Archive for January, 2019

As promised, I am finally getting a chance to deal with some other things that have been kicking around on the back burner for a while.  If you’re here for HiCaliber fuckery, this isn’t the post for you.  If you’re here for drama, this probably won’t be the post for you either.  You see, once upon a time, this blog was about no one thing and certainly not even a little bit about HiCaliber.  What it was about was a lot about slaughter and other issues in equine welfare that I felt like posting about at any given time.  Those were the good old days and aside from the odd troll here and there, things were relatively peaceful and slower paced back then.  I do realize that you can’t put a genie back in the bottle, but after almost 2 years of pretty much all HiCaliber, all the time and all the drama and histrionics that entails, it’s time to focus elsewhere for now.  Believe it or not there is a great big horse community beyond Southern California and not every horse in trouble is easily found at an auction or with a `notorious’ flipper.  Sometimes the threat comes from within and sometimes they walk among us.  So, with that in mind, let’s talk about an issue that is troubling to many advocates right now.  Let’s talk about The Right Horse Initiative.



I wanna say it was about a year or so ago that I first heard of The Right Horse Initiative.  Even from the get go, I looked at it with a very jaundiced eye.  You know the old saying about if something sounds too good to be true?  It would seem to apply here.

The Right Horse Initiative has the primary goal of increasing the number of horses adopted annually nationwide and a secondary goal of providing more resources in communities to horse owners….will focus on training transition horses for placement in equine-assisted therapy, beginner horsemanship programs or other placement opportunities. The goal of this project is to create an infrastructure in which transition horses receive the care and training required for them to prime candidates for non-traditional adoption or placement opportunities in therapy and/or beginner riding programs.

Sounds pretty awesome, right?  Increasing adoptions and community resources is something we should all be able to get on board with.  Well, get ready for red flag #1 of many.  RHI is piloting a program that sees rescues which they now refer to as `adoption groups’, bringing their `horses in transition’ to regional training hubs.  They claim they will make these horses `better trained and more desirable’ which will allow them to be cycled through quicker.  The exact verbiage they use is “this increases movement in all the adoption centers and decreases their length of stay while increasing their ability to take on additional horses in transition.”  Movement. Interesting phrasing.  It’s almost like they are talking about product rather than sentient beings.  Still, if this was the only issue, it would be down to semantics.  Sadly, it’s not the only issue.


For those readers that have been with me since BHC (Before HiCaliber), you might remember the shit show that was United Horsemen under Sue Wallis and Dave Duquette.  Their main mission was to make horse meat happen in America under the guise of giving a shit about the welfare of animals.  One of the ways they tried to ram this down the throats of the horse community was the Equine Rescue & Rejuvenation Program.  I talked about it all the way back in 2012 on this post. Basically, what they were telling people they wanted to do was have a central hub where people surrendered horses.  There, they would be assessed for health, soundness and trainability and then horses they deemed suitable would enter their program.  The rest would go straight to a proposed slaughter plant on the very same property.  Make no mistake, the mission for Dave and Suey was to get slaughter up and running and the whole rescue facet of this program was basically the bread of the shit sandwich they were serving.

“To rehabilitate horses from an unwanted and at-risk status to a healthy and functional status. We will identify horses with potential, teach them skills, and then offer them to the public. Horses that can be trained, or re-trained for new purposes, will be sold. Horses that demonstrate suitability for purposes such as non-profit therapeutic riding or youth programs will be made available to those groups at little or no cost.”

Am I the only one not finding the  United Horsemen’s failed ERRP and RHI mission statements eerily similar?  To be fair, RHI is not openly advocating for slaughter.  What they are offering is `end of life services’ and on the surface that’s not a bad thing.  I am not now, nor have I ever been anti necessary euthanasia.  I think the problem with proposed programs like this is that people get euth happy and, RHI seems to place their emphasis on a horse’s ability to be ridden. Most rescues don’t have a huge issue placing good riding horses.  That hasn’t classically been the problem area in rescue. From the rescues I have spoken to and dealt with, it’s the pasture puffs and senior horses that are harder to place and I don’t really see RHI addressing this beyond euthanasia.




Another red flag, I have with RHI is the money getting thrown around.  They are funded by Watershed Animal Fund which is a division of the Arnall Family Foundation.  There seems to be no shortage of cash and they have some rather generous grants available for adoption innovations.  For 2019, there are two 25k grants and another for up to 50k.  I don’t know about you, but that kinda money tends to buy some loyalty.  Who wouldn’t put the RHI logo on their social media if it meant that kind of cash?  This is where it gets a bit gray and scary for me.  On the surface, it’s completely awesome for a rescue to get a grant of that size, but at what ultimate cost?  As far as I can tell, if you get the grant, they kinda own you for at least the next 18 months.


