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RENO, Nev. (AP) — March 19, 2019

State agriculture officials have ordered the quarantine of a second and third horse in southern Nevada that tested positive for an equine herpes virus after the state high school rodeo last month in Pahrump.

The Nevada Department of Agriculture said Monday two additional Clark County horse facilities have been quarantined since the first case was confirmed on Friday.

The facilities have not been identified because the state says there is no public health risk.

However, horse owners in Nevada and surrounding states are warned to watch for signs of fever, cough or runny nose in any animals that may have been exposed to the virus known as EHV-1.

It can cause respiratory disease in young horses, abortions in pregnant mares and neurologic disease in older horses. It can be spread through contact with exposed animals, people, equipment and vehicles.

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From left: Member Dr. Scott Myers, First Vice President F.E. “Butch” Wise, President Stan Weaver, Second Vice President Norman Luba and Member Kenneth Banks .

The 2019-2020 American Quarter Horse Association Executive Committee was elected at the 2019 AQHA Convention in Fort Worth, Texas. Though AQHA operates primarily upon the decisions of its members through the board of directors, the five-person Executive Committee is responsible for implementing important decisions and governing AQHA between the annual meetings of the membership and the board.

The AQHA Executive Committee – consisting of a president, first vice president, second vice president and two additional members – is elected each year by the board at the convention. Each member serves a term of one year until the selection of his/her successor. The Executive Committee convenes quarterly to conduct business and consider all disciplinary matters.


President Stan Weaver:

Stan Weaver of Big Sandy, Montana, has been an AQHA director since 2011. He is a former member of the studbook and registration, public policy, and Hall of Fame selection committees; Foundation, marketing and ranching councils and served as chairman of the ranching council. He was also instrumental in developing the AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders program.

Weaver has bred American Quarter Horses for more than 30 years and has registered more than 1,650 foals with AQHA during that time.

Weaver and his wife, Nancy, began a Quarter Horse production sale in 1996 under Weaver Quarter Horses. Through the production sale, horses from the Weaver Ranch have sold to all 50 states, seven Canadian provinces, South Africa, Australia, Germany and Mexico. Weaver has shown his own horses in cutting, reined cow horse and working cow horse. He is involved with the Montana Quarter Horse Association (past president), Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame, Montana Land & Mineral Owners Association, National Cattleman’s Beef Association, Montana Stockgrowers, and the Chouteau County Livestock Protection Association.

Weaver has owned and operated Weaver Cattle Co., a cattle and farming enterprise in North Central Montana, for the past 41 years. He also owns and operates Weaver Order Buying, a cattle brokerage firm.

Stan and Nancy raised three children on the ranch. All three children and their families continue to work on the ranch, but have also expanded their own ranching and farming interests in the area. KellyAnne and husband Casey Terry have two children, Wyatt and Avery, and live in Lewistown, Montana; David Weaver and wife Stacey live in Bozeman, Montana, with their three children, Hailey, Wesley and Jayden; and Daniel Weaver and wife Dr. Danielle Weaver also live in Big Sandy.

The Weavers received the 1997 Montana Quarter Horse Association Ranch of the Year Award, and Weaver Cattle Co. was recognized as the 2014 Montana State University Family Business of the Year in the business category for operations in existence at least 50 years.

First Vice President F.E. “Butch” Wise

F.E. “Butch” Wise of El Reno, Oklahoma, was named an AQHA honorary vice president in 2015 after serving as an AQHA director from 2001 to 2015.
He currently serves as the Executive Committee representative on the AQHA Racing Council. Wise is a former member of the studbook and registration, nominations and credentials, and racing committees, and the racing council and Graded Stakes subcommittee. He was the chairman of the Hall of Fame selection committee from 2013 to 2015 and also served as chairman of the Racing Council and Graded Stakes subcommittee. In 2014, he was a member of the AQHA Governance Task Force.

In 2004, Wise received the Oklahoma State University Animal Science School Graduate of Distinction Award, and in 2007, he received the AQHA Racing Council Special Recognition Award.

He is a past president of the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Association. Wise and his wife, Nancy, own Stone Chase Stables LLC. Wise is a bloodstock agent and president of Wise Sales Co. Inc. His former career experience includes employment with AQHA, Ridgeleigh Farms Inc., Mel Hatley Farms and Cox Manufacturing. He is currently the manager of the Lazy E Ranch LLC in Guthrie, Oklahoma.

The Wises have two sons and two daughters. Their sons are Clay and Parker Wise, and daughters are Mallory Wise and Ashlie Blair. Blair and her husband, Shawn, have two children, Derek and Lacie.

