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Fradulently creating a new USEA identity for a horse, complete with new name and a new USEA number

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    Fradulently creating a new USEA identity for a horse, complete with new name and a new USEA number

    The USEA horse registration policy states; All horses competing in USEA recognized events must be registered with the USEA (except horses at the beginner novice level) Once registered with the USEA, the horse's registration number will remain the same, regardless of change in owner.
    Of course, people have changed their horse's name with USEA, there is a $25 charge and some paperwork to file. It's a very simple process.
    Maybe I am naïve, but I have always been under the impression that creating a new identity for a horse with USEA was not only unethical, but strictly against the rules. At the very least, it causes people to question your motives and character. A USEA number is similar to a vin number on a car and a USEA show record can be compared to a car fax report. When people are horse shopping they definitely look to the USEA record to make their decision. Even if a horse's name or owners change you can research their show record with the USEA number. You are able to see if the horse has a lot of refusals on cross country, or rails in show jumping, or less than stellar dressage scores. More importantly, if the have RF's (rider fall), MR's (mandatory retirement), then it becomes a safety issue. Gaps in the record may indicate an injury.
    I cannot think of one honest reason someone would want to change a horse's USEA registration number, other than by complete mistake! And I might add, it is quite simple to see if a horse has a previous USEA record and registration number.
    Do you think it is important that every horse have only one USEA number?
    Should there be consequences from the USEA when someone knowingly creates a new identity for a horse, complete with a new USEA number? What if the person that created the new identity is actively trying to sell the horse? What if that person is considered to be a "professional"?
    Is this a safe sport issue?

    Edited 5-25-20 @ 1:40 to redirect my original post

    My reason for posting is not to try this case on COTH, it is to bring attention to the importance of following the USEA rule of each horse only having one USEA number.
    Shouldn't we expect honesty and integrity from the eventing community?
    What if you bought a horse for $40k, only to find out later this horse has kissing spine? What if the seller had created a new identity for this horse with the USEA essentially erasing the previous owner? Or you bought a horse for $40k only to find out this horse was a dirty stopper? Or worse had a rotational fall on cross country. An honest USEA record would have given you that information!
    There should be consequences for blatant dishonesty in our sport. Don't we owe it to our fellow competitors and the horses?
    Last edited by Willowlakefarms; Sep. 6, 2020, 09:38 AM.

    #2
    It has nothing to do with safesport. Why not just email USEA and report it if you have evidence it happened?

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Willowlakefarms View Post
      The USEA horse registration policy states; All horses competing in USEA recognized events must be registered with the USEA (except horses at the beginner novice level) Once registered with the USEA, the horse's registration number will remain the same, regardless of change in owner.
      Of course, people have changed their horse's name with USEA, there is a $25 charge and some paperwork to file. It's a very simple process.
      Maybe I am naïve, but I have always been under the impression that creating a new identity for a horse with USEA was not only unethical, but strictly against the rules. At the very least, it causes people to question your motives and character. A USEA number is similar to a vin number on a car and a USEA show record can be compared to a car fax report. When people are horse shopping they definitely look to the USEA record to make their decision. Even if a horse's name or owners change you can research their show record with the USEA number. You are able to see if the horse has a lot of refusals on cross country, or rails in show jumping, or less than stellar dressage scores. More importantly, if the have RF's (rider fall), MR's (mandatory retirement), then it becomes a safety issue. Gaps in the record may indicate an injury.
      I cannot think of one honest reason someone would want to change a horse's USEA registration number, other than by complete mistake! And I might add, it is quite simple to see if a horse has a previous USEA record and registration number.
      Do you think it is important that every horse have only one USEA number?
      Should there be consequences from the USEA when someone knowingly creates a new identity for a horse, complete with a new USEA number? What if the person that created the new identity is actively trying to see the horse? What if that person is considered to be a "professional"?
      Is this a safe sport issue?
      First have a look at the actual USEA rules. If this is not explicitly banned then I suppose it is legal within their rules. Illegal and unethical are two different things. Illegal means there is a clear law being broken. Unethical could include breaking the law but also a huge range of other actions, some of which are open to opinion.

      If it is unclear on the USEA website then email them and ask if this practice is against their rules. If it is, you could report this person if you feel inclined.

      As far as why they are changing, who knows. Since a recent change will mean the horse has no show record at all, it's hard to think it will increase his value, unless it's a way to qualify for green classes.

