programs established in the 1980’s by the (49 CFR, Part 40) rules and regulations for federally mandated workplace drug and alcohol testing.


In response to the bill’s introduction, a group of racehorse trainers came out in support of the bill stating, “We believe it’s time to take a proactive position regarding the administration of race-day medication.  American racing has always been a global leader and it’s time to restore confidence in our game, and in our international standing” said D Wayne Lucas, a Hall of Famer who is one of the trainers supporting this proposal.  Todd A. Fletcher, another leading trainer is also on the list.


In my opinion, this is the industry’s attempt to police itself rather than have a government mandated equine drug-testing federal rule to do it for them, as is the case today with the Federal Mandate of certain positions under federal control.  For the record, I was in on the ground floor of this federal takeover of an industry, as well as the author of a litany of Fortune 500 companies’ drug and alcohol testing policies, including their implementation and maintenance, e.g., Exxon Company USA, Kerr McGee Corporation, Marathon Oil Company, Mobile Oil Company, and Gulf Oil Company – to name a few.


My background in Drugs of Abuse spans from 1970 to the present and began as a Drug Enforcement Agent, to being a contributing writer for the original Federally Mandated Drug and Alcohol Testing program, to providing a dissertation to members of the U.S. Congress and Admiral Malloy of the US Navy for the integration of private sector drug and alcohol prevention programs for use with the US Military and the  Department of Defense, operating my own drug testing laboratory, and private sector enforcement and maintenance of Corporate Drug and Alcohol testing policies.


Click for “Mechanical Horse, A Horse Under the Influence of Drugs”


Today, the majority – if not all – of the major nonprofit horse organizations including the Thoroughbred Race Horse Association and USEF have some type of rules and drugs-of-abuse prevention policies in place to prohibit the use of drugs or other prohibitive items and substances from being introduced into a horse’s system on the racetrack or in the performance arena. One of the outstanding associations taking the abuse of horses with drugs on a very serious proactive basis is the American Quarter Horse Association. The stand-out traits of this organization’s equine drug testing rules are: The frequency of the testing and the suspension and fining of the violators“across-the-board,” without discrimination of whether the violator is a horse trainer or a regular member.  Equal treatment for all.  A very admirable trait.


It’s long been my experience that equine trainers, for some unknown reasons, are considered by some in the industry as GODS, therefore they are untouchable or receive reduced penalties for rule violations. However, this is not the case with the American Quarter Horse Association.  A recent review of the 2017 and 2018 suspensions and fined lists include trainers for animal abuse as well as drug violations.  It also includes expulsion from the prestigious American Quarter Horse Association Professional Horseman’s listing for those trainers who have committed rule violations as well as their names being included in the Quarter Horse Journal, along with identifying the committed infraction and fine amount.


This suggests that AQHA’s punishments for rule violators are handed out evenly “across-the-board.”  AQHA should be commended for their fair and unbiased treatment of rule violators as well as their devotion to protecting the American Quarter Horse breed and living up to their mission statement.  If more organizations would use AQHA as their role model, it would restore member confidence that some have lost simply due to the bias some associations have exhibited toward specific members and trainers in the industry. I’d say this is money well spent to prevent horse abuse, a business philosophy worth adopting.


Richard E. Dennis
Managing Member
Free Lance Writer and Author
Office/Mobile: (985) 630-3500
Web Site:

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☛ Does NCHA enforce their own rules? 10-14-18





By Glory Ann Kurtz
Oct. 14, 2018

Yesterday I received a call from a new member of the NCHA who is also new to the sport of cutting, which is just the kind of person the NCHA is looking for. He is considering entering the Junior Cutting at the AQHA World Show; however, when he called the AQHA to enter, he found out that Ed Dufurrena has 4 entries in his class  – the Junior Cutting – with Dufurrena’s wife owning three of the  horses and a customer owning the other. The new member has read about the Ed Dufurrena debacle with the NCHA and  wondered if the NCHA and AQHA didn’t have a reciprocal agreement between the two associations regarding suspension of members. However, I have been told that the only reciprocal agreement the NCHA has with the AQHA is for “horse abuse” or “failing a drug test.” Also, I sent an e-mail to Catherine Cheugh of the NCHA and asked if Dufurrena had paid his fine on time or paid it at all and also I asked if he was still under suspension by the NCHA. I  gave her my e-mail and phone number; however, I received no response. (I guess I’m on the do-not-call list)


