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Clarification Of Decision Issued in the Ekstrom Matter

Posted July 17, 2002
By a Notice of Decision dated July 10, 2002, a Hearing Panel of the AMHA has rendered a decision in the matter of charges preferred against Bruce K. Ekstrom and Ekstrom Enterprises, Inc. That decision concludes as follows:

Based upon the findings stated above, we conclude that the Executive Director of the American Morgan Horse Association has proved each of the three charges against Ekstrom Enterprises, Inc. and Bruce Ekstrom by a preponderance of the credible evidence, provided that there was no specific evidence presented as to either KHF Lunaria (or offspring thereof) or Maxines Cajun King and those horses are therefore excluded from reference in these charges.

The decision is subject to appeal to the Board of Directors within 30 days by any interested person aggrieved by the decision. The Executive Director of the AMHA has requested a modification or clarification of the decision as it relates to KHF Lunaria (and its offspring), based on evidence submitted at the hearing.

The parties have requested that the Hearing Panel clarify two matters in connection with the Decision dated July 10, 2002. The Panel’s clarifications are as follows:

1. As to the effect of the Panel’s decision with respect to sanctions, it was the Panel’s intent and belief that by finding the third charge proved by a preponderance of the evidence, the Panel was determining that the memberships in the American Morgan Horse Association held by Bruce Ekstrom and Ekstrom Enterprises, Inc. would be terminated as undesirable. In order to avoid any uncertainty in this regard, and to provide some elaboration that the Panel neglected in its Decision, we state the following:

A. Bruce K. Ekstrom and Ekstrom Enterprises, Inc. are hereby permanently expelled from membership in The American Morgan Horse Association, and shall lose all rights and privileges of membership, effective immediately;

B. Neither Bruce K. Ekstrom nor any person or entity associated or affiliated with him, or under his supervision, control or direction, or in which he has an actual or beneficial interest, shall be eligible to apply for membership in The American Morgan Horse Association.

C. Effective immediately, Bruce K. Ekstrom and Ekstrom Enterprises, Inc. shall be denied any and all privileges and rights of the Association, including its registry, whether as a member or non-member.

D. These sanction shall apply to 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 the expelled person(s) 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 the expelled person(s).

KHF Lunaria
2. In the Decision, the Panel stated that the horses KHF Lunaria and Maxines Cajun King were excluded from reference in the charges proved, for lack of evidence presented at hearing specifically as to those horses. The question raised by at least one of the parties is what effect that exclusion shall have upon hearing, to be held starting August 15, 2002, with respect to the effect of the Decision on the registered offspring of the Ekstrom Mare and their progeny. It is our view that the August 15 hearing may include any horse then shown to be the registered offspring of the Ekstrom Mare, or progeny thereof, whether or not that horse was the subject of proof in the June hearing. The June hearing was held to address the charges against Mr. Ekstrom and his company, including determination of the true identity of the Ekstrom Mare, but not necessarily to determine the identity of all offspring of the Ekstrom Mare.

Provided the owner(s) of the affected horse(s) have received reasonable and adequate notice, we see no reason why the AMHA cannot proceed to attempt to prove the identity of any horse as offspring and/or progeny of the Ekstrom Mare, whether or not proved in the June hearing, and to ask for appropriate action upon such proof.

Details of the decision will be made available at a later date following the delivery of the Notice of Decision to all interested parties.

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