Finally...AQHA has finally stopped turning their backs to blatent abuse by BNT's. I am so glad to see this happen. It won't stop him as there are way too many people with money who want to win, no matter what happens to their horse, but this is a start...an important start:
Cleve Wells Receives One Year Suspension and $10,000 Fine from AQHA
Published 04/22/2009 - 8:08 p.m. CDT
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The AQHA Executive Committee met Wednesday, April 22 at its Amarillo, Texas headquarters. A hearing was called to determine whether or not the Executive Committee would pursue further action after upholding the recommendation made by the Professional Horsemen's Council to remove Cleve Wells from the Professional Horsemen Association. After a six hour hearing and deliberation, the Executive Committee’s decision was to suspend Wells for one year plus pay a $10,000 fine. At the end of the one year suspension, Wells must show cause for reinstatement. If cause is shown and he is reinstated, Wells will be placed on indefinite probation.
Wells was called before the Executive Committee in response to allegations of abuse to Slow Lopin Scotch, a horse which he had in training at his Burleson, Texas facility. Wells and his attorney attended the hearing in addition to Slow Lopin Scotch’s owners, Nicole Marr and Wayne Holley. Witnesses for both sides were also permitted to speak before the Executive Committee which is comprised of Jim Helzer – President, Johannes Orgeldinger - First Vice President, Dick Monahan - Second Vice President, Peter J. Cofrancesco III – Member and Gene Graves - Member.
The ruling handed down by the Executive Committee was due to Wells’ determined violation of AQHA Rule # 104(a). The rule reads as follows:
(a) No person shall treat any horse in a cruel or inhumane manner, including, but not limited to, the prohibited conduct specified in the Show Rules and Regulations section of this Handbook. Cruelty to horses other than American Quarter Horses is included in this prohibition, as it indicates a general course of dealing with horses, that is unacceptable for AQHA membership qualification. For violation of this rule, an AQHA member may be disciplined, suspended, fined and/or expelled from AQHA, and a non-member may be denied AQHA privileges. This prohibition against cruelty includes, but is not limited to, AQHA members and/or owners of American Quarter Horses, their agents, representatives and employees, the actions for that a member or owner are also responsible."
There were so many things that had to happen just right to enable AQHA to move forward on this ruling, but thankfully they were able to suspend Wells and bring some justice to Slo Lopin Scotch. Nicole and her father were very smart in how they handled the situation, documenting everything and bringing their horse to a vet right away. Just remember if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, document and report everything!
Congrats to Nicole, her father and their horse. While I would have liked to have seen an indefinite suspension, this has still made a positive impact and given Slo Lopin Scotch a bit of well deserved justice.....