“The greatest deterrent
to freedom are men and women of zeal, well-meaning, but
without knowledge or understanding.”
~Justice Louis Brandeis~

"People are so quick to defend their own agendas, but they so often fail to realize we must protect the rights of all if we are to continue to have any rights of our own."

Ranch meaning, in general, any real world dwelling probably not involving full care board. Kind of a rural voice of real horse owners, trainers, traders, auction owners, rodeo contractors, etc.. all of us who have taken a verbal beating and called greedy ass hats. Back at the Ranch contributors, moderators, subjects, and so on, are pro-horse, pro-owner, and pro-slaughter.
Back at the Ranch was formed by a group of like minded horse / livestock owners. It is a place for us to try to educate, a place to vent our frustrations with the current equine industry, a place to share humor and snark, and in general try to open the eyes of the public who seem to be anti-agriculture.We do have a section for comments of course, and if you would like to email us you can do so directly or through the contact us form. We like to hear from our readers. I hope you enjoy reading our blog as much as I enjoy managing it.
Ranch Manager

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pay Up... Or Not...?

Maybe this is another one of those things we all need to just shake our heads at. If I am reading this correctly, and I believe I am, Mary O'Brien is getting off pretty lightly. Even though being ordered to pay restitution, and being encouraged to do so, there is no legal standing to force her to? Let's all have a show of hands from those who feel that this woman is going to do the right thing. Yeah, I thought so. In five years, she can start over again. In case anyone is paying attention THIS is one of the things seriously wrong in the equine world today. These rescues make me ill, and the people who enable them should really start taking a good look at who they are supporting. I know many feel a horrible rescue is always better than slaughter. They haven't learned that to a horse, a slow death by starvation would not be the choice the horse would make if they could speak for themselves. Mary O'Brien no doubt will move on and do nothing to pay off this money to all of those who stepped in and cleaned up her mess. And the restitution represents only part of the amount. A very wise rescue chose not to even ask for Mary to pay them back. I suppose they feel dedicating themselves to working for the good of the horses is time better spent than asking someone like Mary to pay them back for animals she obviously could not care for properly when she owned them. Fortunately, we DO have some bona fide rescues around to clean up after the ones like Mary O'Brien's.

By R.H 2

also related-

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Sunny Slopes of Long Ago…

But Quality Never Goes Out of Style…
A few email news letters ago the AQHA honored their Legacy breeders for 2010, those who bred and registered at least one foal for 50 consecutive years. Sadly, the current climate of ‘breeding police/rescue’ has learned to equate ‘breeder’ with evil. There were at least as many “shame on them” comments as ones of respect. Julie Thorson tried to point out the difference between breeders and multipliers in the November 2010 issue of Horse & Rider. I don’t know how much impact she had.
Today I was looking around on the Internet for information on the recently passed son of Easy Jet named Stick An Stones. My Internet searchs often take unexpected twists and that happened again today. I didn’t find what I was looking for but I did find a nice trip down memory lane. I ran across the Rutland Ranch website. Here’s the link http://www.rutlandranch.net/. When I was a youngster, back when the wheel was square, I loved to read the Rutland Ranch ads for the annual colt sales. I’d look over the studs pedigrees and dream of which one’s daughter I would buy if I could go. Somehow or another life’s twists and turns never allowed me to meet Guy Ray Rutland or to get to the ranch in person, yet. I do have a bucket list and now I have seen what they still have for studs hmmm……
I was whining about the World Conformation Horse Association a few blogs back. The lip service they were paying to correct conformation while promoting the same type of cripple in the making the halter industry has bred for quite some time.
Correct conformation is a big deal. After a lifetime in the family business the Rutlands still think so. I thought it would be fun to look at over 50 years of horses from the same family of horsemen. Can you spot the type they like? Little different from the ideal ‘conformation horse’ aren’t they?

This is Ten Streaks one of their current studs.

Is it me or does he look an awful lot like Pacific Bailey? They aren’t bred the same and they were raised nearly 50 years apart.
Then there’s this good lookin’ bugger they bought to cross on the Pacific Bailey mares. If the horses I have ridden out Pacific Bailey daughters are any indication I think you could cross them on a jack ass and get one heck of a mule.
His name is I Want It Now.