A quick glance at RHI’s listed partners is a major cause for concern.  A few of the orgs listed such as NRHA, Equus Film Festival have direct ties to Protect The Harvest which, as most of you know, is one of the major lobby groups working on bringing back slaughter.  PTH is also where Duquette landed after Suey fell off her perch.  Like RHI, they also like to throw a lot of money around.  Equine Sciences at Colorado State is another partner and they lean to the pro slaughter side of things as well.  Of the five vets listed on RHI’s advisory council, at least three of them are said to be pro-slaughter, Dr. Tom Lenz being notoriously so.  Noticing a pattern here?




In the interest of full disclosure, RHI categorically denies any ties to Protect the Harvest.  That could be true, but as we have come to find out, PTH’s tentacles reach far and wide and their logo shows up at all sorts of industry events that you wouldn’t expect them to *cough*EquusFilmFesitval*cough*  What I find most interesting about this little threat message is that they do not take a firm anti slaughter stance.  They don’t really take any stance at all, but rather indicate that they’ll get in bed with anybody to push their agenda.  That’s how I’m reading the highlighted portion anyhow.  BTW, this wasn’t sent to me and it’s been posted in many places so let’s not be suing another innocent person in the next attempt to unmask me.  That’s getting kinda old.


This is just scraping the surface of my concerns with RHI.  There already is a group of advocates that have laid out many of the issues on social media.  You can check them out on this Facebook page.   They go into far more detail than I have here and will happily answer any questions people may have.  I realize that all of this might seem like much ado about nothing or, at the very least, not much, but if I have learned one thing in the past couple of years it is to ask questions if things don’t feel quite right.  The response to those questions usually tell you if it’s worth a closer look.  I am deeply concerned that The Right Horse Initiative is buying support and, at best, not addressing the issues that will go a long way to improving the conditions for all horses.  By not taking an anti-slaughter stance and partnering with pro slaughter orgs and individuals, I worry about what is to come should they gain a strong foothold in the rescue community.  There as many ways to `rescue’ as there are rescues, but a common thread should be that the horse comes first and the focus should never be on quantity over quality.  Packaging it all up with feel good terms like `horses in transition’ is just lip service.  If you want to improve conditions for all horses then get behind the legislation that will CHANGE things for them once and for all.  Lean on your lawmakers to enforce existing laws and lobby for ones that have more teeth.  We need to focus on the cause rather than putting bandaids on symptoms and, as true advocates, we should always be working our way out of a `job’.  What I see with RHI is a lot of people making rescue a business and that may just be the road to ruin.


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Happy Wednesday!  I’d say `Hump Day’ but chances are that would be taken and misquoted out of context and the next thing we’ll hear is that we’re all part of some bizarre sex cult.  Ain’t nobody got time for that!  What we do have time for is another guest post.  I am still working on some other things that will take me back my roots with this blog, but in the meantime, the HiCaliber stuff is still `happening’.  Today’s post comes from a `contributor’ and gives a rather telling and timely update on a HiCaliber horse that was there almost until the end.  I suspect this is only the first such story we’ll be hearing about in the coming months.  We’re a long ways from done it seems…


How many of you remember Scout, the cute little baby that Michelle rode, claiming that he was 3-4 years old? That was back in September 2017. It was obvious that he was too small for Michelle to be riding, and in an ill-fitting saddle, to boot. Still, he looked like a little cutie, and many of us cringed, wondering what would happen to him. None of us were even surprised when she later declared him a crypt, which was a frequent story of hers, and money raised for a very expensive surgery that was of course never performed. Turns out the surgery was never needed, either. I hope that this post might prove educational, as well as heartwarming, knowing that Scout has arrived at a new place where he will get the care that he–as do all horses–deserve.


On a plus note, Scout hit the lottery during the HiCaliber dispersal and arrived at a reputable rescue, Strawberry Mountain Mustangs,  to get him the needed surgery and training needed to make him adoptable. Now that his gelding has been completed, he will continue the quarantine, and has a foster already willing to step up for him. His gelding was performed on January 10th, and he will be available for adoption in 60 days time. He already stands around 16 hands and just went butt high again, so chances are that he is undergoing yet another growth spurt and will be a big guy!

Now, for Scout’s REAL story:

Scout arrived in mid December at SMM, and you couldn’t ask for a bigger love bug. Always interested in what people are doing, and resembles a giant Labrador Retriever, with the way he attaches himself to the people around him. (Am I the only one who absolutely wants to cry at these horses who are simply seeking love and instead simply languished at HiCaliber, being ignored if they weren’t “favorites?”) I mean, look at this face–who couldn’t love that face?


