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☛ Lawsuit against stallion owners, vet regarding HERDA 8-4-16

Posted by on Aug 4, 2016 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, EQUI-VOICE, HEALTH AND WEALTH, HORSE LAWSUITS, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST STALLION OWNERS AND VET REGARDING HERDA

 

SHAWN, LISA AND LAUREN MINSHALL SUE FOR FRAUD REGARDING HERDA DESIGNATION OF AUSPICIOUS CAT

 

By Glory Ann Kurtz
Aug. 4, 2016

THE LAWSUIT:

Federal Court filings in the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division, lists a lawsuit entitled Shawn, and Lisa Victoria Minshall, and Lauren Victoria Minshall  vs. Ed Dufurrena, Ed Durfurrena Cutting Horses, Anthony And Dufurrena, Hartman Equine Reproduction Center (HERC), and Dos Cats Partners dated Oct. 30, 2015.

 

The filed public court records allege the Plaintiffs suffered specific damages arising from the material fact that the Plaintiffs bred their mare to Auspicious Cat, a stallion owned by the Defendants, and the produced foal owned by the Plaintiffs suffers from HERDA. The court filings continue to state the Defendants specifically misrepresented the HERDA designation on Auspicious Cat in an advertisement, prior to the breeding, stating the sire was HERDA negative or HERDA N/N.

 

Shawn and Lisa Victoria Minshall reside in Hillsburgh, Ontario, Canada, and Lauren Victoria Minshall resides in Pine Grove, Ky. Ed Dufurrena and Ed Dufurrena Cutting Horses are in Gainesville, Texas, and according to their website, Hartman Equine Reproduction Center (HERC) have two locations in Whitesboro, Texas and Marietta, Okla.

 

Dos Cats Partners is a general partnership and includes the following current members and/or former members, identified by Defendants as being involved at all material times: Ed Dufurrena, Shona Dufurrena, Karen Claycomb, Tom Donaghe, Linda Donaghe, Gary Craighead, Barbra Hanselman, Michael Nolan, Tracy A. Agrall, Butch Redish and Blair Vissar.

 

Specifically, in the Plaintiff’s Third Amended Complaint, dated April 7, 2016, the Defendants represented to the Plaintiffs that their stallion Auspicious Cat (sired by High Brow Cat who is out of Smart Little Kitty by Smart Little Lena) and out of the mare Lenas O Lady, whose dam Doc O Lady was by Doc O’Lena) – meaning the stallion was double-bred Doc O’Lena) was free of the HERDA gene and not a carrier of the disease.

Click for Third Amended Complaint>>

 

EXPLANATION OF HERDA:

HERDA is a genetic skin disease that surfaces usually in the second year after an afflicted horse begins training and results in large painful lesions over large areas of the horse’s body, as well as hyperextensible skin and scarring. There is no cure and the majority of diagnosed horses have to be euthanized. HERDA has an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance, which means it could pop up in future generations. HERDA carriers is critical for the selection of mating pairs as breedings of carrier horses (those with at lease one recessive HERDA gene have a 25 percent chance of producing an affected foal.

 

However, nestled in the court documents, was a copy of a web page ad with Dufurrena riding Auspicious Cat, noting he stood at Pinnacle Equine Veterinary services, with Chelsea Makloski-Cohorn as Principal, with a $2,500 stud fee and marked HERDA N/N – meaning he didn’t have the HERDA gene.

Click for Auspicious cat ad in court papers>>

 

The Minshalls bred their mare, Miss Tassa Lena, to Auspicious Cat, with the resulting foal, Dr. Ozz, coming up positive for HERDA disease after the Plaintiffs incurred significant costs and expenses based on the Defendant’s misrepresentations and other wrongful conduct by Defendants, for which they are now seeking damages allowed by law.

 

Miss Tassa Lena was sired by Smart Little Lena by Doc O’Lena and out of Duntay Pistolena, whose dam also went back to Doc O’Lena. This made Dr. Ozz’s pedigree going to Doc O’Lena FOUR TIMES.

 

According to court documents, Dos Cats Partners is, upon information and belief, a general partnership with its principal place of business in Gainesville, Cooke County, Texas. Ed Dufurrena’s wife, Shona Dufurrena, Gainesville, Texas, is also mentioned “as an individual who may be served also – wherever she may be found.”

 

WHO IS SHAWN MINSHALL?

Minshall is the owner of a top-class Thoroughbred racing operation, which is ranked and held out as one of the top Canadian breeding and training operations for cutting horses.

Click for article on Minshall family>>

Click for Equine sport finds cutting edge>>

 

COURT DOCUMENTS:

Court documents involve Dr. David Hartman of Hartman Equine Reproduction Center. During a deposition of Dr. Hartman on April 6, 2016, it was learned that Dr. Justin Voge and Dr Hartman performed the extraction of semen from Auspicious Cat for use in artificial insemination and he was responsible for handling the logistics of inseminating the mare with Auspicious Cat’s semen. They Plaintiffs claim that Hartman knew that there was a high likelihood that Auspicious Cat was a HERDA carrier while Auspicious Cat was stationed at his vet clinic. He testified that “most good sons of High Brow Cat were HERDA carriers” and he told Dufurrena such in an effort to encourage him to be responsible and test Auspicious Cat for HERDA in 2011.

 

The case is being held in the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division, because the Defendants reside in the Eastern District of Texas. Also, the Stallion Service Contract provided by the Defendants, purports to fix venue in Grayson County Texas, because “all of the terms and provisions of (The Agreement) are performable in Grayson County.