The website has a lot of history, conformation and pedigree insights, and even a few quotes for life in general for anyone interested.
I thought this article taken from Sally Harrison’s cutting horse blog was very appropriate even today. It says a lot about the mind of true horseman and breeder.
Guy Ray Rutland’s gold standard
Market variables weren’t much of a concern for the late Guy Ray Rutland of Independence, Kansas.
“I’d rather invest in horses than anything else I know,” Rutland told me in 1984, shortly after the failure of Oklahoma-based Penn Square bank and the beginnings of a far-reaching savings and loan scandal.
Rutland, who was born in 1917 and died in 1988, was the leading breeder of racing Quarter Horse register of merit qualifiers for nearly 40 years. His influence went far beyond racing, however. During his lifetime he was also recognized as a leading breeder of AQHA performance point earners, halter class winners, show ROM, and champions.
Cutting horse breeders are indebted to Rutland, as well, as the breeder of Dusty Socks, who can be traced back through her daughter, Bar Socks Babe, to the pedigrees of many contemporary champions, including 2008 NCHA Futurity champion Metallic Cat.
“I have always bred to be able to market all my horses,” Rutland said, as we topped a hill and looked down on more than 200 mares and foals, grazing cannon-deep in grass. “I’m almost ashamed to say that I have close to four hundred mares and fillies that I’ll breed this year. And I can name them all and tell you their breeding.”
As we neared the herd, here and there a mare sauntered away from the group to greet Rutland, who offered her an affectionate pat and related her pedigree to me.
Rutland was raised on a ranch in Okemah, OK and became interested in the horse business in the early 1940s, when a trader hired him to haul some “saddle horses” to Chicago. “He was giving $250 apiece for them and getting $1,500 to $2,000,” Rutland explained. “I thought that was a pretty good racket and that I’d better try it.”
It was in 1946, while scouting out a palomino stallion for a friend, that Rutland found the yearling Little Yellow Fox at a horse show in Ada, Oklahoma. “He was the color of a gold coin,” said Rutland, who bought the colt for $1,250 and renamed him Gold King Bailey.
Gold King Bailey won grand championships at the Denver and Fort Worth Stock shows and beat all comers on the racetrack, even as he began to produce future race, halter and performance winners. The first was Star Of Texas, who Rutland rode in a pasture on the first saddle and drove a cow and her calf out of a herd.
“The calf was following (his mother) so good that I cut the cow away from her calf and drove her to the house,” Rutland remembered. “That was the very first day in his life that he ever had a saddle on his back.
“There’s a lot of cow back in those Bailey horses.”
Gold King Bailey was the foundation of Rutland’s breeding program. The palomino stallion was sired by Hank H, by King, and out of Beauty Bailey, by Old Joe Bailey, out of an unnamed Yellow Wolf daughter. Rutland purchased mares for Gold King Bailey based on the era’s predominant bloodlines – King, Leo, Vandy and Three Bars, but also with a critical eye towards conformation.
“I look at a horse like I would a top athlete,” he said. “Wide at the shoulders and narrow at the hips, with good muscling and straight legs. I’m a fanatic about a good, straight hind leg and a good inside gaskin.”
Pacific Bailey, out of the Leo daughter Nell Bert McCue, succeeded Gold King Bailey as Rutland’s head sire in the late 1960s, and was joined by Bar Money, by Three Bars; Star Bright Moore, by Star Deck; and the Thoroughbred Carrara Marble, by Coldstream, among others.
Beginning in 1967, Rutland held annual fall production sales in Independence, where he offered all the weanlings from that year’s crop. “I would make more money if I kept the babies and sold them as yearlings,” he explained to me. “But I sell them as weanlings because I just don’t have the space to keep them. This is my only income, so my intention is to sell every one of them.”
Rutland built a 252-foot by 320-foot barn in 1973 to accommodate his sales. It contained 148 concrete stalls each measuring 16′ x 16′ and had an arena in the middle that could hold 30 portable stalls. Few who attended Rutland’s sales went home with an empty trailer, and they came back year after year.
“Make new friends, keep the old, the one is silver, the other gold,” was an adage Rutland printed across the botttom of his sale ads and in his catalogs. It was a standard for his personal and professional life.
“Most of my customers are poor folks like myself,” he said. “They want to buy one as good as the best for a lot less. It’s my customers that made me the leading breeder. They take the horses and train them and run them and prove them. I try to help them pick out the best I can for the price they want to pay.”
In spite of the depressed economy at the time I visited Rutland, he was still optimistic about the horse industry.
“I got a letter from someone awhile back who wanted to know what would be the best investment – gold, silver or oil,” he recounted. “I scratched all of those out and wrote in ‘horses.’
“We have our ups and downs, like anything else,” he added. “The economy hits us, but by the same token, it hits the farmer and the businessman. But I think I’ll just stay in there and try to raise the right kind of horses.”
The right kind of horse for Rutland, of course, was usually tempered with “Gold.”
I think we still need this kind of horse and this kind of horseman. I grew up with people who felt this way about horses, painting them as greedy irresponsible bloodthirsty demons is the worst propaganda the NAHSC has served up to the public. Not only does it demean a lifetime’s dedication it tramples on the dreams of the next generation.

