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Jill Headford

Posted 9 May 2013
by Jill Headford

Watchdog attacks horse dealer

I was amused last night to watch BBC’s Watchdog team cornering a hapless soul whom they were convinced was a rogue horse trader.  The Watchdog team clearly regard the selling of horses as much the same as the selling of cars or any other “consumer goods”.  You check out the make, model and specification – plus extra details like age, mileage etc – and you buy.  You may or may not get a manufacturer’s warranty.  Well, it is a little more tricky with horses.

The mileage isn’t handily displayed on an odometer and the seller’s vet won’t be parting with the “full service history” on grounds of client confidentiality.  And the manufacturer isn’t in the business of warranting his creations!  However there is always the Sale of Goods Act which imposes warranties of satisfactory quality and fitness for purpose.

I explained how these and other warranties work in my blog on 25 October 2011 here.

The dealer on the programme clearly knew all this and kept cheerfully offering to take the horses back for a refund.  Dodgy dealers of course have nothing to lose because the worst case scenario for them is that the horse comes back and they are back to square one.  If the horses featured had been given a five or even probably a two stage vetting before purchase, the buyers would have saved themselves a lot of bother (and their money).

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About the author

Jill Headford

Jill Headford

Partner and Solicitor

A partner in the firm since 1994 and an experienced Court and Tribunal advocate, Jill specialises in resolving disputes and is a member of the Property Litigation Association