      I would also want to be *very sure* I had my facts straight. If this story is secondhand, I wouldn't trust it. Even if not, two big bay geldings can look very similar.

      People certainly hide and fudge the background on their sales horses all the time, change names and misrepresent breeding. Horse selling has always had large percentage of unethical operators.

      Comment

        Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by Highflyer View Post
        It has nothing to do with safesport. Why not just email USEA and report it if you have evidence it happened?
        Hi,
        I have contacted the USEA and it took hiring a lawyer for them to listen to my concerns. We scheduled a DNA test and the current "owner" finally admitted that the two horses were one in the same. USEA suspended the horse with the fraudulent name and number, stating a horse can only have one number. But shouldn't there be consequences for the member?
        Additional Facts
        Said member is a "professional"
        The horse has kissing spine
        The "professional" is a trainer and buys and sells horses for a living
        The "professional" admitted that she saw the horse already had a USEA record, but didn't think it was a big deal under oath in her deposition.
        Thanks for your input





        Comment

          Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by Scribbler View Post

          First have a look at the actual USEA rules. If this is not explicitly banned then I suppose it is legal within their rules. Illegal and unethical are two different things. Illegal means there is a clear law being broken. Unethical could include breaking the law but also a huge range of other actions, some of which are open to opinion.

          If it is unclear on the USEA website then email them and ask if this practice is against their rules. If it is, you could report this person if you feel inclined.

          As far as why they are changing, who knows. Since a recent change will mean the horse has no show record at all, it's hard to think it will increase his value, unless it's a way to qualify for green classes.

          I would also want to be *very sure* I had my facts straight. If this story is secondhand, I wouldn't trust it. Even if not, two big bay geldings can look very similar.

          People certainly hide and fudge the background on their sales horses all the time, change names and misrepresent breeding. Horse selling has always had large percentage of unethical operators.
          Hi,
          Thanks for your input.
          I have contacted the USEA, I actually had to hire a lawyer for them to listen to me. We scheduled a DNA test and before it could be completed, the current "owner" admitted the two horses were one in the same.
          The fictitious horse has since been suspended, USEA said each horse can only have one USEA number as per their rules.
          Additional facts
          The above mentioned horse has kissing spine
          The member lists her self as a "professional" with USEA.
          The "professional" is a trainer, and buys and sells horses for a living.
          The "professional" admitted that she saw the horse already had a USEA record, but didn't think it was a big deal in her deposition under oath.
          The "professional" was actively trying to sell the horse for $40k.
          I see it as fraud. That's why I think it may be a safe sport issue

          Comment


            #6
            I'm not sure why it makes a difference whether she is a professional or an amateur, fraud is fraud. Here is what SafeSport is designed to deal with (not fraud):
            6 Primary types of misconduct addressed in the SafeSport Policy:
            • Sexual Misconduct, including Child Sexual Abuse
            • Emotional Misconduct
            • Physical Misconduct
            • Bullying
            • Harassment
            • Hazing

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Willowlakefarms View Post

              Hi,
              I have contacted the USEA and it took hiring a lawyer for them to listen to my concerns. We scheduled a DNA test and the current "owner" finally admitted that the two horses were one in the same. USEA suspended the horse with the fraudulent name and number, stating a horse can only have one number. But shouldn't there be consequences for the member?
              Additional Facts
              Said member is a "professional"
              The horse has kissing spine
              The "professional" is a trainer and buys and sells horses for a living
              The "professional" admitted that she saw the horse already had a USEA record, but didn't think it was a big deal under oath in her deposition.
              Thanks for your input




              There is no governing body overseeing sales or training ethics and standards in North America. These don't fall under Safe Sport which was designed specifically or primarily to address sexual assaults against minors by coaches across organized sports.

              There are consequences for cheating in competition including doping or cruelty on show grounds. But nothing for what you do at home.

              If someone bought this misrepresented horse they could perhaps take legal action and return the horse for a full refund. However if the horse is merely listed
              for sale, no buyer has yet been harmed.

              I completely understand your outrage. Unfortunately there is no oversight of the horse business from any regulatory agency.

              Being listed as a professional is not a credential. It just indicates the person earns some income from lessons or training, and cannot compete in amateur classes at shows. It is not a certification of professional ethics or even knowledge. Any backyard trainer teaching beginner kids or accepting cash to exercise horses is technically a professional by this measure.