By RH1

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Amazing Alex Brown

This is just the latest in a string of the wonderful things Alex brown does in the name of Barbaro, but it's worth a look.
Alex Brown, the King of ABR, has been under more scrutiny lately, not for all of the wonderful things he does, but for the people he seems to support, and the horses who seem to be the fallout.
I noticed quite some time ago that Alex seems to gravitate towards those who can run a decent scam. It seems pretty strange to me that with all the good rescues that are around, he would choose to defend the ones people are questioning. But time and time again, Alex does just that. Whether it's EPONA, or some silly girl fund raising for vet expenses and then euthanizing costs for her mare. (By the way, the mare hadn't been gone for 12 hours, and she was fund raising for the last $40, and talking about getting ANOTHER horse! Alex offered his sympathy, and inferred that those who felt this person should not even be thinking about another horse were cold and somehow callous to her situation. Yeah, let's encourage THIS girl, who by the way, still has two horses, to get another one!), or Christy from AC4H, Alex has closed threads, chastised members of his board, and made statements that are enigmatic at best. He will post that someone is "no longer posting". Well, have they been banned? Are they just gone? Do they just choose NOT to answer questions? Or in his latest, he has posted that the person in question has been "run off" the board. What does that mean? And if they have, are the concerns voiced by those who have supposedly made her flee any less valid?
I've been reading up on Alex for awhile now, trying to figure out what makes him tick.
To say he came into his ABR fame completely by accident seems accurate. He started the board as an experiment, and had about 6 hits a day. Then, the unthinkable happened. Barbaro took the step that would change history-both for him, and the very, very fortunate Alex Brown. Alex just happened to have struck up a friendship with someone who had inside information to what was going on with Barbaro, and began posting on his experimental board. Suddenly, things took on a life of their own-the board even crashed due to the heavy traffic of those desperate for updates on Barbaro.
So began the rise of Alex Brown. Described in one article as a painfully thin reclusive type, sitting in a bachelor type apartment littered with coffee containers and empty wine bottles for hours on end behind a computer, ruling his on line kingdom, it makes sense that Alex finds himself the omnipotent ruler. One horrid stroke of terrible luck for Barbaro, and suddenly, Alex Brown is King. His loyal subjects hang on each and every word. The article stated that one word from Alex makes or breaks a rescue. I agree. Alex may believe he is being subtle, and has even stated that he takes a "hands off" approach on his board. But those who have received the "warnings" or who have been banned by the mighty Mr. Brown would say differently. The King is very much involved.
There is even a running joke about the "land of the banned". There are so many who have been banned for so many reasons. Alex, at his very best, even banned a long time and well liked member for erroneously stating that a horse was a half sibling of the great Barbaro. Certainly an action worth losing posting privileges over. He will ban for disagreeing with him, for breaking his forum rules, I think he would ban someone for it being Tuesday for lack of a better reason. And his more faithful followers will agree that it is indeed Alex's board, and he can do as he wishes. Alex isn't from America, so I think free speech is a bit lost on him.
Alex is certainly intelligent. He walks a very fine line, being very careful with how close he gets to his "FOB,s". Unless you have been totally out of touch with reality, the FOB's are the Friends of Barbaro, a really interesting group of people who came together on the ABR board looking for updates on their beloved Barbaro. They claim responsibility for all sorts of things from raising funds for research into Laminitis, to saving a vast number of horses from slaughter in the name of their sainted horse. The stories of some of their antics are sometimes hilarious, sometimes sad, and sometimes frightening. I know Alex enjoys the adoration-who wouldn't? He obviously likes running his little kingdom with an iron hand. But he knows that with so many bizarre and extreme personalities involved, he needs to be careful how he markets himself and his board.
After all-that's what he's doing. Alex has used the ABR board as a vehicle to further his agendas. Whether it be his writings, interviews, or the book he has now written, the FOB's have been an integral part of it. Alex stated when he began writing his book that the FOB's were a "built in fan base". He knows he can count on them buying his self-published book without question. He also knows that they are considered by many to be a bit on the quirky side to say the least. So, he needs to keep the faithful happy, but keep a respectful distance between them and the Great Alex Brown. Alex has alluded to the insanity that is often a part of the FOB's, but is always careful to defend it in part. He has to. Who else can he run to when he is feeling picked on? His loyal fans are the ones to come to his defense when he posts about those who have treated him badly in his blog, or when he is "attacked" on ABR. They can be counted on to write letters at his behest. If Alex suggests it- the FOB's will do it.
And when he no longer has a need of these intensely loyal fans? Well, Alex has taken care of that already. He has set a tentative "closing date" for the ABR board. Of course, it will be after the book is out, and he is sure he won't need his adoring fans. And he has not chosen a firm date-you never know-the King may choose to keep his throne should his turn as author fail.
But for now, King Alex continues to rule his Kingdom. He defends those others would question, and questions those others would defend. How can someone be so short sighted as this man is? With each rescue he backs comes the responsibility for the horses that end up there. Alex is very careful in this area. He does not want the liability for a single horse-yet he will take the accolades for the many "saves".
He recently changed servers from Mzinga to Delphi. During that move, the archives from his message board were lost. So many horses- and the trails to them gone now. A coincidence? Or another amazing move by the King of ABR? Alex knows it's good to be King. Does he ever think about how his actions affect the horses? They're a side effect of the experiment, after all. Too bad THEY don't have Delphi accounts. Of course, he'd just ban them..... they're not going to buy his book.

