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  1. #1
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    Default Alydar

    Great article with some photos I hadn't seen before. Poor Alydar.

    http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-raci...inal-hours-648


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  2. #2
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    I just shared that on my page, I found it fascinating. I apparently misunderstood, I thought Lundy was convicted of killing him for insurance.



  3. #3
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    No Lundy and his attorney was found guilty of fraud and the FBI and the courts were trying to figure out if he killed Alydar to offset his debts. The whole thing just makes me go Holy Sh*t! for everyone involved. What a mess.


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  4. #4
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    Believe it or not, I had a vet offer to kill a horse for the cut of insurance for me. I assumed he was joking but who knows. Needless to say, I did not accept the offer and he is still living way beneath his potential as we speak.



  5. #5
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    It was a very fascinating article, although heartbreaking. The comments on the post on Blood Horse's Facebook page made my roll my eyes.
    Only two emotions belong in the saddle: One is a sense of humor. The other is patience.


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  6. #6
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    Thanks for sharing. I had the same misconceptions about Lundy killing Alydar. What a sad story all around.
    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


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  7. #7
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    The nasty, negative comments on FB are from those who haven't spent a lot of time around many horses.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.


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  8. #8
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    I don't think we will ever know exactly what happened to poor Alydar. It's not surprising that people considered the possibility of a murder for hire given all the horses that were killed for insurance around that time.
    co-author of
    Duel for the Crown: Affirmed, Alydar, and Racing's Greatest Rivalry
    www.duelforthecrown.com


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  9. #9
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    What anyone truly interested in a well rounded picture of this tragedy (especially if one wasn't involved in Thoroughbred racing/breeding at that time) needs to do is read the transcripts from the trial, in addition to the book A Wild Ride and comments of those involved in the industry at the time. Because as informative as Mr. Dixon's article is (it's only his opinion), one has to question why Lundy"s sister (what was her position at Calumet at the time?) would make the first call to Mr. Dixon. Mr. Dixon, who states in the first paragraph of the BloodHorse article that he was "not the adjuster for Calumet at that time", because of a previous falling out with Lundy.
    Where is the truth from all the people who were there before "calls" were made?
    We'll never know. They'll never tell.


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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunlight Star View Post
    What anyone truly interested in a well rounded picture of this tragedy (especially if one wasn't involved in Thoroughbred racing/breeding at that time) needs to do is read the transcripts from the trial, in addition to the book A Wild Ride and comments of those involved in the industry at the time. Because as informative as Mr. Dixon's article is (it's only his opinion), one has to question why Lundy"s sister (what was her position at Calumet at the time?) would make the first call to Mr. Dixon. Mr. Dixon, who states in the first paragraph of the BloodHorse article that he was "not the adjuster for Calumet at that time", because of a previous falling out with Lundy.
    Where is the truth from all the people who were there before "calls" were made?
    We'll never know. They'll never tell.
    Dixon explains that they first tried to reach their current adjuster but he was not answering his phone. Dixon was not their first call, he was called when the other adjuster could not be reached.

    "Pat the horse; kick yourself" - Carl Hester


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  11. #11
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    And so it begins...



  12. #12
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    Could somebody paste the article? For some reason in the last couple of weeks, I'm having trouble getting many things to come up from bloodhorse.com. It loads forever (have even left it to return later) and never brings up the story. Thanks.



  13. #13
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    DT- it's one of those big, scrolling, interactive photo-articles, which is probably why it won't load for you. It would be really hard to paste all of the text. I wonder if they have a plain text link available?
    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO



  14. #14
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    Interesting article. I had not known the details of Alydar's death except for the wide spread rumors he was killed for the insurance money.

    While the author is quite believable, didn't anyone else find it strange (to say the least) that the horse, suffering from a compound leg fracture, was treated in his stall for the 1st 7 or 8 hours when a full clinic with surgical suite was available on site?



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texarkana View Post
    DT- it's one of those big, scrolling, interactive photo-articles, which is probably why it won't load for you. It would be really hard to paste all of the text. I wonder if they have a plain text link available?
    Ah. Life out in the sticks with satellite internet, sigh.



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcloisonne View Post
    While the author is quite believable, didn't anyone else find it strange (to say the least) that the horse, suffering from a compound leg fracture, was treated in his stall for the 1st 7 or 8 hours when a full clinic with surgical suite was available on site?

