(CN) – Two miniature horse enthusiasts say the American Miniature Horse Association defamed them after a squabble at a horse show in Texas. The plaintiffs say the ruckus started when a man protested their entry and his mother, who ran the show, accepted his protest.
Lee Crutchfield and Kirby Jones, who run the Aloha Training Center, say non-AMHA member, nonparty James Walsh, protested Crutchfield’s miniature horse entry.
Then, they say, Pamela Walsh, the show manager who accepted her son’s protest, wrote a letter to the AMHA, claiming that Crutchfield had cheated in the protest measurement of his horse.
The plaintiffs say that though they were never officially censured by the AMHA, the defendants circulated slanderous emails about the horse measurement to a Yahoo! group.
Crutchfield says one message claimed, falsely, that he had a history of cheating in AMHA shows. He says one message referred to him as “a cancer eating us [AMHA] from the inside out.”
The plaintiffs demand $2.5 million for damage to their business and personal reputations.
They are represented in Tarrant County Court, Fort Worth, by Alison Rowe Equine Legal Services of Bryan, Texas.