 

DR. HARTMAN’S RESPONSE:

Hartman’s response to the Third Amended Original Complaint filed by the Minshalls, filed April 20, 2016, denied that he engaged in any material misrepresentations and false advertising that resulted in injuries and damages to the plaintiffs related to Auspicious Cat. He denied representing that Auspicious Cat was free of the HERDA gene. He stated he did not have sufficient knowledge of most of the other allegations and although he admitted he was a Texas professional association, he denied that his principal place of business was in Gainesville, Cooke County, Texas.

Click for Dr. Hartman’s response>>

 

DISMISSAL WITH PREJUDICE:

In the middle of the case, Edward L. Dufurrena, Edward Dufurrena Cutting Horses LLC, Anthony and Dufurrena, Inc. and Dos Cats Partners, settled with the Minshalls. Therefore on April 28, an Order Of Dismissal with Prejudice was granted by United States District Judge Amos L. Mazzant, dismissing all parties in the suit except for Defendants Hartman Equine Reproduction  Center, P.A. and Shona Dufurrena. Dismissal with prejudice, means the plaintiff is barred from filing another case on the same claim.

Click for Dismissal With Prejudice>>

 

PRESS RELEASE FROM PLAINTIFFS’ LAWYER:

Following the dismissal of the case, the Plaintiffs’ lawyer, Aaron J. Burke of Hartline Dacus Barger Dreyer LLP, Dallas, Texas, put out a press release on July 11, 2016, regarding the settlement of the case, stating “the owners of a nationally ranked stallion have paid $60,000 to settle claims that they made false and material misrepresentations and failed to disclose the status of their stallion as a carrier of HERDA.”

 

Burke said that he learned through discovery that the defendants’ stallion had indeed tested positive for HERDA years before and those results had never been revealed. He also said that “sometimes stallion owners, incentivized by large breeding fees, have been known to intentionally misrepresent a stallion’s status, claiming the stallion is not a carrier of HERDA or hiding test results.”

 

He also claimed his clients “had offered to settle prior to litigation for the approximate cost of raising and training the foal to that point, the defendants rejected the offer and the mare owners had no choice but to seek the court’s help in adjudicating their claims.”

Click for Attorney Aaron J Burke’s press release>>

 

AUSPICIOUS CAT OFFSPRING:

According to AQHA, Auspicious Cat has 138 foals, with 2 foaled in 2010, 10 in 2011, 12 in 2012, 45 in 2013, 45 in 2014, and 24 in 2015. He has sired 10 performing foals in 2016. A total of 14 of his foals have been performers.

 

CAUSES OF ACTION:

Causes of Action in the lawsuit include 1) Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act against all Defendants state they indirectly engaged in false, misleading and deceptive acts and practices declared to be unlawful to the DTPA, Tex. Bus & Comm. Code 17.46(a) and (b); 2) Breach of Contract against all defendants for breaching contract dated April 15, 2012; 3) Negligent Misrepresentation and Negligence against all defendants by representing that Auspicious Cat was not a carrier of the HERDA gene; 4) Fraud against all defendants; 5) Fraudulent Concealment/Fraud by Nondisclosure against all defendants; 6) Joint Enterprise against defendants, Mr. Dufurrena, Dos Cats and HERC for obtaining profits from marketing, sales and promotion of Auspicious Cat’s semen by breed it with mares; 7)Civil Conspiracy against Defendants, Mr. Dufurrena, Dos Cats and HERC, incorporating all the previous allegations and 8) Aiding and Abetting Liability (against HERC), for assisting, encouraging and participation in Mr. Dufurrena’s negligent, tortuous and/or fraudulent conduct.

 

WHAT PLAINTIFFS ARE ASKING FOR:

The Plaintiffs are asking for 1) a trial by jury on all issues triable to a jury; 2) an award of up to three times Plaintiffs’ actual damages and mental-anguish damages, based on Defendants’ willful and intentional violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, 3) Plaintiffs’ actual damages and benefit-of-the-bargain damages; 4) an award of exemplary damages based on Plaintiffs’ fraud by nondisclosure claim based on a showing by clear and convincing evidence; 5) Plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees, pursuant to Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code, Texas Business and Commerce Code and other provisions of the law; 6) an award of court costs, prejudgment interest and post judgment interest and 7) any and all additional relief to which Plaintiffs show themselves to be entitled.

 

The Plaintiffs are demanding a jury trial which is currently tentatively set for sometime in January.

 

MEDIATION:

The latest item on the case in the court docket is that a Mediation Session was held on July 28, 2016 by John B. Shipp, the assigned mediator; however, the mediation did not result in a settlement.  “I will continue to work with the parties to try to bring this matter to resolution,” said Shipp in the Mediator’s Report.

7-Mediation report

 

 

 

 

 

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☛ Keeping your finances secure when paying horse training facilities 7-11-16

Posted by on Jul 11, 2016 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HEALTH AND WEALTH, HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 15 comments

HAVE HORSES IN TRAINING?

 

HOW TO KEEP YOUR FINANCES SECURE

 

By Rick Dennis
July 11, 2016

Rick Dennis

Over the years, I’ve worked on a myriad of Risk Management cases involving either the theft or embezzlement of funds from a client’s bank account or credit cards.  However, the conclusion or “Root-Cause-Analysis” allowing this theft to occur is generally the same. Inadequate or non-existent banking security practices, inadequate accounting practices along with misguided trust, on behalf of the client, is usually the culprit. More and more we’re seeing these types of thefts occurring in the horse industry emanating from horse-training facilities.