    No... I worked as a vet tech for years and have been a part of many of those types of surgeries, including some equally high profile ones. You usually don't go to surgery right away for a myriad of reasons. The main one being you want the horse to come out of shock and stabilize before anesthetizing them.
    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


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  17. #17
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    I guess that's one explanation. However, time is of the essence when there is compromised blood flow to the injured area and points south. The horse was probably a gonner in any case given the type of injury sustained but many hours without restoration of blood flow via surgical repair of damaged arteries can't have helped.



  18. #18
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    I think everyone knew he was a dead horse as soon as he injured himself. After reading about the horrific second injury, I am thinking that if it wasn't Alydar, the horse would have been euthanized immediately. Horses are bad patients, and don't recover from those types of injuries easily.



  19. #19
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    for dressagetraks
    Tom Dixon was among the first on the scene when multiple grade I winner Alydar was found in his stall at Calumet Farm in 1990 with a broken hind leg. The insurance adjuster representing Lloyd’s of London, Dixon gave the go-ahead to euthanize Alydar two days later on Nov. 15, 1990 when the stallion fractured another bone in the same leg.

    Dixon became enmeshed in various investigations and court proceedings that followed the horse’s death and the bankruptcy of Calumet. From the outset, he has maintained that Alydar broke his leg as a result of kicking his stall door. Now 83, Dixon still refutes what he calls various conspiracy theories that have persisted since that night. What follows are his recollections of Alydar’s injuries, death, and the legal aftermath of a tragic occurrence.
    The Accident

    My phone rang at 10:15 p.m., moments after my head had hit the pillow. This is not unusual in my line of work, but still not particularly welcome. On this particular evening, Nov. 13, 1990, I had just completed a shift in my church kitchen where I’d received a new appreciation for those folks who make their living operating a commercial dishwasher. On the phone was a panicked Kathy Jones, sister of Calumet Farm president J.T. Lundy. In short-word bursts I heard, “Alydar has broken his leg. Come to the farm quick.”

    I was not the adjuster for Calumet claims at that time, having had a falling out with J.T. Lundy years earlier over another claim. Kathy had changed to another adjuster, which was her privilege, so I was surprised to hear from her about Alydar. I asked no questions, dressed, and immediately went to the farm. A staff member met me at the big, red-painted iron gates protecting the farm, and I drove past members of the news media who were already gathering at the front entrance. During those next few days the only reporter that J.T. would talk to was Kenny Rice.
    Calumet Farm entrance Anne M. Eberhardt

    Arriving at the stallion barn located in the same building as the farm office, I found a small crowd, and you could literally feel the tension of everyone there. In the book Wild Ride I was described as going in with tape recorder in hand and “marching into the scene.” Actually, I did not have a recorder with me that night, but this is one of only a few errors made by the author, Ann Hagedorn Auerbach. Her book is, without question, the most complete piece written about Alydar and the demise of Calumet Farm.

    After making a mental note of those present, the first thing I noticed was a large piece of red metal laying in the middle of the pristine red floor of the stallion barn. To no one in particular I asked, “What in the hell is that?” Someone, and I never learned who, said, “Oh, that is where he kicked the stall door.” Lundy was there along with Jones; several farm people; Dr. William Baker; and farm resident vet Dr. Linda Rhodes.

    When the subject of euthanasia came up, J.T. Lundy told Dr. Baker, “But this is Alydar; we have to do something.”

    The stall door was open and the 15-year-old stallion Alydar was standing with his rear to the door. He was being held by Alton Stone, the night watchman. The horse was obviously favoring his right hind leg, unable to place weight on that foot. Only a slight amount of blood was visible on the straw. Dr. Baker described the injury as a very serious fracture of the cannon bone, which was beginning to protrude from the skin. The cannon bone can be compared to the shin bone on a person, and Alydar’s was now becoming a compound fracture. Under ordinary circumstances, the vet would have probably already called for euthanasia due to possible lack of blood circulation and early infection.

    Lundy appeared to be in shock. He had an anxious look on his face and paced restlessly around the barn, mumbling to himself as though this could not be happening. When the subject of euthanasia came up, he told Dr. Baker, “But this is Alydar; we have to do something.” Lundy then put in a phone call to Dr. Larry Bramlage, with Dr. Baker and I concurring. I could only hear one side of the telephone conversation, but it was obvious that Dr. Bramlage wasn’t offering much hope after listening to both Dr. Baker and Lundy. He did, however, agree to come to the farm and examine the horse.

