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☛ Has the horse industry become numb to corruption? 7-29-18

PRELUDE TO FINALITY

 

HAS THE HORSE INDUSTRY BECOME NUMB TO CORRUPT AND ABUSIVE HORSE TRAINERS AND MEMBERS?

 

By Glory Ann Kurtz
July 29, 2018

 

It appears, the American Horse Industry has become so numb to corrupt and abusive horse trainers and members, that acceptance of illogical, immoral, unorthodox and “in some cases” illegal action has become the norm, rather than the exception.

 

Case-In-Point: It’s been my experience that 501(C)(3) non-profit equine corporations are more interested in establishing “user friendly” rule violations than they are in establishing “hard rules” to exclude criminal violators and those with criminal histories – except when it comes to horse abuse. Fraudulent and illegal business practices by a member, especially horse trainers who are also advertisers in a horse publication, are often overlooked or put off in favor of recurring and contributing revenue by the offender.

 

In historical comparison, it seems the equine industry, more specifically, the 501 (c) 3 nonprofits, don’t have the wisdom or foresight to exclude undesirables from the industry, nor do the 501(C)(3) nonprofits have rules in place to address fraudulent activities among its members engaged in this type of abhorrent business practice. Instead, of establishing rules to address illegal, immoral, fraudulent and unorthodox acts – more specifically abhorrent business practices – the nonprofits, instead, opt for the criminal and civil courts to preside over disputes arising between members. Notwithstanding, and even upon conviction, the offender usually isn’t banned from the organization, with the nonprofit citing, “we don’t have a rule that covers, immoral behavior, except when it comes to horse abuse.”  How about “making one before more members get fleeced and leave the industry!”

 

This exact analogy is demonstrated in the Minshall’s vs Ed Dufurrena and Dos Cats Partnerslawsuit whereby open court records indicate the Minshalls were injured in a business dealing with Ed Dufurrena and they proved fraudulent advertising on behalf of Auspicious Cat’s HERDA designation, i.e., Auspicious Cat was advertised as HERDA Negative when, in-fact, AQHA records prove the stallion is HERDA Positive. In the HERDA trial, Dufurrena was assigned 60 percent responsibility by the jury as the Minshall foal was born with HERDA. For his trouble, Dufurrena was sued and engaged in an “out-of-court” settlement. Today, Ed Dufurrena is still a member of the American Quarter Horse Association.

 

Furthermore, in the Vogels vs Dufurrena lawsuit, Dufurrena’s practice of using AQHA-owned Quarter Horse papers in lawsuits surfaced again. More specifically, in the Dufurrena-Vogel settlement agreement, which was “approved by the lawyers on both sides of the case,” resulted in a Vogel payout of $1.2 million to Dufurrena. Verbiage in the settlement agreement includes a request verification by Dufurrena for the Vogel’s to agree to the accuracy of the AQHA ownership and registration papers – as written. My research proved the AQHA horse ownership, transfer and registration papers, which coincidentally are the same AQHA registration papers Dufurrena submitted to the NCHA, were anything but correct.

 

Notwithstanding, my research concluded the AQHA registration papers are absent of the “Dos Cats Partners” transfer, i.e.: 1) the horses included in the Dufurrena/Vogel handwritten March 25, 2011 “Dos Cats Partners” agreement, were never transferred into the AQHA 2006 Dufurrena “Dos Cats Partners” registry and 2) in some instances, Ed Dufurrena’s name never appeared on the horses’ AQHA registration papers, for which he stated to the National Cutting Horse Association that he “acquired all rights to” in his letter to the NCHA.  By Dufurrena bypassing the AQHA horse transfer and registration requirements altogether, he eliminatedthis organization of their rightful registration and transfer fees, as indicated in the AQHA rulebook, being necessary.

 

Using analytical reasoning, it can be deduced that instead of receiving protection from the nonprofit, members, (including injured members) are left to fend for themselves among the unchartered and shark-infested waters of the American horse industry. Usually, the end result is a very expensive legal learning process.

 

The curious nature of this event is that the AQHA owns the papers for each registered American Quarter Horse. Surely, they would be offended if an individual included their papers and DNA testing results in a fraudulent scheme as well as being included in an “unconscionable settlement agreement.” But as far as I know, the AQHA has done nothing about it!