Although he arrived in fairly good flesh, his coat was dull and shortly after arrival the worm load he was carrying began to be seen, even before worming. He was so absolutely loaded with ascrarids that he was dropping them in his manure, which could have been seen earlier if people had actually been cleaning pens at HiCaliber. That is an indicator for any horse that they are absolutely riddled with worms throughout their system–lungs, stomach, intestines, etc. The adult ascarids that he dropped after worming don’t even reflect what was in his lungs, egg loads, etc. before hand. He was treated with Safeguard and put on colic watch for a few days afterwards and he will undergo fecal egg counts, etc to tailor a worming program specific to his needs. Make note that ascarids, also known as roundworms, create a HUGE risk for impaction colic when found in large amounts in young horses and are probably a large part of the reason (among others) that Michelle had so many colics. In addition to that, ascarid eggs are tough and can live for a long time in the environment, which would soon result in the infestation of every animal in the surrounding environment. It is  important to use rotational worming and fecal egg counts, as well as proper sanitation of the environment, to stop something like that from happening.

(prior to worming)



Basically, had this horse been examined by an actual  vet, had blood drawn, been laid down etc…. They would have seen elevated phosphorus levels (see 3rd paragraph from bottom), his teeth would have shown his age, and his testicle would have appeared.
This is the vet paperwork upon discharge, with the admission information as they knew it–“cryptorchid, approx. 5 years of age.” The information within gives what the vet discovered through bloodwork, during gelding, etc. regarding his age, etc.


medical records

The best news of all is that this young horse has fallen into the best of hands, from a rescue which has always produced fantastic results with any horse in their care. You can follow Scout’s story at “Grace–the Little Horse with the Big Spirit,” on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Grace-the-little-horse-with-the-big-spirit-149993988359361/. They are a 501c3  who depend solely on donations, and work primarily with law enforcement and local horses in need, without attending auctions to raise money. As with all rescues–they are really struggling and could use additional donations to help Scout, as well as others in their care from a recent neglect case. He will be available for adoption soon in the Roseburg area!

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Although I planned to put the HiCaliber thing to rest other than pertinent updates, it appears that was more a case of wishful thinking.   I think many of us were ready to hand this story off and just wait for the various agencies to do their thing.  However, just like quicksand or the previously mentioned Hotel California, it would seem I keep getting sucked back in to the HiCaliber situation as new things come to light.  I totally get that after literally years of what was nearly round the clock drama, it’s been a big shift to the radio silence from Manson that some of us are actually enjoying.  Sadly, I think that there others  who are forgetting why most of us got involved and in lieu of actual drama, are creating some.   It feels like picking the bones of a carcass to see so much of what’s out there right now about Manson.  There seems to be very little mention of the animals she exploited and harmed as well as the ones still under her control.  With that in mind it was really nice to get this guest post in my inbox last week.  This is from somebody who I will just say has been a friend of the blog for quite some time.  This person is a former volunteer and I hope this post can redirect the focus on what this has all been about for so many of us; the horses and other animals unfortunate enough to find themselves under the control of HiCaliber. With that being said,  I’m going to hand things off to our guest poster while I contiue working on a few thins completely unrelated to HiCaliber for a change.


In my anger I sometimes forget why I’m here and why I finally made a stand.

In 2016 I first saw Michelle and Becky while I was with a group at the Valley Center AG day they put on for the kids. They had brought a mare and her foal down to promote the rescue and talk about slaughter. I remember getting a magnet and a bumper sticker for free! Lucky Me! Looking back I had a few different thoughts on Michelle as a person but I’m a judgy bitch by nature so I put those thoughts aside. I did think it was neat that she brought a rescue horse to the event, but was a little concerned over the baby. The little one was clearly not feeling too great and lying in the dirt. The mare didn’t seem all that concerned and Becky seemed to be handling the situation. Granted I thought lying in the dirt next to the poor thing and crooning to it was a little over the top, Becky, but again I gave you a pass. I listened to the spiel about being all-inclusive, family oriented and a fun place to volunteer. I’m sure they managed to put a plug in for donations too. I made a little small talk with Becky and she said to come on down sometime.


So a few weeks later I did… I came by unannounced thinking that I would make my excuses to a volunteer and start volunteering myself soon. I parked by river run and could hear kids playing in the pool. Becky drove by and gave me the stink eye but didn’t stop and say anything. I didn’t see any volunteers around so I meandered over to the nursery and played with a couple little ones and wandered around playing with horses here and there. The horses were clean happy and healthy. The pens were clean enough and everything looked like it was cared for okay. I felt pretty good about what I saw and left.