However, the new member said he had called the NCHA and was told that Dufurrena had not paid the fine that was assessed him by the NCHA. So even though Ed and Brandon Dufurrena have broken their suspension rules by not paying the fines assessed them, they were at an NCHA approved cutting on Saturday Sept. 15th, in Whitesboro, Texas. Both Ed and Brandon were videoed hanging over the fence hollering, coaching and screaming instructions to their customers who were showing.  I heard multiple individuals sent complaints and videos to the NCHA, whose rules say that a suspended person may only be a spectator in the seating area.  I was told they worked the horses that were being shown (not on show grounds) and some horses being shown belonged to them, and others being owned and shown by customers. These actions were allegedly video taped by some ladies at the show and to make matters worse, when Ed caught them video taping him and Brandon, they both began screaming expletives at the ladies, trying to intimidate them.  This caused a HUGE scene resulting in Ed having to be dragged off by a customer of his.


I don’t know if the NCHA has made a decision on Ed Dufurrena’s two (2) post-suspension alleged rule violations (rules state if you break one rule, you get six month’s suspension, if you break it twice, you get a life suspension.) Also, if you don’t pay the fine, the NCHA can sue you to collect the money if the violations  have been reported to the NCHA under two separate filed complaints, with each complainant filing separate and specific rule violation complaints and each complaint is accompanied by a fee and video documentation of Dufurrena’s actions. But we’ll wait and see.
At a time when the NCHA is losing memberships and is in dire need of new members, it’s going to be interesting to see what disciplinary action the NCHA will hand out to the Dufurrenas, especially in lieu of the newly adopted rules on August 21, 2018, which say if you break a rule, you get six month’s suspension; however, if you break the rules again, you get suspended.
How can the NCHA expect to attract and keep new members when it appears disciplinary action for specific rule violations are handed out on the “who-you-know basis” instead of on the “set precedence” that the NCHA has established on previous rule violations of the type Ed, Brandon and Rieta Dufurrena were suspended for in the first place. The post alleged rule violations by Ed and Brandon are just an insult to every current NCHA member, as well as those previously suspended for the same rule violations and who have received life suspensions.
As it currently stands, it appears the tail is wagging the dog instead of vice versa.


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☛ NCHA creates Practice Pen Attendants position 10-11-18






By Glory Ann Kurtz
Oct. 11, 2018


Show secretaries are receiving a new Practice Pen Attendant position that has been created by the NCHA, along with an Independent Contractor Agreement. Both documents outline what will be expected of anyone who is employed by the NCHA to monitor the practice pens at all NCHA Triple Crown events, as well as the Eastern and Western National Shows.


According to the NCHA, Practice Pen attendants will report to the Director of Shows, with directions and instructions coming from the Show Department. Funds received by the attendants will be reconciled on a daily basis and deposited by them, along with a report of reconciliation.


The Practice Pen attendant will become proficient with the use of Faster Cut software and will use the software at all times for recording of practice-pen activity.  The attendant will comply with all cash-handling processes as outlined by NCHA, including bonding practices.


The Practice Pen attendant will also be required to track all pertinent information for each practice pen transaction, including: payment method, payment amount, name of trainer, name of rider, name of horse and date and time.  The attendant will also be required to provide a report after each event, reconciling the report to the amount of cash turned into the Accounting Department.  He or she will also be required to forward to Accounting, all information regarding trainers/riders.


The Practice Pen attendant will also be required to scan all practice pen reports or other practice pen documents to be uploaded into NCHA’s approved document management system. They can either bring the scanned document to the NCHA or email it to the NCHA Show Department.


The money bag and all deposits from each show will be put into the safe every night.


