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By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis

March 18, 2019

ARCADIA, Calif. (KABC) — Santa Anita Park is scheduled to resume horse racing on Friday, racetrack officials confirm. 

The track is set to reopen after a deal was made Saturday by track officials and the Thoroughbred Owners of California. Part of the deal includes a ban on the drug Lasix, which will now be delayed until next year. Lasix is a diuretic that helps prevent horses from hemorrhaging, according to the Daily Racing Forum. Racing at the Park had been suspended indefinitely after the number of Thoroughbred deaths started to skyrocket since late December. A total of 23 horses have died due to injuries on the track. 

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Friday that it is joining an investigation surrounding the 23 horse deaths at Santa Anita Park.The DA confirmed that it has assigned investigators to work with the California Horse Racing Board. Meantime, there is a call for a congressional committee to investigate treatment of racehorses. Congresswoman Judy Chu wants the House Energy and Commerce Committee to investigate the treatment of horses, not only at Santa Anita but at racetracks across the country.

The park announced this week that the track would ban race-day medication and the use of riding crops. The Lasix ban was one of several changes to Santa Anita policies announced. But the Thoroughbred Owners of California and the California Thoroughbred Trainers — which both support the use of Lasix — balked at the ban, according to the DRF, and it will now begin with next year’s crop of 2-year-olds. Additionally, race-day administration of Lasix will be reduced from a maximum of 10 CCs to 5. 

PETA issued on statement late Saturday, saying Thoroughbred owners are like Lasix addicts and “if one more horse dies, there will be blood on the owners’ hands and hell to pay.” California Thoroughbred owners and trainers are like Lasix addicts, but they’re shooting up the horses instead of themselves. No horses outside the U.S. and Canada race with Lasix in their systems, and the owners’ claim that its use must be phased out and not ended outright, is transparently bogus. 

PETA is relieved that Santa Anita has finalized its ban on some of the cruelest racing practices, including injection of joints with corticosteroids, painful shockwave therapy as well as whipping and has enacted medication rules that will end the use of Phenylbutazone 24 hours before a race and most other drugs in the week before a race, among other changes. PETA will be watching very closely to see that these changes are implemented, and the public will join us in watching what happens to the horses. If one more horse dies, there will be blood on the owners’ hands and hell to pay.

Santa Anita Park has been plagued by horse fatalities since the winter season opened on Dec. 26, this being the 22nd reported fatal incident.

The track was closed for racing on Tuesday March 5, pending further evaluation of the surfaces. It was reopened for galloping and jogging, but not timed workouts, yesterday, Wednesday, March 13, following retesting of the surface by veteran trackman and previous Santa Anita superintendent Dennis Moore.

“Everything went well,” Moore is quoted as saying in a press release. “The main track is good. All of the test data support what we experienced.”

A reported 196 workouts were completed Wednesday without incident, prior to this morning’s fatality.

However, it was later reported that Princess Lili B, a 3-year-old maiden filly  broke both forelegs following the end of a half-mile workout Thursday morning at Santa Anita Park and was euthanized, according to her trainer David Bernstein and reported in the Daily Racing Form by Brad Free.

Tim Ritvo, chief operating officer of The Stronach Group, which owns Santa Anita, is quoted as saying, “We are devastated.”

A spokesperson is quoted as saying a major corporate announcement  is planned for midday Thursday.

The problems have altered the racing schedule and have had an impact on prep races for The Kentucky Derby with the cancellation of the San Felipe Stakes (G2). Santa Anita Park is scheduled to host the Breeders’ Cup Championships Nov. 1–2. This is an evolving story.


I authored the following  article on Aug.6, 2014 in response to an ever-increasing use of drugs in the horse industry, by horse trainers.  The primary motivation driving drug use in the horse industry is “Money”.  As the old adage states, “Money is the ROOT of all evil.”  In this article, I made a myriad of “Ominous Predictions” about the effects of drug use on horses both, during training and exhibition, that unfortunately, for the horse, is coming full circle and “IS” becoming a stark reality.

Also, the article includes my prediction of the eventual federalization of equine drug-testing programs in the private sector. Simply put, “If the private sector won’t police itself, the Federal Government will do it for them.”  Obviously, from the foregoing, the race horse industry isn’t doing such a hot job of eliminating drug use.  The impending investigation by the DA in the foregoing matter as well as a hearing by Congress are certainly steps in the right direction for a coup. As a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs training school, my experience as a 16-year Drug Enforcement Agent and being certified as an Expert Witness in both Federal and State Courts on drugs of abuse, I know all too well, the effects drugs of abuse has on the anatomy.