    Dr. Bramlage, a world-renowned surgeon from Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, arrived very shortly thereafter at about 11:00 p.m., less than an hour after I had first gotten the word. He confirmed the horse had a mid-shaft transverse (crossways) fracture of the cannon bone in the right hind leg. The possibility of surgery was first thought to be hopeless. There was some talk about the possibility of a prosthesis, but this was quickly ruled out. After some discussion among the three vets it was decided to medicate the horse heavily for the night and then make an evaluation the next morning. A simple splint was made and covered with a temporary fiberglass cast. At that point Alydar laid down and for the remainder of the night his head was literally held by Dr. Rhodes and Sandy Hatfield, the farm’s broodmare manager. The pain-killing medication was to be stopped at 4:30 a.m. and everyone was to meet back at the farm at seven the next morning.

    At the time of the injury there was great debate in the media and the public as to just exactly how the injury had occurred. Both vets who first arrived at the scene described the injury occurring as a result of Alydar’s “kicking the stall door.” Dr. Bramlage provided a two-page, single-spaced letter describing his efforts to save the horse and offering no dispute as to how the injury had occurred. Visual observation and numerous photographs described Alydar as kicking the bottom portion of his stall door, breaking off a metal rail guide for the sliding door. This allowed the door frame itself to protrude outwards, and while kicking the door Alydar’s right hind foot had become entangled. He was able to free the foot but in doing so apparently fell forward, and in an attempt to catch his fall twisted the cannon bone in his right hind leg. This was disputed in a much later court hearing.
    Click Here!
    The Rumors Begin

    A lot of rumor, gossip, and innuendo have persisted over the past two decades, during which time I made a lot of TV appearances and gave numerous interviews. I always ended by saying if someone had knowledge of things happening any differently than I have described to please let me know. No one has responded.

    Affirmed was in a stall in the aisle nearby and slept through it all… Everyone remembers their racing duels throughout the Triple Crown but few remember they shared the same barn that night.

    That debate continues today. In order to respond to that debate, I have three questions to the doubters: Were you there the night the horse was injured? Were you there the morning of the surgery? Were you there when the horse was put down for humane reasons? Only a few people can say yes to all three and those are the only people who really know the injury as it occurred.

    There was also a lot of second-guessing by vets who never saw the horse, did not see the X-rays, and did not participate in the surgery. One rumor had stablemate Secreto and Alydar in a fight. This apparently started when Dr. Baker had to give Secreto a shot to calm him down due to the excitement in the barn. It was late at night, the lights had been turned on, phones were ringing and beepers were going off, and there were a lot of people milling around.

    Affirmed was in a stall in the aisle nearby and slept through it all. Everyone remembers the racing duels between Affirmed and Alydar throughout the Triple Crown but few remember they shared the same barn that night. The craziest rumor was made during the Rush Limbaugh radio program. This occurred during the later perjury trial of night watchman Alton Stone. Limbaugh had a guest host for that broadcast, and it was during the period when Congress had impeached President Bill Clinton. The radio commentator compared Stone and Clinton and made mention of “that horse in Kentucky that died in the barn fire.”
    Affirmed wins the 1978 Belmont Stakes NYRA Photo

    Before we go to surgery, let’s talk a little about Alydar and why he was insured for more than $32 million. I represented that portion for the London insurance market and the remainder was with the Golden Eagle Insurance Company. Alydar was the only horse at that time to finish second in all three of the Triple Crown races, losing each time to Affirmed. He retired with 14 wins in 26 starts and earnings of $957,195.

    Alydar is short for Aly Darling, which was the nickname Calumet Farm owner Mrs. Gene Markey had for her friend, the Aly Khan. Alydar’s 1990 stud fee was $250,000, or $175,000 for no guarantee. In his last year at stud he covered 97 mares, and his 32 yearlings that sold at public auction that year averaged $472,188. Lundy was heavily criticized for the number of mares bred to Alydar. Today, breeding 100-plus mares is quite common. At the time of his death, Alydar was No. 1 on the leading active sires list and No. 2 on the list of leading sires for 1990 earnings. A no guarantee season was sold at auction in 1990 for $126,000.