NCHA Independent Contractor agreement18


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☛ Dual Pep passes away at age 33




By Glory Ann Kurtz
Sept. 27, 2018

If you’ve ever watched an athletic cutting horse win a major event that has the name “Dual” in his name, chances are that the great sire Dual Pep are in his or her pedigree. However, great horses don’t live forever. So is the case with the great sire Dual Pep.


Dual Pep, one of the most influential sires in the cutting horse industry, was humanely euthanized on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at the age of 33. According to his co-owner, Dottie Hill, Glenrose, Texas, who purchased the stallion in 2011, “He left the world gracefully.”


She and her husband, Bobby, owned the stallion that died during the Brazos Bash Futurity, one of the most successful cutting-horse aged events of the summer, held Sept. 19-30 in Weatherford, Texas.  Ironically Dual Pep’s daughter Tears From Heaven won the Brazos Bash Futurity Open title, ridden by Michael Cooper, making Dual Pep the oldest living sire ever to have a major cutting futurity champion. In addition Stunner Cat and CDs Kual Gun, whose maternal granddams were sired by Dual Pep, placed second and third in the same event.


But that wasn’t out of the ordinary for Dual Pep, who was bred by Nic-A-Lode Farms, that according to the NCHA is in Boise, Idaho, while Equi-Stat says the farms are located in Cody, Wyo. (They are not included in the latest NCHA membership guide.) His breeding was the best as he was sired by Peppy San Badger out of Miss Dual Doc by Doc’s Remedy.


At age 6, at the end of his cutting career, Dual Pep had earned $302,054 in earnings, according to NCHA (Equi-Stat says  $307,384) in the cutting pen, including the Open Reserve title of the 1989 Memphis Futurity for then owner, Reidy Land and Cattle company. His next owner was Bobby Pidgeon, who owned a beverage distributing company in Memphis, Tenn., and who bought Dual Pep for his own non-pro mount. In 1991, Pidgeon started up the now well-known Bar H Ranche in Weatherford, Texas and hired Winston Hansma as manager and trainer. Later Winston’s brother Paul Hansma also joined the Bar H Ranche as a trainer. Dual Pep was also shown successfully by Pat Earnheart.


However, the sign of a great sire is in his offspring – and Dual Pep got an “A” for that. His offspring earned $24,031,926 according to NCHA ($25.8 million according to Equi-Stat), Dual Pep ranks fifth on the roster of all-time leading sires and is the only stallion among the top five with a son on the list with offspring earning $36,790,588. That was Dual Rey, who also died earlier this year.


According to Equi-Stat, Dual Pep’s highest money-earning offspring was Dual Rey Me, foaled in 1999 and shown by Jeremy Barwick, out of Miss Smart Rey Jay x Smart Little Lena ($818,177 according to Equi-stat and $812,942 according to NCHA); Dually Lena, $395,616 earnings, out of Bingos Lena by Doc O’Lena; Olena Dually, $302,342, out of Miss Sabrina Lena by Doc O’Lena; Tapt Twice, $285,226 out of Tap O Lena by Doc O’Lena and Playboy McCrae ($269,583, out of Playboys Madera x Freckles Playboy.


Being a broodmare sire is also important and Dual Pep also got an “A” for that. He was a stellar broodmare sire, siring dams of earners of $32.6 million, according to Equi-Stat, including Sister CD (CD Olena x Little Baby Sister x Dual Pep,with earnings of $852,612 and Dont Look Twice (High Brow Cat x Tapt Twice by Dual Pep) winner of $850,628.


During his later years, Dual Pep, who will always be remembered as one of the greatest cutting horses, sires and broodmare sires, stood at Dr. Baker’s breeding facility.




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☛ A letter to Ron Pietrafeso from a past Executive Board member



Sept. 26, 2018

Today I received a letter from a past Executive Board member saying, “I am sending this letter to you in hopes that you will publish it on your website. Hopefully I can bring a few things to light and hope that some questions get answered by those in charge of our association. Sorry for not sending this through email but to tell the truth I’m not very good at email and social media. Thank you.

