08/16/2010 2:35PM

Bank seeks to foreclose on Stonewall Farm


Court documents that a Cincinnati bank corporation has filed in Florida seek foreclosure on Stonewall Farm property in Woodford County, as well as the seizure and sale of Stonewall stallions Da Stoops and Value Plus.

Cincinnati Capital Corporation and its assignee in the case, Stonewall Acquisition (SWA), have sued Stonewall owner Audrey Haisfield and her husband Richard for more than $16 million in alleged unpaid loans. But that case has been on hold since a number of Stonewall entities--including those that own the property and stallions in which Cincinnati Capital has a security interest--filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Florida.

In emergency motions filed Sunday in a Jacksonville, Fla., bankruptcy court, SWA has asked the bankruptcy court to lift the automatic stay on its case and allow it to foreclose on the Woodford County property and the two stallions. Value Plus and Da Stoops have relocated to Stonewall Farm’s new Ocala, Fla., operation.

SWA’s filings are the latest in a complex series of lawsuits and bankruptcies involving the Haisfields, Stonewall Farm, and numerous related entities. Fifth Third, which has security interests in more than 100 Stonewall mares and their foals, sued Stonewall for more than $14.8 million and has reached agreement with the farm to appoint a receiver and sell them. JPMorgan Chase, which has sued for $7 million, holds security interests in the stallions Leroidesanimaux and A. P. Warrior in a case that was halted pending the bankruptcy of five Stonewall entities in Kentucky. Three other entities, including those named in SWA’s emergency motion, have filed for bankruptcy in Florida.

In its court filings, SWA contends that the Haisfields canceled the farm’s insurance coverage in July and asks for authorization to take over the farm. SWA also seeks to sell Value Plus and Da Stoops at the Keeneland November sale, alleging their value “has deteriorated recently and is likely to deteriorate” during the bankruptcy cases. SWA cites appraisals by bloodstock consultant Ric Waldman. In April 2010, Waldman appraised Value Plus, a 9-year-old Unbridled’s Song horse, at between $600,000 and $750,000; in an Aug. 12 appraisal filed with the court, Waldman put the horse’s value at $500,000. Waldman appraised Da Stoops, a 7-year-old Distorted Humor horse, at $25,000 in a document dated July 15, 2009, but trimmed that valuation to $15,000 in his Aug. 12 appraisal. Waldman recommended selling both.

Waldman’s Aug. 12 appraisal also included three other stallions not named in SWA’s Aug. 16 court filings. They are Unforgettable Max, a 10-year-old Northern Afleet full brother to champion Afleet Alex, appraised at $25,000; British Blue, a 10-year-old Storm Cat son, appraised at $10,000; and Frisco Star, a 7-year-old More Than Ready horse, appraised at $5,000. All but Unforgettable Max are advertised on Stonewall’s Ocala stallion roster.

SWA contends that the bankrupt Stonewall entities have no equity in the farm; the property and the two stallions are “burdensome and of inconsequential value” to the bankrupt entities; and that the court should waive the stay and allow SWA to take them over.

Neither Stonewall’s Florida attorney, Eric Golden, nor attorneys representing SWA immediately returned calls.

The Florida bankruptcy court has scheduled a hearing on SWA’s motion for Sept. 7 in Jacksonville.