 

For the record, these types of criminal infractions aren’t relegated to one particular part of the horse industry but seemingly encompasses the industry “across-the-board.” Training facilities should be aware of the fact that if the proper security is not in place and maintained for a protection of client assets and a theft generates from an individual working at the facility acquiring the bank account and routing number off of a client-issued check for training or other purposes, or a credit card number, it’s quite possible the training facility can have culpable liability issues in the matter.

 

The two methods used to facilitate the thefts are:

 

1.         The clients bank account, and

 

2.         The clients credit card.

 

THE CLIENTS BANK ACCOUNT

 

Using No. 1 as an example, I just completed analyzing a case involving the theft of over $500,000 during a four-year period, using the client’s bank account and routing numbers as the extraction vehicle. The thefts emanated from a horse-training facility. While I’m not at liberty to discuss the specifics of the case due to an on-going criminal investigation, my “Root-Cause-Analysis” identified over-trust on the client’s behalf as well as non-secure banking practices, inadequate record keeping, i.e, usual and customary personal accounting practices, and the absence of an established and integrated Risk Management Program as the culprit.

 

However, by designing, implementing and integrating an active Risk Management Program, the clients are able to prevent future thefts of this type along with a possible recovery of assets. Upon discovery of the theft, the client filed criminal charges, the alleged perpetrator was arrested, criminally indicted afterwards and is awaiting trial.

 

Dakotah Lindsey Harrell (Defendant) is identified as a former assistant trainer at Merritt Wilson Cutting Horses. The thefts occurred while Harrell was employed at this location according to clients.  For additional information please click on the following link:

 

Click for Dakotah Harrell’s arrest warrant>>

Click for Dakotah Harrell’s booking>>

Click for Dakotah Harrell’s Facebook page>>

Click for Dakotah Harrell’s Indictment article>>

 

CLIENTS CREDIT CARD

Using No. 2 as an example, an ever-increasing and growing problem inundating the horse industry is the unauthorized use of, or misappropriation of, client’s assets using the clients credit card as the extraction vehicle. Generally, thefts of this type occur when an unsuspecting client provides a training facility with his or her credit card number for an incidental purchase of some type. Thereafter, the client discovers ongoing unauthorized purchases by the perpetrator, but the damage is already done and possibly significant. Afterwards, an arrest and prosecution usually follows. Again, as a Risk Analyst/Threat Assessment Manager, I can hypothetically surmise the “root-cause-analysis” as:

 

1.         Over trusting the recipient of this information on the client’s behalf,

 

2.         Inadequate accounting and monitoring practices on the clients behalf, and

3.         the absence of an active and integrated secure Risk Management Program within the confines of the client’s financial practices.

 

The following is an article published in Ratemyhorsepro.com regarding a Brock, Texas, trainer stealing money from a client’s credit card. She had previously been indicted in Alabama for the same offense.

 

Click for Ratemyhorsepro.com article>> 

 

RECOVERY OF ASSETS PURSUANT TO A THEFT

 Generally speaking, it’s very difficult to recover one’s assets after a theft. In the case of cyber-security breaches or thefts “over-the-internet,” the chances of recovery are almost nil simply due to the fact that the perpetrator is located in another country. In the case of domestic thefts, the probable chances of asset recovery is low simply due to the fact the accused has already spent your money and it’s gone and legal litigation for an attempted recover is an expensive proposition with no guarantees of success.

 

The two most used methods for a recovery of assets is by judicial restitution after the arrest and conviction of the violator, or filing a complaint with the IC3 Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the event of credit card theft. For the record, credit card thefts are usually performed by the Secret Service. My best advice to prevent the theft or unauthorized use of a credit card is to prevent it before it occurs by instituting sound financial practices in your life style.

 

COMMON-SENSE BANKING PRACTICES

 When I’m providing a general security consulting service, designing and implementing a Risk Management Program after a review, or compiling and formulating a Risk Management report after a review, I always advise the client to use common-sense banking practices to safe guard his or her valuable assets. (e.g.)

 

1.         Never blindly trust an individual with your personal banking information,

 

2.         ALWAYS safeguard your financial institution information whether this information is your internet banking passwords, bank account routing and account numbers for checking accounts or credit card type and numbers,

 

3.         NEVER blindly provide this information to anyone,

 

4.         NEVER allow your computer to save your login information, (e.g.) user name and password, When using the internet to pay your bills, always make sure you’re on a secure network,

 

5.         When disposing of financial information, always use a shredder or completely burn this information,

 

6.         ALWAYS set up an auxiliary bank account with a limited amount of funds for use in conjunction with a trust or holding account. Never pay bills directly from a trust or holding account. In the event of a breach of security, the thief will only have a limited amount of assets to steal – not your entire bank account,

 

7.         ALWAYS monitor your bank account activity multiple times a week, if not on a daily basis, to apprise yourself of any suspicious activity on your bank account. In today’s high-tech banking industry, an app can be downloaded on your smart phone enabling this secure process and

 

8.         INVEST in a credit-monitoring service to alert you of any changes in your credit report or suspicious activity.

 

There are plenty of resources available to seek advice from to protect your assets and provide additional information on the subject matter. Knowledge and common sense are the keys to success and prevention.  Be proactive, not reactive!

 

“Until Next Time, Keep ‘Em Between The Bridle!