Dufurrena letter


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☛ NCHA Suspension and Appeal Guidelines Getting An Overhaul 9-21-18






By Glory Ann Kurtz
Sept. 21, 2018

According to an interesting e-mail that I received, following the Dufurrena/Vogel situation I previously wrote about, the NCHA is revising Standing Rule 37 and 38, which cover members who have done something that places them on probation or suspends them from the NCHA by the Grievance Committee, Amateur, Non-Pro Review Committee, Medication Review Committee or any other committee authorized by NCHA for violating any rule.


Following are the major parts of the new suspension and appeal guidelines:


Rule 37: Non-members involved in NCHA rule violations may also be denied privileges of the Association for “violation of or assisting in the violation of NCHA rules.”  When the NCHA rule in question contains specific provisions concerning disciplinary actions or burdens of proof, any disciplinary action taken by an initial Hearing Committee, the Executive Committee or an Appeal Committee should be consistent with that provision.


Any member can file a complaint regarding any alleged violation of NCHA rules by submitting the complaint in writing to the NCHA Executive Director (ED), signed or identified by the person filing the complaint, and sent with a check or credit card payment for $50, payable to the NCHA, unless the person filing the complaint is an NCHA Director, a class representative, show management or a judge. Anonymous complaints will not be accepted, investigated or acted on by the NCHA, with the exception if a complaint is reporting a violation of the Zero Tolerance policy or for a complaint submitted by an NCHA Director, a class representative, show management or a judge. Anonymous complaints will not be accepted, investigated or acted on by the NCHA.


A complaint must be filed, postmarked, faxed, emailed or hand-delivered within seven (7) days of the closing date of the show involved or within seven (7) days of the alleged rule violations. The timing for filing a complaint alleging a violation of the Zero Tolerance Policy is contained in Standing Rule 35.6. No complaint is required regarding a member’s competitive status (non-pro or amateur rules) or for violation of the NCHA Medication and Drug Rules.


The ED will refer complaints to (1) Grievance, (2) Medication Review, (3) Non-Pro Amateur, (4) or any other hearing or review committee. A quorum of an initial hearing committee will consist of three members with one being elected chairman.


The NCHA will notify the alleged violator in writing of the complaint and alleged action being investigated, each NCHA rule(s) potentially violated, the disciplinary actions applicable to the alleged violation and request that the violator file a written election with the ED to contest or not contest the alleged violation within 10 business days. If not received in that timeframe the case will be deemed not contested.


Initial Hearing:

The initial Hearing Committee shall schedule a hearing not less than 15 days‘ notice of the hearing date but not less than five business days notice of the hearing date. The alleged violator and NCHA shall exchange all proposed documents and evidence to be considered in the hearing no less than three days prior to the hearing. Legal counsel for NCHA and the alleged violator may appear and participate in the evidentiary position of the hearing. The hearing committee shall deliberate in private and shall render a decision in contested matters by majority vote and shall notify the EC of the decision in writing. The initial Hearing Committee will only be required to note in its report the NCHA rule(s) violated and will not be required to provide a detailed reason or opinion for its decision.


The Medication Review Committee shall consider potential violations of the Medication and Drug Rules and guidelines. Potential disciplinary actions for proceedings relating to alleged violations are contained in Rule 35A.7. The alleged violator bears the burden of proof to establish that he or she has NOT administered any drug or medication in violation of the NCHA Medication and Drug rules.


The Non-Professional Amateur Review Committee shall initially consider all violations of the NP and Amateur rules. The potential disciplinary actions for proceedings relating to alleged violations are in rules 50-51. The alleged violator bears the burden to establish entitlement to hold NP and/or Amateur status.


The Grievance Committee (GC) shall initially consider all violations of rules relating to alleged violations of NCHA Zero Tolerance Policy (35A) alleging improper conduct toward judges and monitors (35B), alleged improper conduct by and between members (35C) and alleged violations of other rules that are not considered by the Medication Review Committee, the Non-Pro Amateur Review Committee or Executive Committee.