By RH2

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

You Bet Your A$$

It’s All About the Money…..
The last two blogs combined a couple of subjects near and dear to me. Form to function conformation and the economic health of the horse industry. Even the World Conformation Horse Association is trying to figure out how to stop the flow of red ink going on in the horse industry. I’m not sure implementing a claiming system similar to racing for halter shows is the best answer. Raising horses that could hold up to any kind of serious riding would be my first suggestion, but it’s not my call. Now there’s an interesting sentence. It’s not my call. I don’t have the first interest in owning a halter horse so how they market them is “not my call”.
http://www.nptelegraph.com/articles/2011/01/16/news/40001280.txt One of our readers posted this link to an article in the North Platte, Nebraska newspaper. Tyson Larson, fresh from the Summit of the Horse meeting in Las Vegas, is proposing Nebraska pass a law making it a misdemeanor offense for a rescue to turn away horses. The HSUS and NAHSC think it’s mean spirited and narrow minded. We in the horse training, selling, and producing business look at it as, “Be careful what you wish for” crossed with “you saddled the bronc now ride it”. Both sides involved knew the proposed safety network to be provided by the rescues was underfunded and under qualified from the onset. Both knew the salvage price would drop out of the horse market. You bet your a$$ it’s all about the money. Both sides agreed on that. What they couldn’t agree on was the eventual cause and effect. We still can’t.
Nebraska had a slaughter house for many years. My limited research didn’t give me an exact date when Central Nebraska Pack stopped processing on site. Remember two blogs ago I mentioned the time thingey? The plant is still in business marketing USDA inspected horse meat under the trade name Nebraska Brand. Here’s the link http://www.nebraskabrand.com/ . I personally remember calling the plant for quotes in the late 90s. What was that about Nebraska not being familiar with the industry?
The people who remember the original export argument must be scratching their heads about how the HSUS warned everyone export for slaughter would be a problem BEFORE the plants were shuttered here. You bet your a$$ it’s about the money. The horse meat trade is still alive and well with absolutely no transparency in price to the horses and horsemen bearing the brunt of the cost. You bet your a$$ it’s all about the money.
“Cattle are not flight animals because they were raised for food”. Do you people make this up as you go along or what? It makes a nice fuzzy loop hole to run through so the HSUS funding population can continue to enjoy a guilt free meal and rant against horse slaughter. Care to consult Temple Grandin on that one? Oh no, that would require admitting she could be right about something and there goes the insult and conquer neighborhood. Don’t want to lose any supporters/donors by working with facts. You bet your a$$ it’s all about the money.
The true spirit of Glen Beck, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, and the I’m smarter than all the people involved in this because I can bitch eloquently crowd is continued and celebrated at .http://madcowcafe.blogspot.com/ .It’s a cute little upstart blog filled with well written insults and not a practical or workable solution or suggestion in sight. I don’t know about Mad Cow, but for the others, bitching pays pretty darn well. You bet your a$$ it’s all about the money.
The last but not least “you bet your a$$ it’s all about the money” honorable mention for the day goes to….. http://www.horsetradertricks.com/ . I don’t even know where to begin on this one…..It’s a banquet. $ 200 horses available for the buying, the political incorrectness of buying a horse at the evil auction, the idea that horses repay kindness with kindness, and they are just waiting to love and serve all collide in one website. Reading this website I couldn’t really get a grip on who was more ignorant buyer or seller.
Personal favorites???? two child safe stallions advertised on two different rescue sights ….Child safe studs, SERIOUSLY??? Although neither of them are in any of this website’s horse trader stories they might give some insight as to how the things at http://www.horsetradertricks.com/ could work to start with.
Bottom line:
If you have a horse you like and could never think of sending to slaughter a responsible breeder that more than likely invested a good deal of thought and money in his parents.
If you didn’t own his dam at the time of foaling he was sold to you by someone hoping to get paid for owning him before you.
If you can ride, show, or do anything with him that he didn’t learn at your place someone somewhere trained him hoping to get paid either for the training or more for the trained horse than the untrained one.
You bet your a$$ it’s all about the money.

By RH 1

Monday, January 17, 2011

Pink Ducks……

Halter Horses……The World Conformation Horse Association…..or don’t let the decreasing number of entries in the halter classes get you down…….

There’s the link to the conformation horse website. This is a column listed on the site explaining the purpose of the new association published in the Quarter Horse Journal.

Haltering an industry By Peter J. Cofrancesco III The other day, I was speaking with a person whom I have a great deal of respect for, Dr. Don
Topliff at West Texas A&M University, an educator and a judge. We were talking about conformation, what each of us tends to look for, and how important conformation is regardless of the discipline the horse competes in. That led him to tell me a story about a champion racing Quarter Horse trainer who became one of the world's most successful Thoroughbred trainers. A true horseman, this individual uses conformation as his deciding factor when he attends multi-million dollar Thoroughbred sales. Before he looks at the sale catalog, he looks at all the horses in the sale and grades the horses 1-5, 6, or 7-10, based on conformation. This he does without looking at their pedigree. He then tries to buy all the horses graded between 7-10 no matter what their pedigree says. He will only buy a 6 after looking at its pedigree, and determining if it is well bred. For the horses he's graded a 1-5; it doesn't matter how they're bred, he won't bid on them. I'd say thousands of people in the AQHA would do well to learn a similar system, whether they happen to be the person on the end of a lead shank or sitting in a saddle. Having an appreciation for and, perhaps even more importantly, an understanding of the value of conformation is crucial to the success, health and welfare of the horse. That's why I joined 40 other people in the halter horse industry for a meeting in May. It was a great and productive meeting. So great was the meeting, that a mere 45 days later, the World Conformation Horse Association was born and will officially launch as a new association in service to the industry October 17. Why call it conformation and not halter? Simple. Because conformation is what it's really all about, regardless of the discipline your horse might be engaged in. Without a solid skeletal and muscular structure, good producers and performers cannot be made and a good industry cannot survive. Perhaps the most gratifying element to the group's development and birth was how willing those gathered were to hold up a mirror to the halter horse industry in order to recognize the good and the not so good, and take ownership for it. The group recognized that owning and showing a halter horse was one of the best entry points for people coming into our industry, but more opportunities needed to be made available for people of varying experience, age and interest. Education is crucial, not only for judges, but for owners, breeders and exhibitors in teaching selection methods and how to recognize good conformation. The group also recognized that, while showing at halter was one of the first horse competitions, it is one of the few remaining segments without a voice in the industry. We hope to change that. Developing a singular voice like other industry segment groups, such as the National Cutting Horse Association and the National Reining Horse Association, the WCHA envisions an opportunity to serve the industry by working to define the elements of good conformation and providing a standard of competition and education to serve as a model throughout the industry. Of course there are controversial issues in the industry, but it has been rewarding to know that folks in the halter industry are now focused more on becoming an organized group rather than taking on the issues right now. So, with the help of some dedicated individuals, mostly owners and breeders with very busy lives, for the few months, the WCHA has focused on developing articles of incorporation, by-laws and a membership structure. Task forces and committees have been formed to address education, competition, governance and promotion. Undoubtedly, there is much work to be done and the response from the industry clearly indicates a need. While the WCHA will be open to all breeds, its relationship with AQHA will undoubtedly be crucial to its growth. The group foresees developing a similar alliance with AQHA as have other breeds and sport groups. Through this alliance, WCHA and AQHA have an opportunity to share in the promotion of the conformation horse and in developing educational tools to serve the industry. Many have taken a "wait and see" position on the WCHA and that is perfectly understandable. The horse industry certainly has no shortage of clubs or associations to join. What could make this one any different? Frankly, that will be up to the membership because what the WCHA offers is to become that singular voice distilled from many viewpoints and opinions. So far, the response to forming the association has been tremendous, but it won't be long before the WCHA will need to provide substance behind its words and value to the industry.
Mr. Cofrancesco has made a really good sales pitch for the Conformation Horse Association. In fact the highlighted points should be chiseled indelibly in ANY horseman’s mind. The ideal set forth by those setting the ideal ‘conformation’, hiring the judges, and calling the shots…….Take a look…..
I don’t think this is quite what the respected race horse man, mentioned in the first paragraph, was visualizing. I can’t see running a barrel pattern, completing the fence run in a reined cowhorse class, or sorting out a heavy heifer in a slick, muddy calving pasture on this horse or one like him. I can’t even see him picking his way down a steep rocky creek bank as a trail horse. I can see why the voting body did away with a judge having the option to ask halter/conformation class exhibitors for a serpentine jog at several of their major futurities.
Pink ducks? Is a slang term we use at the Ranch to explain judges and breeders stamping less than functional horses as the ideal. True using horse people are the minority among judges today. Gone is the day when the breeders and judges went home to work their own cattle with their own horses. The judges are trainers and exhibitors grown up in the show ring. They are the product of a generation and peers who developed their eye for horses in the show ring. If all you have ever seen win is pink ducks, pink becomes the desired color for a duck.
Nobody thought to ask the ducks.
The AQHA did name one more Supreme Champion. No, he wasn’t halter , excuse me, conformation bred.

