Duquette Speaks to Long
Houston, (Horseback) – Five days after a request for comment by officials of United Horsemen, the group that hosted loudly advertised but poorly attended Las Vegas conference which ended with a police complaint being filed against an organizer, the group’s CEO made a statement to Horseback Magazine.
Dave Duquette, an Oregon horse trainer and executive director of the group responded to our reports on the alleged incident at Las Vegas’ South Point Hotel and Casino in which an Arizona attendee, Simone Netherlands, claimed Wyoming State Rep. Wallis injured her. The woman is a horse trainer and rescue operator. Netherlands is recovering from surgery to her arm after she was injured by a kicking horse four weeks ago. She made the claims in a complaint to hotel security at the Steward branch of the Las Vegas police which confirmed it is investigating the allegations and has yet to file a formal charge.
Netherlands had been credentialed as a journalist by United Horsemen and had attended the gathering without incident until the day after she appeared at a news conference. At the news gathering she denounced factual inaccuracies she claimed were repeatedly being stated at the meeting. A report with Netherlands on camera appeared on a Las Vegas evening newscast allegedly angering Wallis to the point that she removed Netherlands from the meeting the following day when she arrived. The Arizona woman told Horseback Magazine and police Wallis had injured the arm which still carried nine orthopedic pins placed there during surgery.
“Steven you never cease to blow me away with your ‘Unbiased Journalistic Integrity,” Duquette said in a written note to the Magazine Sunday. “I do know that the South Point made a statement to you about Simone because they told me you were inquiring. So I do know that YOU know the truth.”
Horseback Magazine did inquire of the hotel regarding the incident and spokesman Tony Mikovitz initially reported the hotel was unaware of an incident. After inquiring from hotel security about what happened, he called back saying “She was removed from the conference. The Metro Police came out and they determined no crime had taken place.” In fact, it was not until Netherlands left the hospital and went to the police substation that the police took her complaint as reported previously by Horseback.
Hotel security didn’t remove Netherlands from the meeting room as is standard procedure in such situations. Wallis is alleged by the Arizona woman to have physically grabbed her arms backing the trainer into the hallway outside without calling security for assistance.
“Steven, Simone is either really stupid or just trying to make a scene, either way you should know better, Casino’s are filled with cameras,” Duquette said. “There were at least 3 watching that doorway, the deputy and the chief of security looked at the video and said “No crime had been committed” furthermore he got a Written (sic) statement from Simone (so she couldn’t change her story) before he told her to leave the property and if she came back she would be arrested.”
Las Vegas police have impounded the hotel security tape. Attorney Matthew Callister will subpoena the tape as evidence in a planned civil suit,” Netherlands said.
“Her statement included assault by the security guards also,” Duquette said. They never once touched her. We have both the audio of RT and his original blog on file. He will soon be getting some papers.”
Author R.T. Fitch’s blog, Straight from the Horse’s Heart has covered United Horsemen and its officials since the organization’s beginning, often, critical of their statements. He was on the phone with Netherlands as hotel security was escorting her out of the area.
“That’s pretty much SOP for Duquette,” Fitch said after viewing Duquette’s satement. ”My report, nor yours, says anything about security guards laying hands on Simone, only Wallis, AND we have only reported what we have been told which is quite clear in my audio report.”
“We are getting tired of this Steven and you folks have gone way too far now,” Duquette continued. “Slander and Liable are two words you folks should learn the definition of. Oh by the way, Simone will be charged I am sure by the FBI for falsifying her credentials when she spoke to Bob Abbey, there seems to be a lack of integrity on that side. She filled out two different press credential forms and spelled her false name differently on both.”
Horseback is unaware of conversations between Netherlands and Abbey. Netherlands works as a producer for a program aired on community television.
“Also the whole ‘Sparse attendance’ is kind of funny,” Duquette wrote. “We had the room set up with 250 seats. There were 209 attendees in the Hotel plus the locals that showed up and press folks that were not counted. Simone’s video was taken on breaks. Just another lie. Play it how you will but it truly was a success. The longer you do this type of crap the more people that will see you for what you are.”
Much of the conference was devoted to the contentious issue of opening legal horse slaughter for human consumption facilities again in the United States. The last domestic horse slauthter plants closed after rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld laws in Texas and Illinois making the practice illegal. Congress also cut off funding for federal meat inspectors at such facilities. Surveys have shown repeatedly that between 79-90 percent of the public oppose horse slaughter.
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