Skip to content

Court to determine horses' owners

Posted July 3, 2001

Reprinted with permission from Shelbyville Times Gazette

Story by Ann Bullard

Who does legally own The Skywatch, Pride's Jubilee Encore, He's Pusher's Hall Of Fame, Generator's Fame, Ultimate Fame, Flip and Coin's Princess and four other offspring of Lady Fame?

That's the question before the United States District Court in Nashville. A motion to dismiss and summary judgment in the case concerning transfer of ownership of the broodmare was denied last week by United States District Judge Aleta A. Trauger. Jimmy Joe and Bonnie Woosley, individually and doing business as The Woosley Horse Breeding Organization, Kay Dennis, Alla Mai Ray, Joe and Cena Martin, Bob Kilgore, Gus King and Norwood Bryant are defendants in the action brought last August by Mary R. Woosley.

The suit states that the actions of Jimmy Joe and Bonnie Woosley constitute a pattern of racketeering activity since 1994. It is being brought under the Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. They are seeking treble damages, court costs, reasonable attorney fees and the costs of bringing the suit.

The plaintiff charges that Jimmy Joe and Bonnie Woosley conspired and forged her signature on papers transferring her interest in the mare to Jimmy Joe Woosley "in order to deprive the Plaintiff of her rightful interest in the mare and its offspring." Mary Woosley purchased the mare when married to Jimmy Joe, and when they separated transferred a half ownership to him in exchange of caring for the mare.

The suit alleges that Jimmy Joe Woosley told his former wife the mare had died and in August 1991 he or Bonnie Woosley forged Mary Woosley's name to the papers. He also told her no colts had been born after she gave him a half-interest in the world champion dam.

"The sales of the offspring of Lady Fame and their services have resulted in incredible ill-gotten profit for the Defendants," Mary Woosley's petition says.

The plaintiff argued that Ray, Dennis, the Martins, Kilgore, King and Bryant, owners of Lady Fame get, received a "void title" to their horses and that Mary Woosley remains the true owner of her one-half interest in the mare and her offspring. The motion revolved about the definitions of "fraud" and "theft." Under the fraud statutes, a legitimate ownership may be transferred; in theft, it may not.

"The defendants, even as good faith purchasers, could not acquire an interest in the horses that could prevail over the plaintiff's rights," Trauger wrote in her decision.

More Stories

  • Cy Webb to compete in Leal's Jr Bull Riding Championship

    Cy Webb will compete today, December 6, in the Short Go at the Leal's Jr. Bull Riding Championship at 11:00 am. The public can tune in for free at Read More
  • Obituary – Sally Elaine Brown

    Sally Elaine Johnson Brown, age 68, went to be with her Lord, Wednesday November 3, 2021 at Centennial Hospital in Nashville, TN.  Read More
  • TWHBEA holds election

    After a lengthy and quite contentious meeting the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association (TWHBEA) conducted its annual election of its executive committee. Running unopposed and being elected by acclimation were the following... Read More
  • Latest Issue 12 6 21

    Read More
  • WHOA announces banquet date

    The Walking Horse Owners’ Association would like to announce that the WHOA Annual Awards banquet will be held Saturday, March 26, 2022. Read More
  • High Point Trainer of the Year

    Read More
  • 2021 Readers' Choice Ballot

    You don't have to be a member of anything to vote for your favorite horses, exhibitors, trainers and shows in The 40th Annual Walking Horse Report Readers' Choice conducted by The Walking Horse Report... Read More
  • Obituary – Gilbert Miller

    Mr. Gilbert Miller, 89, prominent Richmond, Kentucky businessman and developer, and the widower of Evelyn Rose Miller, passed away on Friday, November 26, 2021. Read More
  • FAST provides industry update

    In 2021, the walking horse industry has experienced a generally successful year for our show horse including an increased number of horse shows and sustained entry numbers at the 2021 Celebration.  As we enter into the final quarter of the year, industry organizations and leadership are turning their attention toward the 2022 year.   Read More
  • Obituary – Lined With Cash

    It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Lined With Cash. He passed this afternoon of an apparent cardiac arrest.  This 25-year-old son of WGC Coin's Hard Cash out of the great Gen's Silver Lining has sired currently 1238 offspring who hold close to 400 World Titles. Read More