Following an investigation by the Arabian Horse Association’s (AHA) Registry Services Department under the leadership of Debbie Fuentes, AHA’s Registrar, the Half-Arabian Registration Papers for Johnny Nitro and Quintessa were cancelled after determining the horses had no Arabian parent as indicated in their registration applications and subsequent Certificates of Registration. Susan and Terry Hatfield had registered the two horses in December of 2009. As a result of the investigation, a Notice of Charges for violating AHA rules, Chapter 10, Section 102, was issued to the Hatfields.
The case was heard by AHA’s Registration Commission in November of 2014. Both Terry and Susan Hatfield were found guilty of the charges. The Registration Commission permanently suspended all the Hatfields registration privileges. The Commission also ordered that the parentage be verified for any horse(s) currently owned by the Hatfields and for any horse that had been registered by the Hatfields.
The two horses participated in AHA-recognized competitions while under the Hatfields ownership. At the time of the competitions, the horses were registered and eligible to compete; however, the Hatfields had knowingly competed with fraudulent entries. Neither the AHA nor the competitions were aware of the fraudulent registrations at the time of competition. The titles earned in 2010 while shown by the Hatfields have been stripped.
“At the time these classes were held, the Arabian Cutting Horse Association (TACHA) was responsible for related prize money distribution,” says AHA Executive Vice President Glenn Petty. “AHA has been in contact with TACHA to offer assistance on this issue. A request has been made for the return of those fraudulent winnings. Upon receipt of these awards and prize money, redistribution will take place.”
Mr. Steve Groves, subsequent owner of Johnny Nitro and Quintessa, was unaware and showed the horses on later dates. After consultation with both legal counsel and other breed associations, it has been determined the titles earned while shown by the new owner will remain in place as the horses had been shown under valid Certificates of Registration at the time. Groves is working closely with the AHA to ensure that the redistribution of the National trophies will be made to the correct horses. The AHA will correct the titles in the official record.
THe AHA began random testing of Half-Arabians at U.S. Nationals in 2012. This was continued in 2013 and 2014 and will be done in coming years also. No problems were detected through random testing to date. In 2014, the Registration Commission also changed the requirements for registering Half-Arabians that are two years or older to require verification of parentage to the Arabian parent.
AHA President Cynthia Richardson praised the work of all involved in this exhaustive investigation and expressed pleasure at the work and actions conducted to insure the integrity of AHA’s registration certifications. “Due to the complexity of this issue, the investigation into these two horses has been ongoing for over two years,” Richardson said. “I would personally like to thank everyone for executing due diligence in this matter.”