The detriment to the horse, attributed to drug use either during training, exercise, or performance, far outweighs the money made by individuals using unscrupulous methods to cheat ones way through the industry.

To read the entire article click on the following link:

☛ Mechanical Horse Under the Influence 8-6-14


The legality of drug and alcohol testing for humans, in the private sector, was established back in 1987.  Over-the-years, I’ve authored a myriad of Drug and Alcohol Testing programs for the private sector which includes a litany of Fortune 500 and other companies to include, but not limited to,:  Exxon Company, USA, Gulf Oil, Pennzoil, USA, Chevron, USA, Kerr-McGee Corporation, Marathon Oil Company, ARCO Oil & Gas, etc.  A few of the established legal precedents included language emphasizing “SAFETY” instead of incarceration for the violator.  Therefore, the courts have overwhelmingly approved and upheld the rights of a private company, to include in their hiring criteria, the ability to drug and alcohol test as well as performing a cursory search or inspection of an individual employee, his or her personal effects, individual private vehicles as well as their packages “on Company premises or properties” as a condition of employment, in order to provide and SAFE and PRODUCTIVE work environment.  

Also, as a condition of employment is a provision authorizing the Company to inspect Company provided owned or leased property to include Company provided housing.  The primary use of drug and alcohol testing as well as individual searches is to provide a “Safe and Effective work force” and the general public, in general.

The key to a successful drug testing program is to design one that accomplishes the main goal, i.e., to provide a safe and productive work environment without using this program to circumvent or violate an individual’s constitutional rights, e.g., 5th Amendment Rights:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Simply put, the employee’s employment status is terminated rather than summoning law enforcement to effectuate an arrest.  Therefore, the employees civil rights are maintained and aren’t violated.  The US COAST GUARD included an additional punishment for licensed marine individuals who fails a drug or alcohol test to include:  A suspension of their licenses until such time as they successfully complete a drug rehabilitation program and agree to unannounced or random drug and alcohol testing thereafter, for a specified time period. 


Private sector horse associations use present-day horse testing programs which are modeled from the foregoing program criteria, or the 1987 model. Authors of these programs, myself included, always incorporate the same or similar language when designing a drug testing program for a private horse association.  After all, the language and criteria in the 1987 model is already a proven and judiciary winning model.  Some additional language in the private sector horse associations programs include monetary fines, penalties, and suspensions from the association for the individual violating the drug testing rules.  

The key to this authority is to provide, in writing, to the prospective member, that complete adherence to the associations horse drug testing rule is required by same as a condition of individual membership into the association.  Another key, is to provide the member with a copy of the penalties the individual or individuals will be subject to for violating such rules and regulations. 


One of the adverse effects of using a certain class of drugs on a horse either, during training or exhibition, can become detrimental to the safety and well being of the horse and rider.  A horse is not designed to operate under the influence of drugs.  As we know, a horse has a very sensitive system which will allow a horse, on a particular medication, to easily become impaired during exercise or performance.  It’s this impairment capability of certain drugs which become a “RISK FACTOR” and perhaps detrimental to the safety and well being of the horse and rider.  Accidents can happen and if the injury, to the horse, become a debilitating one and contributive to unauthorized or illegal drug use, the horse usually ends up in the sale pen and perhaps the foreign horse slaughter plant.  An otherwise healthy horse, just becomes another victim to the greed and morale decay of humanity.  

Therefore, the “breed more, kill more” cycle of some horses lives continues to become a reality and feed the horse slaughter pipeline. Perhaps the horse industry is to corrupt to police itself and a federalized drug testing law is the only way to eliminate drug use and abuse among horses.

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

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

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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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By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
March 2, 2019

Since my last article,  “WHATS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A NON-PROFIT AND A 501 (C) 3 NON-PROFIT,” released on February 24, 2019 on, I’ve received a flurry of phone calls requesting guidance on acquiring financial information on a specific non-profit organization about whether it’s a Federal 501 (C) or a state-organized non-profit.  More specifically, the main topic of concern can be summed up into one question:  “Exactly, what financial records are nonprofits required to disclose to the general public, including donors?”

My research revealed that essentially, non-profits are broken down into two distinct categories: Federal non-profits and State non-profits. Federal non-profits are generally tax exempt, charitable organizations and are assigned the 501 (C) designation along with a number after the “C” such as (3) which correlates to its exact Federal non-profit classification.  For example, the 501 C (3) designation correlates to a charitable organization.

State non-profits are comprised of being either a Sole-Owned Proprietorship, a Limited Liability Company, a Corporation, etc. In most cases, the privately owned non-profit may choose to not apply for a Federal tax-exempt status and elect to remain a State non-profit.  For the record, each type of non-profit enjoys some tax-exempt status.  However, the main difference between the two non-profit organizations is that “each one adheres to different financial disclosure laws and requirements, but the Federal non-profit allows for tax write-offs”.