Second Vice President Norman Luba

Norman Luba of Louisville, Kentucky, has been an AQHA life member since 1995 and an AQHA director since 2011. He has served on the AQHA Stud Book and Registration Committee, where he served as chairman; AQHA Public Policy Committee; and served as chairman of the AQHA Affiliate Advisory Board.
Luba graduated with his master’s degree in reproductive physiology from the University of Maryland. The former executive director of the Kentucky Horse Council is currently the executive director of the North American Equine Ranching Information Council, president of the Equine Breeding Research and Development Council, and the treasurer of the Animal Welfare Council Inc. In addition, he serves as chairman of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture Dean’s Equine Advisory Board.

He is the recipient of the Don Henneke Education Impact Award and the American Youth Horse Council Distinguished Service Award.

Luba is an avid competitor with numerous qualifications in trail for the AQHA Select World Championship Show, presented by Adequan® (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan), and the Lucas Oil AQHA World Championship Show, as well as a Superior trail horse achievement. He is a member of the National Snaffle Bit Association, Equine Science Society, Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers Club and the Kentucky Quarter Horse Association, where he also served two terms as president, and the Kentucky Quarter Horse Racing Association, where he is currently serving as treasurer.

Luba and his wife, Dr. Lorraine Luba, a veterinarian, have two sons – Christopher and Colin, a former AQHYA president who is married to Catherine.

Member Dr. Scott Myers

Dr. Scott Myers of Sharon Center, Ohio, has been an AQHA life member since 1993 and an AQHA director since 2011. Dr. Myers is a former member of the Hall of Fame selection committee, nomination and credentials committee, American Quarter Horse Foundation Council and equine research committee.
Dr. Myers received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Kentucky Wesleyan College and graduated with his doctor of veterinary medicine from The Ohio State University. A licensed veterinarian since 1985, Dr. Myers owns and manages Hunting Ridge Animal Hospital and Ridgewood Stables. He serves on the board of the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association.

He has been the CEO for the Ohio Quarter Horse Association since 2012. He is also a past president of the Northern Ohio Quarter Horse Association and Ohio Quarter Horse Association and a past national director of the National Snaffle Bit Association.

Dr. Myers is an AQHA 10-year cumulative breeder and an exhibitor, with multiple world championships at the Adequan® Select World. He has earned numerous Superiors and AQHA Performance Champion titles. Dr. Myers is also the recipient of the NSBA Jack Benson Award.

Dr. Myers and his wife, veterinarian Dr. Leslie Myers, have two daughters, Taylor and Mallory.

Member Kenneth Banks

Kenneth Banks is an AQHA life member. He was elected as an AQHA director in 1996 and elevated to director-at-large in 2011. Banks has served on the international, show and contest, nominations and credentials, amateur, and marketing committees. He also served on the Foundation and Show councils. Banks currently serves on the finance committee.

Banks graduated with honors from Southwest Texas University with a bachelor’s degree in soil science and Texas A&M University with a master’s in soil chemistry. After more than 30 years in the business world, he sold his automotive aftermarket companies in 2015 and returned home to ranching and breeding and raising horses and cattle. Banks Ranch, located in central Texas, breeds, raises, trains and shows AQHA Ranching Heritage-bred American Quarter Horses for the show pen and the ranch. The cattle portion of the ranch includes registered Herefords and crossbred cows. The ranch’s artificial insemination program has created one of the best cow herds in Texas.

Banks is a past president of the National Snaffle Bit Association and member of the NSBA Hall of Fame. Banks has served as the chairman of the NSBA financial committee, treasurer, crisis fund committee, world show committee and Breeders Championship Futurity committee. Banks is also a past president of the Texas Quarter Horse Association. Currently, one of Banks’ loves is helping students at Texas A&M University. He is a member of the Texas A&M University Equine Initiative Development Committee, Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Development Committee, and Texas A&M University Beef Cattle Development Council.

Banks was awarded one of the most prestigious business awards when he was selected to receive the Ernest & Young Master Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Houston region. Not only was he successful in the business world, but he also received the Texas Philanthropist title for his benevolent, humanitarian efforts throughout Texas by Philanthropy in Texas Magazine. At the request of Texas Gov. George Bush, Banks served on the Texas Governor’s Business Council for eight years.

Banks and his wife, Laina, a fellow AQHA director and dedicated lover of the horse way of life, reside on the ranch in Schulenburg, Texas, where they spend most of their time breeding and raising American Quarter Horses. They share three children, son Paul and daughter-in-law Heather; Lindsay and son-in-law David Kutac; and son Russell and daughter-in-law Dr. Crystal Banks, and the joy of seven grandchildren.

Read more convention coverage, brought to you by The American Quarter Horse Journal, at

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHAnews on Twitter and visit

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Press Release from ASCPA
March 13, 2019

Exciting things are afoot at the ASPCA. Last year we launched a brand new contest for equine shelters, rescues and sanctuaries aimed at helping find more homes for at-risk horses. We wanted to test a model of a national contest to increase awareness of the great horses who simply need a transition to their new home—and boy, did the equine community lean in!

