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Prevention is better than cure (or a large legal bill)
Yet another tale of horse buying woe in the Horse & Hound this week. It tells how two antagonists have battled through the courts ending up with one of them being ordered to pay the other around £70k. And this was over a horse bought for just £9,700. There appears to have been arguments over various aspects of the deal, at least some of which would have been avoided if they had signed a contract of sale.
An interesting feature of the case was whether the seller was entitled to take the passport details at face value or should have checked that they were correct, presumably by checking the microchip and/or having a DNA test. In this case they were not – the passport apparently named the wrong sire! The court said that the seller had no reason to know of the error and had no obligation to check. On slightly different facts the outcome could have been very different.
The moral of the story? Don’t leave simple points to be decided at vast expense in court – if you sell horses make sure you have a clear contract of sale. The cost is negligible in comparison.