Questions over charity event to promote horse industry and help sick kids
Hundreds of people in attendance, a promise to donate the proceeds to sick children, but vendors of a trade show say they are owed money and it's unclear how much of it was actually donated.
“I've been around the block a few times and I think I know when something's gone really wrong,” Darlene Dolinski of Sagehill Stables said.
In February, dozens of businesses, many of them in the horse industry, participated in a trade show at Assiniboia Downs called the Manitoba Equine Expo, run by Jasmine Heymann. It was $10 admission and a silent auction advertised to benefit the Children's Hospital Foundation.
A success many vendors like Chelsey Westerberk of Lily Ridge Riding, who prepaid $400 for future events run by Jasmine Heymann.
“That's a hundred bales of hay, that's my vaccinations for my horses, that definitely goes a long way,” Westerbeek said.
However, Westerbeek recently found out upcoming shows have been cancelled, she may only see a portion of the money back, and she's not alone.
"Just frustrating that good hard working people get taken advantage of like that,” she added.
It appears the Manitoba Equine Expo and Jasmine Heymann are insolvent and can't pay the bills.
The horse vendors and other creditors have received documents from a trustee, Myers Norris Penny.
The amount owing to dozens: $102,530 – including Assiniboia Downs out nearly $6,000 for hosting the event. They're all being offered 32 cents on the dollar. Darlene Dolinski and her partner groups have lost $1,000.
“You feel like a victim a little bit even if it's a $1,000 or somebody stepped on your toe, you just feel a little bit victimized,” Dolinski said.
Dolinski wants to know where all the money from the admission and vendor fees ended up.
The trustee offers this: "That we are of the opinion that the cause or causes of the consumer debtor's insolvency are as follows: financial mismanagement and business failure."
We were able to reach Jasmine Heymann by phone to ask her.
"I am not able to say anything to the media right now as this is going through legal,” Heymann said.
She would not say what happened to the money, or how much was donated to the Children's Hospital Foundation.
A CTV reporter asked, “why can't you say?”
“Because I don't have to,” Heymann replied.
Chelsey Westerberk said that response does not surprise her.
"I've come to learn that vague answers is what people get,” Westerbeek said.
The Children's Hospital Foundation confirms it received a donation from Jasmine Heymann on behalf of the Manitoba Equine Expo. But the foundation has a policy not to disclose the amount unless the donor allows that amount to be made public. Jasmine Heymann also told CTV if she has a statement at some point she will let us know.