The Federal 501 (C) 3 etc., is only required to disclose to the general public certain financial records, via the IRS Form 990, which can be found on An excellent IRS publication on the subject can be found by clicking on the following link:



The state of the organization of a non-profit will list each state’s specific requirements pertaining to the disclosure of financial and other information to the general public, if any. Generally, and as stated in the foregoing, state-organized non-profits are generally comprised of private ownership; therefore, disclosing finances to the general public are limited, if at all, and in some cases non-existent.  A privately held non-profit absent of the 501 C moniker, such as a Limited Liability Company, a Sole-Owned Proprietorship or a Corporation, enjoy the same privacy and nondisclosure laws as a private citizen owning a business of the same type, except in certain circumstances when state funding comes into play and requires reporting and an audit.  However, the non-profit moniker may subject the non-profit to a completely different set of parameters.  The safe avenue to proceed, in regard to investigating a specific non-profit prior to donating, that is in a specific state, is to contact the Department of Revenue or the Secretary of State in the state of its organization for the correct answers and guidance.

The “National Council of Non-Profits” has an excellent article on the subject entitled, “STATE LAW NON-PROFIT AUDIT REQUIREMENTS”.

Click on the following link and review this excellent article on the subject:


As previously reported, the Internet is chock full of examples of cyberbullying, harassment and nefarious acts,  including, but not limited to threats, extortion, coercion, slander and harassment of private individuals and horse rescues.  My queries included a myriad of social media examples of this unorthodox, criminal and in some cases, “the perception of possibly libelous behavior”.  However, in my few exchanges with such individuals, I determined their allegations to be completely unfounded and without legal proof or merit, In fact, most of my reviewed character assassinations were being disseminated by erroneous  “rumor-mill linguistics” and were not based on any factual, legitimate and legal proof of their reporting, which is simply harassment and cyberbullying at its finest. In fact, some of the methods used by certain individuals could be likened to the tactics used by the KKK or a terrorist organization.  In an abundance of caution, I would suggest for such individuals to cease from this unorthodox behavior prior to someone taking them to task with legal action – more specifically, having him or her arrested for criminal acts, filing a lawsuit against him or her or both.

As a former Drug Enforcement Agent and Law Enforcement Officer as well as a current Private Security Professional and Risk Manager/Analyst, my professional standings, in the community has dealt with a fact or fiction mentality. It’s sort of like a woman being pregnant:  Either she is is or she isn’t. There’s no in between.

However, it seems their “cover story” is that they are performing such nefarious acts for the sake of and welfare of the horse.  As a freelance writer, I’ve written a lot of articles on the subject of horse abuse as well as horse slaughter and not once have I ever “crossed-the-line” and succumbed to this type of nefarious and in some cases criminal and perhaps libelous behavior to make a point in a conversation.  More specifically, accusing an individual of specific allegations absent of legitimate or legal proof while using a “rumor-mill linguist,”cyberbullying, threats, harassment and extortion to ruin a person’s reputation is very much, and without question, violating the law.  All of my reporting has been performed with verified legal backup.

It’s also against the law to use unfounded allegations to character assassinate the owner of a non-profit horse rescue, in order to recommend a favorable rescue of their choice. 


In picking a horse rescue for donations, my main concerns would be:  How long has the rescue been in business, who owns the rescue, determine whether the horse rescue is a Federal 501 C non-profit or a state-organized non-profit, as well as the length of service in the business.  It would be prudent to visit with the rescue itself, (i.e.) on-site, as well as interviewing the owner. Also, it would be prudent to ask for a list of randomly picked references who could enlighten the prospective donor of the professional character of the organization.

Another prudent proposal to the donor is to suggest that he or she contact law enforcement and inquire whether or not any horse-abuse or animal-cruelty complaints have been filed against the rescue or the owner. The same goes for animal shelters and animal organizations in a particular area. If, by chance, the donor is contacted by one of these so-called self-proclaimed animal rights activists for the sole purpose of discouraging an individual from donating to a particular horse rescue, the donor should immediately request legal proof from the activist substantiating all allegations to corroborate his or her claim(s). If proof positive can’t be delivered, the donor should discard this information as being non-factual and non-relevant.

In order to verify a particular businesses 501 C or state non-profit status, simple Google for Federal Tax Exempt status or the Secretary of State in the state of organization.