 

Furthermore, the second non-profit feeling the sting of Ed Dufurrena’s unorthodox business practice, is the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA). However, I must applaud this organization for taking decisive action to “right-the-wrong,” so to speak, with the suspension and fining of Ed Dufurrena, Rieta Dufurrena, and Brandon Dufurrena for violating NCHA rules. However, many NCHA members are upset by the short length of the suspension, as they feel the suspensions should have been lifetime.

 

However, the foregoing aren’t isolated cases. It’s just being used as an example. Over the years, other questionable individuals have surfaced and been identified but the elite equine magazines usually elect not to produce an article to alert the horse community of such practices, as well as identifying the offender, simply due to the illogical reasoning: “The offender may also be an advertiser.” This non-engagement and not taking a proactive stand, by the 501(C)(3) nonprofits, generally results in a profound adverse impact on the horse industry, especially after a lengthy and expensive litigation process by the Plaintiff that usually results in the individual(s) leaving the horse industry disillusioned, sometimes broke and never returning.

 

In my opinion, it behooves the 501(C)(3) Nonprofit to undertake a proactive stand and establish proactive rules to exclude individuals conducting such abhorrent acts, if for nothing else but to protect their financial interests and its members. However, absence of specific rules to counter these types of abhorrent acts generally places the nonprofit, in the appearance, “of being in a position of complicity,” while the honest membership are at a decisive disadvantage. The end result is an enrichment of the court system and lawyers – all of whom are eager to engage in a dispute, as well as a depletion of the member’s bank account, and which probably could have been avoided by the expulsion of a specific individual member who is practicing abhorrent business practices in the equine industry.

 

To further illustrate how one individual’s unorthodox actions affected a litany of individuals, the following lawsuits were brought about by Ed Dufurrena’s actions while he is engaged in an unregistered dba (doing business as) an assumed namein Texas, i.e., Ed Dufurrena Cutting Horses.  In Texas, specific laws govern the registration of a dba, as well as imposing fines and penalties for the violator. The specific penalty and fine for engaging in an unregistered dba business name is one (1) year in jail and a $4,000.00 fine for conducting business in Texas with an unregistered dba or “assumed name.”

 

Since Dufurrena has self-admitted, in his letter to the NCHA, to the use of three – separate dba’s, i.e. “Ed Dufurrena Cutting Horses,” “Dos Cats Partners” and “Dos Cats,” it’s conceivable this Texas statute provides for three years in jail and $12,000 in fines and penalties, also, due to the fact, each dba or assumed name is unregistered with the Texas Secretary of State as well as the Cooke County Clerks Office.

 

Additionally, this specific statute also states that “an individual can defend an action brought against him or her, but while unregistered, the same individual cannot maintain an action against anyone resulting from the unregistered business activities.” 

 

Again, Dufurrena is impacted and placed in a precarious legal situation of the “double edge sword” type. For example, on one hand, he’s fined and faces penalties for operating and conducting an unregistered business in Texas from inception and he can be countersued for bringing legal action against an individual while being unregistered.

 

Lastly, in addition to the lawsuits in the foregoing, I was able to locate two other lawsuits brought against individuals by Dufurrena Cutting Horses, while being in the capacity of an unregistered Texas business entity: Ed Dufurrena Cutting Horses.

 

The following lawsuits are named accordingly and for the record are two more partnerships devised by Dufurrena. The one individual sustaining two lawsuits because of Dufurrena is Butch Redish. He is one of the individuals sued by the Minshall’s in the “Dos Cats Partners” lawsuit and he was also sued by Dufurrena on behalf of the “Parking My Assets” partnership lawsuit.

 

  1. Ed Dufurrena Cutting Horses vs Butch Redish. CV 1200760. Filed in the Justice Court, Precinct 1, Cooke County, Texas.

 

  1. Ed Dufurrena Cutting Horses vs John Claudon. CV 1200759. Filed in the Justice Court, Precinct 1, Cooke County, Texas.

 

For the record, there are common denominators existing in the Dufurrena business dealings and lawsuits, including inflated and irreconcilable invoicing, three unregistered dba’s or “assumed name” Texas business entities, and “FRAUD,” which can be alleged in each lawsuit brought against him.

