Tracy Dopko, BA, DipEqS,ISA, CPPA, is a CertifiedSenior Equine, Livestock & Agricultural Appraiser with over 20 years of experience travelling all over the United States and Canada conducting appraisals. She has appraised some of the top jumper and dressage horses in Europe, and has also appraised some of the most well-known Holstein, Angus & Jersey cattle in North America.
In 2013, Ms. Dopko completed an Equine Studies Diploma with distinction at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, as well as completing an Equine Science Certificate with distinction, Equine Business Management Certificate with distinction and Equine Welfare Certificate with distinction. In 2017, she graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Arts Degree with distinction focusing on Criminal Justice and Public Policy and is also a full-time instructor with the University of Guelph for their Equine Studies Diploma and Equine Business Management programs.
Litigation Support - Ms. Dopko has been retained globally as an appraiser and consultant on many court cases from boarding disputes to negligent homicide (click on CV/Links - Expert Witness Services to view cases). She is qualified as an "Expert" in Court proceedings in both Canada and the United States. Ms. Dopko has worked closely with several of the major insurance companies in the U.S. and Canada, and completed appraisals for multimillion-dollar estate, insurance settlements, and tax audits.
Ms. Dopko is a licensed Equine Private Investigator and Fraud Examiner, practicing under the Security Services and Investigator's Act. She complies with all Federal, Provincial/State, and Municipal laws during criminal and civil investigations, fraud investigations, and insurance fraud.
Daventry Equine appraisals are considered "Certified" for legal purposes in Canada and internationally and are known for their thoroughness and attention to detail. She has over 5,000 hours of appraisal experience, and to date, has helped her clients win over $2,000,000 in dispute cases and settlements. Combined with her background and credentials in the horse industry, Daventry appraisals and expertise provides a valuable asset in the courtroom.
Areas of Expertise:
Equine & Livestock Behavior
Industry Rules and Regulation
Stable Management for Show, Rental, Lesson, and Boarding Stables
Bridget Brandon of ValueMyHorse Equine Appraisals specializes in educating attorneys in case specific horse terminology, developing valuation appraisals, testifying in court, finding critical evidence, analyzing crucial facts, and creating relevant witness questions. She provides the legal community with a wide range of analysis, education and support for equine-related proceedings throughout the United States. ValueMyHorse services clients from any locality and any state needing expertise in the area of Sporthorses, Performance Horses, pleasure horses and breeding. Bridget has testimony experience and is qualified as an expert. USPAP certified,
ValueMyHorse understands the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) compliance issues. They also know what it takes to comply with the IRS Federal Code of Regulations with respect to being “qualified” appraisers developing a “qualified” appraisal in accordance with AQB (Appraisal Qualifications Board). Whether to support business valuation and profit motive claims for dissolution of marriage, charitable donations of horses, estate valuation, partnership disputes, or IRS related issues. ValueMyHorse is available with regard to IRS Hobby Loss Issues, the Relevant Market, Type of Horse, Horse Show Issues, Breeding Issues, Boarding, Care, Custody and Control, Highest and Best Use, and Fungibility.
Selected Case Examples:
Appraised investment horse for syndication group law suit (plaintiff)
Appraised show jumper in lawsuit concerning misrepresentation of age (plaintiff)
Consulted on malpractice law suit concerning value of deceased dressage / breeding stallion - loss of income from stud fees and sale of offspring (defendant)
Appraised imported Grand Prix prospect in a trailer accident and eventually euthanized due to injuries (defendant)
Appraised dressage horse injured in care of veterinarian (defendant)
Appraised jumper injured in a trailer accident (defendant)
Appraised a deceased western pleasure show horse who was electrified (defendant)
Appraised reining horse for bank regarding defaulted loan (plaintiff)
Appraised jumper who died of injuries obtained while in her stall (defendant)
Because the cost of a lawsuit is so steep, make sure your "horse transaction" is memorialized with a lawyer-prepared, well-written contract. The small contract prep charge will be a fraction of litigation expenses and heartbreak. If you cannot locate an equine attorney, an attorney specializing in contracts will work just fine. It always amazes me that written contracts are not demanded of every horse purchase or sale. Even on "small&qout; transactions…demand them in writing or do not do the "deal&qout;!
There are some very important preliminary questions you should always ask when buying a horse. These screening questions should be asked right up front. If at all possible, you should ask these questions initially on the phone prior to seeing the horse.
Open-ended horse deals are quickly coming to an end. Florida has a statute (Section 535.16 of the Florida Statutes) and the California Legislature recently amended a similar one that now requires written documentation for horse sales.