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APPEAL OF DECISON OF THE HEARING PANEL



Summary of Procedure

On July 10, 2002, a three member Hearing Panel appointed by the Board of Directors of the American Morgan Horse Association, issued a decision finding Bruce Ekstrom and Ekstrom Enterprises intentionally misrepresented the identity of the Saddlebred mare Summer’s Song P.F. as the registered Morgan mare Chantilly Lace, in connection with registration of twelve horses over the period of 1991-1999, and permanently barring Mr. Ekstrom and Ekstrom Enterprises, Inc. from membership or any business with the Association. On November 1, 2002, the full Board of Directors, minus the members of the Hearing Panel and one member who recused himself, heard the appeal filed by Mr. Ekstrom and Ekstrom Enterprises, Inc. Notice of the November 1 hearing was duly given to all interested persons. Mr. Ekstrom appeared at the hearing and represented himself to the Board. The Executive Director was present and represented at hearing by Kevin Maynard, Esq.

The Ekstrom appeal alleged that the Executive Director acted with bias and that the evidence was insufficient for the Hearing Panel to reach the conclusions it did. In the alternative, if the Panel’s decision were to be upheld, Mr. Ekstrom asked for an opportunity to redeem himself by way of a probationary reinstatement to the Association.

Decision

After careful consideration of the transcripts, exhibits and pleadings, and the arguments presented to the Board, the Board finds that the evidence was more than sufficient to make the findings and conclusions made by the Hearing Panel. The Board further finds no evidence of wrongdoing or undue bias on the part of the Executive Director or the Panel.

As to the sanctions imposed by the Panel, the Board has considered the fact that in violating the most fundamental obligations of a member of the Association, Mr. Ekstrom has done enormous injury to owners of the affected horses and to the Association. By way of restitution for the benefit of the affected owners, and for the benefit of the Morgan horses still in the possession and control of Mr. Ekstrom and Ekstrom Enterprises, Inc., the Board imposes the following modified sanctions. Mr. Ekstrom and Ekstrom Enterprises, Inc. may choose between: (A) the sanctions imposed by the Hearing Panel; or (B) an orderly sale of all of the verified, registered Morgan horses in the possession and ownership control of Bruce Ekstrom and Ekstrom Enterprises, Inc.(the Ekstrom Morgans”), in connection with which the Association shall accept and process applications for transfer of registration, provided:

(i) all proceeds after customary expenses of sale are deposited in a trust (the “Trust Fund”) to be established for the benefit of the owners of the horses listed in the subsequent decision of the Hearing Panel dated September 9, 2002 (the “Affected Owners”);

(ii) the Trust Fund is administered by a third party to be determined by agreement of Mr. Ekstrom and the Executive Director, or in the absence of such an agreement within thirty days of the date hereof, by the Chittenden Bank in Burlington, Vermont (the “Trustee”);

(iii) the Trustee shall hold the fund pending instruction in the form of written agreement of all of the Affected Owners, or the award resulting from binding arbitration occurring in the State of Vermont in accordance with the rules for commercial arbitration of the American Arbitration Association or the final order of the United States District Court for the District of Vermont;

(iv) neither Mr. Ekstrom nor Ekstrom Enterprises, Inc. may require a release of liability from any person in exchange for their agreement to elect this process or in consideration of any payment made pursuant to this process;

(v) the Association shall not accept or process any transfer application for an Ekstrom Morgan for the benefit of any person or entity, including, without limitation companions, family members, employers, employees, agents of any kind, partners or joint venturers of any kind, whose relationship with Mr. Ekstrom or Ekstrom Enterprises, Inc. would give the appearance that such person or entity is participating or seeking to participate in the activities, rights, and privileges of membership in the American Morgan Horse Association for the benefit and/or satisfaction of Mr. Ekstrom or Ekstrom Enterprises, Inc.;

(vi) Mr. Ekstrom and Ekstrom Enterprises, Inc. elect this sanction option (B) in writing delivered to counsel to the Board for this appeal, Thomas Z. Carlson, Esq., by facsimile transmission (sent to 802-864-0137) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time of the day five (5) business days following the date this decision is hand-delivered to Mr. Ekstrom;

(vii) all of the Ekstrom Morgans as of the date hereof are well kept and cared for and sold pursuant to this process within one (1) year of the date of the Ekstrom election to proceed with this option.

In the event they elect this option B, Mr. Ekstrom and Ekstrom Enterprises, Inc. stipulate and agree that all of the Affected Owners shall have a claim against the Trust Fund for losses incurred as a result of the facts and circumstances of this case, regardless of contractual privity or lack thereof, statute of limitations or other defense, to the extent of the amount of the Trust Fund. It is the intent of the Board, and shall be the intent of Mr. Ekstrom and Ekstrom Enterprises, Inc.if they elect this option B, that all of the Affected Owners have an interest in the Trust Fund, their respective share to be determined by agreement, arbitration or judicial award.

By offering this option B, the Association is not and shall not be accepting any responsibility for the care and condition of the Ekstrom Horses, all of which responsibility shall remain with Bruce Ekstrom and Ekstrom Enterprises, Inc. until the horses are transferred.

In the event Mr. Ekstrom and Ekstrom Enterprises, Inc. elect and perform this option B, the Association shall release them from any claim for attorney fees and expenses incurred in this matter and Mr. Ekstrom shall be entitled to re-apply for membership and the privileges of membership in the Association at any time after January 1, 2015.

Dated effective the 2nd day of November, 2002, by the Board of Directors of the American Morgan Horse Association.

Cindy Mugnier
Mike Goebig
Sharon A. “Sherry” Cole
Edward Creighton
C. A. “Tony” Lee
Georgie F. Green
George W. Arnold
Nancy S. Eidam
Cliff Swanson
LTC. John R. Coppley, Ret.
Kim Lloyd Hildreth
Harry Sebring
Ling Fu Wylie

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