 

Isn’t it time for the 501(C)(3) nonprofits to take a stand to protect the equine industry against egregious actions committed by individuals whose purpose is to take advantage of others in the industry by using illegal and fraudulent practices?

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32 Comments

  1. I see the Dufurrena’s get around their entries in the Open Summer Spectacular by transferring ownership into Shona’s name and that Brandon is trying to sell his NP slots.
    Lonnie

    • Those horses should have never been put in Shona’s name. I don’t know whose idea that was, but it’s against Texas law. In Texas, anything owned by a husband is also owned by the wife and vice versa. Click on link below:

      https://statelaws.findlaw.com/texas-law/texas-marital-property-laws.html

      Those at the helm of the NCHA should not only know all the NCHA rules, but they must also know Texas law.
      Glory Ann

  2. I thought that when you were suspended, you could not be in the arena helping. There was a picture on Facebook of him helping turn back?????
    Corrine

  3. Well said. Valid arguments. Too many other perpetrators/issues to count, but the point is well taken and, unfortunately, all but ignored.
    Janie

  4. I thought that when you were suspended, you could not be in the arena helping. There was a picture on face book of him helping turn back?????
    Connie

    • You are right. The following is the NCHA Rule from the 2018 Rule Book

      7. Any person who has been suspended by the NCHA will not be
      allowed to participate in any way (as owner or agent of a horse, contestant, or as a helper mounted or on foot) in an NCHA- approved or sponsored cutting horse contest. A suspended per- son may only attend an NCHA approved or sponsored cutting horse contest as a spectator seated in the stands. Any horse that is owned in whole or part by a suspended person or that has a suspended person as its agent will not be allowed to enter or compete in an NCHA approved or sponsored cutting horse contest. In the event a suspended person violates this rule, an additional six (6) months will be added to his suspension. The rider of any horse which is ineligible to enter or compete in an NCHA approved or sponsored cutting horse contest under this rule will be subject to a six (6) month suspension.

      Glory Ann

  5. Great article… I saw that they put the 4 year old horses in Shonas name… wonder if they took the time to actually change papers with aqha.
    Janet

    • No they didn’t. I’m writing an article about that right now and linking to the AQHA Ownership Records. They are all in Brandon’s name. Those horses should have never been transferred into Shona’s name. I don’t know whose idea that was, but it’s against Texas law. In Texas, anything owned by a husband is also owned by the wife and vice versa. Click on link below: Those at the helm at the NCHA must not only know the NCHA rules but must also follow Texas law!

      https://statelaws.findlaw.com/texas-law/texas-marital-property-laws.html

      Glory Ann

  6. Hi Glory Ann,
    I have been following your Durferrena articles with interest, and your recent question about the ethics of the non-profits is a pertinent one.

    Some few years ago, an AQHA member/trainer was charged with horse abuse and dropped from AQHA. He immediately joined the Appaloosa Horse Club and was allowed to train and show, and the Aphc knew about his offenses, but allowed it anyway. Other Aphc members who knew about the man and his abuse loudly opposed having him get Aphc membership, but the registry didn’t want to lose his money. The registry tarnished itself, and lost other members because of this allowance.

    Most stock horse registries follow the lead of AQHA in most instances, but some will not uphold fines and dismissal of membership from other registries. It’s all about the money: losing advertising, losing trainers who bring clients to shows, transfers for clients horses, memberships, etc. There’s no sign of good ethics between the non-profit registries and that is hurting the whole horse industry.