The Ideal Conformation horse........ ?

By RH1

Friday, January 14, 2011

Let’s Move Forward…..

We Have a New Year and Lot’s of New Ground to Cover
I admit I gave up…. I started write a couple of times and just gave up. Maybe I’m not as perpetually vindictive as Fugs or maybe not as committed as John and Vicki. I’m certainly not a gifted writer like R.T.. Here’s the new solution I came up with. Cut and paste…… find it, copy it, comment on it, and leave. Yep, leave, throw it out there, let y’all throw some spit balls, make a ‘good-bye senseless cruel world’ post or two, or tell me how stupid, cruel, or the what the heck ever I am. I that makes you feel happy and vindicated, come a runnin, it’s your world too. My friends and partners in crime at the blog are free to come back to argue with you if they want. I said what I came to say the first time out. I’m set in my ways and just plain stubborn. Like all the NAHSC people, I am right and as soon as ya’ll get that figured out the world will be a better place. Look at the bright side this total lack of research or thought will free me up to post more debatable material to hopefully get someone’s blood or interest up. All joking aside…..
A few weeks ago my good friend, a columnist for a western based livestock newspaper, forwarded me her weekly column as she always does. That’s how I learned about the upcoming Summit of the Horse conference. http://www.united-horsemen.org/summit-of-the-horse/ is the link and the list of speakers to appear.
Bob Abbey, Director, Bureau of Land Management – Abbey has served for more than 32 years in public service working with state and federal land management. He served eight years as the Nevada State Director for the U. S. Bureau of Land Management, providing direction and oversight for 48 million acres of public land managed by the bureau in the state.
J.D. Alexander, Vice-President, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) – J.D. Alexander, a cattleman from Pilger, Nebraska, owns Alexander Cattle & Farms, a 2,000 acre corn/soybean/alfalfa farm that markets approximately 15,000 head of cattle per year. He has owned Alexander Cattle & Farms since 1984. Alexander has been very active in industry organizations, served as President of the Nebraska Cattlemen in 2001, and was a member of the National Beef Industry Planning Group from 2000 to 2001. In addition, he has participated in several foreign trade missions, as well as foreign study travel seminars in Belgium, East and West Germany, Russia and Poland with the Nebraska LEAD program. He is currently serving as NCBA Vice-President and he serves on the Nebraska Beef Council. In 2001 J.D. was elected to the Nebraska Hall of Agricultural Achievement.
Tim Amlaw, American Humane –is vice president and director of Denver-based American Humane Certified — a farm-based agency that puts its seal of approval on products from animals that have been humanely raised. Born in upstate New York, he followed his family into a growing business, going to the State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill to study beef cattle science. He came to Colorado to teach high school and college agriculture. He entered the cattle business here and in Italy, retired early, then was lured back to work at American Humane .
Joey Astling, USDA Slaughter Horse Transport Program – Joey Astling is the Compliance Specialist for the Equine Transportation Program within USDA/APHIS/VS. Joey is a lifelong horseman, and considers himself fortunate to continue his family’s traditions of horse training, ranching and rodeoing.
Claude Boissonneault, DVM, National Specialist, Red Meat Non-Ruminant Species Program,Policy Development Section,Meat Programs Division (MPD),Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Dr. Boissonneault holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Montreal. He joined Agriculture Canada in 1985 where he held several positions of increasing responsibility in Meat Hygiene Operations. In 1991 Dr. Boissonneault moved to the Ottawa Headquarters where he worked in the Meat Hygiene Program as a National Veterinary Auditor and subsequently as Chief, Regulations and Procedures. As an auditor Dr. Boissonneault was involved in the evaluation of the delivery of the Meat Hygiene Program in Canadian slaughter, processing and storage facilities. Dr. Boissonneault has been instrumental in the development of the Modified Poultry Inspection Program (MPIP) and HACCP amendments to the Meat Inspection Regulations. Dr. Boissonneault currently manages activities associated with the design, development and evaluation of regulations and policies regarding red meat species meat hygiene programs, in particular as it relates to non-ruminant species such as swine and horse.
Frank Bowman, Horsemen’s Council of Illinois – Frank and his wife raise Missouri Fox Trotters just outside of Springfield, Illinois. Frank has been active lobbying for horse industry issues at both the state and national level in recent years.
Ed Butcher, Montana State Senator (retired) – Ed is a rancher and businessman with a long and illustrious career in the Montana Legislature as both a Senator and a Representative. Ed was the prime sponsor behind ground-breaking legislation in a wave of state legislative actions in regards to the restoration of horse processing in the United States, and continues to work for a viable option for the marketing of otherwise unusable or excess horses.
Dave Catoor, Cattoor Livestock Roundup Company – Dave and Sue Catoor at Cattoor Livestock Roundup Company have a business that helps capture, process, and transport wild horses, burros, and wild cattle in the most humane way possible. They have been contracting wild horse roundups for the Bureau of Land Management, US Forest Service, and private individuals since 1975. In 35 years they have humanely captured over 150,000 wild horses, wild burros, and wild cattle. Over the years, the y have purchased and built equipment, developed techniques, and learned the best methods to assure the safety of the animals. They employ experienced helicopter pilots and wranglers that really care about the animals. All of this minimizes the stress on the animals during wild horse roundups.
