The importance of documenting ownership changes

ApHC-LogoI need to credit Kendra Carlson, one of our Registration Department staffers, for this short story. It fits well with a blurb for the January Journal regarding the importance of timely and accurate transfers. We suspect a number of Appaloosas have been lost from the system because some previous changes of ownership were not recorded.

Marilyn and I just thought we’d pass along some information to you about the two “lost and found” horses we’ve dealt with in 2009 that really highlight the need that horses, new owners, ApHC members, and the ApHC have for transfers to be completed.

Marilyn may have told you about Theresa Spinuzzi and her daughter Ashley, who bought (rescued, I believe) a mare named Mtn Mist Elegance, and then had to do some pretty intense digging to be able to get her transferred into Ashley’s name. I had a similar customer, named Laila Campbell, who had to run a similar gamut with a gelding she bought named Showmemos Lookatme. Both owners went through a lot of work (and I can only imagine, frustration) in order to be able to get the original Certificates of Registration for their horses (Laila had the added pain of needing a duplicate Certificate), and were ultimately able to transfer the horses into their names. Both families have related that their hard work really paid off, and even though it took them each months to get everything straight, their Appys were worth the effort.


  1. Joan Said,

    December 29, 2009 @ 6:03 pm

    Great story! I was surprised to see that 5 of my horses I have sold over the years are all still in my name. Would hope that new owners would contact me if they lost paperwork. Google people they are easy to find. We just did that for a horse we bought and papers wern’t done correctly.

  2. Jo Said,

    January 7, 2010 @ 10:01 am

    I would like to clarify the story about the alleged rescue horse the Spinuzzis were able to register. My husband and I gave the Spinuzzi’s a mare named Star that we had had for four years. She came to us with no papers, nor did we desire any. We had a brand inspection and that was good enough for us. The way we obtained the mare was through a feed lien, with the owners moving out of a house they were renting, and leaving the horse(s) for the landlady to deal with. She was given ownership of the horse(s), and then gave one of them to my husband, who needed a very gentle horse. That is the whole story. How the original owners obtained the horse I have no idea. How anyone found papers on this horse, I have no idea. Additionally, according to the online breed registry, the mare’s (foundation) dam, if it is to be believed, was 43 years old when the mare was foaled. ????? At any rate, the mare we had for four years and gave the Spinuzzi’s (they did not rescue the horse), just foaled a colt by our QH stud Dixiesrebelyell – and he’s got LOTS of papers.

  3. Theresa Said,

    January 8, 2010 @ 5:17 pm

    I would also like to stress the importance of following through on paperwork, weather it by the seller or the person purchasing/obtaining the horse. Yes, we were given the mare by Jo (and her husband) who posted on 01/07. The problem did not start with them. In fact they had no idea of the history of this mare And yes, they had her for four years and she had no papers and was given to them. However, that is not were the story even begins. This entire ordeal was discussed with the ApHC. I’ll start from the very beginning were the problem orginated. Eight years ago this mare (Bella) was sold along with another mare and filly to a couple in Nevada. Payments were to be made on these horses. The payments made covered the cost of the filly. (her papers were sent to the buyer, but never sent in to the ApHC) The buyers never finished paying for the two mares. (problem?? The breeder did nothing.) The buyers in turn lost the horses, along with several others, in a lien. During the entire ordeal of the “court lien” there were accusations of animal neglect and abuse from both parties against the other. There was a brand inspection done transferring the horses from the buyer to the landlord. However, once again, had the brand inspector looked into it further, he would have found that the horses had not been paid for. The mare was then given to Jo and her husband. In turn, she was given to us for my daughter. In order for us to pick up the mare, we had to track down the brand inspection from the court case and get a bill of sale of the lien holder and have another brand inspection done transferring the mare to us. This is where I learned of the accusations of abuse, neglect and theft. (was she a rescue, probably) During these conversations after we were able to pick of the mare, I learned she was supposed to be a registered appy. The buyers had told the lien holder they had papers on her. They had also told the brand inspector the same thing at the time of the court case. The brand inspector failed to inspect any papers or brands. At this point I figured if she was registered, I would try to track down the papers so my daughter could show her. I then contacted the buyers and got their side of the story and they told me they had the papers. Well, it turned out that they did not have the papers on the mares and had in fact never paid for them. I tracked down the breeder they had gotten the horses from. After explaining to them the entire story and sending photos to confirm this was the mare, they agreed to sign the transfer papers over to my daughter. Photos were also sent to the ApHC to help confirm this was the correct horse. We have had Bella since April. My daughter has shown her in a couple of local shows. To everyone’s surprise, last month we found out that she was pregnant. And yes, she just had a very cute colt. We are currently waiting for the DNA on the stud to be sent in so we can get the baby registered.
    I would like to stress the importance of sending in your paperwork. You never know where a horse may end up. This goes for buyers and sellers alike. If you have a sales agreement that the buyer doesn’t full fill, follow through on it. There are legal steps that can be taken.

  4. Theresa Said,

    January 21, 2010 @ 9:31 am

    I got off the main issue of the importance of documentation in my past post. (Sorry) When transfers are not done it can be very difficult and sometimes impossible to get a certificate of registration. Even if someone doesn’t plan to show or participate in a riding incentive program, sometime down the road that horse may be sold or given away and the new owner may have other ideas. Transfering those papers are part of the responsibility of owning that horse. What happens when you buy a vehicle, you have to send in the transfer of ownership to gain title to the vehicle. It’s the same with a horse, except there is no law stating so. There are a lot of horses out there that have been lost from the system which in turn causes the breed itself to loose out. Always send in your transfer, if not for yourself, for the future of that horse/breed.

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