Cutting horse group takes member, blogger to court

Posted Monday, May. 27, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Don’t mess with the cutters.

Last week, the Fort Worth-based National Cutting Horse Association sued one of its members who requested records, saying the woman refused to sign a nondisclosure form.

It’s demanding upward of $100,000 to cover the expense of suing her.

Glory Ann Kurtz of Boyd is not the first cutter to be caught in a legal tangle with the organization.

And like many others, the no-nonsense horsewoman is not backing down even though she hasn’t yet seen the suit. (Kurtz was at her Colorado cabin when we tracked her down and emailed her a copy.)

First off, Kurtz said, the NCHA is suing her although it hasn’t even handed anything over.

Second, she hadn’t made the request as a member, Kurtz insists, but rather as a journalist of 35 years’ standing, having been editor of Quarter Horse News and now the operator of a news website dedicated to the sport, AllAboutCutting.com. The request was made on her company’s letterhead, she notes.

The lawsuit identifies Kurtz and her news outlet but states that as a member she must sign a confidentiality pact. (Attached to the suit was a 2009 summary judgment over a similar issue, ordering a member who had sued the group to pay a $75,000 award.)

Couldn’t the cutters have just turned down her request?

Association spokeswoman Julie Bryant asserted in an email that Kurtz “did in fact demand the information as a member, which she had every right to, but refuses to sign a confidentiality agreement regarding third-party and employee information. NCHA has a responsibility to ensure this information is protected and has won the court’s agreement on this in the past. As a result, NCHA is simply working to secure a declaratory judgment for the purpose of protecting that information.”

So just what was Kurtz seeking that put a chili-flaked burr under the collective saddle of Executive Director Ed Beutenmiller and other NCHA chiefs?

According to the lawsuit, she asked:

• How does its registered Texas lobbyist Jim Short get paid?

• What types of bank accounts does the association use?

• What affidavits were filed with the state’s major events fund?

• Which members have been compensated by the group?

• And who is its investment adviser?

Among other things, Kurtz’s blanket coverage of all things cutting has included accusations that the association unwittingly received more money from the Texas Major Events Trust Fund than it deserved by inflating the number of tournament participants in an application. A city auditor attributed the error to a mistake in an economic impact study prepared by a former TCU professor, and the spigot has been cut off until the old filings are corrected.

All of this has hurt the NCHA’s image at a time when the major events fund is under scrutiny in Austin. And Kurtz has made no secret to whom she wants to deliver her suspicions.

Already, she has shipped a ream of “evidence” to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott regarding the nonprofit horse group, we were told.

Stay tuned.

New Quicksilver chairman

Quicksilver Resources has a new chairman, and he’s not a member of the Darden family.

W. Yandell Rogers, an independent director on the Quicksilver Resources board since March 1999, was elected chairman at the Fort Worth-based company’s board meeting last week.

Rogers is CEO of Priest River Ltd., described by the company as a private holding company. He replaces Thomas “Toby” Darden, who remains on the board as chairman emeritus but will retire Dec. 31, the company said. Quicksilver said Darden “will continue as an employee of the company through the end of the year, focusing on strategic transactions including the pursuit of a joint venture in the Horn River Basin in British Columbia,” and “will continue to advise the company on the Horn River Basin development and other projects.”

“We deeply appreciate Toby’s leadership and his many valuable contributions to the growth of Quicksilver,” Rogers said in a statement. In the same release, Darden said: “It has been my pleasure to serve with so many outstanding and talented employees from Quicksilver and affiliated companies over the past 38 years. Together we have produced billions of dollars of revenues and developed trillions of cubic feet of natural gas reserves.”

Quicksilver’s CEO is Glenn Darden. He has held the post since December 1999.

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