    Just my opinion,
    Bonnie

  7. Dufurrena should be put in jail -expelled from NCHA and AQHA for life – and never be allowed to touch another horse. What he did was despicable. All the money the lawyers got could have been invested in horses. Its cost everybody if one looks at the broader picture.
    Kathy

  8. Well said. Valid arguments. Too many other perpetrators/issues to count, but the point is well taken and, unfortunately, all but ignored.
    Gina

  9. Glory, thank you for addressing some serious issues in our industry . It’s like the Wild West out here and the associations let them feed off our industry with no penalties . No licenses issued so nothing to revoke on bad behavior . All of us insiders know who not to do business with but the new people getting in have no idea and we end up losing good people that would stay in our industry. Keep up the good work. I some how wonder where NCHA would be without you doing all the hard work in outlining the case .take care
    Doug Carpenter

  10. In my book, THE AMERICAN HORSE INDUSTRY, Avoiding The Pitfalls, the subject of corruption within the horse industry, is well covered. The book was written from two perspectives: 1) From my expansive experience in the horse industry and experiencing corruption on a first-hand basis, and 2) From my 30 plus years experience as a Risk Manager and Risk Analyst in the private business sector. It’s been my personal experience, the horse industry has become a safe haven for individuals with undesirable morals or criminal records. This is due, in-part ,to the horse industry being unregulated by the Nonprofits. I wrote the book to alert those coming into the horse industry, as well as those in the industry about the ”Pitfalls” in the industry, and caused by those with less than desirable character in it.

  11. Glory Ann, thanks for your thorough & exhaustive research! You’re amazing as you continue to plow ahead.

    For whatever reason, I see a complete lack of testicular fortitude and/or conviction in ridding the horse industry of con artists, crooks, knaves and liars. It’s called enabling (or worse) and seemingly the enablers are enabling one another.

    Case in point: The lawyer for the Dufurrena’s is a known and longtime horse owner and NCHA member. If anyone knows about rules & regulations regarding the horse business, he should. He and co-council presented to the NCHA rules & infractions panel the now well viewed : Statement of Horse Ownership History . Shameless, & without batting an eye, this totally fictitious document was presented as solid proof that the Dufurrena’s owned and/or possessed certain horses at certain time periods. This obvious & blatant ruse, laughable on its face, could only be designed to get the Dufurrena’s off the hook.

    Folks, one thing you can surely say, there was no lack of the afore mentioned fortitude & conviction on the part of this attorney in presenting his case; albeit in a sinister fashion.

    Question(s). With regard to rules violations (suspended members), can Ed, Brandon, & Reita assist Shona Dufurrena at the Summer Derby with her newly acquired horses? Do the rules make exceptions for spouses, parents, or well grown kids? Could Ed, Brandon, Reita, all get 6 mos. extended vacations? Can Shona accept the help of suspended individuals without risk of penalty to herself?

  12. YOU ARE ALWAYS THE VOICE OF REASON!!!
    SO SAD that we are not taking a stand as a group and saying “NO– not anymore” to these people that continue to suck off of the few big spenders that want to be involved in a passion driven industry and contribute in a positive way to the hard working people that serve to do good things with or around horses.

    The publications could stand up and help bring some respect back into our industry, but they tend to focus on staying out of anything that could jeopardize any ad revenue. The readers would be most likely be very pleased to know that integrity is part of their promise to serve the industry.
    Carl

  13. I’m not always a fan of yours, but when you’re right, you’re right! This is an absolute joke!!! First, the Ncha lets them off easy, when there has been lifetime suspensions in the past with less evidence, now the Ncha enables them?!?! GIVE US A BREAK!!! Never has there been a better case for lifetime suspensions for vulgar rule infractions…not to mention conduct unbecoming of an Ncha member!! This is offensive and repugnant!!
    Captain Courageous

  14. Wonder when the Feds and the State of Texas are going to investigate the NCHA for all of the fraud they’ve committed on Texas citizens for years, beginning with the fraudulent impact study numbers they dreamed up to get the Texas Event money, to imprisoning the Whitmires and suspending them for life when a written complaint didn’t exist, right on through to allowing the Dufurrena’s to steal as much money as they can from NCHA members. Now they are helping the Dufurrena’s evade suspension rules. What a bunch of crooks!!!
    Steve

  15. Do you think the people that contacted you are concerned enough to contact someone at NCHA? Now we really get to see who has the balls!!!! Great work, this guy has got to go away or we are done as an association in my opinion Wonder what the Whitmires are thinking?
    Tom

  16. This is really sad………..why go through all the work and effort if the end results are not going to be enforced? I don’t show NCHA and am no longer a member but crap like this is one of the reasons why I will not rejoin the membership.

