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Once per month, this blog will share my insights on the facinating world of the horse business.
Although I will not be taking comments on this blog, your feedback is welcome - email link

Past Cases of the Month are available at this link

The current Case of the Month is available at this link


January 2018
I’ve been doing these cases for over 15 years and it never ceases to amaze me the huge variety of facts which can apply. Just go through the Rule 26 cases and you’ll soon see.

This month’s case involved a young woman who, while walking next to a corral containing a young quarter horse stallion, who reached through the corral bars and bit her left ear off.

Yes, you read that right, the stallion bit the young lady’s ear clean off. As the case progressed, it turned out the victim of the bite was, herself a horse trainer, and should have known better than to walk close to a stallion’s pen. The stallion’s owner had assured the trainerher stallion was “bomb proof,” (unfortunately not bite proof).

Because the owner’s insurance carrier wouldn’t pay the claim immediately, the case went to trial where the woman, minus her ear, collected a multi-million dollar settlement. The claimant would have settled for considerably less before trial but the insurance carrier had been obstinate about settling.

The lesson should be to always verify your insurance company’s ability and enthusiasm for settling any claims especially since having to go to trial on an old claim is a horrible waste of your time as well.

Because there are always questions when it comes to the legalities of the law relating to horses please feel free to at least have a list of questions about the “what if’s” in the horse business. Believe me, after being involved in hundreds of horse-related cases, there is no such thing as “the average horse case.” In fact, I can hardly think of a case which is duplicative of another.


February 2018
This time of year Scottsdale, Arizona is home to the annual All-Arabian Horse show. I’ve been involved with the Arabian Horse Association for many years as well as numerous other all-breed associations. Actually, I’ve loved every horse I ever met.

So many horse enthusiasts seem to be focused exclusively on one breed or another to the exclusion of all others. I remember as a kid I just enjoyed every horse breed and did everything to stay at the barn where I took lessons, and then hide at the time when my mom stopped by to pick me up. Yes, I was a true horse nut, I loved every horse GOD made.

Now, in my current job, I’ve been involved with over 30 different breeds and disciplines, and I sure can see why every horse owner loves their specific horse. Even as long as I’ve been around horses, each and every horse is special to me and I try to explain in each appraisal just why the subject horse is worth what I say he or she is.

When I do each appraisal, I try and envision myself actually owning the horse in question. I try and remember just why this particular horse is so special to the owner, and for the most part it works out just fine.

The cases that get me to wondering are those divorce cases where kids are involved, because I remember clearly how important my horse was to me. That’s when the appraisal business gets tough, especially recalling how important my horse was to me.

The last thing I need to point out is that doing what I do is absolutely the very best job a “horse nut kid” like me could ever have.


March 2018
A polo match was being held at a very prominent club in Florida. At the same time, an antique car show was being held on an adjacent field. The very successful polo club had several regulation fields, and with the size of approximately 200 yards by 160 yards, there was more than enough room to hold both the polo match plus the car show.

Unfortunately, the two activities were dividedby a yellow crime scene tape stretched between several wooden saw horses. The problem of course, was that the two activities were vastly different in that the polo match involved horses going at high speed and the car show was a static display of automobiles.

During the polo match a player’s horse broke loose and crashed into a gentleman looking at the portholes of a classic Buick; he was severely injured.

The case wound up going to trial with the result that the defendants’ expert testified that the crime scene tape was adequate separation between the two activities. Unfortunately, the same expert had testified that in a similar case in Michigan she had testified that it was quite necessary to have a very strong and secure division between such disparate activities. The defense expert was shown to only testify for the obvious benefit of the polo club and therefore lost the case.

The lesson is to always be sure your expert has not testified opposite to your case previously.


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