Crazy Craigslist: Society for Catching Horse Thieves

A Recent Craigslist Posting that I came across:

Nor Cal Society for Catching Horse Thieves

Date: 2011-12-25, 11:16AM PST
Reply to:                                                [Errors when replying to ads?]

                                                                         If a smile and a handshake is just as strong as any contract.                          

  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests


 On occasion I read Craigslist for horse-related items, such as horses or tack for sale, ads from boarding facilities, and the like.  This evening I found the ad posted above and it left me shaking my head, so I thought I would share it with my fellow equestrians.

As a preface, I think the person sounds a bit odd,  however, I have just a few comments to say in response:

1. In the spirit of this equine legal blog,  I would warn this Craigslister that no matter how grave a crime against horses, vigilantism is illegal (i.e., taking the law into your own hands to wreak your own punishment without legal authority).

2.  A smile and a handshake is not "just as strong as any contract."  Any equestrian that has had a horse deal fall apart or go wrong can attest to that; a contract helps prevent liability, anticipates apportionment of losses, and ultimately, a written contract helps solidify that the parties understand the agreement and understand that they are entering into a binding matter.

3. If you ever buy or sell an item on Craigslist, please use extreme caution when meeting with the potential seller/buyer; don't go alone, meet at a public place, and during the day.  There are not only some oddballs, but also crazy and dangerous Craigslist users out there.

Update: I did a little further research, and the "Society for Apprehending Horse Thieves" was founded in the 19th century to 'combat a rash of horse thievery' in Dedham, Massachusetts.  The Society has continued to meet for 192 years, yet a horse hasn't been reported stolen in Dedham since 1909. It seems to be a tax exempt charitable organization.  
An amusing and insightful Los Angeles Times article on their local Society can be found here.  Apparently the Society members are not vigilantes, but are given authority by local enforcement to search for stolen horses (though they haven't been asked to search since 1917). 
 The Society in the 21st century appears to exist as a men's social group.

 I wasn't aware of this Society before- do any of you readers have insight?

*The black marks indicate my redaction of what I considered irrelevant portions of the Craigslist posting for the purpose of this blog

Bourbon, Coke, and Morphine: a Trainer's Troubles

You may have seen this recent story about a race horse that came in third in a race, was subsequently drug tested, and the results came back positive for morphine.

The trainer was adamant that he was innocent and hadn't drugged the horse, but the test results were considered more reliable than his word, and the trainer was charged with illegally drugging the horse and faced various serious penalties.

On my facebook page, I shared a list of equine applications ("apps") for smart phones, one of which is the FEI Clean Sport substance database.
The database is free and exceedingly interesting- you just type in the drug or substance you are curious about whether you (or your barn mate) should give to a horse.

According to the FEI, morphine is a "Prohibited Substance (Banned)."
There are a list of common trade names (i.e., Roxanol, Avinza, Kadian, among others- be sure to check the list of ingredients and do not rely merely on the product name.)

Further information is provided:
"Morphine is a prototype of a large class of natural and synthetic opioids.  It is prescribed for the relief of severe pain... Use in horses [is] prohibited by equine control bodies."

In case you didn't read the article, there is a more or less happy result:

'An examination of Waite's Thirlmere property, about two hours from Canberra, revealed an abundance of poppy flowers that were tested and shown to produce morphine along with codeine and papaverine.

"I've got literally thousands of them. They're growing in between the alley ways where I haven't mown for a while, in between the paddocks. This horse must have been getting her head over the fence when the other horse was out of the yard next to it because the electric tape was down.

"I grew up in the city and I wouldn't have known a poppy flower from a bloody bourbon and Coke."'

The trainer had to plead guilty to the horse's positive blood sample for morphine, but because he had no knowledge or control of the morphine drugging, he was absolved from any penalties.

As an aside, the FEI rules are handled through administrative hearings.  Lawyers are not necessary for representation, but by engaging lawyers who have an intimate knowledge of the equine industry and rules can help make an administrative hearing more expedient, less stressful, and hopefully result in a lighter sentence by helping bring to light important facts and evidence.

And one last note, always inspect your horse's pastures, your entire property, and your neighbors' properties for plants that are dangerous, toxic, and lethal to horses.
 Our neighbors like to plant oleander bushes, which are inexpensive and grow quickly, but are dangerous when ingested by horses, so we keep horses far from the fence line and inspect paddocks carefully when mucking them for any evidence of oleander foliage blown in by the wind.

Back to the Bar: Kentucky!

I found this under our tree yesterday, and couldn't help but open it before Christmas....

Yes indeed, my next set of study aides for the Kentucky bar in February!
(The other half of the stack of books is still in the box)

Unfortunately, just like for the California bar this past summer, my blog postings will become a bit sparse due to the studying priority.  But I'll take study breaks and keep reading your blogs, and will try to post here and there when I can.

While I love Kentucky, we currently do not have plans to move to the bluegrass state; I am taking the bar in order to better serve the legal needs of our equine community.

The exam will be in Lexington at the end of February; I've only been to Kentucky in the spring and summer, so any survival tips for Kentucky winter would be appreciated!

Source Unknown

Merry Christmas to you and your horses!

Immigration Law: the Equine Specialist

We've previously discussed the aspects of immigration for the International Equine Professional, which requires an immigration visa (P-1) wherein the athlete is renown in several countries, or is part of an internationally recognized team.

This immigration post is for the equine specialist, who is not necessarily hired for his/ her riding and training abilities.
For example: My family is friends with two Argentine veterinarians, who live and work in Argentina;
if someone wished to hire one of these veterinarians to work on their ranch or for a club or team in the U.S., most likely the appropriate visa for the vet is the H-1B.

The H-1B visa is for "specialty occupations" that require highly specialized knowledge, and that the experience or knowledge was achieved by higher education (or equivalent) to a U.S. bachelor degree.
Equine specialities include veterinarians, equine science professionals, certain barn management positions, or other professionals with a degree required for the equine work opportunity in the U.S. 

This visa can be issued for a 3-year duration, and then extended for an additional 3 years for a total of 6 years in the U.S.  There is also potential for the H-1B visa holder to receive a green card.

If you wish to employ an international equine specialist you must submit a Labor Condition Application detailing the employment position, and secondly you must petition Citizen and Immigration Services.
If approved for the H-1B, the dependents (spouse and children) of the equine specialist can apply for a H-4 visa so they can stay together as a family.


All of these great images are from the website of Felix Doolittle, based in West Newtown, PA.
(Original equine art on various stationery and accessories.)