When I first got the email, the writer stated that she owned the horse in the ad. She was not clear on when she had purchased the horse, and I instantly wrote that she had purchased the horse after the ad.
She was not the purchaser, but rather the seller. She apparently STILL owns the horse after attempting to sell the horse over the last several months.
So, to the owner in question, THAT I will apologize for. We all know about the statement about the word 'assume', right?
Now that thats out of the way, lets get to the real issue here.
She's claiming slander, libel, and defamation because I put her publicly accessible craigslist ad and YouTube video on this blog, along with the show picture of the gelding and her trainer.
*slan·der[slan-der] Show IPA
*li·bel[lahy-buhl] Show IPA
noun, verb, -beled, -bel·ing or ( especially British ) -belled, -bel·ling.
Now this one is a little bit more tricky, as this blog IS written.
There was a case that went all the way up to the US Supreme court last year that dealt with this very issue. The case was Cohen Vs. Port (Google), and the argument was this: A google blog named "The Skanks of New York" was written by Port. The blog had a total of 5 posts on it, all centering around one person, Cohen. Cohen sued the blogger and Google, on the grounds that she was a victim of Libel. The Court upheld Cohen's side, and changed the idea that a blogger can say and do anything under an 'anon' name on the net.
But how does this affect me? That particular blog was a rant against ONE single person, named by name, with multiple pictures taken in stalker-like fashion. I have read a lot of articles on the topic of Libel in Blogging since this email was sent to me. What I've learned is that where a true Libel case comes to play is when the blogger does several things.
The blogger has to name names. The blogger has to make up or grossly exaggerate events, stories, or incidents regarding a person, entity, or group of people, and most of the time claim what they write is TRUTH. Calling someone, an entity, or group of people vicious names is also part of it.
So what DID I say exactly?
Link to the blog post in question.
The post is 90% information regarding HYPP taken from different websites, which I documented and listed sources on. I didn't make ANY of that up.
Then I got into her ad.
(And this is why the halter industry keeps breeding these sick, doomed horses, because AQHA, at the top showing levels, will NOT stop pinning these horses top ten!!! Dont believe me? Check out this link! She goes into the finances behind breeding HYPP Positive horses, and goes on to list on the site Well Known Currently Breeding Stallions that have owners NOT disclosing their Postitive HYPP Status. Oh, and Wincredible is one of them. His owner will gladly accept a $2,500 stud fee though!)
No mention of the horse in question there, just the sire, and thats a comment that is easily proven.
(What magikal medicine is this? There are several drugs that can help prevent attack, but its like taking Vitamin-C to prevent ever getting a cold or the flu. You can take massive quantities of VC and eventually you will get sick. A HYPP H/H horse is eventually going to have an attack. There is nothing any vet can do to prevent that. Its just managing the horse as best as we can to put it off as long as possible.)
I didn't mention it originally, but I did HOURS of research on the net trying to find out what this medicine was. When I finally found the drug I thought it was, not once did I find anything saying that the drug was a cure. There IS NO cure for HYPP. So the above is my opinion based on a lot of research done on my part. Again, no mention of a trainer, horse, or the owner.
(This is the sad part where some unknowing parent is going to seriously look at this poor gelding and consider purchasing it for their up and coming 4-H'er, not having a clue what HYPP is, and what it does to the horse...not even mentioning what it does to the poor child who has to watch his/her beloved horse suffer through an attack! There are several experiences recounted on bringinglighttohypp.org that tell of parents unknowingly buying HYPP horses for their children, and the horror their children have to witness when the horse goes down. Some children never recover emotionally from the devastation and sheer helplessness they feel toward the horse/attack, and never ever go back to horses again. Thats then one more child that doesn't grow up to defend horses against abuse or breeders of HYPP. One more child that will not save a horse from nearly being slaughtered. One more child that will spend their hard earned dollars outside of the horse industry.)
Again, same thing. My opinion, based on hours of research.
(Nearly all HYPP horses are easy keepers because they sit there in their stalls and their muscles twitch and grow and it looks like they put on weight from air!)
(What can I say here except what I already have said? This bloodline has a genetic defect that will kill this gelding. End of story.)
(Possibly because you have witnessed this horse experiencing an attack and maybe someone said something to you about having/breeding a H/H horse? Or maybe you are just looking to dump him because the owners don't want to deal with the disease?)
HERE is the first mention of anything to directly do with the ad itself. When I write these answers, I use "you" to mean whomever is selling the horse/writing the ad. Sometimes is the same person, sometimes its not. Its not always the owner either. I never know who is writing the ads, and frankly, I don't care. And again, there are no facts here, just my opinion.
(um, NO he wouldn't!)
And now I will take a block copy from the rest of the post.
So why is it that not once on his entire ad, did the seller mention his show name? If he was that accomplished, that well shown, and I had to sell this horse (sans the HYPP), I'd be blasting his name everywhere to attract those other competitors that saw him compete, hoping one of them would remember him and remember how much they would have liked to have own him themselves. Wanna bet that the owners don't want to be attached publicly to the sale of this horse?
(Quick Self Edit). I am guessing this horse's name is "Sir Wincredible". As I have been writing this, I've been following links all over the place, and checked out the you tube video mentioned in the ad.
