Five entities related to and controlled by Richard and Audrey Haisfield filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection July 20.
"The Haisfields are planning to relocate all of their breeding operations to a farm they own in Ocala, Florida," said John Hamilton, an attorney representing the Haisfields, Stonewall Stallions, and Nevertell Farm."
Hamilton disclosed the bankruptcy filings at the start of a hearing in Fayette (Lexington) Circuit Court in a lawsuit filed by JPMorgan Chase against Stonewall, Nevertell, and related entities. That lawsuit claims the entities have defaulted on more than $7 million in loans.
According to Hamilton, the move includes the relocation of stallions Leroidesanimaux and A.P. Warrior, which the bank had sought to seize and sell. He said in all likelihood the Lexington farm would be placed on the market and the stallions relocated to Stonewall Stallions Ocala. In addition to Leroidesanimaux and A.P. Warrior, those stallions are Doneraile Court, Unforgettable Max, and Strong Contender.
The hearing on a motion by attorneys for the bank to appoint a receiver to manage the Stonewall entities was postponed as a result of the bankruptcy filings. Under Chapter 11 bankruptcy rules, a stay is granted prohibiting all parties from taking any steps to continue prosecuting their claims from attempting to exercise possession or control over any assets of the creditors’ estates, according to the notice of bankruptcy filing given to the court.
Hamilton said he and attorneys for JPMorgan Chase will enter into an agreed order related to preparing and selling any horses on which the bank has collateral but which are not included in the bankruptcy filings. He said a fedeal bankruptcy court will be asked to incorporate all of the Chapter 11 filings into a single case.
Previously, Stonewall, Nevertell, and related entities turned over other horses to a receiver appointed in another legal case brought against them by a bank. In that case, the Stonewall entities were sued by Fifth Third Bank, claiming that more than $14.85 million was owed on outstanding loans.
Stonewall's broodmare division is being offered for sale at $3.8 million.
In a related development, a Woodford County (Versailles, Ky.) Circuit Court has ruled in favor of a group of shareholders in the stallion Medaglia d'Oro on a motion seeking to prevent Stonewall and the Haisfields from retaining 2009 breeding income from six lifetime breeding rights owned by the shareholders. The shareholders, known collectively as MDO, can proceed with efforts to collect the stud fees from the lifetime breeding rights. Medaglia d'Oro stood at Stonewall before being sold to Darley in June 2009.