    His first crop produced two millionaires with 45 stakes winners in 10 crops and earnings of $35 million. His produce included Alysheba, winner of $6.7 million, and Criminal Type, who would be named 1990 Horse of the Year. A large part of the insurance was for lifetime breeding rights, and these sold at various prices. By not syndicating the horse, Lundy was able to call all the shots and control the fees.
    The Blood-Horse’s cover for the May 9, 1987, issue.
    Criminal Type winning the Whitney Handicap Bob Coglianese

    This might be a good time to mention some facts for all the conspiracy theorists, and they are still out there. Many have long thought Alydar was killed for insurance money. Considering the bad financial situation for Calumet Farm at that time, this is good meat for the uninformed and ill-advised. The fact is, the farm’s financial problems were a well-kept secret, and I certainly wasn’t privy to the details. It is true that some of the insurance premiums were overdue, but the policies were never cancelled for non-payment and as long as they are not cancelled they offer all benefits. Many policies in the farming or livestock industry have premiums due during the year that are not paid until November or December. This practice goes back many years when tobacco farmers sold their crops at the end of the season and paid most of the farm debts at that time.

    There were also rumors about the fact that the “regular” adjuster, Terry McVeigh, was not called about the horse’s injury. Kathy Jones had tried to call him but he wasn’t returning calls. This was long before cell phones and by the time he could find a phone to call his answering service, Kathy had already called me due to the horse involved, and she advised Terry of that fact. The following day, Golden Eagle did assign Terry to its interest and that next morning I shared all my notes with him. It is my understanding he was taken off the claim shortly thereafter. Terry had worked for me at one time, then left to form his own equine adjusting firm.

    Due to the amount of insurance involved, I felt certain the London underwriters would be sending in squads of attorneys, accountants, private investigators, etc., but the case was left with me alone. Basically, I was instructed to handle the claim and I never received any specific instructions or orders. I’ve been told this was a compliment to me but I have often thought some extra eyes and minds might have helped me answer the pundits’ questions.

    One other conspiracy theory was interesting. The night watchman that evening was Alton Stone, but he was supposed to be off. He replaced a fellow named Cowboy Kipp. According to later court testimony, one of the two men was approached a day or so before by someone in a blue Crown Victoria. This person was unknown by either but he instructed whoever he talked to about the change in the night watchman. During the FBI’s investigation of the whole matter, they were told about this car but they never did find out who the mystery driver was. I should note this FBI investigation was several years later (and we will cover that in detail coming up).

    As agreed, everyone met back at Calumet Farm the morning after the injured horse was discovered. I began my written minute-by-minute report to the London underwriters at 6:30 a.m. J.T. Lundy had stayed up all night as had Dr. Rhodes and Sandy Hatfield, providing Alydar with TLC along with pain medications. Lundy still appeared to be in a state of shock. I have told many people since that time that if he was faking his concern, he should get both the Academy Award and an Emmy the same night.
    Trying to Save Alydar

    Upon arrival I found the horse on his feet, but wobbly from the combined meds and the fact he was three-legged lame. Just after 7:00 a.m., efforts began to move Alydar to the equine ambulance. He was to be taken to the farm’s state-of-the art veterinary clinic just a few minutes away. Due to the configuration of the stallion barn entrance, it was impossible to back the van into the aisleway and load the horse. The vehicle was backed to the barn’s entrance and a number of farm employees literally carried Alydar to the ramp and then, in a mighty struggle, were able to get him up and into the van. He unloaded with less effort but still required a lot of muscle, everyone realizing what might happen if the horse went down.
    Alydar arrives at the Calumet Farm clinic for surgery Tom Dixon

    Radiographs were taken at the clinic and the mid-shaft transverse fracture of the cannon bone in the right rear leg was confirmed. This is another opportunity to mention one of the many conspiracy theories. Several years later, during the perjury trial of night watchman Stone in Houston, the government made a big deal out of the “missing” X-ray films from the file cabinet in the vet’s office. In fact, I had a number of photos showing the results of the X-rays. The original film was a part of my records and when the IRS demanded all my files years later, the files included the films. The government had the films all along, but just didn’t look closely for them in their own records. Months after my testimony in the perjury trial, I asked for the return of my files and basically got a runaround. I was told they were somewhere in a Houston warehouse, but nobody seemed able to locate them.