    Thank you for your information on the Dufurrena matter and all the other information you have sent out in the past.
    Arlene

  17. Glory: Thank God that the horse community has someone like you to watch out for us and who is brave enough to report the infractions by people who would take advantage of us!
    Robin

  18. Keep ’em coming, as I know you will!!!
    Gary

  19. Glory Ann,
    SO SAD FOR THE NCHA EXECUTIVE TO ALLOW THE DUFURRENAS TO CONTINUE TO OPERATE. ONE REASON I HAVE NOT BECOME A MEMBER FOR I HAVE SEEN THIS TYPE OF ACTIONS OVER AND OVER AGAIN FOR YEARS AND THE POWERS TO BE ONLY APPLY MINOR SENTENCES. WHY IS IT BECAUSE THEY’RE ALL BUDDIES AND THEY DON’T WANT TO IMPOSE A SEVERE SENTENCE MAYBE JUST IN CASE THEY ARE CAUGHT ONE DAY. IT SEEMS THT ALL POWERS TO BE ARE LIKE THAT “UNTOUCHABLE.” A PETITION BY THE MEMBERS SHOULD BE BROUGHT FORWARD TO REMOVE THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE. THEN AND ONLY THEN, THE MEMBERS WILL HAVE RESPECT FOR THE NCHA. I APPLAUD YOU FOR EXPOSING THEM AND KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK. DUFURRENAS SHOULD HAVE BEEN BARRED FROM THE NCHA FOR LIFE. GOOD LUCK.
    DWIGHT

  20. This is getting more interesting by the minute. If NCHA adds another 6 months to Ed and Brandon’s suspensions. Is that for EACH infraction (3 horses actually owned by Brandon = 8 months) and for each infraction where Ed was turn back – and what about the three horses partially owned by Ed? Does that mean 3 x 6 months plus turn back infractions?
    Lois

  21. I appreciate your journalism and honest view!
    Gail

  22. Go get ’em Glory Ann!
    Julie

  23. NCHA better take a stand against them!!! And shame on Tommy D for showing their horses. It’s all so amazing.
    Charlotte

  24. Stay tough!
    John

  25. Bless you glory Ann for making this public! This is the reason I left the NCHA after 23 years. It is u ugly and despicable to watch this. However, the good horse people still exist. We just refuse to put up with people like this. I can guarantee the karma bus runs over them and back up and do it again! It takes time but it happens! Thanks for all you do!!
    Toni

  26. In order for this collusion to work for the Dufurrena’s to not conflict with this NCHA rule, Ed and Shona Dufurrena would have to get a divorce. Example, by virtue of the fact that Texas marital law states a 50-50 property ownership between husband and wife; therefore, by placing these horses in Shona Dufurrena’s name, Ed (who is suspended) is in violation of this rule, as is Shona. Also, the NCHA is in violation of its own rule, by allowing it to happen in the first place.
    Rick Dennis

    https://statelaws.findlaw.com/texas-law/texas-marital-property-laws.html

  27. Hi Glory Ann!

    I’ve been watching the Duferrena issues unfold and have been enjoying your reporting on them. One thing that caught my attention in your second to last story was something along the lines of the associations (I’m referring to the NCHA) let the court systems handle issues. I have to add that this is ONLY when it benefits the NCHA or results in the same ruling as the NCHA wants.

    My husband and I have been suspended from the NCHA since the beginning of 2010. I wrote a check for entry fees at the Waco Futurity to Ellen Wheeler and the check was returned for NSF. When I became aware of it, I made arrangements with Ms. Wheeler to get that handled and paid for. She would only take cash, so I paid her in cash and made her sign a receipt from my receipt book so that I would have proof. This was in October of 2009. It was either late December 2009 or early January 2010 she turned me into the NCHA for non-payment. She also turned the NSF check over to the McLennan County District attorney’s office for them to collect on. At the time I was far more concerned with not having a criminal charge brought against me so I handed my receipt book over to the DA as well as took a polygraph as they requested (At this time in the rule book NCHA was still using polygraphs as well).

    the DA looked over the receipt book, I passed the polygraph and Ms. Wheeler refused to take a polygraph when they requested one of her. When the DA dropped the case I make Rick Ivey aware of the results so that I could be removed from suspension. I’ve kept the emails from Ivey that dated from 1/20/2010 to 12/16/2010. These are some excerpts from e-mails that Ivey sent to me in regards to this. Please note that the “outside organization” that Ms. Ivey refers to is the Mclennon County District Attorney and the State of Texas.