Several Months later…

I’m finally going to HiCaliber to volunteer! I went the first time on a Wednesday, the day after auction and the day the farrier came. There were quite a few people and stuff seemed to be getting done. I’m not much on large groups so after that I picked a day that I hoped to be quieter. After a couple of weeks I was watering close to 100 horses, probably more, with very little company. Okay sure, North and south herds were on auto waters, but maybe there were about six people, give or take that came in at various times in the mornings. Certainly nothing like the day after auction. It didn’t take me long to realize that things had changed quite a bit and not for the better.


I still thought that maybe I was being too hard on the situation and was trying to give the benefit of a doubt. It was pouring rain, the horses were sick, I knew animals passed things around in kennel environments and with some care they got well. This was a little different. The horses were very sick. Lots of horses were sick coughing, oozing and snot everywhere. There wasn’t much on quarantine protocol, people would grab buckets or strainers to bale and clean troughs. There was a muddy foot tray, bucket, spray bottle of verkon and usually an empty bottle of bleach outside of Price Arena that was supposed to be used after Price so you didn’t carry it to other parts of the ranch. The poor little Arabs that supposedly brought the strangles in were in a pen together. They weren’t exactly sequestered away from other horses either. Those poor little ones, they had snot noses, coughs, sitting in the pouring rain for days, no shelter, no rain sheets. I began to worry that I would come in to dead little ones but they lived and they also got adopted. Others didn’t make it though. Did I mention the sucking mud and the scratches? There was sucking mud and scratches. Lots of it.

And still I watered…

Here I’m going to interject that I didn’t spend a long time at HiCaliber. I did spend enough time there to wonder where the fuck my coffee card is. It wasn’t long before I found myself doing other things on top of watering all those horses. I got the privilege of feeding once or twice, picking up random items and the added bonus of mucking the barn after watering. I found though that mucking the barn, even poorly, was a much coveted job at HiCaliber. Ladies 10-15 years my junior would jump on being in the barn, whereas I’d find women 10 years my senior pulling out that nasty, stinky, heavy shit in the pens.

At some point things got easier. The weather got nicer and I could spend a little time getting to know some of these horses…

So after all the background story on the how I got to HiCaliber I want you to understand the who I don’t forget and why I’m so angry…

It’s all the faces, the hearts, and the souls that I left at HiCaliber. I guess angry is the wrong word, probably broken-hearted is better. I’m broken hearted.



Who I remember…

Rey Rey or was it Ray Ray? Either way it was the stupidest name ever. She was a little black filly that used the hose like water pick. HiCaliber said her dam was Desi and she went to S&S. I guess she was adopted and returned. She was oh, so sweet and oh, so willing. I remember a volunteer just popping on her bareback and bit less.

The one-eyed intact mini whose empty eye oozed and was never treated like it should. You were a little bugger but to the right person you could have been a prince. If I remember right he was housed with Jonathan.

Puck, I guess you were kind of Puckish… He was a little grey Arab who had eye liner like a punk rocker who was withdrawn and didn’t trust. I think he died, I don’t know when or how but he didn’t get his forever home.

I remember Saint, sitting in the barn, in his saturated shavings. That guy could pee a river and there he sat canker and all, waiting for his forever home. I read that he was adopted into a home. He’s one of the lucky ones.

Sweet Calypso, for the right person I think she would have come out of her shell and been wonderful. She just needed a little reassurance and love.

Frisky Calliope, I love me a little spotted appy. She was young, fresh and I hope made it the fuck out.


Mac you lippy thing, if I ever wanted a Thoroughbred you would be my man. Instead you went to one of the heavy-handed gunsels.

Finn with all the other bay and brown geldings that loved to splash and make me refill your buckets. You guys made me laugh.

Little Pandy dear, you sad, headstrong little pony. People let you down and I’m glad you spent your last days outside of HiCaliber. Michelle sold her to a woman who flips horses. I hope you got a little love. Pandy was in the barn when I first met her. She had a chest wound of unknown origin and was so depressed being under quarantine she sat with her head in the corner.

Then there was Rosie who was impressive to me. I saw her at feeding time once rearing and making her opinion known to all the other horses. I think I saw she was adopted. I sure hope it stuck.

The one eye grey gelding, Aurora, Reba, Sarah with lungs coming out of her nose, Blueberry, Gertie the grey mare that died in the mud at Price, Jonathan, Chris, Stacey, Percy, Saban the list is long.

These are some of my reasons. It’s probably not as long of a list as others and even though some of the names haven’t stuck, I remember them. They are the why and they haven’t been forgotten.

I’ll leave you with pictures of Sully/ Willie before he went to Sale Ranch.