For matters for which the rule allegedly violated contains suggested disciplinary action, the GC should consult those provisions in connection with discipline to be assessed for such rule violations. In cases where the rule allegedly violated does not contain suggested disciplinary action, the GC should consult the following general guidelines:  (i) First Offense: fine, probation or both. A first offense will be removed from a member’s record if that member has no further infractions for two years after the first offense is committed. (ii) Second offense within 2 years of first offense (a) increased fine (b) increased probation, (c) suspension or all of the foregoing. (iii) Additional offenses within 2 years will be dealt with severely, including heavy fines, lengthy probation and suspension will be increased as deemed appropriate by the committee.


Effects of Membership Probation and Suspension: Probation will be for a length of time decided by appropriate committee and also set a term of suspension imposed in the event the probation is violated. The term of suspension shall only become effective upon the probated member’s violation of the terms of his probation. In the event suspension is imposed for subsequent rule violation(s), the balance of the probated suspension shall begin on the day after the suspension for the subsequent rule violation s completely served.

Any membership Suspension that went into effect on or before Aug. 21, 2018 will not be allowed to participate in any way (owner, agent of horse, contestant, helper mounted  or on foot, in an NCHA approved or sponsored cutting horse contest. A suspended person can only attend an NCHA approved or sponsored cutting horse contest as a spectator seated in the stands. Any horse owned or controlled in whole or part by a suspended person will not be allowed to enter or compete in an NCHA approved or sponsored cutting. In the event a suspended person violates this rule, an additional six months will be added to his suspension. The rider of any horse ineligible to enter or compete in an NCHA-approved or sponsored cutting horse contest under this rule will be subject to a six-month membership suspension.


Membership Suspensions that went into effect after August 21, 2018:

Any person who has had their membership suspended, where suspension commences after August 21, 2018, will not be allowed in the premises of an NCHA approved or sponsored cutting contest. “Premises” include all show arenas, practice pens, loping arenas, sales barns, exhibit halls, trade shows and all other parts of the show grounds.

Any horse owned or controlled in whole or part by a suspended person or in which the suspended person holds any future rights of any kind, will not be allowed to enter, compete or transfer existing entries in an NCHA-approved or sponsored cutting horse contest. This includes horses owned by a corporation, partnership or any entity in which the suspended member has any ownership interest. If a suspended person violates this rule, an additional six (6) months will be added to his suspension. The rider of any horse in any NCHA approved or sponsored horse contest which is ineligible to enter or compete under this rule will be subject to six-month membership suspension.


Failure to timely pay fine:  When a member is assed a fine in addition to a suspension and/or probation, as a result of a committee finding made after Aug. 21, 2018, such fine must be paid in full within 15 days after the fine is assessed. In the event the fine is not paid in full in that timeframe, the corresponding suspension and/or probation will be extended by a period equal to the number of days over 15 that it takes for the member to pay to fine in full.


Transfer of horses owned by suspended member: This applies to all membership suspensions that went into effect after Aug. 21, 2018. A horse owned by a suspended member at the time of his/her suspension that is sold, gifted or for which ownership is otherwise transferred to an immediate family member, or that is sold, gifted or for which ownership is otherwise transferred to any corporation, partnership or any other entity of any kind in which the suspended member has any present or future ownership interest will not be allowed to show in any NCHA approved or produced event during the term of that member’s suspension. In the event the NCHA questions the legitimacy of a transfer made by a suspended person during his/her suspension, the suspended person shall bear the burden of proof to establish the legitimacy of the transfer.


Suspension by other associations: Every person suspended by the AQHA or APHA for unsportsmanlike conduct at a show or contest or for inhumane treatment of horses, shall stand suspended by the NCA upon official notification to this Ass’n from the AQHA or the APHA of any such disciplinary action which has become final and  non-appealable. The NCHA may honor the disciplinary actions of its affiliate organizations when supplied with satisfactory evidence that the person so disciplined has been given a full and impartial hearing by the affiliate organization involved; however, any action taken by an affiliate will not limit any authority of jurisdiction of the NCHA.