Equine organizations adopted out more than 1,000 horses during the two-month “Help a Horse” contest period, proving they have what it takes to find more homes for horses. The contest launched on Help a Horse Day, which is held every year on April 26, and ran for two months.

To build on this success, the 2019 challenge has been reimagined and renamed – Help a Horse Home: The ASPCA Equine Adoption Challenge – to help save even more lives. With $150,000 in prizes and tons of opportunities to increase exposure and save lives, the challenge is a tool that can help change the face of horses in rescues.

And here is where we need you!  Registration for organizations to participate in the contest closes on April 4, 2019. Help us spread the word to shelters, rescues, and sanctuaries and to the greater equine community. 

The more groups that participate, the more horses we can save together.  Click this link to share on your social media channels or share via email to your contacts (or even better, do both)!

The contest will once again launch on April 26, Help a Horse Day, and will run until the end of June.  We will be reaching back out to you once the full list of participants is finalized and hope you will be able to support your local organization though adoption, foster, promotion of adoptable horses or volunteering. Thank you!

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March 11, 2019
By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis

The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature, called an Eohippus, into the large, single-toed animal of today.  Humans began domesticating horses around 4000 BC, and their domestication is believed to have been widespread by 3000 BC.  Horses’ anatomy enables them to make use of speed to escape predators and they have a well sense of balance and a strong fight-or-flight response.  Related to this need to flee from predators in the wild is an unusual trait: horses are able to sleep both standing up and lying down with younger horses tending to sleep significantly more than adults.

Most domesticated horses begin training under saddle or in harness between the ages of two and four.  They reach full adult development by age five, and have an average lifespan of between 25 and 30 years.  Horse breeds are loosely divided into three categories based on general temperament: spirited “hot bloods” with speed and endurance; “cold bloods,” such as draft horses and some ponies suitable for slow, heavy work and “warm bloods,” developed from crosses between hot bloods and cold bloods, often focusing on creating breeds for specific riding purposes, particularly in Europe.  Today, there are more than 300 breeds of horse in the world, developed for many different uses.

Horses and humans interact in a wide variety of sport competitions and non-competitive recreational pursuits, as well as in working activities such as police work, the competition show pen, agriculture, entertainment and therapy.  Horses were historically used in warfare, from which a wide variety of riding and driving techniques developed, using many different styles of equipment and methods of control. Humans provide domesticated horses with food, water and shelter, as well as attention from specialists such as veterinarians and farriers. In the United States, the history of the horse is entwined in the founding of our nation and the very existence of our ancestor evolution and survival.


As Winston Churchill once stated, “The outside of a horse, is good for the inside of a man.”  Horses have played a central role in human societies for millennia.  To the horseman, the majestic horse is the epitome of grace and elegance. Simply stated, a horse embodies the soul of both man and woman. Horses possess character, intuition, a soul and emotions.  They anticipate storms and earthquakes. When they’re happy, they drop their heads, flop them high, maybe make a high and full skyward circle with their noses.  Their behavior is eager, interested, alert, playful and responsive.  They will reply to you with raised head, arched neck and their muzzle down. They’ll prick their ears forward and might even take off at a dead run.  When they’re angry, their ears will lie back and their tail swishes as if at a fly. When they’re angrier their hindquarters are tense, their ears flatten against their skull, they swish their tail more vigorously and their rear hoof raises slightly.

They show pride by prancing with their ears straight forward, nostrils flaring, tail up, head pointed downward on an arched neck. They show interest when their nose, eyes and ears, point straight ahead at an object of interest, circling with curiosity. Horses have a natural competitiveness built into their DNA.  They are kind and gentle creatures who have captivated our minds and hearts through time and memorial. Horses illustrate affection by being around and gently nuzzling their human counterparts. A horse develops life-long bonds with other horses as well as humans. After all, they are herd-oriented animals. In my opinion, horses aren’t meant for the kitchen table; however, it’s a fact that many of these majestic creatures are destined for the foreign slaughter plants once man discards them when they are of no further meaningful use to their owners.


Today, in the USA, the dilemma facing the horse is unequivocally “overpopulation”.  A myriad of reasons attribute to the overpopulation phenomenon. For example, an excess of wild horses is mainly due to catastrophic and ill-advised herd management plans implemented by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), to control the wild mustang populations on public grazing lands. More specifically, BLM devised a plan to remove predators from our public grasslands to accommodate complaints by domestic cattle and sheep grazers. Therefore, BLM created its own problems with a wild mustang overpopulation by trying to alter nature.  An article depicting the role the BLM is playing in trying to eradicate the wild mustang, via, the horse slaughter pipeline can be viewed by clicking on the following January 15, 2019 AP news link:

Click for article regarding eradicating the wild mustang>> 

Essentially, this ill-advised plan allowed wild horses to populate unrestricted due to a lack of predation which normally controls horse populations through attrition. The irony, in the foregoing Associated Press article illustrates how the Federal Government is using the tax-paid Department of Justice lawyers to fight to kill a protected species under the 1971 Wild Horse and Burros Act.  The other irony is:  President Donald J. Trump authorized this atrocity in his budget but was stopped by Congress.  Other contributing factors affecting over population are: Overbreeding, backyard breeding and  unorthodox breeding methodologies such as: frozen semen, multiple embryo transfer, cooled transported semen, etc. by horse association non-profits. They all contribute to the over population of horses.  Another contributor is non-profit horse associations with high-paying 3-year-old futurities and incentivized early-age horse races. 