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Seems it’s a busy time for little birds.  I have a few more pics of some of the Manson hostages.  I’m sure you’ll recognize a few.  I only ask that if people do recognize the location, to please not post about it in the open.  We are aware where the rest of the hoard is and that is being monitored.  I totally understand that emotions are running high and we all hope this is over the animals in the near future.  For now though, here are some familiar faces for you all to see. I’ve captioned the I recognize.  So nice to see them all swaddled in donations if not living in clean stalls.  The more things change, right?


Just some vehicle updates.



Just some more donations and assets scattered around…



Here are the barn inmates and their stalls are getting a bit dirty.  For somebody that claimed that she couldn’t allow the pig to go because he loved her, she doesn’t spend a lot of time with him and he’s mostly in isolation.  Remember, that the pig was paid for with donations as were the rest of these animals, yet Manson has been clear these are all her personal animals.  Hmmm…




Some more of the outside inmates.




Bubble and Bernie.  I realize Holsteins are a `bony’ kinda breed, but Bubs is looking pretty rough.  Perhaps having him gallop down the road at high speeds while you drive the mule isn’t helpful?


Chrome and Rizzo are also sporting the latest in `donation horse couture’.  What I find really sad about this is both horses should have flown out the door but neither were ever available to be adopted.  Both of them are young and papered, although Chrome isn’t really sound.  Manson paid $1 each for both of them but only after the village paid their purchase price plus the `responsible rescue’ fees many times over.


Poor Shasta is also still there.  I knew this horse was so fucked as soon as Manson started riding her and claiming she just `got’ her.  She’s also not the soundest horse, but that never stopped Manson fro riding them in the past.  Sad.



Lastly, we have poor Tanner and a cheeky cameo from a little birdie.  Tanner is still a stud apparently and I’m going to hazard a guess that the money they raised for his castration (more than once!) is probably long gone.  This horse’s only crime is having the misfortune of being named after Romney Faye’s son.  She hasn’t visited him and never really did take much interest in him beyond the fact that, because of his name, he could never have a clear shot at a good life.  Meanwhile RFB cavorts in Havasu with Dumbass Darrell leaving her good pal Manson to hold the bag.  Awesome!  That’s all for now!

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Today’s post is brought to you by Dixie.  I think it’s important information for everybody to have as we settle into a holding pattern.  She explains things much better than I can.  Any questions, please just drop them in the comments and she’ll get to them as she can.  This is really important information, so please take the time to read it carefully and spread the word if you choose.  Thank you to Dixie for putting this together!

I’ve promised many times to try to do a walk through of previous cases of charitable organization rescue fraud in order to better explain what the offices, etc. are looking for in regards to making an organization accountable for their actions.

I apologize for the delay in doing so—many of you are in touch with me on a personal basis, some aren’t, but suffice it to say that I haven’t been able to be online much at all these last few months for personal health reasons. I can’t say that it is going to change anytime soon, but what I DO promise is that not one of us have ever stopped what we are continuing to do in regards to making Michelle Knuttila, as well as her accomplices (better referred to as her BOD) known and accountable to the Attorney General, as well as many others. Please note that I am not a lawyer, merely someone who has a passing acquaintance with 501c3 laws. I can’t answer all questions, nor do I claim to, but I was fortunate enough to consult with a wonderful lawyer who specializes in 501c3 charities and a deep love of horses.

This recent case, as reported by Horse Authority at https://horseauthority.co/8-million-verdict-gregory-horse-rescue-scam-charities-california-ag/ came to a close on November 16, 2018, but let’s explore it a little deeper to get an idea of the time that it took for the AG to begin prosecuting this case after a lengthy investigation, which took probably about 4-5 years, if not a little longer due to the fact that they claimed to be a 501c3 in the beginning when they were, in fact, not. The AG has now filed suit against this sham charity in the amount of 8 million dollars. It is my hope that by dissecting some of these charges, it can help people recognize exactly what the authorities look for, how it is charged, and possibly a time line to help explain why exactly it is taking so long.

On April 17, 2017, the AG first filed an order for what is called an “involuntary dissolution,” because they were being disbanded for fraudulent activities. That is the very tail end of the entire case, investigations, etc, meaning that by this time the AG office had gathered enough evidence to force the organization to shut down, which took approximately 2-3 years. After doing so, the AG appointed a receiver to dissolve the charity, oversee the disbursement of assets, etc. because as we all know the law states that assets must be disbursed to other 501(c)3 charities, as well as other items. Their charges contain only a few of what we have proven that Michelle, as well as her Board of Directors, have done:

A) Breach of fiduciary duty
B ) Deceptive and misleading solicitations for funds
C) Breach of fiduciary relationship, meaning that they were failing to act in the best interests of the charity or its donors
D) Self dealing—meaning that a trustee (Michelle, Romney, and other members of the BOD, who were obligated in fiduciary matters to act in the best interest of the charity ) taking action in their OWN best interests in transactions instead of the charity, with one such example being the fact that they were living on a multimillion dollar property and donors were paying for it when in fact they could have rented a smaller property at less than half that price and made it viable.
E) Unjust enrichment, which is be self-explanatory