Publication of Findings:When disciplinary action is taken the results will be published in the Cutting Horse Chatter. Also, all decisions a final and binding unless subsequently overturned by an appeal committee under NCHA Standing Rule 38.


Rule 38: Appeal Guidelines:

Appeal Prerequisites: (a) Anyone found in violation of any NCHA rule by an Initial Hearing Committee, is entitled to appeal so long as (1) written notice of such request for appeal by each person appealing the ruling is received by the NCHA ED within 21 days of the date of the letter notifying the person of such action taken by the Initial hearing Committee and (2) an appeal fee as required by section (b) below is also received by the NCHA ED within the 21-day period.


(b) The appeal fee is $6,000 per person appealing that decision. For cases in which the Initial Hearing Committee has assessed a suspension of membership or competitive status, the appealing party shall have the right to request an expedited appeal as described in section (c) below. The appeal fee for an expedited appeal is $10,000 for each person filing an expedited appeal of the decision of an Initial hearing Committee. Appeal fees will not be refunded unless all findings of the initial Hearing Committee are completely overturned by an Appeal Committee.


(c) In the case of a non-expedited appeal, the appealing member(s) shall be given not less than 15 days notice of a time and place for appeal hearing to be heard by the EC or by an Appeal Committee appointed by the NCHA President. In cases of an expedited appeal, the appealing member(s) shall be entitled to an appeal hearing no more than five business days after the expedited appeal is perfected.


Appeal Proceedings: (a) An appeal is a “de  novo” proceeding that could result in a new finding concerning whether or not there was a violation of any NCHA rule(s) and either an affirmation, enhancement or decrease in the disciplinary action taken by the Initial Hearing Committee. (b) Eight members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum. (c) The NCHA President may appoint a Special Appeal Hearing Committee  (the “Appeal Committee”) to conduct any appeal hearing or disciplinary actions. This Committee shall have a minimum of five members and a maximum of nine. Each member must be a member in good standing of the NCHA. Five members of the Appeal Committee members shall constitute a quorum for hearing an appeal. (d) No continuance of an appeal hearing shall be granted unless a written request is received by the ED at least 7 days prior to the hearing and good cause is shown as determined at the sole discretion of the President or Chairman of the Appeal Committee. (e) At the hearing the appealing member shall have the opportunity to be heard, be represented by legal counsel, present evidence in his/her own behalf and to hear and refute any evidence offered against them. (g) The decision of the EC or Appeal Committee in an appeal proceeding under this rule shall be final and binding on all parties. The committee hearing an appeal shall only be required to note in its report the NCHA rule(s) it found were violated and shall not be required to provide a detailed reasoned option for its decision. (h) When disciplinary action is taken, the results in probation or suspension, the person’s name, the rule violated, and the disciplinary action taken will be published in the Cutting Horse Chatter.


From the Editor:

As a member of the NCHA for close to 20 years, I was sued at one time by the NCHA for asking for Rick Ivey’s salary and refusing to sign a non-disclosure form to prevent my dissemination of the information I was provided. (They dropped the suit when I told them I didn’t need his salary, I found it out another way.) As an investigative journalist and the owner of this website, my only remark about the above Guidelines is that they should include: “Any NCHA member who loses a lawsuit filed by another NCHA member regarding the other member’s actions, including taking advantage of the elderly, providing false or erroneous invoices to an NCHA member by a trainer, running an illegal business or training operation within the confines of the NCHA as defined by the State of Organization or Operation, providing false documentation to an NCHA committee during an appeal or suspension committee hearing, the loss of a customer’s horse due to abuse by the trainer or the trainer’s agent or assign including, but not limited to, employees, contractors or subcontractors, or charging exorbitant fees for other services, such as double dipping customers for travel or hauling expenses, should receive a lifetime suspension, without preferential treatment or exception.”


The trainers are basically unregulated by the above problems.  I hear these complaints all the time and instigating these rules could bring back some of the many well-heeled members who have left the NCHA…..and get rid of some the bad actors or unscrupulous trainers contributing to the demise of the membership numbers.

Glory Ann Kurtz

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