A common denominator, in the U.S. horse industry, directly tied to horse ownership, is the economy.  In a good economy, investors and horse ownership spirals up and declines in a bad economy. The down-turn wake leaves a glut of horses on the open market with no one to care for them. It’s an inherent component, in the industry. Unfortunately, for the unwanted horse, sale pen locations are exactly where “kill buyers” sit idly by. They are likened to vultures waiting for their next meal, readily buying healthy and robust horses for the foreign slaughter house plants.  The unsavory aspect of “kill buyers” is that although it’s a disgusting profession, it’s not illegal in the USA to transport a trailer load of horses across our borders to slaughter houses in Canada and Mexico. However, there are currently no horse slaughter plants in operation in the USA, due to the fact it is illegal to slaughter horses in the USA “for human consumption”.


Extortion is a favorite tactic used, by “kill buyers” to sell horses to enhance their financial status.  More specifically, once bought, the “kill buyer” advertises sale barn-bought horses on their social media page(s), stating they have a number of horses bound for the slaughter plant and it’s going to cost X amount of dollars to bail them out of the kill pen before they are shipped out. To reinforce the direness of the horses position, the “kill buyer” uses psychological reinforcement to attract prospective buyers by appealing to each individual’s sense of charity, decency, pity and willingness to help the horses in distress. For example, the “kill buyer” usually places a time-line on the prospective buyers before the horses ships out to the slaughter horse plant where their killed, dismembered and butchered for human consumption in foreign markets. The psychologically induced time-line, illustrates the horses’ seemingly hopeless situation with an added sense of urgency.

Another favorite tactic used by “kill buyers” is to show a group of mares with foals or weanlings and yearlings, by themselves, to bait the buyer trap.  After all, mares with foals and young horses directly appeal to everyone’s sense of protection, rescue and charity, except the “kill buyers,” who are in the business for the money and nothing more. In my opinion, they could care less about the poor horses who finds themselves in such a deplorable state.  In essence, they laugh all the way to the bank.  One way or another, “kill buyer’s” are going to be paid.  Either at the foreign slaughter horse plant or from the individuals bailing them out of the kill pen.


The law of physics states, “For every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction.”  Such is the same with horse-rescue types. Horse Rescues comprise two distinct categories:  Legitimate and Fraudulent.”  


The legitimate horse rescue is usually comprised of one of two categories: a Federal 501 (C) 3 Non-Profit or a State Non-Profit. The commonality for each is simple: To some degree, both receive a tax-exempt status. However, the public financial reporting and disclosure status is different. More specifically, the Federal 501 (C) 3 is required to report its financial status on the IRS 990 form, in conjunction with their annual filed tax return. A particular 501 (C) 3 Non-profit IRS 990 can readily be viewed on

Equally, each state-organized non-profit horse rescue is required to adhere to a particular state’s, public financial reporting and disclosure requirements.  To review a particular state’s non-profit public financial disclosure requirements, simply visit the state’s Secretary of State to ascertain public non-profit financial disclosure adherence laws. Legitimate horse rescues are actually “angels on their shoulders” who endure a lot of pain and suffering while rescuing abused, abandoned, unwanted or unaffordable horses.  

However, their devotion to the horses care and rehabilitation is unwavering.  Horse rescue operators endure long hours, arduous labor and, in some cases, very little, if no, pay for their efforts. Primarily, they do it for the love of the horse and the passion in their heart. In a litany of cases, the horse rescue owner is overwhelmed while dealing with rescued horses who are sick, abused or diseased horses requiring significant financial cash outlays for treatment, rehabilitation and recovery of the horses.  Once a horse is recovered, the owner of the rescue is left with the task of trying to re-home the horse. Statistics indicate that the largest hurdles for a rescued horse to overcome are psychological and physiological trauma caused by the abuse of unconscionable human interaction.

My research indicates that there’s only a few ways the horse rescue is able to sustain itself.  Private donations are: business donations, charging an adoption fee for rehoming a particular horse, charitable raffles, etc.  At the end of the day, if the horse rescue is blessed with a cash surplus the owner is allowed to take a salary for their timeless effort spent in the business but not a non-taxable profit. In order to acquire donations for the horse rescue, they need to advertise on a myriad of social-media platforms as well as other advertising sites. The key to running a legitimate horse rescue is absolute transparency, as required by law, in its business dealings with the general public.  