Those are just some of the charges which the officers mentioned in the lawsuit were facing.
From the article above, I was intrigued to note that this AG office, unlike a few others that we have seen in various states, really took it down to individual instances, as can be evidenced by the press release:
“The jury found the Gregory defendants acted illegally 3,430 times .” That gives me a chuckle right there, because that tells me that they didn’t simply take one instance and go for prosecution based on an “overall instance.” It means that the Attorney General explored every inch of their finances and identified every single instance of these people not acting in the best interest of the charitable organization which they founded.

Also note that the charitable Mission statement, which Shed and I have long mentioned as being pivotal to any case, is written out in its entirety. A charity MUST abide by its mission statement, period—in all previous cases resulting in convictions such as HMER, AC4H, FPF, etc—a mission statement is quoted in the charges as being at the crux of any formal case.

Number 5 is pretty much self-explanatory, and something of which we are all aware: Charities MUST file taxes, and in Michelle’s case, 2017 taxes still remain unfiled but reads current due to a slight glitch in the AG computer system. Because they filed their 2016 taxes in 2018, the computer recognizes that as filing in 2018, so reads as current but needs to be updated manually. Attempts have been made to notify them of the issue but not with any exigency (see what I did there, Michelle?) because she claims to now being soliciting for donations only for herself and not on behalf of the charity. However, as noted in the final write-up of charges in the above case with the Wounded Warriors Support Program and Central Coast Equine Rescue and Retirement, a court order was issued that none of the founders, members of the BOD, etc could serve on the board of any charity, nor can they solicit donations for personal use or otherwise. That is important, and what will happen to Michelle as well as anyone associated with her. I can attest to the fact that AG offices do tend to be very interested in this after the fact, and when people see anyone of her cronies or BOD members attempting to solicit donations under their names for her, it will continue to need to be reported. I have every faith that the people in her area will be keeping a close eye on her.

Reading through the charges, you will note that even though the people listed in the above case are family, they are all charged with profiting off of the rescue, for anyone wondering why we have made it a point to continue to name Romney, Amanda, Robyn, as well as others for the fact that they profited off of the charity. Amanda for using the charitable assets (horses) to start her own ahem “riding lessons” business, as well as the people who received horses through so-called adoptions, etc. In each of those cases, they profited off of the charity for their own personal enrichment. Donor funds were used to purchase the horses at X amount of dollars, and these people “adopted” the horses for themselves, for the sum of 1.00. Each person in the above case were charged in amounts ranging from 140k to over 2 million dollars, depending on just how much they gained by doing so. All of the officers of the charity were charged, and some who were not officers but whom benefitted were also named (including their lawyer, I found that interesting!)

Various charges, that I won’t cover much of, had to do with money not being used for the purpose in which it was solicited. In this case it will potentially be applied to Michelle’s car payments, spyware, fast food, personal pets, credit cards, bills, and so much more.

I will also skip over most of the charges relating to the fact that they did not keep sufficient records regarding donations, etc as that is pretty much self-explanatory. (I guess someone must have stolen their receipts, too!) The charges state that the AG is going by bank records and estimates that the fraudulent charity in reality owes a lot more than that for which they are being charged. In essence, that details precisely what they either are or will be doing in regards to Michelle’s instance but lets people know that they can indeed proceed with only bank records, which they subpoena as part of their investigation.
In 2016 the AG ordered a cease and desist of their raffles, which is not what they did to Michelle, because they only needed to update—however, that adds yet another year to the timeline.
The Attorney General Office did have to file for an order for involuntary dissolution of the charitable corporation, and appoint a receiver to protect and oversee the remaining assets. This is slightly different case than Michelle, who claims that she “dissolved,” HiCaliber herself, which is not going to be recognized by the State and still leaves her open to being charged for failing to do so. There is a possibility that it could leave her open to even MORE charges, because at this point it could be claimed that she absconded with the charitable assets, money, etc and is selling them for personal use, a point which some of us are attempting to make with the San Diego DA.

Going to skip a lot, but if you take a look at 41 (A), the charges of misuse of restricted donations. In that case, it mentions that solicitation of donations would be used to help a therapeutic riding center, and injured veterans. Instead, funds were used to pay personal expenses, etc.
In Michelle’s case, certain items like the tanning bed, concert tickets, tack, blankets, etc. which were donated to be used to raise funds for the horses, instead were used by Michelle and her cohorts for themselves and did not benefit the purpose for which it was intended. (There are many more instances, but those are the ones off the top of my head.) Charge 43, in this case, can be used when one thinks of the 10k donation received for the care of certain horses, at least one of which was then shot, and the other horses were soon taken from the rescue and sent elsewhere, with no funding from the original 10k ever provided to their previous owners, meaning it did not get used for the purpose for which it was intended.