    Before surgery began, veterinarians Bramlage, Baker, and Rhodes discussed the “what if’s.” It was agreed that the biggest problem might be infection and a loss of blood supply due to the open compound fracture. In a worst-case scenario, the foot could simply just fall off.
    Alydar is prepped for surgery Tom Dixon

    At 8:55 a.m. Alydar was placed under general anesthesia by another vet from Rood and Riddle and lifted onto the operating table. In order to stabilize the fracture, the vets installed a plate about six inches long and secured it with six surgical screws. During this procedure the horse was on his back with all four legs straight up in the air. To provide a “prop” for the right rear leg, Dr. Bramlage placed an ordinary heavy plastic basket between the two rear legs, bringing the injured leg to a level easy to reach by the surgeons. The two ends of the fracture were brought together by the plate, but there were small pieces missing around the fracture line itself. This space was filled in with bone marrow taken out of the left side of the hip.

    During the surgery it was found the horse wasn’t pumping a lot of blood, meaning there was no flow getting to the ankle and foot area. This was not a good sign. At 11:00 a.m. five surgical pins were inserted through the cannon bone, coming out the other side. There were four pins above the fracture line and one below. The parts of the pins that protruded out the far side were cut off. By 11:40 a.m. a fiberglass cast had been placed around the entire leg, including just above the hock area. At that point Dr. Bramlage estimated the cast would remain on for four to six weeks. By 11:55 a.m. surgery was completed and Alydar was placed in a padded recovery room.
    Dr. Larry Bramlage performs surgery on Alydar’s fractured cannon bone Tom Dixon

    By 1:15 p.m., the horse had been placed in a sling as he would only come to a sternal position, making no effort to stand on his own, apparently because of the full heavy cast on his right rear leg. At 1:25 p.m., with the aid of the sling, Alydar stood for the first time, fighting the cast all the time. The stallion was obviously having difficulty trying to figure out where to place his front and rear legs. He lost his balance at least twice, suddenly lunging forward and striking the recovery room door. The first time I was standing right at the door window and it was quite frightening.

    He simply did not like the sling. He looked like a dead bird just hanging from the sling, supported by a heavy-duty hoist. After two more up and down tries, by 2:30 p.m. he was able to adjust and was moved back to the recovery stall, now equipped with woodchip bedding for better footing.

    I left the farm at 3:00 p.m. when all seemed to be going well, returning that night at 7:20 p.m. Alydar was bright and alert, eating hay and beginning to place some weight on the right rear leg. He was still pawing at the floor, indicating some pain, but otherwise seemed to be in good shape following his ordeal just 21 hours earlier.

    Drs. Baker, Rhodes, and Bramlage all agreed along with J.T. Lundy and myself that euthanasia was called for. At 8:20 a.m. and responding to looks from all concerned, I simply said, “Let’s do it.”

    I returned to the farm at 7:30 a.m. the next day. Dr. Rhodes said the horse was still bright, alert, and fully weight bearing on the injured leg. Complete blood counts were being made often and she had also oiled the horse to keep his gut moving. She said he was having normal bowel movements but appeared to be tiring with the whole sling deal. I returned to my office and just as I arrived received a phone call letting me know there was an emergency at the farm and I should return immediately.

    I was back at the barn by 8:15 a.m., meeting Dr. Baker at the door of the surgery barn. He and Dr. Bramlage had met between my visits and decided to remove the horse from the sling. He had been showing signs of colic which could have been due to many things — the restrictive movement, stress, medications, etc. Colic is one of the top killers of horses, and it had become a damned if you do or damned if you don’t situation.

    When the sling was removed, Alydar shook like a dog coming out of the rain, took a couple of steps forward, lost his balance, fell backwards, and literally sat on his right rear leg, fracturing the femur bone. This is the main weight-bearing bone running from the knee to the hip. Everyone present reported hearing a cracking sound and that was the sound of the bone breaking and immediately protruding out of the skin. Drs. Baker, Rhodes, and Bramlage all agreed along with J.T. Lundy and myself that euthanasia was called for. At 8:20 a.m. and responding to looks from all concerned, I simply said, “Let’s do it.” As resident vet, Dr. Rhodes provided an overdose of medication and the horse passed peacefully. As a final act as the adjuster on the scene, I pulled the horse’s lip and confirmed lip tattoo identification of E21991. The letter E indicated the year of birth (1975) with the numbers being unique to Alydar.