However, the horse rescue is limited in the types of disclosures they are required, by law, to make. My research indicated that the only types of disclosures a horse rescue are required to make, by law, are financial reportings derived from their annual tax return.  Other disclosures, such as: when a horse arrives, leaves and who adopted it, is not required as is opening up the horse rescue’s accounting books for general inspection. For example, the horse rescue’s financial accounting such as the chart of accounts, ledgers, balance sheets, etc., are closed, except on special occasions such as during an IRS audit, a state audit or an investigation with the issuance of a subpoena.  

The general public is not entitled to a general inspection of a horse rescue’s individual donations.  The exception to the foregoing, is predicated by specific state or federal statue requirement. However, the donor can request to view the horse rescue’s facility to observe how the facility looks and cares for the rescued horses in their care.  Most horse rescues readily accommodate the inquirer. My only personal experience with horse rescues happened during my Risk Analysis of the Rick and Sherri Brunzell “Dual Peppy Saga” in Colorado several years ago.  Two horse rescues that performed miraculously were:  Harmony Equine Center and Blue Rose Ranch.  Without their assistance, it’s very possible, none of the remaining rescued horses would have survived such a grizzly ordeal.


The fraudulent horse rescue is one that mimics the legitimate horse rescue in every respect, except their motive is entirely different.  Their goal is to acquire a horse by deceptive means for the sole purpose of selling the horse to the horse slaughter plant for a profit, instead of providing care and rehabilitation.  However, once their evil operation is made transparent by discovery, their demise is met with arrest, prosecution, conviction and imprisonment. It’s a high price to pay for earning a few hundred dollars selling a horse to a slaughter house.


Unfortunately, in the USA, the slaughtering of horses in foreign slaughter plants will continue until the overpopulation of horses is reduced and brought under control to a manageable level by changing the mindset of the general population.  The USA, unlike Europe, operates on the “Free Enterprise Market.” Therefore, horse breeding is open to anyone, for any reason. In Europe, some countries have breed wardens who control animal populations by limiting the number of authorized breeding animals and produced young, by permit.

Another mindset requiring change to reduce horse populations is the De Facto breeding practices of the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), as well as other horse non-profits offering futurities for 3-year old horses and incentivized “early age” horse races. It’s these early-age events that drive the annual breeding of potential participants.  Unfortunately, until the “almighty dollar” is replaced with compassion, sensitivity and respect, this archaic, “breed-more, kill-more” philosophy will continue and horses are going to continue to be disposable and “throw away items” in our society.

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

Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
Managing Member
Freelance Writer and Author
Phone: (985) 630-3500
Web Site:

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By Glory Ann Kurtz
March 8, 2019

If it’s a lawsuit in the cutting horse industry, you would likely find that Ed Dufurrena, an NCHA million-dollar rider, who just last year was suspended from the National Cutting Horse Association, would be involved. In previous judicial filings, Dufurrena was accused of a host of violations, including but not limited to advertisement fraud by advertising Auspicious Cat as HERDA Negative when, in fact, the stallion was HERDA positive and taking advantage of the elderly. The suit, filed by Shawn, Lisa and Lauren Minshall v Ed Dufurrena and DOS Cats Partners, accused Dufurrena of fraudulent advertising the genetic status of the stallion Auspicious Cat. 

The second lawsuit filed against Dufurrena was filed by Don and Janie Vogel, a retired couple from Saint Jo, Texas, with a litany of alleged law violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, including fraud and taking advantage of the elderly.  The curious nature of this particular lawsuit includes the fact that at the time of the Minshall’s lawsuit, the Vogels also shared a secret 49 percent investor interest partnership in the DOS Cats Partners with specific horses as well as the same horse, Auspicious Cat, for their $105,000 investment.  

In filed Vogel court documents, it was revealed that they received a 49 percent share in the DOS Cats Partners, which included an investor-shared interest in specific horses for their initial $105,000.00 investment. The most notable of the shared investor interest was in Auspicious Cat and Stevie Rey Von the NCHA Futurity Champion. 

Both lawsuits were settled by Dufurrena in out-of-court settlements, except for the veterinarian David Hartman Equine settlement which went to trial with Dufurrena being found by the Jury to be 60 percent responsible for the damages that the Minshalls sustained in the case, even though Dufurrena had previously settled his portion of the lawsuit and was not included in this trial.  Another curious point is that Dufurrena has denied the Vogel’s interest in Stevie Rey Von but in review of certain invoices sent to me, including Dufurrena statements sent to the Vogel’s during the partnership, the invoices list the Vogels as an investment partner in Stevie Rey Von.  