              All cases of fraud involving horses that I've heard of were addressed (if at all) by civil suit. There are no consequences for the seller other than monetary loss and whatever loss of reputation follows these things.
              ​​​​​​

              Comment

                Original Poster

                #8
                Should there be consequences from the USEA for the member knowingly creating a new identity on a horse that is already registered and has a show record?


                Comment


                  #9
                  They probably gave the person a warning. With regards to the fraud, unfortunately as another poster said no buyer no no fraud. Maybe Janet can provide more information on this? She’s our resident rules guru.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Scribbler View Post

                    There is no governing body overseeing sales or training ethics and standards in North America. These don't fall under Safe Sport which was designed specifically or primarily to address sexual assaults against minors by coaches across organized sports.

                    There are consequences for cheating in competition including doping or cruelty on show grounds. But nothing for what you do at home.

                    If someone bought this misrepresented horse they could perhaps take legal action and return the horse for a full refund. However if the horse is merely listed
                    for sale, no buyer has yet been harmed.

                    I completely understand your outrage. Unfortunately there is no oversight of the horse business from any regulatory agency.

                    Being listed as a professional is not a credential. It just indicates the person earns some income from lessons or training, and cannot compete in amateur classes at shows. It is not a certification of professional ethics or even knowledge. Any backyard trainer teaching beginner kids or accepting cash to exercise horses is technically a professional by this measure.

                    All cases of fraud involving horses that I've heard of were addressed (if at all) by civil suit. There are no consequences for the seller other than monetary loss and whatever loss of reputation follows these things.
                    ​​​​​​
                    In some cases, prosecutors will bring a criminal case for fraud. For example, I think some of the defendants in the university admissions scandal were charged with mail or wire fraud. In the case of criminal fraud it is necessary to show the fraudster created the misrepresentation intentionally, and intended to gain from it, but it is not necessary to show someone suffered damages.

                    I share OPs outrage at this attempted fraud. Unfortunately, I doubt that it would be remotely a high priority for federal prosecutors.

                    Is there a way you can fight misrepresentation with truth? That is, publicize this dishonest horse dealer in a way that doesn’t open you up for a libel suit?

                    OP - how did you know to suspect the fraud?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Did this happen in Georgia? If not, something like this, very like this, happened here. I just can't believe someone who makes their living with horses would do this to their own reputation.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by TheMoo View Post
                        They probably gave the person a warning. With regards to the fraud, unfortunately as another poster said no buyer no no fraud. Maybe Janet can provide more information on this? She’s our resident rules guru.
                        Thanks for the confidence.

                        For USEF Hrorse ID, Recording, etc., GR1101.3 says "Anyone who knowingly seeks to obtain an additional Unique Horse ID Number for a horse which has previously been issued one is subject to disciplinary action."

                        But I can not find anything analogous (In either USEF or USEA documents) for USEA registration numbers. It might be there, but I have not found it.
                        Janet

                        chief feeder and mucker for Music, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now). Spy is gone. April 15, 1982 to Jan 10, 2019.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Janet View Post

                          Thanks for the confidence.

                          For USEF Hrorse ID, Recording, etc., GR1101.3 says "Anyone who knowingly seeks to obtain an additional Unique Horse ID Number for a horse which has previously been issued one is subject to disciplinary action."

                          But I can not find anything analogous (In either USEF or USEA documents) for USEA registration numbers. It might be there, but I have not found it.
                          Aww you really do have a working grasp on the rules. I mean I know the rules but you understand them on a deeper level.

                          Comment

                            Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by YankeeDuchess View Post

                            In some cases, prosecutors will bring a criminal case for fraud. For example, I think some of the defendants in the university admissions scandal were charged with mail or wire fraud. In the case of criminal fraud it is necessary to show the fraudster created the misrepresentation intentionally, and intended to gain from it, but it is not necessary to show someone suffered damages.

                            I share OPs outrage at this attempted fraud. Unfortunately, I doubt that it would be remotely a high priority for federal prosecutors.

                            Is there a way you can fight misrepresentation with truth? That is, publicize this dishonest horse dealer in a way that doesn’t open you up for a libel suit?