Tom Collins, Clark County Nevada Commissioner – Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins has been a resident of Clark County virtually all his life. A Western High School graduate, he attended Midwestern and Texas Tech universities in Texas as well as Clark County Community College. He is a rancher and a horseman
Wade Cox, Colorado Rancher – Wade Cox is a 4th generation Northwest Colorado ranching family from Rangely, CO. His family operation runs on over 65,000 acres and has 300 head of cattle. He is very active in the Douglas Creek Conservation District, as well as, serving on 5 other special interest boards centered on agriculture in Colorado. He was a member of the Colorado Association of Conservation Districts delegation to Washington, D.C. legislative conference in the summer of 2010 and spoke to the Wild horse issue with Deputy Secretary Silvia Baca and BLM’s Bob Abbey
Bill desBarres, Executive Director, Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada – Bill desBarres is chairman of the breeds and industry committee of the Alberta Equestrian Federation and president of the Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada. The Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada promotes the humane handling of horses through all their life stages. They have been at the forefront of establishing standards, publishing guidelines, and implementing tools to achieve their mission.
Jeri Dobrowski, AMillionHorses.com – Jeri Dobrowski is an award-winning photographer, writer, designer and editor. Working behind the scenes at the website http://AMillionHorses.com is Jeri Dobrowski. The vision of former large animal veterinarian and cowboy entertainer Baxter Black, the informational site documents the on-going neglect and abandonment of America’s horses.
Dave Duquette, Working Cow Horse Trainer, President, United Horsemen – has more than 20 years’ experience successfully training and showing reiners and reined cow horses in all phases of competition. He has National Reined Cow Horse Association earnings of nearly $48,000. Dave also is an exceptional Non-Pro coach — in 2008, Duquette Quarter Horses’ Non-Pros won four out of the six NRCHA Northwest Region Championships. Dave is an AQHA Professional Horseman and President of the Oregon Reined Cow Horse Association.
John Falen, President, Public Lands Council – is a commercial cow-calf operator from Orovada, Nevada“Public lands ranchers are not only the stewards of our rangelands and providers of food and fiber for our nation. They represent and promote the great American tradition of freedom.” —John Falen
Karen Budd Falen, Attorney – Karen with her husband Frank Falen, is the owner of the Budd-Falen Law Offices, L.L.C. located in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Before moving back to Wyoming, Karen served for three years in the Reagan Administration, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C., as a Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management. She later served as a law clerk to the Assistant Solicitor for Water and Power. Karen has also worked as an attorney at Mountain States Legal Foundation, a conservative public interest legal foundation located in Denver, Colorado. In addition to representing local governments and private citizens, Karen currently serves as legal counsel to the Arizona\New Mexico Coalition of Counties for Stable Economic Growth. Karen was one of the authors of the first local land use plans written for Catron County, New Mexico, the first local government to recognize its right to full participation as a decision maker in federal agency decision making processes. Karen grew up as a fifth generation rancher on a family-owned ranch in Big Piney, Wyoming.
Dennis Foster, Executive Director, Masters of Fox Hounds Association – A retired military intelligence officer, special operations and Provost Marshal, Dennis has become an internationally renowned expert on the radical agenda and tactics of animal rights organizations worldwide. Col. Foster also sits on the Board of the National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA), the Animal Wildlife Conservation Partners (AWCP), the International Union of Hunting with Hounds (IUHH) and is on the Horse Welfare Committee and Unwanted Horse committee of the American Horse Counsel, AHC.
Katherine Minthorn Good Luck, Umatilla Tribe, Intertribal Agricultural Agency – Katherine (pronounced kath-er-een) represents the Northwest Region for the Intertribal Agriculture Council and is highly qualified to ensure northwest Tribes are informed of USDA program availability. She raises and races quarter horses, and is the tribal liaison for United Horsemen and the United Organizations of the Horse.
Chris Gould, Canada, World Breeding Federation of Sport Horses – Chairman Canadian Warmblood Horse Breeders Association – As the founding Chairman of the CWHBA and a pioneer, breeder of Warmblood horses in Canada, Chris has been involved in industry organizations in a number of capacities. Member of the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses, Audit Committee; he is a former Equine Canada director and inaugural Chairman of its Breeds and Industry Council, as well as a member of the Ethics and Welfare Committee and chair of the Government Relations and Horse Id and Traceability Committees.
Dr. Temple Grandin, Grandin Livestock Systems – doctor of animal science and professor at Colorado State University, bestselling author, and consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior. As a person with high-functioning autism, Grandin is also widely noted for her work in autism advocacy. Grandin is considered a philosophical leader of both the animal welfare and autism advocacy movements. Both movements commonly cite her work regarding animal welfare, neurology, and philosophy. She knows all too well the anxiety of feeling threatened by everything in her surroundings, and of being dismissed and feared, which motivates her in her quest to promote humane livestock handling processes. Her business, Grandin Livestock Systems, focuses on how to improve standards in slaughter plants and livestock farms.