The final lawsuit between the Dufurrenas and the Vogels entitled: Ed, Brandon and Rita Dufurrena (Plaintiff’s) versus Don and Janie Vogel (Defendants) was filed by the Dufurrenas in 2018 in Montague County, Texas, and came to a conclusion in 2019 with an out-of-court settlement between the Plaintiffs and the Defendants. No information is available in the judicial settlement.

Recently, the Dallas Morning News came out with an article about Phillip Michael Carter, 44, Frisco, Texas, who has part of a fraudulent real estate company for raising $44 million from over 270 investors in several states, most residing within the Northern District of texas, in unregistered securities offerings through materially misleading statements and omissions. It accuses Carter of misappropriating investor funds to pay off personal tax liens, fund his lifestyle and make Ponzi payments to investors.

The connection is that Carter, a money-earning member of the NCHA, has Ed Dufurrena as his cutting horse trainer, even though Dufurrena has been suspended from the NCHA. For the record, the attached photo is of Dufurrena and Carter together at the 2017 NCHA-approved Riverboats Cutting Horse Association show at the Texas State Fair, following Carter’s win of the $2,000 Limited Rider Class at this NCHA-approved event. The class sheets also indicate that Ed Dufurrena was an exhibitor at this NCHA-approved show, as well as Rieta Dufurrena who was entered in the Non-Pro Division riding Auspicious Cat while this horse was registered with the AQHA in the name of the DOS Cats Partners, the partnership where Don and Janie Vogel are listed as 49 percent vested-interest partners. The Vogels did not know the horse was being shown, let alone by a non-pro, when NCHA rules state that a non-pro must own the horse they show.

On January 25 of this year, Carter was sued by the Securities & Exchange Commission for fraud and money laundering. In a court document, Carter and several of his employees were accused by the Securities & Exchange Commission of duping a long list of elderly investors to the tune of $44-plus million!  In Carters previous arrest by the state of Texas for fraud in the same matter, he posted an $88,000.00 bond and was released from jail the same day. The other co-defendants in the case included his wife.



Phillip Michael Carter

Phil and Shelley Carter

According to an article in the March 7, 2019 Dallas Morning News, Phillip Michael Carter, who was the principal of Texas Cash Cow Investments and North Forty Development LLC used investor funds for personal expenses, including payments to the IRS.  Carter had used investor funds for paying personal expenses, including trips to Hawaii, and satisfying a personal IRS tax lien.  The indictment alleges that Carter had difficulty funding his projects and in December 2016, he wrote a $6 million check to pay for material and labor on several projects but the checks were returned for insufficient funds. Therefore, in October, he borrowed $32 million from a Seattle-based private equity firm to fund ongoing construction costs for two properties.  The lender holds the first lien on the properties, meaning investors are at risk of not receiving payments from the properties

But probably Carter’s worst offense was his neglecting to tell prospective investors about his accomplices within his company who were selling what were called “illegal securities” by the Texas Securities and Exchange Commission.

SEC legal case against Carter etal


Gregory Tillford

Carter failed to report to investors about several matters, including his accomplices’ backgrounds.  One accomplice, Richard Gregory Tilford, Arlington, Texas , allegedly told the mostly elderly investors that their money would go toward the development of residential and commercial real estate. An indictment also alleges that Carter and Tilford raised millions of dollars after the target letters from the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Texas, were received, a fact they did not disclose to the investors and the money had been sent to Carter and another accomplice Bobby Eugene Guess.

The fact was also concealed from investors that Tilford was a convicted felon even before selling the real estate development notes.  In the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in 2012.  Tilford pleaded guilty to failing to file a tax return and was sentenced to one year in prison.



Bobby Eugene Guess:

Bobby Eugene Guess

Another accomplice Bobby Eugene Guess, Frisco, Texas, was sentenced to 12 years in state prison on July 3 for fraud in the sale of millions of dollars in securities in a worthless internet company. Guess pleaded guilty to securities fraud in May in the 296th State district court of Collin County. A Collin County Grand Jury indicted him on Dec. 15, 2016. Guess and his sale associates sold notes, stock certificates and investment contracts in Stamedia, an internet advertising compass that falsely claimed it had a valuable digital media patent. 

Guess and the other salespersons told investors the value of the patent allowed Stamedia to strike deals with large pubic companies such as AT&T Inc. and the Home Depot Inc. However, Starmedia did not have those contracts and and all told generated little revenue.

Guess is the founder and CEO of Texas First Financial l LLC in Frisco. He has not been registered to sell securities in Texas since 2011 but he continued to illegally sell allegedly high-yielding securities in various investment programs, including Stamedia.

The Collin County, Texas, District Attorney’s Office prosecuted Guess with the assistance of the Texas State Securities Board.The State Securities board first acted against Guess in August 2016. The Securities commissioner entered an Emergency Cease and Desist Order that required Guess to stop engaging in fraud in marketing promissory notes tied to a wide array of businesses. The emergency order cited Guess’ failure to disclose to potential investors the issuance and execution of the search warrant, among other violations of the Texas Securities Act.