                            OP - how did you know to suspect the fraud?
                            Hi,
                            Thank you for your input!
                            There are many layers to this story, so I will try and make it as brief as possible.
                            I will refer to the trainer as "Emerald" throughout my reply.
                            My daughter was 22 and going through a depression and started using drugs. She had competed through the 3* level and her mare died in a pasture accident. My daughter, lets call her Sally, went into a downward spiral. Sally ended up in rehab against her will and stopped talking to us. I had two of her very nice horses, upper level prospects here at my farm that I was saving for her, hoping she would get better and ride again. Sally finished her 30 days in rehab and was no better off when she got out, she continued using drugs and living a risky lifestyle. Emerald convinced me that Sally wanted to start riding again and she wanted to pick up one of the mares I had, lets call her "Addy", I was hesitant because I didn't want Sally to lose her horse because I knew she was making bad decisions. Emerald assured me she was on my side and would never let that happen. I told Emerald I would cover any expenses Sally couldn't pay, to just let me know, I stressed the fact that Addy always had a free place to live at my farm. Emerald said all of the right things and made me feel at ease and I told her it was ok for her to come and pick the mare up for Sally.
                            Fast forward. (I had no idea any of this happened until a year later because Sally was not speaking to us) Emerald offered to buy Addy for $18k, (way below market value). Emerald did a $3-4k vet check, basically x-rayed her entire body. They found kissing spine. Emerald said she couldn't justify paying $18k, she needed to have her on trial for a couple of months, and have some professionals check her out to see if they thought her back would be an issue. By professionals, I mean "Olympic level" professionals. 2 months later Emerald convinced Sally to sell her Addy for $1. In the contract she said if the mare sells Sally would get 20 % , she told Sally she could come ride her and even show her if she wants. It would be like they owned her together. And if she didn't sign the contract that day, she had to pay for the 2 months the mare was on trial and get the mare off of her property that day! Sally tearfully signed the contract while on pain pills and alcohol. Sally trusted Emerald and thought she was her friend, Sally wasn't speaking to us and was still furious with her entire family. Less than a month later Emerald cut ties with Sally, and she refused multiple offers from Sally to buy Addy back. 5 months later Emerald has the mare for sale for $40k.
                            When I finally found out what happened I first called Emerald and expressed how upset I was because she promised me this would never happen, then I offered to pay her $12k which would cover 12 months of training board, she declined, said she needed $25k. She retained a lawyer, then I went a spoke to a lawyer. I was very disappointed with his advice. I had decided I was going to let this go and hope Emerald had a conscious and that it would bother her one day. I wanted to make sure Emerald hadn't sold Addy and not given Sally the 20% she promised so I looked up Addy's USEA record and saw Sally was the last recorded owner. I was puzzled so I started researching. I looked up Emerald's show record and saw a horse she was showing named Chocolate Éclair, that was a Holsteiner/TB. Sally's horse was a chestnut and also A Holsteiner/TB, maybe this was her? I went to each show, looked up the photographer, then went and looked up Chocolate Eclair's pictures. It was her. I hired another lawyer, she is super passionate and awesome, and loves horses. I have paid a fortune in legal fees, I have sent every legal document to USEA. "Chocolate Éclair" was suspended, but I feel as if Emerald should have some consequences. There is an active lawsuit, so the horse can't legally be sold.
                            Sorry writing a book, but this story has so many layers. So much fraud, deceit and manipulation, that's why I thought, maybe safe sport.
                            Emerald created a new USEA number /name on a horse she would owe 20 % commission on if/when she sold, a horse that she claimed had kissing spine, a horse that she had swindled a 22 yr old girl out of....
                            Last edited by Willowlakefarms; May. 27, 2020, 09:47 AM.

                            Comment

                              Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by xeroxchick View Post
                              Did this happen in Georgia? If not, something like this, very like this, happened here. I just can't believe someone who makes their living with horses would do this to their own reputation.
                              Hi,
                              Yes this happened in Georgia!

