Fulton filed the lawsuit March 14 in Fayette County (Ky.) Circuit Court, claiming that Stonewall Farm Stallions stopped making payments on the purchase of It's No Joke, who currently stands for a fee of $5,000 at the stallion station located near Versailles, Ky. The complaint claims an affiliate company of Stonewall Farm Stallions defaulted on monthly installments of $30,745 and owes a balance of $813,160, plus interest. Fulton is also seeking the return of the multiple graded stakes-winning 6-year-old son of Distorted Humor out of It’s Personal, by Personal Flag.
Both Fulton, who owns Sunland Park in New Mexico, and Lexington-based attorney Lynn Sowards, who authored the complaint, declined to comment about the lawsuit. Fulton also sold A.P. Warrior to Stonewall Farm Stallions in October 2006, a deal announced about a month before the agreement to sell It's No Joke was made public.
Stonewall Farms Stallions, which is headed by Audrey Haisfield, claims in a counter-claim to the lawsuit that It’s No Joke didn’t carry a clean title at the time of the sale agreement, and asks, in part, a rescission of the contract, and return of what has been paid to Fulton.
The defendants claim the title of It’s No Joke is encumbered by a Uniform Commercial Code financing statement filed in Nevada in 2004 that claims a lien of sorts against Fulton and related property. It’s unclear what the reasons are behind the UCC filing, as attempts by The Blood-Horse to flesh out details of the claim were unsuccessful.
“It constitutes a cloud on the ownership title,” said John Hamilton, a Lexington attorney representing Stonewall Farm Stallions. “We have made some payments and are not getting an appropriate response from Mr. Fulton.”
Hamilton claims Stonewall Farm Stallions made Fulton aware of the UCC issue about a year ago, adding if the contract is rescinded and payments refunded, Stonewall Farm Stallions would return It’s No Joke to Fulton.
Stonewall Farm Stallions and/or affiliated limited liability companies have been involved in other disputes over the sale of stallion prospects, including grade I winner Lawyer Ron. A lawsuit involving Lawyer Ron was settled last October.