 

Richard E. “Rick” Dennis (CPP)

Email: windrivercompany.rd@yahoo.com

Web Site: http://www.windrivercompanyllc.com

 

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☛ TAHC Herpes update 6-15-16

Posted by on Jun 15, 2016 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HEALTH AND WEALTH, HORSE HEALTH, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

TAHC EQUINE HERPES UPDATE:

 

June 15, 2016

Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) confirmed Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy (EHM) in a mare at a breeding farm in Cooke County, Texas on May 24. The affected farm was placed under quarantine and restricted from moving animals and semen.

 

Since the original confirmed EHM positive horse, six additional horses on the premises have tested positive for the neuropathogenic strain of EHV-1. One of the test positive horses exhibited neurologic signs consistent with EHM, bringing the total number of EHM cases at this facility to two.

 

TAHC staff works closely with the facility management and veterinarian to implement testing protocols and biosecurity measures. All affected horses (seven) on the premises were removed to an isolation area after being diagnosed. All remaining equine in the barn were monitored for elevated temperatures twice daily. Movement restrictions on these horses were lifted once they tested negative on nasal swabs taken 14 days after the affected horses were removed.

 

The seven affected horses are recovering and doing well at this time. They will remain under quarantine until all test negative on nasal swabs.

 

The equine industry is encouraged to obtain the latest information on this outbreak and other disease events across the country by visiting the Equine Disease Communication Center at: http://www.equinediseasecc.org/outbreaks.aspx

 

For more information contact the Communications Dept. at 512-719-0750 or at callie.ward@tahc.texas.gov

 

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☛ Are AQHA & NCHA really trying to change? 5-19-16

Posted by on May 19, 2016 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, EQUI-VOICE, FROM THE EDITOR, HEALTH AND WEALTH, HORSE HEALTH, HORSE ORGANIZATIONS, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

FROM THE EDITOR

 

ARE AQHA AND NCHA REALLY TRYING TO CHANGE?

 

AQHA SUPPORTS ANIMAL WELFARE; NCHA TALKS TRANSPARENCY

 

By Glory Ann Kurtz
May 17, 2016

With alarming drops in membership numbers and as a result finances, could it be possible that horse organizations are changing their course by trying to get members back who have left, woo new members and increase their dwindling youth participation and they are trying to figure out how to do it?

 

Two major associations in particular have made major changes to their rules, regulations and have published efforts to change or have renewed focus on their members and what they want. The major one is the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) who just held their convention in Las Vegas, Nev., and announced many changes. The other is the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA), whose Convention is on tap for June 24-26 in Grapevine, Texas.

 

AQHA:

The AQHA recently published a release from their new Executive Vice President Craig Huffhines, sharing some of their highlights from the AQHA Executive Committee meeting held April 26-28. Huffhines said, “Ensuring the humane treatment of the American Quarter Horse remains a priority for this Executive Committee, and much discussion occurred this week on continuing to improve upon monitoring at competition and the enforcement of an effective violation system. Another item included supporting and the advancement of their ranch programs and youth development.”

 

They recently published their financial statements that showed a lot of downs, including net assets that decreased from $102,425,786 in 2014 to $96,632,667 in 2015.

 

An  article by Katie Tims in the May 1, 2015 Quarter Horse News stated that the latest financial statement shows a $5.3 million decrease in the value of the AQHA’s investments. In an interview with Trent Taylor, AQHA Treasurer and Chief Operating Officer, he said about $2 million of that is explained by a dip in the stock market that coincided with the close of the AQHA’s fiscal year.” He continued that in the past decade we have relied heavily on our investments and our earnings from those investments to help offset some of our operational expenses. We have been using those funds to help keep operations going without having to have additional increases in fees or cutting out programs.  It is standard practice for a nonprofit to have one year’s operating budget in reserve, so it’s important that we wean ourselves off of using investment money to cover operations. We need to build those reserves back to stay strong and healthy for the future.”

 

Taylor continued that the AQHA had spent a great deal of their reserves on the computer database system. “But this investment is absolutely required to move AQHA forward. Right now, we’re using technology that was put into place in 1992. We’re talking about millions and millions of records and they’re all related and they’re all tied back together.”

 

One big surprise in the financials was the fact that the AQHA has a $600,000 loan with the Amarillo National Bank, with monthly payments of $10,798, interest at 3%, maturing May 1, 2018, secured by Negative Pledge Agreement. Balance $331,281. Also, there is a $1,375,000 loan with Amarillo National Bank, monthly payment of $24,683, interest at 2.85%, maturing May 1, 2019; Unsecured. Balance $1,029,317.

Click for 2014-2015 Consolidated Financial Statements>>

 

Membership is also down considerably; however, Taylor said they had only a 1 percent decrease in membership this year, which is good news because it’s the smallest decrease we’ve had since 2007. The past three years have been almost level. To me, that’s a positive sign. It’s sure better than having a double-digit decrease.” Also youth membership is down 26% from since 2006. In a Town Hall meeting, AQHA Chief Marketing Officer Lauren Walsh said the youth membership, or lack thereof, is the 800-pound gorilla in Amarillo.

Click for AQHA membership chart>>

 

AQHA’s attention turns to animal welfare:

However, prior to the AQHA Convention, the AQHA issued a press release on the results of the AQHA Animal Welfare Grievance Committee’s list of violations, which would be forwarded to the Executive Committee. The Committee was established four years ago. It stated that AQHA’s utmost concern is for the health and well-being of the American Quarter Horse. Part of their mission statement says that the “American Quarter Horse shall be treated humanely, with dignity,, respect and compassion at all times.”

 

According to AQHA Executive Vice President Craig Huffhines, “AQHA’s goal is to educate both members and non-members on the issue of animal welfare. It is our responsibility to ensure the health and safety of our horse – the American Quarter Horse.”