    “Since the District Attorney is now involved, it will be necessary for you to pay the debt through them. After that occurs, we will be informed and can return you to a good standing status.”

    “According to the NCHA, the money is owed to the Texas Futurity, regardless of how the case is viewed by any outside organization.“

    “Again, the NCHA rules are not driven by the rulings of other organizations. There is no way I can determine what evidence another organization did or did not have, or why they made their rulings. Perhaps other organizations have a lower standard of proof or they do not have the proper budget to handle disputed cases. The NCHA makes decisions strictly according to NCHA rules, policies and procedures”

    “I advised you that the debt had to be “paid” through the DA’s office after they got involved, and that if it was “paid” you would be re-instated. I possess no evidence that the debt has been paid. It is my understanding that the DA’s office determined (under their procedures) that they were not going to pursue the debt. Their decision does not alter NCHA rules. The NCHA still requires original evidence that the debt has been paid . . . not evidence that the DA will not pursue the debt, regardless of the reason for their decision. The DA certainly did not drop the case because you “paid” them the amount due.”

    “After investigating the issue, the NCHA is not prepared to accept the receipt.”

    “Others were aware of and agreed with the decision, both on staff and in other positions within the association. The decision has been made and is final.”

    “This is my last communication on the subject, unless you decide to pay or go to the Grievance Committee with the issue.”

    My last email to Rick Ivey on 12/16/2010 was exactly this “As this has a large effect on me would you please provide me with the names and/or positions of the others that have ‘agreed’ “

    Ivey never responded.

    Once Ivey left I wanted to let the dust settle and re-approach this, as you’re well aware the NCHA kept changing hands, and no one was in there very long to be able to make decisions in my opinion. When Chuck Smith took over and was there for a time, I approached him. In one letter he stated that Dan and I were “suspended under various NCHA rule violations” (October 2016) but would not tell me what those other rule violations were as the chatter only has us listed as Rule 40. When I spoke with Mr. Smith (after blocking my phone number and calling him on his) he specifically asked if I wanted reinstatement or if I was requesting reinstatement for both myself and Dan. As soon as I said both the conversation took a turn. This has never been officially taken to a grievance committee, and I was told that the NCHA will not take it to one until I pay the fee in full, THEN they will decide if it’s owed and if we will be reinstated.

    I’m not going to pay a bill twice, with the likely chance they would come up with some other bullshit (excuse my language), simply because a few have a history with Dan and want to use their false authority to get even.

    Just wanted to let you know our personal saga with the NCHA. Since we’ve been suspended I showed in 3 other associations paying their membership fees and entry fees each time.

    I agree that the NCHA is the largest and premier association, but there is no doubt they’re the most crooked. Possibly because of their size, possibly because of the lack of leadership. However, after taking over 6 years off due to Dan’s health, in a short 15 months we won Horse Of The Year, 2 World Champions. 2 Reserve World Champions, multiple top 5s, as well as good added money. So there are other options out there available.

    I guess the bur under my saddle pad is that Dan made a living in the NCHA, but he was never political. So he knows the dirt but doesn’t kiss the asses. I believe this is the reason even after paying he would never be allowed back in the association. Back in the early 2000 his lifetime earnings started to decrease as well. When we pull horse files (from 80s and 90s) the NCHA states they don’t have rider records for certain horses that he rode. So the horses have the money against them, but no rider is credited with any (Doc Blue Boy comes to mind). It’s hard to make it to the Hall Of Fame when they won’t show true lifetime earnings.

    Just more political NCHA drama.

    Thank you for reading my rant!

  28. They (Duff) certainly has created a storm on FB! The membership would like to see the rules followed.
    Gail

  29. I think the entire Dufurrena family should be thrown out of the NCHA and AQHA, in total never allowed to show, own or compete with cutting horses in any way.
    Kathi

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