A federal bankruptcy judge in Lexington on Aug. 19 approved motions that will permit the sale in November of 63 horses owned by Richard and Audrey Haisfield’s Stonewall Farm and Stonewall Stallions.
The horses, most of which are collateral on loans on which the Haisfields have defaulted, will be entered and sold in the November Keeneland Breeding Stock Sale.
The motions approved by bankruptcy judge Joe Lee are the result of an agreement reached between the Haisfield’s attorneys and attorneys for Fifth Third Bank and JPMorgan Chase Bank, the two lending institutions that have sued the Haisfields and related entities for more than $21 million in back loans.
The ability of the sale to go forward was in question before the agreement by the parties because of unpaid stud fees on the in-foal mares, and on weanlings and yearlings owned by Stonewall. The weanlings and yearlings were produced from mares bred to Stonewall stallions Leroidesanimaux and A. P. Warrior and former Stonewall stallion Lawyer Ron, and the in-foal mares were bred to some of those same stallions.
Fifth Third lent money on the broodmares and JPMorgan Chase lent money on the stallions.
The motions approved Aug. 19 permit the release of stallion service certificates from The Jockey Club that would enable horses to be entered in the Keeneland sale. Generally, such certificates are not issued until stud fees have been paid.
John Hamilton, an attorney representing the Haisfields, said the issue over release of the documents without the fees being paid was settled when parties agreed that the proceeds from the sale of the horses would be held in escrow. The agreement includes a schedule under which the sale proceeds would be distributed among the banks.
Civil suits filed against the Haisfields by the banks are presently on hold and most actions are taking place in bankruptcy court after the farm owners filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.