Click for Animal Welfare violations>>

 

On May 13, 2016, two press releases from the AQHA went out. “Animal Welfare: A Continuing Effort” reported on the AQHA Executive Committee continuing to make strides for The benefit of the American Quarter Horse at their April meeting in Amarillo. The press release said that “Actions that will take place in 2016 based on the Executive Committee decisions include: 1) AQHA will develop a resource document outlining the steps members can take when they call AQHA with an animal-abuse complaint. 2) AQHA will work collaboratively with the American Association of Equine Practitioners, United States Equestrian Federation and the American Horse Council to develop biosecurity isolation protocol guidelines to include vaccination guidelines that could be implemented at AQHA-approved shows. 3) AQHA will amend its current rule that prohibits the use of dye or other substances to alter or hide natural markings to also include the prohibition of dye to hide abuse and 4) AQHA will prohibit the use of belly bands at AQHA events starting June 1, 2016.

1229-bellyband>>

 

 

 

Also, AQHA will continue to periodically publish news release on its website with the names of people and unsportsmanlike conduct, as well as recommendations approved by the Executive Committee. An article in Horse Talk, calls this the ‘Name And Shame’ policy.

Click for animal welfare release>>

 

The other release listed added show rules, including SHW 300.2 – AQHA judges have the authority to require the removal or alteration of any piece of equipment or accouterment which is unsafe, or in his opinion would tend to give a horse an unfair advantage or which he believes to be inhumane. AQHA judges will now have the authority to also disqualify exhibitors for any piece of accouterment or attire that would give an exhibitor an unfair advantage.  The amended or new rules will be effective June 1.

Click for AQHa Show Rules Press Release>>

 

These releases from the AQHA are a step in the right direction; however, the question now is will the AQHA enforce these rules or will they will adhered to by the judges like the movement of the pleasure horse – and be ignored.

 

An example of this is even though the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is getting involved and plans to take their big step to strengthen the Horse Protection Act, since current regulations are failing to protect horses from a core group of trainers and owners who ignore them. A press release dated April 4, 2016 from the USDA, states that a segment of the Tennessee walking horse industry is showing no willingness to root out the abuse festering in its ranks – soring. The USDA recently revealed that a startling 87.5 percent of horses the agency randomly selected for testing at the 2015 Celebration, the industry’s premier event, were found positive for illegal foreign substances used to sore horses or temporarily numb them to mask their pain during inspection. Also 100 percent of the sampled horses’ leg wrappings tested positive for chemicals banned from use in the show ring by the USDA.

Click for USDA article>>

 

THE NCHA AND TRANSPARENCY:

With the membership and financials of the NCHA going in the same direction as the AQHA’s, they have turned to their members and promised “transparency.” This all started when members and contestants evidently didn’t realize that the association was in a dire financial position as it had not received expected state money from the Major Event Trust Fund (METF) of the state of Texas – and that they may never receive it. (as a side note, I notice the NCHA is still requesting donations on their Triple Crown entry blanks, for the NCHA PAC, which gives donations to congressional members who might have a say on who receives the METF money).

 

When it came time for the Futurity, members didn’t realize until they received they win checks that the event was simply a “jackpot,” and there had been no money added to the NCHA Futurity purse, the largest event that the NCHA holds annually and is the first of the Triple Crown events.

 

Contestants, trainers and members were appalled and social media went crazy.  However, Jim Bret Campbell, the new NCHA Executive Director jumped into action and decided that it was time for transparency – something that the Executive Committee had evidently never previously thought was needed.

 

A Town Hall meeting was immediately held in Fort Worth and since then, three other Town Hall meetings were scheduled at the NCHA Eastern National Championships in Jackson, Miss., the NCHA Super Stakes and the NCHA Western National Championships in Denver.  During these meetings, Campbell informed the membership of another problem: they were close to losing all of their records due to their out-dated information technology (IT), and they desperately needed an upgrade, which they are currently in the middle of – and it’s not cheap!

 

According to an article in the May 15, 2016 Quarter Horse News, Editor Stacy Pigott, interviewed Campbell who said that membership is trending downward and the number of affiliates are shrinking. (Less than 10 years ago, there were 138 affiliates. In 2015 there were 103.) The number of horses that won money and the entries at regional affiliate championship shows are also dropping. He also said that while entries at the NCHA’s Triple Crown shows are up, it is a result of the same people entering more classes, rather than a greater number of people showing. There is also a decline in the entries at the Eastern and Western National Championship shows.

Click for QHN article on NCHA Convention>>

 

What Campbell didn’t mention is that other cutting associations are springing up and having successful shows, some with a different menu of classes based toward newcomers and those who have not won a lot of money. One association counts aged-event money won by horses as earnings; therefore, those horses that won money at the NCHA Triple Crown and other aged events, can’t enter their Novice Horse classes – making them true Novice Horse classes.

 

Also, a lot of members have drifted off to less-expensive horse events such as the fast-growing ranch horse competitions. Also, like the AQHA, the NCHA’s youth membership is also shrinking. If the parents leave the AQHA or NCHA, so do their children.

 

I commend the NCHA and Campbell for holding the Town Hall meetings; however, I think that they should inform ALL of their members about what went on in those meetings and how their Executive Committee has responded – and what changes are being planned. Possibly some of this will be addressed at the NCHA Convention scheduled for June 24-26 at the Hilton DFW Lakes in Grapevine, Texas.