There are obvious and other charges throughout this that I am skipping, such as the failure to keep meeting minutes, books, receipts, etc. but this post is lengthy enough and those are pretty much self-explanatory. This includes the presentation of false information to the IRS, the State of California, as well as disseminating false information to the public.

Charge 61(G) Operating with the intent to deceive or defraud
Again, self-explanatory and we saw it every week. An obvious explanation was the changing price of auction horses, as well as the claims all funds raised were going to purchase the horses from auction but not mentioning the Starbucks, eating out, and everything else we watched occur every Tuesday.

The Third Cause of Action is interesting:
“…has used the funds to fund her lifestyle, and used charitable funds to maintain her personal horses and other equestrian related props.” We can all see how that relates to Michelle and the fact that she was keeping 20-25 horses of her own on donations which were intended for the charity. Horse Authority quoted the Attorney General, Xavier Becerra’s own words when he stated “the charity used donor funds to board and care for the Gregory family’s personal horses.” (Gina Gregory is a lawyer, personal relation, and also named in the charges.)


The Fifth Cause of Action is too long to get into, but what is important is this:
“…imposes a charitable trust on funds collected for charitable purposes, and a ‘fiduciary relationship between a charity and any person soliciting on behalf of a charity’…”

That part is important, because it leaves open each and every person who continued to solicit funds for Michelle including Romney, Robyn, et al, especially as they were aware that the money was NOT going towards its intended purpose. Some, yes—but not all, nor was it ever divulged to the public that not all funds were going to the horses but instead to support their lifestyles.

They cover the unjust enrichment part and explain it pretty well, so seeing the parallels between their actions and the HiCaliber team are pretty obvious when you read the charges. It’s 5 am here and this post is pretty damned long, so I think I have bored you enough for tonight—but hope that it will give you guys a better look at what exactly the AG looks for when dealing with fraudulent charities, and how we—and anyone dealing with a case like this in the future, because it WILL happen, it is human nature— aimed at noting Michelle’s actions in particular to gain the interest of the officials by having an idea of what exactly the officials are looking for in regards to starting an investigation and seeing it through. Throughout the US, almost every single OAG office overseeing charities is looking for items such as this, and remains true from state to state.

As you can see, the OAG won the lawsuit against them for over 8 million dollars. It is interesting to note that the Wounded Warriors Support Group’s page here on the Registry verification database shows that at no time did they ever succeed in bringing in over a million dollars a year; as a matter of fact, their highest yearly claims were $648,891.00 . Of course I didn’t look up the other businesses that benefitted, but it also brings to mind her new “Alphamare, LLC” and how they can work that into her charges, when they are filed. Most importantly, to me: “The court issued a judgment for the involuntary dissolution of the charities. A court order permanently prohibits the defendants from operating or serving on the board of any California charity. They are also prohibited from soliciting any type of donation. “ This means them, personally, as an individual, which will put paid to Michelle’s hopes of living the rest of her life on other people’s money. It is also something that will have to be continually monitored, for several years, and evidence provided to the AG, especially if it is one of her friends, or her alter egos—but trust me, that is one thing that they WILL enforce, with evidence.
Timeline to have this all done took almost 5 years, as best as I can tell from the paperwork because of course it doesn’t mention the dates that the investigation actually began. Frustrating, but something that Shed and I knew when we began attempting to get this to the attention of the authorities. The last time I looked, and I cannot remember where I found it, sadly enough but it is on the AG site somewhere—was that there were 250 cases on the AG’s log, and I believe that at that time 36 cases were currently being prosecuted. I am going off of memory but I think there are 4-6 Deputy Attorney Generals, who are responsible for prosecuting the cases. That means all four of them are responsible for the current prosecutions of the 35 cases at that time (again, going by memory which I freely admit is not functioning at 100% right now) which means that they are tremendously busy at any given time, hence the reason why getting an investigation started, and to the court room, takes so much time. Frustrating for us, absolutely—but I do have faith that it will happen, as we have always stated, just not in the timeline that we wish it would happen.
For some amusement value, especially as it pertains to Shed—be sure to read to the bottom of the Horse Authority article, in the link provided above. Apparently the family members involved attempted to sue media outlets for reporting on the case after the investigation was announced. However, a digital media lawyer proclaimed to the court that he would file a motion under the California Anti SLAPP (actually, it is available anywhere) law, which protects free speech, to strike the motion down. One might do well to study the SLAPP law, which is interesting in itself but an easy definition provided by Horse Authority is that “A SLAPP suit, or a strategic lawsuit against public participation, is a civil claim filed to ‘silence and harass’ by forcing a defendant to spend money and time defending a baseless suit, according to The Public Participation Project. “ It might behoove others to be aware of this statute and use it to their advantage.