“I think using animals for food is an ethical thing to do, but we’ve got to do it right. We’ve got to give those animals a decent life and we’ve got to give them a painless death. We owe the animal respect.” —Temple Grandin
Dr. Kim Houlding, DVM – Madrid Veterinary Clinic, Madrid, Iowa - Dr. Houlding will be addressing problems surrounding the shortage of euthanasia drugs, and speaking to her experiences in investigating animal abuse cases.
Larry Johnson, Coalition for Nevada’s Wildlife – Besides being a long time leader in wildlife conservation in Nevada, Larry was, until recently, a member of the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Committee.
Tyson Rope Larson, Nebraska State Senator, Rope Horse Trainer – Tyson Rope Larson is a 5th generation Nebraskan. His distinctive middle name is a marker of this heritage: Tyson was so-named because he was born into and raised on his family’s horse ranch. Tyson currently lives just outside of O’Neill, where he helps his grandfather with training and roping on the family’s horses. Tyson has just been elected to his first term as a Nebraska State Senator, is the youngest state senator in the nation, and intends to make pro horse industry legislation his priority in Nebraska’s unique unicameral Senate.
Rob Leach, Australia, horse trainer - Growing up in the Australian snowy mountains, Rob was always headed in the direction of becoming a top horseman. Raised on a property just outside Mansfield, Victoria, where “The Man From Snowy River” movies were filmed, Rob first learned to ride mustering (gathering) cattle out of the high country with some of the last of the old-time mountain cattlemen. Rob started competing at an early age, successful at different disciplines including eventing, showjumping, bronc riding and Australia’s premier horse sport – campdrafting. Rob is now based at a horse training operation, Whitney’s Wild Oak Ranch near Exeter, California. Here, Rob is concentrating on starting two-year olds for reined cow horse and cutting competitions, horse sale preparation and showing at NRCHA and NCHA aged events.
Bob Loomis, National Reining Horse Assn – Bob and Pam Loomis are top breeders of Quarter Horses, and base their program around reining horses. They also raise Longhorn cattle.
Frank Losey – Franklin W. Losey is an attorney licensed to practice law in the States of Ohio and Kentucky and also licensed to appear before the U.S. Supreme Court who has submitted written legal briefs that have been considered by the U.S. Supreme Court. He has served as a United States Air Force Judge Advocate; was assigned to the Pentagon as the Director of Civil Law, where he supervised over 100 military and civilian attorneys; provided legal guidance to the Air Force Chief of Staff and other General Officers assigned to the Pentagon. Since 1990 Mr. Losey has interfaced with Presidents of multi-billion dollar corporations, Members of Congress and their key staff, and senior members of the Executive Branch of our Government. During this period he successfully orchestrated actual statutory changes to Title 10 (Armed Forces), Title 18 (Crimes and Criminal Procedure – Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act), Title 26 (Internal Revenue Code), and Title 41 (Public Contracts) of the U.S. Code. He was also successful in effecting changes to regulations promulgated by the Department of Defense, U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Agriculture, OSHA, EPA and the International Maritime Organization and has spoken on behalf of the U.S. Government at an Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). For the last two years Mr. Losey has been leading the effort to expose to the Internal Revenue Service the excessive and prohibited lobbying activities of the Humane Society of the U.S., and his passion for representing responsible dog breeders is based on his commitment to repay Chaucer, his beloved Yorkie, who he treasured for over 18 years, and who came from a breeder in Missouri.
Denissa Malott, Trail Ride Business Owner – Denissa operates a trail riding business in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. For many years she operated equine businesses in state parks in Indiana.
Gary Moyer, National Association of Conservation Districts Board Member – Gary Moyer is a 4th generation Northwest Colorado native. He comes from a Forest products industry background. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a degree in Forest products and he currently owns and operates a tree growing operation in Northwest Colorado. He has been a member of the White River Conservation District for 4+ years and is the Vice President of the Colorado Association of Conservation Districts. Additionally, he is the National Association of Conservation Districts from Colorado. He is also the Vice chairman of the Western Coalition of Conservation Districts which represents 17 Western States. He attended the legislative conference the past two years representing Colorado in Washington, D.C. and spoke to the Wild horse issue and other Western natural resource issues.
G.B. Oliver, Executive Vice President, Paragon Foundation – The Paragon Foundation was founded on the idea that it is the responsibility of government to protect the rights of fellow Americans, as written in the Constitution, as well as the responsibility of every American to make sure the government remained true to its purpose. Understanding that knowledge is power, Mr. Oliver will wrap up the Summit of the Horse in a way that seeks to arm landowners, land managers, horse owners and horse industry professionals with the information and negotiating skills necessary to protect their property.’