 

 

 

 

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☛ Is today’s QH being abused in the show pen? 3-8-16

Posted by on Mar 8, 2016 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, EQUI-VOICE, FROM THE EDITOR, HEALTH AND WEALTH, HORSE ABUSE, HORSE ORGANIZATIONS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 10 comments

From the Editor,

 

IS TODAY’S QUARTER HORSE BEING ABUSED IN THE SHOW PEN OR WORK-UP ARENA?

 

By Glory Ann Kurtz
March 8, 2016

Rugged Lark and Lynn Palm

The AQHA convention in Las Vegas, Nev., will be held March 11-14 at the South Point Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. There will be AQHA Awards Presentation, AQHA Hall of Fame inductions and banquets.  There will also be a business workshop and industry town hall meeting. If you are planning on attending, I’m sure you have already got all your reservations scheduled.

 

Over the years, Carol Harris has been a staunch supporter of the AQHA and has written many articles to encourage changes that might produce relief for the horses and bring in new members.  Largely, all Carol’s suggestions along with others can be researched in AQHA’s favorite waste paper baskets.  Membership has sunk very severely and no changes as yet have been announced.

 

Because she cares, Carol was the force behind the rule that was passed that banned the use of lip chains on stallions in halter classes. However, the new rule had barely passed when, before it went into effect, the trainers objected. With the number of trainers working within the walls of the AQHA office, the rule was reviewed and an alternative  – the lip cord – was made a rule by the Executive Committee and began taking effect on Jan. 1, 2016.

 

The article approving the lip cord and the description of the rule SHW 355 was published in the February 2016 issue of the Quarter Horse Journal. Within that same article, was a paragraph saying that the Executive Committee will take a “firm stand on animal welfare for the protection of the horse and for the future of the breed.”

 

Even though Carol has been very vocal about horse abuse, especially targeting the warm-up pens at horse shows, it will be interesting to see if AQHA leadership has made any headway in the last 8-9 years for protecting their horses’ abuse at the shows.

 

I recently talked to Carol about her desire to inspire protection against AQHA’s horse abuse.  She and the 2015 Protect Them Coalition feel that nothing other than a Tornado, Missile Strike or ISIS Attack will stimulate AQHA to make any beneficial changes to ensure their horses a little relief from excessive and abusive training.

 

Carol has sent me a letter from a past prominent member of the AQHA, Gale Midwood, that she wishes to share with the AQHA leadership and membership.

 

The following letter explains how she was very active in the AQHA and showed professionally; however, she soon became “horrified she was to see Quarter Horse trainers and riders beginning to pull horse’s heads back behind the vertical and then continually jerked down. She continued that all kinds of extremely cruel and misguided methods were beginning to be used to achieve an unbalanced way of moving and incredibly these began to be the horses who were being pulled in to win blue ribbons!”

 

Following is the complete letter:

 

“Thank you Carol Harris, Rugged Lark and the entire 2015 Protect Them Coalition. You have articulated all I have said and thought for 40 years.  I started showing AQHA shows with my then husband, Bill Haggis in the late l960’s. We both came from a background involved with horses.  I remember a wonderful horse called ‘Illini Duke’ winning Western Pleasure at the first Congress in l967.  He had the most wonderful free flowing lope and trot that made us feel like we could ride him forever.

 

My husband, Bill, and I ran the first AQHA show in Rhode Island.  We hired a top judge and pulled in horses from all over the East Coast.  I went on to begin writing and eventually became editor of the Eastern Quarter Horse Journal with my husband and Tom Esler, who became one of the top Quarter Horse photographers in the business. We all began to notice many changes in the world of AQHA showing.  I eventually went back to full-time teaching equitation and training and showing Quarter Horses professionally.

 

Times continued to make changes and as a life-time rider with a foundation in dressage, I was horrified to see Quarter Horse trainers and riders beginning to pull horses heads back behind the vertical and then continually jerked down. All kinds of extremely cruel and misguided methods were beginning to be used to achieve an unbalanced way of moving.  Incredibly these began to be the horses who were being pulled in to win blue ribbons.

 

Since I, like others was unwilling to participate, I made a sad decision to leave the world of my beloved breed behind.  I was very capable of training a horse to do just about anything but was unwilling to do to horses what had to be done to win at AQHA shows. It broke my heart, so I just left.  Little did I know that things would get even worse, which ensured that my departure would be forever! I had a good clientele, and they went with me back into to world of AHSA. We had bred a few nice Quarter Horses but that stopped also!

 

It all broke my heart because I loved being a part of AQHA and had seen my entire life with Quarter Horses as forever. The big problem was I would not condone being part of the whole travesty of the constant lowering of head carriage and the artificial robot pace the AQHA shows were permitting and rewarding.

 

I sometimes wonder how many of us left rather than stayed to dance to that horrible tune of inhumane treatment inflicted on the best-natured breed in the world. I’ve worked with many types and breeds of horses and sometimes think the Quarter Horse’s wonderful calm temperament was their undoing. These poor horse’s faces with their sad eyes and dead tails remind me that today’s youth will never get to see them as they once were.

 

Thank you Carol Harris and all others for continuing to shine a spotlight of care and reason on this issue.  Shame on you American Quarter Horse leaders, trainers and judges for falling so low by IGNORING THE OBVIOUS. You have taken a beautiful versatile horse and turned it into an equine freak.

 

I’ve written countless letters and spoken to judges and Association officials, but all in vain. With Carol and all the others like us, I’d like to have hope but the slow way in which our Association moves makes me continue to cry for our horses right now and also for their future.

