A National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity Open winner and two of his children have been suspended for violating non-pro horse ownership rules, the association announced.
The Fort Worth, Texas-based association reported Friday its grievance process determined trainer Ed Dufurrena and his children, non-pro competitors Brandon Dufurrena and Rieta Dufurrena, violated NCHA rules 50.d.2 and 51.a.4.
The first, 50.d.2, requires horses shown in non-professional or amateur classes to be owned entirely by the exhibitor or a qualified family member. The second, 51.a.4, stipulates that holders of amateur or non-pro cards face discipline if they compete aboard a horse owned by someone other than themselves or a family member.
A voicemail message left on the cell phone of Ed Dufurrena, of Gainesville, Texas, and Brandon Dufurrena seeking comment on the NCHA’s decision were not immediately returned. A NCHA Futurity-winning cutting horse trainer, Ed Dufurrena has ridden the earners of more than $1.5 million. Brandon and Rieta, both non-pro cutters, have compiled Equi-Stat records of $1 million and $360,000 respectively.
Officials from the NCHA said a grievance panel looked into the allegations and then issued a report, which the Dufurrenas appealed. The association announced the disciplinary actions Friday morning after the NCHA Appeals Committee issued a report.
“The appeal process was followed as outlined in the Rule Book,” the association said in a statement emailed Friday night to Quarter Horse News. “The Appeals Committee was very thorough in its deliberations. The Appeals Committee released its findings and these findings have been published.”
The Appeals Committee’s findings, according to an NCHA statement posted on its website:
- Rieta Dufurrena’s NCHA membership and Non-Professional card have been suspended for a period of 150 days. She will be on membership probation for one year following the end of the suspension and she has been fined $10,000;
- Brandon Dufurrena’s NCHA membership has been suspended for a period of 150 days. His Non-Pro card has been suspended for three years. He will be on membership probation for a period of three years following the end of the membership suspension, and he has been fined $10,000.
- Edward Dufurrena’s NCHA membership has been suspended for a period of 150 days. He has been fined $10,000 for aiding and abetting Rieta Dufurrena in violating NCHA non-professional rules and an additional fine of $10,000 for aiding and abetting Brandon Dufurrena in violating NCHA non-professional rules. He will be on membership probation for a period of three years following the end of his membership suspension.
The NCHA’s statement did not indicate how or when Ed, Brandon or Rieta Dufurrena broke rules 50.d.2 and 51.a.4.
However, Ed Dufurrena previously told Quarter Horse News he had an appeal date with the NCHA in July regarding the ownership of Stevie Rey Von. The son of Metallic Cat, bred by Brandon Dufurrena, was ridden by Ed to the 2015 NCHA Futurity Open Championship and by Rieta to the 2015 NCHA Futurity Limited Non-Pro Championship.
The stallion’s ownership was disputed in 2017 — two years after he won the Futurity and Futurity Limited Non-Pro — by Don and Janie Vogel, a St. Jo, Texas, couple who claimed they had bought into the horse back when he was an embryo as part of a multi-horse partnership with Ed Dufurrena. The Vogels filed a civil court case against Ed Dufurrena in September, 2017.
The Vogels became full owners of Stevie Rey Von last year as a result of a settlement resolving the court case by, according to documents provided earlier this year to Quarter Horse News by Ed Dufurrena, paying $1.15 million to gain sole ownership of Stevie Rey Von, Creyzy Train and breeding stallion Auspicious Cat.
The NCHA’s statement about the Dufurrena disciplinary actions did not say when the NCHA Appeals Committee issued its report, but minutes from the June 18 NCHA Executive Committee meeting noted the Dufurrena appeal was scheduled for an Appeals Committee meeting at the NCHA offices on July 9.
During the previous NCHA Executive Committee meeting, on June 12, legal counsel for the association told committee members the NCHA Grievance Committee had completed a hearing in “the Vogel matter,” according to meeting minutes posted on nchacutting.com.
Stevie Rey Von was sold by the Vogels shortly after the settlement to Alvin and Becky Fults, and has campaigned successfully this year for the Amarillo, Texas, couple’s Fults Ranch Ltd in limited-age cuttings. He and trainer Beau Galyean are due to compete next on Saturday in the NCHA Summer Spectacular Classic/Challenge Open finals.
As of Friday, Stevie Rey Von (out of Miss Ella Rey, by Dual Rey) had earned an Equi-Stat record of $397,158 and is the third highest-earning performer by Equi-Stat Elite $20 Million Sire Metallic Cat. His full sister, Purple Reyn ($361,880), was the 2015 NCHA Non-Pro Horse of the Year.
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