Restraining Order Sought
In an effort to halt the public auction of her child’s elite pony, Spellbound, Maria Chungunco appeared in a Maryland court to file a temporary restraining order Wednesday. It is the latest in the billing-dispute-gone-wrong with her child’s former horse trainer, Kimberly Stewart, of Glenwillow Farm, Inc.
In attendance were Chungunco and her counsel in the Frederick County Circuit Court. Representation for Glenwillow Farm, Inc was also present. Stewart is attending a Kentucky horse show.
The motion was reviewed in the judge’s chambers and no arguments were heard. A full hearing is scheduled for August 20th to decide if a restraining order will be issued to stop the pending auction. Witness testimony may be taken at that time.
Chungunco says she owes less than $25,000 for bills connected to Spellbound.
Stewart alleges $207,000 is owed for services rendered. The pony mom says she has tried to resolve the issue with Stewart since June, by offering to pay what they owe, but Stewart refuses.
“All we want is Spellbound back,” says Chungunco.
Stewart’s lien claim includes an April charge for a 15% commission for being the agent on the March purchase of a horse named Exclusive totaling $15,000. A week later, Stewart submitted to the United States Equestrian Federation a Bill of Sale indicating Stewart purchased Exclusive from the sellers, listed as Rose Hill Farm, on April 9th for $100,000.
After that date, Stewart billed Chungunco more than $90,000 pertaining to Exclusive.
When Stewart gave Chungunco the pre-purchase report of Exclusive in June 2014, upon the pony mom’s request, things allegedly went south. Chungunco says Stewart did not disclose a laundry list of soundness issues with the gelding. Prior to the vetting, Chungunco was aware the horse was blind in one eye, but was allegedly assured by Stewart that there was nothing else that would affect the horse’s soundness.
What Chungunco didn’t know is that Exclusive had an active suspensory injury from August 2013 that was still fresh, navicular in both front feet, he was lame at the time of the examination, fusing hocks, pathology on all four legs, along with a prior colic incision. Dr. Hope Batchelor, who did the vetting, closed the report advising “the mild soreness in the right front in combination with the ultrasound abnormalities, suggest that the future soundness of the horse may be in jeopardy.”
Chungunco notes Stewart was quick to offer Exclusive to someone else for $150,000, which she says sounded like an unrealistic scenario and a delay tactic. Once she learned the truth, Chungunco says her trust was lost in Stewart for good.
Glenwillow Farm, Inc. is scheduled to sell Spellbound on August 25th through Flashpoint Bloodstock. There is no court order permitting the sale of the pony. Additionally, no judge has considered such a request or signed an order allowing the sale of Spellbound.
Stewart did not return our message for a comment.