 

Gale Midwood
One of Original Founders of Rhode Island QHA
Past Editor of Eastern Quarter Horse Journal
Past Member of AQHA”

 

The AQHA Mission statement includes the statement: “To ensure the American Quarter Horse is treated humanely, with dignity, respect and compassion at all times.” I don’t know how many AQHA members, who believe in that portion of the AQHA Mission Statement and stand behind eliminating the abuse of the Quarter Horse in the show pen and make-up arena, will attend the convention. How can a breeder and lover of the American Quarter Horse not stand behind eliminating horse abuse in the show pen and make-up arena? Or will most of those members simply stay home?  Or worse yet, could many of those disappointed members no longer be members?

 

 

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☛ Equine Herpesvirus continues to raise its ugly head 3-3-16

Posted by on Mar 3, 2016 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, EQUI-VOICE, HEALTH AND WEALTH, HORSE HEALTH, INDUSTRY NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 1 comment

 

EQUINE HERPESVIRUS CONTINUES TO RAISE ITS UGLY HEAD

 

By Rick Dennis with Nena J. Winand, DVM, PhD
March 3, 2016

 

Equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) myeloencephalopathy (EHM) is a disease that has occurred sporadically in the U.S. equine population for a number of years. I distinctly remember the first time I heard of this specific syndrome in 2011. It was closely connected with an NCHA cutting (the Western Nationals) in Ogden, Utah.  Since then this disease has appeared to be progressively making a steady advancement throughout the equine community in the U.S. taking casualties along the way.  The main points to remember about this disease are that the neurologic form (EHM) is deadly and the virus is highly communicable or contagious.

 

In an article by the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the syndromes caused by equine herpesviruses, their transmission and the use of vaccines are described as follows:

 

“Equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) and equine herpesvirus type 4 (EHV-4) can each infect the respiratory tract, causing disease that varies in severity from sub-clinical to severe and is characterized by fever, lethargy, anorexia, nasal discharge, and a cough. Infection of the respiratory tract with EHV-1 and EHV-4 typically first occurs in foals in the first weeks or months of life, but recurrent or recrudescent clinically apparent infections are seen in weanlings, yearlings, and young horses entering training, especially when horses from different sources are commingled. Equine herpesvirus type 1 causes epidemic abortion in mares, the birth of weak nonviable foals, or a sporadic paralytic neurologic disease (equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy-EHM) secondary to vasculitis of the spinal cord and brain.

 

Both EHV-1 and EHV-4 spread via aerosolized secretions from infected coughing horses, by direct and indirect (fomite) contact with nasal secretions, and, in the case of EHV-1, contact with aborted fetuses, fetal fluids, and placentae associated with abortions. Like herpesviruses in other species, these viruses establish latent infection in the majority of horses, which do not show clinical signs but may experience reactivation of infection and shedding of the virus when stressed. Those epidemiologic factors seriously compromise efforts to control these diseases and explain why outbreaks of EHV-1 or EHV-4 can occur in closed populations of horses.

 

Because both viruses are endemic in most equine populations, most mature horses have developed some immunity through repeated natural exposure, thus most mature horses do not develop serious respiratory disease when they become infected but may be a source of exposure for other susceptible horses. In contrast, horses are not protected against the abortigenic or neurologic forms of the disease, even after repeated exposure, and mature horses are in fact more commonly affected by the neurologic form of the disease than are juvenile animals.

 

Recently, a genetic variant of EHV-1 has been described (defined by a single-point mutation in the DNA polymerase [DNApol] gene) that is more commonly associated with neurologic disease. This mutation results in the presence of either aspartic acid (D) or an asparagine (N) residue at position 752.  Molecular diagnostic techniques can identify EHV-1 isolates carrying these genetic markers, although currently the implications of this finding for management of EHV-1 outbreaks, or individual horses actively or latently infected with these isolates, are uncertain.

 

It is important to understand that both isolates can and do cause neurological disease. It is just more common for the D752 isolates to do so (it is estimated that 80-90 percent of neurological disease is caused by D752 isolates, and 10-20 percent by N752 isolates).

 

Experts do not currently advise any specific management procedures for horses based on which isolate they are latently infected with and it is possible that 5-10 percent of all horses normally carry the D752 form (this estimate is based on limited studies at this time). In the face of an active outbreak of EHV-1 disease, identification of a D752 isolate may be grounds for some increased concern about the risk of development of neurological disease.

 

Primary indications for use of equine herpesvirus vaccines include prevention of EHV-1-induced abortion in pregnant mares, and reduction of signs and spread of respiratory tract disease (rhinopneumonitis) in foals, weanlings, yearlings, young performance and show horses that are at high risk for exposure. Many horses do produce post-vaccinal antibodies against EHV, but the presence of those antibodies does not ensure complete protection. Consistent vaccination appears to reduce the frequency and severity of disease and limit the occurrence of abortion storms but unambiguously compelling evidence is lacking. Management of pregnant mares is of primary importance for control of abortion caused by EHV-1.

 

VACCINES:

 

Inactivated vaccines

 

A variety of inactivated vaccines are available, including those licensed only for protection against respiratory disease, which currently all contain a low antigen load, and two that are licensed for protection against both respiratory disease and abortion which contain a high antigen load. Performance of the inactivated low antigen load respiratory vaccines is variable, with some vaccines outperforming others. Performance of the inactivated high antigen load respiratory/abortion vaccines is superior, resulting in higher antibody responses and some evidence of cellular responses to vaccination. This factor may provide good reason to choose the high antigen load respiratory/abortion vaccines when the slightly higher cost is not a decision factor.

