08/14/2013 2:29PM

AQHA plans to appeal latest ruling on cloning

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The lawsuit to allow cloned horses to enter the American Quarter Horse Association registry saw action once again on August 12, when a district court judge announced that she will enter an injunction requiring the AQHA to register clones and their offspring.

The injunction was the latest step in an antitrust suit filed by Jason Abraham and Gregg Veneklasen against the AQHA after the breed organization denied registration to at least eight cloned horses belonging to Abraham. A jury in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas ruled in favor of the plaintiffs on July 30.

During the August 12 hearing, Judge Mary Lou Robinson instructed the parties to confer and determine if any agreements concerning what rules would be necessary to solve the issue would be needed. They were instructed to file any briefs on the subject no later than August 14.
Abraham and Veneklasen also seek nearly $900,000 in attorney fees, but the judge did not render a ruling on the subject during the most recent hearing, and instructed the plaintiffs to produce all attorney fee billing statements on the same deadline.

With Judge Robinson expected to rule in favor of the plaintiffs, the AQHA will file a Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law, in which the AQHA will request the court enter a take nothing judgment in favor of the breed organization based upon the fact that the initial jury’s verdict was not supported by the evidence entered at trial. If the motion is not granted, the AQHA will begin the process to appeal the ruling.

“As announced on August 1, and referenced in its August 9 Brief on Equitable Relief and Attorney Fees, AQHA will continue to take any and all necessary legal action in seeking to have the verdict of the jury and any judgment entered by the court in favor of plaintiffs reversed,” said AQHA Executive Vice President Don Treadway. “AQHA will continue to fight for its members’ rights.”