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

Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved

PHONE:  (985) 630-3500

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By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
February 24, 2019


On social media, a “Hot-Button-Issue” is being debated among horse enthusiasts. With specificity, the topic of conversation pertains to donating to horse rescues whose sole purpose is the care of horses no longer wanted by society, including horses who are abandoned, abused, rescued from the slaughter pipeline or in distress from sickness or disease. Aside from the welfare of the horse itself, the other main interest to the donor can be summed up in one question, “What’s the difference between a non-profit corporation and a non-profit corporation with an IRS 501(c)(3) designation?  More specifically, Which one allows the donor to write off his or her donation on their annual tax return filing? 

My due diligent research into this topic, included an Internal Revenue Service publication as well as similarly related internet articles. An excellent article on this topic is written by Sam Ashe-Edmunds from which excerpts are included in this article.

Non-Profit Corporation:
A non-profit corporation is a state entity that does not automatically come with a federal tax exemption. A non-profit corporation that has been given 501 (c)(3) status by the Internal Revenue Service is not only tax exempt but also allows donors to write off donations. Not every nonprofit organization needs to apply for federal tax-exempt status.

The first step in becoming a non-profit organization begins with a state registration as a non-profit corporation. The entity can make a profit but all of its profits must be put back into the corporation and no members may take profits from the organization. Individuals can be paid a salary, wages or contract fees but they may not take profits that the entity earns.

Each state has its own requirements for a non-profit corporation status and you can find the rules for your state by visiting the website of your Secretary of State. The process is usually simple, requiring paperwork you can file online for a small fee, which is usually less than $100. State non-profit incorporation does not come with federal tax-exempt status but the organization can apply for and receive some tax relief at the state level, such as sales or income tax. Simply stated, some state non-profit organizations never apply for federal tax-exempt status. Therefore, please consult with your Secretary of State in your State of organization.

Tax-exempt Status:
An organization might want to become a state non-profit corporation to avoid paying certain state taxes, never opting to become a federal tax-exempt organization. Once a non-profit organization has incorporated, it can file for a federal tax-exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service or within its state. The IRS will review the application and determine what type of organization the entity is. The 28 different classifications include such categories as: charity, trade, research, civic and religious associations.

501(c) Status:
A 501 (c)(3) is considered a charity and the IRS allows donors to take a tax deduction for contributions of goods, cash and other assets. A 501 (c)(6) organization is a business entity that doesn’t necessarily seek to promote the public good but rather the interests of a select group of business people. Donations to 501 (c)(6) organizations are not tax deductible, which is why many trade associations set up 501 (c)(3) foundations. These related foundations solicit funds for scholarships, research or education.

Either type of organization can make a profit from its operations but if the entity consistently makes a significant annual profit, the IRS might remove its tax-exempt status. For this reason, tax-exempt organizations try to operate at or near a break-even basis. If you join a trade association, your membership dues might not be tax deductible unless you itemize your business expenses and declare your dues as an expense, not a donation.

Form 990:
Federal, tax-exempt organizations file an annual financial return to the IRS called a Form 990, which is available to the public each year. This document lists the organization’s board of directors, key employees, income, expenses, assets, mission and major activities. You can download a free copy of many tax-exempt organizations’ Form 990 at web sites such as and

Verification of Status:
The easiest way to verify the claimed status of a specific entity is to contact the Secretary of State in the state of organization or directly contact the Internal Revenue Service.  If the organization is claiming a 501 (c)(3) status, just proceed to, enter the name of the organization and obtain the desired result in the search query. If the organization is a legitimate 501 (c)(3) and this organization files tax returns, it will show up here as legitimate.  If an organization previously holding a 501 (c)(3) tax exempt status has lost its exempt status, this information will also be available to the searcher.

The final result is: There’s a lot of very fine horse rescues out there. However, the donor should perform due diligent research into an organization prior to handing over your hard-earned cash to help horses. During my research, I also noticed a lot of bashing by one rescue organization against another. In my opinion,  in some cases, it appeared some of this bashing was for the demise of one organization to support the favorable competition. In law enforcement, this cyber bullying could be interpreted as “impeding commerce” or a violation of U.S. Code 1951.

Interference With Commerce by Threats or Violence:
Whoever in any way or degree obstructs, delays or affects commerce or the movement of any article or commodity in commerce, by robbery or extortion, or attempts or conspires to do so, or commits or threatens physical violence to any person or property in furtherance of a plan or purpose to do anything in violation of this section, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than 20 years, or both.

As with all things.  “Trust, But Verify!”

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

Copyright 2019, all rights reserved

Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
Managing Member
Freelance Writer and Author
Office/Mobile: (985) 630-3500
Email:  HYPERLINK Mailto: or
Web Site:  HYPERLINK or

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