This is the video. It appears they have had him up for sale for some time, and have dropped the price down quite a bit... the video lists it as $8500 OBO, the CL ad is $2500 OBO. Owners must be getting desperate to dump this poor gelding, wonder how long it will take for this guy to find himself at the local auction, paperless and amazingly enough, HYPP-status suddenly unknown?
Apparently, Wincredible's website, wincredible.com, has also been pulled, no where could I find any website for him. Now I did find the currently listed owners on the quarter horse directory, but as you can see, Wincredible is no longer listed on their website.
Owners must be getting desperate to dump this poor gelding, wonder how long it will take for this guy to find himself at the local auction, paperless and amazingly enough, HYPP-status suddenly unknown?
Ok, I was harsh on this one. Some would say a bit too harsh, but again, Libel by definition is claiming something malicious that is false, as TRUTH.
Never once did I claim to say that anyone to do with this horse was going to do, without a doubt, anything with this animal that would be sketchy, immoral, or unethical. (IE, dump paperless at an auction or feed lot.) What I said was my opinion of what could possibly happen based off of the thousands of horses yearly that DO get dumped into auctions and feed lots without papers - and yes, the majority of the time its by THE OWNERS of the horse being dumped. That was a generalized statement that can quite easily be proven as true very quickly by lovely google. However, I did NOT make a definitive statement that the owners of this horse were going to actually take the horse and commit to that type of activity.
Did I ever ONCE say anything that I claimed to be a fact? With the exception of the selling price of the horse, No. It was me ranting about a gelding that I felt was being advertised in the wrong manner, to the wrong crowd, and EXPRESSING MY OPINION on that matter. As for the selling prices, I was simply restating what was on the multiple ads for the horse, at the time of writing. The people that were selling this horse, no matter who they are in relation to the horse, obviously thought that they would start with a specific price, and they changed that price several times, lowering it with each newly posted sales ad WITHOUT changing the previous ads to reflect the newer, lower price. Thats not libel either, because its not malicious in nature, I didn't make it up, and its easily proven to be true.
The YouTube video is still active, though the comments have been shut down. I don't remember if there were any comments on the video when I first posted this, nor do I remember what they said, if there were.
Either way - here's the gist of all of this.
If you sell a horse on the net, like so many people do, and the horse HAS a major flaw, one simply cannot expect for others to ignore the flaw. This gelding's flaw is that someone bred his sire to his dam who were both AT MINIMUM N/H, and the resulting horse is now H/H.
They posted sales ads everywhere they could, I'm sure. Craigslist, YouTube, who knows where else. Thats normal, expected, and boring.
YouTube is a public domain. Craigslist is a public domain. I did what millions of people do everyday, and linked something I wrote on the net to a YouTube video. Big deal. Don't want people to link to your videos, talk about them, share them, and VIEW THEM? Then don't POST the video in the first place. Or, send it out via email to people that ask, or spend the money on some cheap DVD's, and mail / give them out. But to demand that I remove the link to a public video, on a public site? Nah. Take the video down if you're that unhappy about it.
As for the trainer, where exactly did I post his name? Oh, right, I didn't. Hell, the video has more pictures of the trainer with the horse in it, PLUS his name and contact PHONE at the end of it.
BTW, if a horse trainer has a horse he's representing for sale, and gets pissy about what some two-bit, joe blow says about the horse in the internet some half a continent away? Then maybe its time to find a new trainer, yes? Ya think? Professionals SHOULD have much thicker skin than that, and quite honestly, if this trainer is good with having H/H horses being actively campaigned in his barn, then there's a pretty good bet that trainer has heard much worse than anything I can ever say here. ESPECIALLY at the highest levels of the sport, where you get some VERY vocal people on the subject of HYPP.
I guarantee that there have been a lot worse things said about other horses and other ads. But hey, guess what, don't post it if you can't deal with it! This gelding is just ONE example of why people against HYPP, are against HYPP. I personally believe that every horse that has HYPP needs to be sterilized and amazingly enough there WON'T BE ANY MORE HYPP HORSES.
Thankfully, as I have said before, this one is a gelding. So thats a non-issue here. He's a gorgeous horse otherwise, and he's probably the darling of the barn. I sincerely am thankful that at least he's GOT a home, clean warm barn, hay, scritches, carrots, hugs, etc. In the video he sure looks happy, healthy, well taken care of, etc. Thats more than we can say about so many more out there.
Did I cause Defamation by my post? I have no idea. It would be rather difficult to prove that JUST because of my post the horse hasn't sold yet, wouldn't it? I really don't think I have that many readers, nor that much influence. Fugly over at Fuglyhorse might - but not me. And she's said MUCH worse about HYPP horses than I have.
Well, just for fun, I did a google search on the horse's name, and my post on HYPP with him in it comes up as the number one hit. What that means, again I have no idea.
So, to wrap this all up, I'd love to hear thoughts, views, opinions on this. No Slandering, defaming people, or committing Libel though kiddies! We don't want to get in trouble, now do we!
*definitions taken from dictionary.com
P.S. After publishing this post, I got curious, and googled wincredible.com. The site is still taken down, but I did find an 'In Memoriam" page to Wincredible that listed him as deceased as of Jan 2008. No mention of cause of death, of course...