Guess challenged the entry of the Emergency Order but failed to appear at a proceeding before at the State Office of Administrative Hearings.  A state administrative law judge entered a default judgment against Guess in September 2016.

Guess sentenced to 12 years in prison


Ironic details have emerged in this continuing Dufurrena Saga, including the “fraud and taking advantage of the elderly” details of both individuals. Philip Carter and Ed Dufurrena, seem to mimic each other’s fraud accusations in court filings, only they were selling a different product. Sharon Baker, who emerges as a Dufurrena client, penned a letter of recommendation for Dufurrena. In the NCHA hearings, it was discovered that she is the mother of Shona Dufurrena.  Also, in the most recent run-in with the NCHA, where Shona Dufurrena filed un-sportsman-like-conduct against fellow NCHA members over a dispute involving Ed Dufurrena, Phillip Michael Carter, the recently indicted and accused FRAUD, came to the aid of Shona Dufurrena at the latest NCHA special hearing. 


In the Ed Dufurrena court filings, he was accused of fraudulent acts and taking advantage of the elderly.  Later research proved that he was operating two unregistered DBA’s (Doing Business As)  in the State of Texas which is required by law.  More specifically those unregistered DBAs were Dos Cats Partners and Dufurrena Cutting Horses.

In the Phillip Michael Carter indictments, he is accused of  a myriad of criminal acts to include but not limited to:  fraudulent acts, taking advantage of the elderly and operating an unregistered DBA entity in the State of Texas, as required by Texas Law,  In a later Federal filing by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this information is included therein.

For the record and as reported in this article Ed Dufurrena is the business associate of Phillip Michael Carter in the cutting horse business, i.e., Ed Dufurrena is Phillip Michael Carter’s professional cutting horse trainer.  However, as of the writing of this article and to my knowledge, Ed Dufurrena has not been implicated in the criminal filings of the Phillip Michael Carter saga.

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By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
March 4, 2019


Through time and memorial, I’ve written a litany of articles on horse slaughter, horse abuse and the many sufferings horses are subjected to in their often-times short lifespan.  Perhaps, the most unsavory of them all is:  The FRAUD associated with individuals posing as legitimate horse rescues which turn out to be nothing more than FRAUDULENT SCAM ARTISTS whose sole purpose is to acquire horse(s) from owners under nefarious pretenses, in order to supply the horse-slaughter pipeline with fresh horse meat for their own greed and monetary reward.

Over the years, my research has revealed a myriad of reasons why the once revered and adored household pet (the horse) ends up in a foreign slaughter house. However, the primary factor can be contributed to economic hardship for the private owner.  Once the owner can no longer sustain the financial responsibility of owning and caring for a horse, the owner undergoes a gut-wrenching dilemma of what to do with their revered and adored pet.  On one hand their emotional attachment to the horse demands that the horse be cared for, while on the other hand they have no idea how to find that forever-caring home for their pet. Primary care of the horse is the viable option, while the foreign horse slaughter house is viewed as an abhorrent alternative.  After a period of vacillation, the owner eventually explores the “HORSE RESCUE OPTION.”

There are a lot of reasons why horses enter the foreign horse-slaughter pipeline but the primary contributing factor is the over population of horses in the United States.  As a Quarter Horse breeder, my opinion is that “Over population is primarily motivated by greed and big money”.  Each spring, a new supply of foals are born, with each one having a chance of entering the foreign horse-slaughter pipeline due to their inability to become a superstar in the show pen arena or on the race track. Other factors include accidents or injuries during training or showing. The success versus the washout ratio is very high with the “washout factor” being an important component to the equation.


Scientific advances in horse breeding is another contributing factor in the over-population of horses in the United States and include:  Frozen semen that allows stallions to breed from the grave long after they’ve crossed over the rainbow bridge; multiple-embryo transfer that allows a single mare to produce multiple foals in a single year, as well as shipped cooled semen that allows a single stallion to remain stationery in a single geographical location while breeding mares in multiple states as well as in the international marketplace.


Another motivating factor for a horse’s entry into the foreign slaughter horse pipeline is illegal drug use.  In order to have a horse perform at a higher pace, run faster and jump higher, the unscrupulous trainer incorporates a regiment of illegal cocktail injections or ingestions into the horse’s daily training regiment.