    If there was any good news coming out of the surgery, it was the fact that the injury was not a shatter-type fracture. Months earlier, a horse had been killed for the insurance money by a character known as “The Sandman.” When he entered a horse’s stall, it “went to sleep.” He was caught in a FBI sting and following his indictment turned informant on his “employers,” who usually paid him 10 percent of the insurance proceeds. Thirty-five convictions followed and “The Sandman” received six months. I mention this because there were rampant rumors following Alydar’s injury that Lundy had fractured the horse’s leg using a baseball bat. This was the method used by the Sandman in just one case. Had this happened as the conspirator geeks speculated, the bone would have been in pieces, not just the one fracture confirmed during the surgery.

    To understand the uphill battle the vets faced in trying to save Alydar, it helps to read the comments by Dr. Bramlage in his final report to me and the London underwriters:

    His temperament, both resenting the maintenance of the sling, as well as wanting to move across the stall unrestricted, certainly contributed to this problem (the fall). We fully expected to lose the horse due to the severity of the injury, but I did not expect to lose him for this reason. In any case, it is disappointing because the majority of his treatment went so well and then we had to compromise what we would have liked to do, because of his temperament. It makes it frustrating when you’re trying to treat horses. Certainly who he was and the fact that he had things pretty much his own way was not helpful in his care, and though the prognosis for an open fracture of the cannon bone in an adult horse is extremely poor, we had been off to a good start until this point.

    Our office sent out a total of 78 claim forms for the various policyholders and by December 7, 1990 all had been returned to our office. Most of the proceeds, if not all, for the interest of Calumet went to the banks holding liens on the property, leaving J.T. Lundy with nothing but a looming financial downfall. At the time of the horse’s demise none of what has been outlined in this dissertation was known.

    Calumet Farm filed bankruptcy in July of 1991; the horses were sold at auction and in March of 1992 the farm was purchased by Henry DeKwiatkowski for $19 million with all the farm equipment sold the next day in a separate auction.

    End of story about Alydar? No way. Let’s move on to May of 1996, five years after the horse was put down.
    Click Here!
    The Aftermath: Trials and Tribulations

    I had gone on to handling other equine insurance claims and was preparing for my upcoming retirement when, much to my surprise, I was served with a subpoena on May 2, 1996, requiring I surrender all files and any other information regarding the death of Alydar. It took five accordion folders to hold all of the requested documents. That was the last I saw of my records, despite numerous requests for their return.

    Two months later two FBI agents walked into my office unannounced. This is getting really serious, I thought. They wanted to know if I had any reason to believe or evidence to show Alydar had been killed for the insurance money. I said “No.” I had nothing to hide and answered every question. In retrospect, however, I learned that if a visitor from the FBI ever appears, one should call an attorney, no matter what. The agents did not record my remarks, and it makes for a tough argument later on if you disagree with their memories.

    The following year, 1997, brought a judgment against J.T. Lundy when he failed to appear in a federal action. He was ordered to pay $67 million to unsecured creditors.

    In August of the same season, I was called before a federal grand jury in Houston in reference to Alton Stone, who had been the Calumet night watchman in November of 1990 when Alydar was injured.
    J.T. Lundy in his office at Calumet Farm in the late 1980s Anne M. Eberhardt

    When called before a grand jury you cannot have an attorney and you are basically at the mercy of the prosecutor. I answered every question and reviewed my activities involving Alydar’s injury and subsequent surgery. After a few questions from the jury foreman and the assistant U.S. Attorney, I got the initial feeling they had some doubts about my testimony. A later Associated Press article quoted the prosecutor as saying, “This was a cover-up from day one. He (Stone) lied because this was a cover-up that began in November 1990.”

    Despite the conclusions of eminent veterinarians that Alydar had not been deliberately injured, it became obvious prosecutors and others believed differently. It was disturbing that my integrity was called into question.

    She asked me if it was true that I had said the horse was killed for the insurance money. I was stunned by the question. I turned to the judge and told him that I had never said the horse was killed for insurance money.

    The grand jury indicted Stone on two counts of perjury, and in June of 1998, more than seven years after Aldyar’s death, his trial began.

    Stone had a court-appointed attorney and did not testify at his trial. The attorney had worked with a very small budget but did make at least one trip to Lexington to interview witnesses. Stone also took a lie detector test, which he passed.

    I had the feeling the government was trying to get some inside information from Stone in exchange for a reduced sentence. Actually, Stone did not know anything more that what he had told me in his recorded statement I had taken just a few days after Alydar’s injury. At the end of that interview I asked him, “Is there anything I haven’t asked you that you think is important?” He answered, “No, sir.”