In closing I want to say this.

One of the first things to be aware when something might not be all it is purported to be is us types of people, AKA ‘haters.”Trust me, even the best rescues have detractors, maybe because they are disgruntled people turned down for adoption, or even some other reason known only to them. You might expect to see 5 or 10, depending on how many alter egos they make up. But when a rescue begins to have 20, 30 and more people beginning to raise questions, it is a good idea to remember that old adage, “Where there is smoke, there is usually fire.”
Be informed. Be aware. It is ok to simply study the laws in your state, as did I and countless others to learn this stuff.. It doesn’t mean you are the rescue police, it simply means that you are a well-informed consumer who knows when a rescue is “doing it right,” and can place your trust in supporting someone. Even more importantly, as we saw with Michelle, and others—many times people start out with the best of intentions and then go bad once the lure of easy money starts coming in. I absolutely believed in one of the above rescues charged by their state and supported them, but at the end, I realized when others presented their evidence that all was no longer on the up and up and then assisted in bringing it to the State’s attention. It doesn’t mean you are stupid, or a fool—unless you refuse to believe what the evidence shows. It has happened to many, many of us, trust me. The only idiots are those who continue to not believe when the evidence is right in front of them. Hell I trusted HiCaliber at first, too—just not enough to give them my money, unlike the other.
Let’s work together—and make no mistake, it is going to be you, and the other people you educate from what you’ve learned in this situation to carry this burden, because I won’t be around and no guarantees for Shed—to make certain that situations like this are not allowed to grow to the size of this fiasco in the future before someone takes action. A reputable rescue has absolutely no problems answering questions with transparency and accountability, if asked with respect. They have no problem with accounting for money, assets, purchases, etc. We have the power to prevent this from happening again. Let’s make certain it doesn’t by being well-informed, and aware of the responsibilities of a charitable organization has to its donors, as well as the public.

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Happy New Year!!!  I know, I know, I said my thank you s, I said my goodbyes, I thought I was pretty much done.  What can I say?  I should have known better.  Actually, I still am pretty much done but, as I did promise, I will continue to drop updates as they come available if only to have a complete documentation of this little journey all in one place.  There actually isn’t a lot of `post’ to go with what I have today.  I have no intention of wading into the current drama surrounding the property.  My concern remains with the animals and while I mourn the ones that died at the hand of Manson, there are a number still left under her control.  That is where my focus will remain as the only ones we can save are the ones still living.  In the interest of that, I have some updates on where the majority of them are.  I guess I neglected to mention on that last post that my little birdie mole is still deep inside.  My bad…

I think most people are aware that Manson did return to pick up the majority of the tack and equipment.  As you can see they are all being well cared for.  I’m expecting them to show up on sale sites or at auction at some point, but for now they are heaped out in the open at the new place likely being chewed up by vermin.  Nice.

As you can see, the Manson vehicles are all present along with at least one Gator (both are said to be there).  Not a lot of hay around, but from what I can see in alphamare, the money is still trickling in for now.  I did kinda laugh that the old steel trailer is there after Manson trying to sell it for way too much money some months ago.  That was only after she had cows and other small animals living in it at the height of the hoarding days.

Most of the known hoard of Manson are at this property.  No, I’m not going to announce where it is right now and don’t email me about it.  Wrinkles’s horses Kennedy, and Howard are clearly visible as well as at least two of Manson’s cremellos.  The two cows and Corky are also said to be at this place.  She also has a donkey and a few chickens there.  The total horse head count is between 20 and 24.  Nice to see that some of the donated blankets are being used on Manson’s personal horses.

I’m going to keep this short and not so sweet.  Rest assured that the condition of her hoard is being monitored.  I’m not going to bother getting into what dwelling she is currently infesting as that is really no concern of ours.  What she is doing and subjecting animals to is a concern, so as long as she continues to hoard animals, there will be boots on the ground.  It’s also important to note that she has been very clear in her alpha mare village group that these are personal horse and donations to feed them are not tax-deductible even though HiCaliber’s 501c3 is still active for now.  There is a whole bunch going on behind the scenes and hopefully a few things will shake loose sooner, rather than later.  We’re a whole bunch further down the path than we were a year ago and my hope is that a year from now, this is over.  Hell, I hope a six months from now that’s the case but you know what they say about the Hotel California…you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.  I am totally feeling that right about now.

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