However, these illegal concoctions actually do more harm to the horse in the short term than in the long run.  To quantify this assertion, I previously authored an article on the subject entitled:  THE MECHANICAL HORSE, A HORSE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF DRUGS.  Essentially, illegal drug use allows the musculature of a horse to develop faster than the bone structure; therefore, the horse’s bone frame can’t withstand the energy exerted on it by the powerful built muscles attributed to illegal drug use.  This is the direct causative factor for broken bones, ruined hocks and stifle ligament damage. Click on the following link for a review of the article:

☛ Mechanical Horse Under the Influence 8-6-14


As the name implies, Horse Rescues are privately owned organizations whose mission statement and objective is to provide a sanctuary for unwanted, neglected, abused and/or abandoned horses.  A horse rescue usually occupies one of three business categories:  1) Non-profit, 2) 501 (C) 3 non-profit and 3) privately owned.  As previously discussed in a previous article, the Federal 501 (C) 3 is a charitable organization with tax exempt status, the Non-Profit is a state-organized entity with tax-exempt status and the privately owned business has no tax exempt status. Of the three categories, the only one which affords a tax write off is the 501 (C) 3.  

However, each one has to adhere to either state or federal [public] financial disclosure laws.

The fact of reality is:  There are a lot of professional organizations in existence who meet or exceed their mission statement and objective. However, on the other hand, there are a lot of unscrupulous individuals in existence whose sole purpose is to defraud the horse owner out of his or her horse under false pretenses and for personal gain.  The “scam artist” is usually a very smooth-talking and accomplished individual who could sell ice cream to an Eskimo “so-to-speak.”  Of late, the Internet is reporting an increase in arrests, prosecutions, convictions and imprisonments of individuals who have been identified by law enforcement as being the “fraudulent type”.  The reported cases do not occupy one specific geographical location or region in the United States. Instead, they comprise a litany of states. Two such cases are identified as follows:


According to a Union Parish, La.  Sheriff’s Office press release printed in The Blood Horse: “Horseman Tied To Rescue Outfit Faces Cruelty Charges”, Hal Parker, a Louisiana man involved with a controversial horse-rescue operation, was arrested Feb. 19 and charged on multiple counts of cruelty to animals and theft of a horse. To read the entire article click here: Link:

Hal Parker, 60, of Marion in northern Louisiana, near the Arkansas state line, was taken into custody following a five-week investigation into his involvement in acquiring horses, mostly Thoroughbreds, from auction houses known for selling animals for slaughter, that Parker would then re-sell,

Parker was charged with two counts of aggravated animal cruelty, two counts of simple animal cruelty and one charge of theft related to allegations that a woman in Iowa paid for a horse she never received, according to the Sheriff’s Office.  Parker’s bond was set at $250,000.  The investigation is currently on-going.


Another  example was reported by FOX NEWS on Jan. 17, 2019. A third-year veterinary school student in Alabama was arrested Saturday after allegedly promising to care for rescue horses but instead selling them to slaughterhouses in Mexico.

Fallon Blackwood, 24, was taken into custody at a rodeo in Blount Count, Alabama, three months after she was indicted on 13 counts for bringing into the state, property obtained by false pretense elsewhere.

The 24-year-old was also arrested at a veterinary school in Macon County, Alabama, eight months ago on an outstanding North Carolina warrant on similar charges, according to the Birmingham News.  Blackwood is accused of telling owners of older horses that she would take their horses to live on her farm in Boaz, Alabama, according to the criminal complaint.  But many of the owners said that instead of providing a place of refuge, the 24-year-old sold the horses to slaughter houses in Mexico for meat. The previous owners filed complaints with authorities after Blackwood could not account for their horses. To read the complete article, click on the following link:


The primary instrument used by law enforcement to reconcile a horse rescue’s books during an investigation is by the use of a “forensic audit”. A forensic audit is an examination and evaluation of a firm’s or individual’s financial records and information for use as evidence in court.  A forensic audit  can be conducted in order to prosecute a party for fraud, embezzlement or other financial crimes or claims.  As a Risk Manager and Risk Analyst, a forensic audit is my primary tool of choice to reconcile a set of books during a Risk Management Audit.  It’s concise, complete and separates the wheat-from-the-chaff, so to speak.  

In Drug Enforcement, I used this exact same investigative tool to dismantle a myriad of illegal drug cartels. I can personally attest to its effectiveness.  I was trained by the IRS and the FBI.  Therefore, my advice for any horse rescue is: Maintain an impeccable set of financial records to ensure he or she can pass a forensic audit if the need arises.  Every donation, horse, horse-related expenditures and adoption records should be accounted for.  If not, the end result could be dire for the owner of the horse rescue.

There are a lot of very fine horse rescues out there; you just have to find one.  My recommendation for the prospective individual requiring the services of a horse rescue is to perform a due diligent search, including Guidstar, to ascertain they are really a 501 (C) 3 non-profit, and ask for references as well as checking with the local law enforcement to ascertain whether or not any animal-abuse complaints had been filed against the facility.

“Until Next Time, Keep Em Between The Bridle!

Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
Managing Member
Wind River Company LLC
Freelance Writer and Author
Phone (985) 630-3500
Web Site:

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