 

Modified live vaccine

 

A single manufacturer provides a licensed modified live EHV-1 vaccine.  It is indicated for the vaccination of healthy horses 3 months of age or older as an aid in preventing respiratory disease caused by equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1).

 

EHM

 

All available vaccines make no label claim to prevent the myeloencephalitic form of EHV-1 (EHM) infection. Vaccines may assist in limiting the spread of outbreaks of EHM by limiting nasal shedding EHV-1 and dissemination of infection. For this reason some experts hold the opinion that there may be an advantage to vaccinating in the face of an outbreak, but in advance of EHV-1 infection occurring in the group of horses to be vaccinated. The vaccines with the greatest ability to limit nasal shedding include the 2 high-antigen load, inactivated vaccines licensed for control of abortion (Pneumabort-K®: Pfizer; & Prodigy® Merck), a MLV vaccine (Rhinomune®, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica) and an inactivated vaccine, (Calvenza®, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica).

 

Vaccination against either EHV-1 or EHV-4 can provide partial protection against the heterologous strain; vaccines containing EHV-1 may be superior in this regard.”

 

For a review of the complete article, including vaccination schedules for various classification of horses please click the following link:

 Click for AAEP vaccination schedule>>

 

An additional source of information from the American Association of Equine Practitioners on EHV of all types, in the form of a FAQ page, can be found a the following link:

Click for AAEP Horse Health article>>

 

 

PAYSON PARK UNDER QUARANTINE FOR EQUINE HERPES

 

The most recent outbreak of the disease is highlighted in the Thoroughbred Daily News dated March 1, 2016, by T.D. Thornton. The Florida Department of Agriculture has imposed at least a 14-day quarantine on horses shipping in or out of the Payson Park Thoroughbred Training Center after a recent shipper into the facility was confirmed on Feb. 29 to have the EHV-1 strain of the equine herpes virus.

 

“It is my understanding that the affected horse has been isolated [within the Payson property],” Jennifer Meale, the communications director for the Florida Department of Agriculture, told TDN on Tuesday. “We believe that the original horse with the infection was shipped from Virginia. There were six other horses together at that time. Four of them were offloaded in South Carolina.”

 

Meale did not know the final destination of the sixth horse on that van ride. The national Equine Disease Communication Center website reported that both Virginia and South Carolina authorities have placed under quarantine the premises where those horses had loaded and unloaded.

 

“At this time we are assessing the situation,” Meale said. “We expect that it will last for at least 14 days. But until our scientists further assess the situation, we will not have specifics on the precise duration of the quarantine.”

 

Mary Gallagher, the Payson general manager, and several trainers with horses stabled at Payson told TDN it was their belief that the quarantine had been imposed for 21 days.

 

“The only thing I can tell you is that we had a positive come in on one of the horses,” Gallagher said. “I won’t discuss which horse it is. We’re under quarantine for 21 days. No horses in or out.”

 

Separate from the state-mandated quarantine, Tampa Bay Downs posted a notice on Twitter that said “no horses from Payson Park will be admitted to Tampa Bay Downs until further notice.” The Daily Racing Form reported that a similar policy is in effect at Gulfstream Park.

 

Payson, with nearly 500 stalls, a pair of one-mile dirt and turf training tracks and lush, European-style galloping trails, paddocks, and turnout areas, is located in Indiantown, about 90 minutes from both Gulf Stream and Tampa. Its motto is “Happy Horses Win,” and Forbes Magazine featured the property last year as an upscale training center in a story titled “South Florida’s Billionaire Racehorse Facility.”

 

Also, the Thoroughbred Times also release an article: EHV-1 Quarantine Updates From Coast To Coast. Click the following link for a copy of that article

Click for Quarantine Updates article>> 

 

EHV-1 Disinfectants

 

There are a number of disinfectants listed on the market as applicable to combating the disease, example:

 

Virkon S

Click for VirkonS disinfectant info>>

 

Chlorine Bleach

 

An excellent description of the use of chlorine bleach as a disinfectant is provided by an article distributed by the State of New Jersey.  Click on the following article for more information:

 

Click for simple disinfection article>>

 

 

An important consideration in selecting premises disinfectants is whether they remain active in the face of organic contaminants such as manure. Equine biosecurity is addressed in the following USDA/APHIS brochure:

 

Click for biosecurity information>>

 

 

Another good resource is a brief article provided by the Country View Veterinary Service which is simply a Q&A discussion on the disease.  I highly recommend every horse enthusiast to to familiarize him or herself with this prevalent disease.  This article answers questions often posed by owners.

 

Click on the following link for more information:

 

Click for Country View Vet website>>

 

Still another interesting article on this disease can be found in a USDA/APHIS on-line brochure.  Click on the following link for more information:

 

Click for aphis-usda brochure>>

 

Overall, the more the horse community can educate itself about this disease the more our horses can be protected against it.  In retrospect, when this disease first reared its ugly head I remember many authorities stating this was merely an isolated incident.

 

Today we know otherwise, as the horse communities in the continental U.S. have experienced a seemingly increasing number of outbreaks. In addition to the resources provided in this article, remember that your farm veterinarian and your State Veterinarian are your most direct resources for information on disease management strategies.

 

Copyright March 2016, all rights reserved

 

 

“Until Next Time, Keep Em Between The Bridle!”

 

Richard E. “Rick” Dennis

Managing Member

 

Office/Mobile – (985) 630-3500

Web Site: http://www.windrivercompanyllc.com

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