Joanne Nor, who operated Norfield Farm near Versailles, Ky., and raced Breeders' Cup winner Desert Stormer has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in the Eastern District of Kentucky U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
According to the bankruptcy code, Chapter 7 is for debtors in financial difficulty who do not have the ability to pay their existing debts. "The purpose of a Chapter 7 case is to obtain a discharge of your existing debts," according to the code. After allowing for certain property that is determined exempt from bankruptcy, the remainder of the assets are turned over to a trustee to be sold, with proceeds paid to creditors. A bankruptcy judge will determine whether Nor’s bankruptcy petition qualifies for Chapter 7 status.
According to the filing, made on Nor’s behalf by Lexington attorney Ginger Cord, the horse owner and breeder listed assets of $49,400 and liabilities of $735,490.
Cord said Nor no longer has a farm and has dispersed most of her horses.
The largest creditor listed in the bankruptcy filing is Hal Baerg, of Trabuco Canyon, Calif. Baerg’s claim in the form of a judgment lien, totaled $163,997, of which $145,997 was listed as unsecured.
Under personal property held by Nor, the bankruptcy record listed one mare, four geldings, one stallion, and a 2009 foal by Grand Slam. None of the horses were listed by name, and the records noted that the Grand Slam foal is subject to the $37,000 stud fee. Ashford Stud is listed as a creditor, with a lien for the $37,000 fee.
Nor also owes $20,215 to the Internal Revenue Service for income taxes and $10,066 to the Franchise Tax Board in California for personal income taxes
Among other creditors are the Los Angeles law firm of Blakely Sokoloff Taylor and Zafman, $43,239; Ed Coughenour Farms, Mt. Sterling, Ohio, $37,134; Lexington law firm Miller Griffin & Marks, $30,600; Frank Safely, Del Mar, Calif., $25,000; Woodford Vet Clinic, $23,712; Kenny Black Breaking & Training, $17,634; Richard Craigo, $17,000; and Western Saddlery, Pleasanton, Calif., $15,727.
Among the best horses bred by Nor have been multiple grade I winner Behrens, Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I) winner Desert Stormer, and multiple stakes winner The Exeter Man,