    The government called more than 20 witnesses for Stone’s trial but not all testified. I testified as a government witness. My recorded statement, taken many years earlier, was read in open court and I was questioned by the assistant U.S. Attorney. As I was on the stand, she approached me with a yellow legal pad in her hand as though she was reading from it. She asked me if it was true that I had said the horse was killed for the insurance money. I was stunned by the question. I turned to the judge and told him that I had never said the horse was killed for insurance money. The assistant U.S. Attorney returned to her seat and asked me no further questions.

    This was another instance where I felt the questioning was leading to some accusation that I was part of a conspiracy to collect the insurance money. I was not asked any follow-up questions, but felt the seed had been planted in the jurors’ minds.

    It seemed like the logical person to have been called as a witness was J. T. Lundy. For some reason he could not be located, even though a publication at the time had published his Florida address and telephone number.

    In November of 1998, Stone was convicted on the perjury charges and sentenced to several years in prison. The judge reduced the jury’s sentence to the minimum of five months in prison and five months of home confinement.
    Putting the Case to Rest

    Just a few months later, in March of 1999, Lundy and his attorney, Gary Matthews, were indicted on federal charges that they intentionally and systematically had defrauded the First City National Bank of Houston of $65 million in loans to Calumet through bribery and deceit. The trial began in January of 2000. It concluded in February with a unanimous guilty verdict against both men. A sentencing hearing took place in October that year, but it soon digressed into a long series of questions centering on the circumstances surrounding Alydar’s death. It seemed the government attorneys still wanted to tie Lundy to the horse’s death in an effort to add to his sentence.

    I was called to appear for questioning, along with the FBI agent handling the Alydar case and an expert hired by the government.

    U.S. District Court Judge Sim Lake set the tone early in the proceedings. He stated the case did not involve Alydar’s death despite government inferences that Lundy had concocted a scheme that resulted in the horse’s demise to collect the insurance proceeds. The judge went on to say the government had obtained a conviction in the Stone perjury trial and was now “seeking through some sort of back door to hold Lundy criminally culpable for something that was not an issue in the fraud trial.”
    Alydar’s stall at Calumet Farm on February 15, 2002. The door, plaque, and floor section were removed and sent to Texas as trial evidence. Anne M. Eberhardt

    FBI agent Rob Foster spent the better part of two hours testifying about the broken floor bracket from Alydar’s stall door, which the FBI labs and their metallurgist had examined. The agent admitted having no information as to the age of the bracket. He also was asked about photos he had taken but that were now missing. He remarked there was not enough evidence to implicate anyone in Alydar’s death and admitted his testimony conflicted with three well-regarded veterinarians who were on the scene the night of the injury and who all described it the same way.

    The government witness was a physics Ph.D. from MIT with no formal training in metallurgy. He had a complicated formula as to how much force a horse’s kick would have on the stall door. He did not know the age or type of the broken bolts, nor did he know how long they had been in the concrete floor. He had not seen the FBI’s report and did not call them for their opinion, nor had he seen any photos of the bolts. In an interview with Texas Monthly in their 2001 story The Killing of Alydar by Skip Hollandsworth, this expert expressed the opinion that Alydar’s leg had been tied to a truck and pulled out the door. This scenario did not come up in his sworn testimony.

    I was the final witness, responding mostly to questioning by Lundy’s attorney. I provided my claim background and then repeated the same facts I had provided to the grand jury, the FBI agents, and the jury in Stone’s perjury — all of this about an event that had occurred almost 10 years earlier. I also was asked about the assistant U.S. Attorney’s question to me during Stone’s trial about my alleged statement that the horse had been killed for the insurance money. I had a dilemma about answering the question and I asked Judge Lake if I could answer in private. He said “No.” I then testified that I had received a telephone call from FBI agent Foster at my home just a few weeks after the perjury trial in July of 1998. This call was a complete surprise to me as Foster had never reached out to me before nor had he ever provided me with any status reports. I knew that if his phone call to me ever became public record, it would not serve him well.