Bill & Jann Parker, Billings Livestock Horse Sales – Bill and Jann are the Horse Sale Managers at Billings Livestock where they continue to operate a monthly sale that is renowned nationwide.
Mindy Patterson, The Cavalry Group – Mindy was campaign manager for The Alliance for Truth campaign which was at the forefront opposing the HSUS driven Missouri 2010 Proposition B which passed by a slim margin of 1.6%. Mindy currently serves as the director of The Cavalry Group, an organization working to help livestock producers, agricultural interests and animal owners fight against the radical animal rights movement nationwide. She also serves as the Director of Communications for the Missouri Federation of Animal Owners (MOFED), and sits on the Board of Directors of the Missouri Equine Council.
Ike Sankey, Sankey Pro Rodeos – Sankey Rodeo Company, of Joliet, Montana, is celebrating its 29th Anniversary in the rodeo business. Started in 1978 in Rosehill, Kansas, by Ike and his father, Bud, Sankey Rodeo Company has grown into one of the most prominent stock contracting firms in the PRCA. Sankey Rodeo Company has had more livestock selected to go to the WNFR in Las Vegas during the past ten years than any other stock contracting company.
Ted Robinson, Working Cow Horses – is the winningest rider in the history of the reined cow horse, with seven NRCHA (National Reined Cow Horse Association) Open Snaffle Bit Futurity World Championships and two World’s Greatest Horseman titles to his name. Ted Robinson has broken every record in the NRCHA
David Solum, Solum Brothers, Mid America Equine Sales – David is a breeder of Quarter Horses, and involved in facilitating production and dispersal sales.
Manuel Sada, Criadores de Caballos Deportivos Mexicanos AC, Mexico – Manuel is involved in the sport horse industry in Mexico.
Brian Sandoval, Governor of Nevada, (or his designee) – Governor-elect of the state of Nevada since November 2010, and is currently an attorney in private practice with the prominent Nevada law firm Jones Vargas. Sandoval was a former judge of the United States District Court for the District of Nevada.. Prior to his service as a federal judge, he served as the Nevada Attorney General, the youngest chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission and a state legislator. Sandoval was also the first Hispanic candidate elected to statewide office in Nevada.
Jason Smith, Warm Springs Tribe, Chairman Northwest Tribal Horse Coalition – Jason comes from many generations of horsemen in his family, and is involved with Pro Team Bronc Riding. He is renowned as a one of the nation’s foremost shank men, or the one who holds the rope on the wild horses. He started wild horse racing competition back in the mid-1980s, with his father, “Book” Smith, who is still active, as a stock supplier. Jason has been working with all of the tribes, in recent years, to find a solution to the problem of excess feral horses on Indian lands.
Dr. Boyd Spratling, DVM, Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Committee – Boyd is a large animal vet based in Elko County, Nevada. He sees first hand the conditions on the range, and the condition of wild horses.
U.S. Representative Charlie Stenholm, Texas (retired) – Stenholm was elected to the House as a Democrat in 1978, representing the 17th District. The district, based in Abilene, was a vast and mostly rural district stretching from San Angelo to the western fringes of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. He became one of the most conservative Democrats in the House, belonged to the Blue Dog Coalition and was a leader of the Boll Weevils during the 1980s. His main interests were in agriculture and budget matters. For six years, he was ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee. After leaving Congress, Stenholm became a lobbyist, representing various agricultural interests, including the horse meat industry. Since 2005, Stenholm has been a senior policy advisor and lobbyist with Olsson Frank Weeda, a Washington law and lobbying firm that specializes in representing food, drug, and agriculture interests .
Steve Torbit, National Wildlife Federation – Regional Executive Director – Rocky Mountain Regional Center – Boulder, CO – Torbit is a professional biologist working on issues that impact wildlife habitats across the west, on endangered species issues, coordinates work on global warming in the Rockies, and as an instructor for NWF’s conservation education efforts. He also leads NWF’s national efforts on conserving public lands and partnering with Native American Tribes on climate and wildlife issues affecting their reservations and treaty lands.
Sue Wallis, Wyoming State Representative, Unified Equine - rancher, writer, and legislator from a six generation ranch and rodeo family in northern Wyoming, Wallis has been a leader in the effort to bring common sense and pragmatic, moral, and ethical solutions to the controversies swirling around horses and horse people in the United States.
Arlen Washines, Yakama Nations – Arlen has been involved with solving the problem of excess feral horses on reservation lands for a number of years, and was, until recently, the Chairman of the Northwest Tribal Horse Coalition. The Yakama Nations are currently struggling to find a solution to more than 10,000 feral horses that are destroying their sacred plants and salmon fisheries.
Jennifer Woods, Livestock Handling Specialist –Based out of Blackie, Alberta, Canada, Woods obtained an Animal Science degree from Colorado State University. While attending university, Dr. Temple Grandin was one of her professors whom she continues to collaborate. Jennifer has extensive experience with cattle, horses, sheep, pigs, elk and bison. Since 1998, Woods has worked closely with and consulted to the livestock industry and government across North America and Europe. She specializes in livestock handling and behavior, commercial transportation of livestock, facility design, euthanasia and she is an internationally recognized for her Livestock Emergency Response program that focuses on commercial livestock trailer accidents. Most recently, she has been responsible for the development and implementation of the Equine Humane Handling and Assessment Tool for use in horse processing facilities.
Johnny Zamrzla, California Horse Council – Johnny is a successful California businessman who is one of the leaders reviving the California Horse Council. He is also very active in promoting PRCA rodeo, and Professional Bull Riding events.
Everyone could have simply used the link to the website, clicked on featured speakers, read the list, and saved me the trouble of cut and paste but the NAHSC is not known for their ability to navigate the information they are offered. Besides I thought the full effect of the varied backgrounds of all involved individuals was more noticeable this way.
For those of you in the “other camp”, I’ve heard rumor Madeleine Pickens is financing a trailer with videos depicting the evils of slaughter. Guess she didn’t get to the Programs section to read about the National Do Not Slaughter Registry just yet.

By RH1