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Originally posted by Willowlakefarms View Post

                                Hi,
                                Thank you for your input!
                                There are many layers to this story, so I will try and make it as brief as possible. I had two of her very nice horses, upper level prospects here at my farm that I was saving for her. Jade convinced me that Emily wanted to start riding again and she wanted to pick up one of the mares I had, lets call her "Mattie", I was hesitant because I didn't want Emily to lose her horse. Jade assured me she was on my side and would never let that happen. I told Jade I would cover any expenses Emily couldn't pay, to just let me know, I stressed the fact that Mattie always had a free place to live at my farm. Jade said all of the right things and made me feel at ease and I told her it was ok for her to come and pick the mare up for Emily.
                                Fast forward. (I had no idea any of this happened until a year later because Emily was not speaking to us) Jade offered to buy Mattie for $18k, (way below market value). Jade did a $3-4k vet check, basically x-rayed her entire body. They found kissing spine. Jade said she couldn't justify paying $18k, she needed to have her on trial for a couple of months, and have some professionals check her out to see if they thought her back would be an issue. Phillip Dutton was one of the professionals. 2 months later Jade convinced Emily to sell her Mattie for $1. In the contract she said if the mare sells Emily would get 20 % , she told Emily she could come ride her and even show her if she wants. It would be like they owned her together. And if she didn't sign the contract that day, she had to pay for the 2 months the mare was on trial and get the mare off of her property that day! Emily tearfully signed the contract. trusted Jade and thought she was her friend, Emily wasn't speaking to us and was still furious with her entire family. Less than a month later Jade cut ties with Emily, and she refused multiple offers from Emily to buy Mattie back. 5 months later Jade has the mare for sale for $40k.
                                When I finally found out what happened I first called Jade and expressed how upset I was because she promised me this would never happen, then I offered to pay her $12k which would cover 12 months of training board, she declined, said she needed $25k. She retained a lawyer, then I went a spoke to a lawyer. I was very disappointed with his advice. I had decided I was going to let this go and hope Jade had a conscious and that it would bother her one day. I wanted to make sure Jade hadn't sold Mattie and not given Emily the 20% she promised so I looked up Mattie's USEA record and saw Emily was the last recorded owner. I was puzzled so I started researching. I looked up Jade and saw a horse she was showing named Red Velvet, that was a Holsteiner/TB. Emily's horse was a chestnut and also A Holsteiner/TB, maybe this was her? I went to each show, looked up the photographer, then went and looked up Red Velvet's pictures. It was her. I hired another lawyer, she is super passionate and awesome, and loves horses. I have paid a fortune in legal fees, I have sent every legal document to USEA. Red Velvet was suspended, but I feel as if Jade should have some consequences. There is an active lawsuit, so the horse can't legally be sold.
                                Sorry writing a book, but this story has so many layers. So much fraud, deceit and manipulation, that's why I thought, maybe safe sport.
                                Jade created a new USEA number /name on a horse she would owe 20 % commission on if/when she sold, a horse that she claimed had kissing spine, a horse that she had swindled a 22 yr old girl out of....
                                Creating the new name and number is fraud, it seems to me, but the way she obtained a $40,000 horse for a dollar is the first fraud. Are you pursuing a civil case against her to recover the horse? I would think the fraud of getting a new USEF number would be relevant for that case. It seems the buying the horse for a dollar was fraud, and the changing the number is evidence that she intended to profit from it.

                                If she were found guilty of criminal fraud, SS would put her on the banned list as “criminal disposition”. I do not think losing a civil case would get her banned.

                                As hideous as this behavior is, SS is already overwhelmed with cases in its prime area of responsibility, so I don’t think it is appropriate to expect them to pursue this.

                                You did not originally mention a state, and out of 50 states, another poster guessed you were in Georgia. Indeed, it’s unlikely that you are the first and only victim.

                                If you can find 2 or 3 other victims of this woman, and the combined dollar value of the fraud is pretty significant, perhaps you could get a criminal prosecutor interested.

                                But sunshine is the best disinfectant. You may not be able to get the horse back (although I hope you do), but I would try to “expose” this fraudster and thief, so she doesn’t continue to victimize people.
                                Last edited by YankeeDuchess; May. 25, 2020, 10:27 AM.

                                Comment

                                  Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Thank you so much for your advice! And your view on the SS question.
                                  I'm pursuing the sunshine!

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    There are two event professionals in that area whose names start with a "J" and who work with Mr.
                                    Dutton. You are unintentionally(I hope) harming one of them. So More Sunshine is definitely in order.

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                                      #19
                                      It's not a $40,000 horse if it has kissing spine.

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                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
                                        It's not a $40,000 horse if it has kissing spine.
                                        According to the post...the fraudster claimed the horse had KS so she wouldn’t have to pay for the horse. Horse may or may not have KS

                                        On a side note....Many horses have KS...even horses worth well over 40K. Depending on the horse, it may not devalue them at all and may not be a significant issue.
                                        ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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