    “I am not able to conclude by a preponderance of the evidence that Mr. Lundy is responsible for the death of Alydar”
    U.S. District Court Judge Sim Lake

    I was asked by the government attorneys to paraphrase what was said in the phone call. I declined, saying I would rather read the notes I had taken that night. In the notes, Foster basically said I never said the horse was killed on purpose or for the insurance money. He asked me no questions and I got the feeling he was just getting his frustration off his chest. The agent also mentioned that on the night of the horse’s injury, no one doubted that the injury occurred other than as reported. This left the government attorneys in somewhat of a quandary, hearing that an FBI agent had called a witness after the fact. They asked me more questions and I assured them I had received and not made the call. Last I heard Foster had been transferred to Flagstaff, Arizona.

    Lake had the last word.

    “I conclude, based on the evidence admitted during the trial and the arguments raised in the briefs, that although there is evidence Mr. Lundy had a motive to injure Alydar, to collect the insurance proceeds, and that he had an opportunity, that I am not able to conclude by a preponderance of the evidence that Mr. Lundy is responsible for the death of Alydar,” he said. “There is strong suspicion but the counterbalance is the testimony of two eminent treating veterinarians. I agree it was appropriate to raise it, but I’m not persuaded that the government has sustained its burden by preponderance of the evidence that Mr. Lundy is responsible for the death of Alydar.”

    Lundy’s attorney asked for a delay in the sentencing, but Lake replied, “If he’s ruined by the events, it’s because he committed crime… he’s not an innocent victim of circumstances. He’s a convicted felon.”

    When questioned about an appeal, Lake replied, “He’s as guilty as sin.” Motion for bond was denied.

    With a sentencing of 54 months being handed down, along with restitution in the amount of $20,473,783 Lundy turned sideways to the judge. He appeared to know this was the end.

    Editor’s note: Lundy reported to the federal prison camp in Pensacola, Fla., in February 2001. He completed his sentence in early 2005 and served another three years’ probation. He has lived in the Lexington area in recent years.
    AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012


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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunlight Star View Post
    What anyone truly interested in a well rounded picture of this tragedy (especially if one wasn't involved in Thoroughbred racing/breeding at that time) needs to do is read the transcripts from the trial, in addition to the book A Wild Ride and comments of those involved in the industry at the time. Because as informative as Mr. Dixon's article is (it's only his opinion), one has to question why Lundy"s sister (what was her position at Calumet at the time?) would make the first call to Mr. Dixon. Mr. Dixon, who states in the first paragraph of the BloodHorse article that he was "not the adjuster for Calumet at that time", because of a previous falling out with Lundy.
    Where is the truth from all the people who were there before "calls" were made?
    We'll never know. They'll never tell.
    For the record Kathy Jones was a very good friend as was one of the insurance adjusters, Terry McVeigh. Have not seen much of either since leaving Lexington over 10 years ago. I had known Tom Dixon for a number of years but on a professional level. Good guy straight shooter.

    Kathy Jones (J T’s sister) with her husband Lyn own and run a fairly large horse insurance company in Lexington. Just about all of Calumet’s insurance was handled by them at the time. So regardless of being related she would have been the one to call considering we are talking about a considerably valuable horse and not just any horse. If he could not have gotten a hold of Kathy he would have called Lyn. I think it is safe to say that just about any horse insurance executive would have gone to the farm when there is a $35 million dollar claim on the line.

    When any insured horse has a life threating injury which may call for euthanasia it is mandatory that an adjuster be on “site” to discuss with the attending veterinarian/s and give permission on behalf of the insurance underwriters to do so. If this protocol is not followed exactly as outlined in the policy the claim can and will be denied. There is wording in the policy that allows for a vet to make the decision if an adjustor cannot be located and or cannot get to the scene when “time is of the essence”.

    Insurance adjuster may work for a particular insurance agency and or be “independent contractors” that are on “retainer”. Terry McVeigh was “retained" by Kathy and Lyn’s Jones’ insurance company as I believe was Tom Dixon. Adjusters “on call” are usually assigned specific clients. As stated in the article Terry had replaced Tom on Calumets account. Terry couldn’t be located that night so Tom was called in. Time was of the essence I assure you.

    No disrespect intended but it is silly to try and “read” anything into this. I wasn’t there that night but I was far “closer” then even those that were. There’s nothing to tell. It was an accident plan and simple. Similar accidents have happened to other horses most likely lots of them. None as famous as Alydar nor insured for $35 million. If it wasn’t for the financial collapse of the storied Calumet Farm shortly thereafter I doubt we would be talking about it more than 20 years later.
    Look at this way insurance companies don’t like to pay out, especially $35 million. If they could have proved skullduggery they would have.


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