Advice needed in regards to a Non Racing Agreement please

VP2009

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Advice needed in regards to a Non Racing Agreement please
Hi All, I have found myself in a bit of a situation with a horse I purchased last year from a trainer. Nothing has gone incredibly wrong and there isn't anything dodgy with the horse but I have just moved on with my riding and the horse isn't really up to what I want to do now and so I feel it best to find the horse a new low level home and use the money to find a more suitable horse for myself.

Since I bought this horse I haven't had any problems health wise or behaviour wise and the racehorse trainers seemed happy with her home and carried out home checks and IDd myself all which I was happy with as I planned on giving this horse a long term home which I have done for over a year.

When I viewed this horse and decided to purchase her for a very small but significant sum the racehorse trainers expressed they didn't want her to be sold on rapidly and passed from pillar to post and as I am in no way a dealer and just a hobby rider I said the horse was not being bought to make a profit out of and was being bought to be my hobby horse which is what it's been used for the past year - just now not up to competition level work - more suited to hacking/pleasure rides etc which I have unfortunately discovered along the way. The racehorse trainers also said that should I ever not want her then they would be happy to have her back. This made things seem good on my part and I agreed with what they said verbally.

This horse was bought with a non racing agreement which I happily signed as I am in no way linked to the racing industry and never intend to even take her to a gallops for fun let alone race her and they said this would be sent to weatherbys with her passport and then returned as her passport would be stamped so she couldn't ever race again. I was more than happy with this as I'm not particularly keen on racing anyway.

When I received a PHOTO COPY of the non racing agreement (NRA) back in the post they had also signed it. I thought nothing of this and continued on my merry way bringing the horse on etc.

Now I have come to think about selling this horse I have noticed a box has been ticked on one of the back pages saying something along the lines of "this horse shall not be sold on or disposed of without prior consent of the previous seller" (the racehorse trainer). I didn't notice this at the time of sale and perhaps I was a little hasty in getting my new horse but that's what happened. After discovering this and reading it thoroughly lately I have contacted the racehorse trainer and explained the situation with the horse and that after having a one on one relationship with her for over a year and knowing her very well I believe her best interests will be suited to a low level dressage / hacking home rather than a jumping one (which is what I want to do).... Etc etc etc. I have also explained that despite not having to pay a large initial outlay to buy this horse we have spend a great deal of money over the last however long on chiropractor treatments as she had never been seen throughout her entire racing career, dental treatments, nearly new saddle, professional lessons and schooling etc etc. Those things along total to around £1000.

I fully understand that upon purchasing any equine there will be costs along the way and I have been more than happy to pay these despite not getting much back in terms of jumping / competition results from this horse - I have always just wanted what's best for her. Anyway, the racehorse trainer is now saying that they will not provide written consent for this horse to be sold on and that if I don't want her she is to be returned to them free of charge.

I really don't feel it best for my horse to go back to a racing yard given the way she is in herself and I don't feel it best for her to go back to a large busy yard where she won't get the one on one she benefits from.

I am completely stuck as to what to do. When I bought this horse she was turned away and had done nothing apart from race. She has now competed in all disciplines and has turned into a safe, kind, mare who is very well schooled etc (she just can't jump!) and I don't feel it fair for me to have to give this horse away leaving myself no money for a replacement and also send her back to an environment that is not suited to her best interests.

Can anyone advise me of what to do? Any potential seller can look up online that this horse has an NRA issued against it and the buyer and seller's name. And if they were to contact weatherbys they might be able to see the agreement which says the horse is not to be sold on.

I am the legal owner so surely ultimately I can sell her on? I just want the best possible home for my horse but I'm sure people can appreciate horses are too expensive to not be able to do what you want with them and I cannot afford to have her as a companion and she is only young anyway so I feel she should do more than be a lawnmower! Also I cannot leave myself without even a few hundred pounds to buy myself another companion / breaker to work on. After I have spend so much extra on this horse that I didn't expect to have to - (Who expects 8 saddles in 6 months wouldn't fit!!!).
Anyway, do I have a leg to stand on if I just cease contact with the trainer and go ahead and advertise her anyway?

Will me not being aware about the box being ticked on the NRA have anything to do with it?

Does it count that I'm not selling this horse on for a profit if I've had her for such a long time? And not making a quick turnaround.
Some people have told me this NRA isn't worth the paper it's written on and won't stand up in court but I haven't got a clue and know nothing about the racing industry.

Please can someone help me as at the moment I am feeling very trapped into this situation and I feel the racehorse trainers are being less than reasonable and don't really have my horse's interests at heart they are more worried about me making money from a horse I didn't pay a lot for.



A sincere thank you to anyone who can give me some advice or who can shed some light on this "non racing agreement". I appreciate all replies.
 

flojo

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Are you listed as the owner or do you have the horse on lease?
I have no knowledge to the legalities concerning the sale of your horse, but I would assume that if you are the owner of this horse then you can do what you wish with it.
You need to take legal advice on this one.
 

Mongoose11

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Do you really think they will sue? I would book an hour with an equine specialist lawyer and see whether they really think the paper is binding...
 

smellsofhorse

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To be honest, I think you are being a bit unfair, a year is no time to turn a horse around.
So no, you haven't had her that long, all those extra are to be expected with any horse.

How much did you pay for the horse?
It sounds like they asked for money to ensure you were serious, not to make money.

What would be wrong with her going back to the trainer, horses don't want to work, she would be quite happy in a field, or they would find a new home.

Speak to them again, be truthful and not defensive.
Tell them you could look for a new home for her but they could inspect before horse went.

Advertise her for slightly more than you paid allowing to be talked down.

It should be about finding this horse a good home, which is what the trainer wanted, not about making a profit.
 

flojo

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It should be about finding this horse a good home, which is what the trainer wanted, not about making a profit.

The OP sates that she is NOT trying to make a profit. She just wants to find a suitable home and not be out of pocket herself. Sounds reasonable enough to me.
 

zaminda

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I would say contact wetherbys and ask them. I have never come across a not to be sold on clause in a sale from a trainer, I would expect it possibly with a horse that comes from one of the rescue/rehab centres, but not otherwise. TBH, I wouldn't be terribly happy, as it basically means you have actually had the horse on loan from them, when you thought you had bought it, and have paid for the privilege. Another question is had they already ticked the box when you signed it, or did they sign it and tick it when you weren't there?
 

VP2009

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I am legally the owner of this horse having paid money and got a receipt and transferred ownership via Weatherbys / passport.
 

VP2009

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I would say contact wetherbys and ask them. I have never come across a not to be sold on clause in a sale from a trainer, I would expect it possibly with a horse that comes from one of the rescue/rehab centres, but not otherwise. TBH, I wouldn't be terribly happy, as it basically means you have actually had the horse on loan from them, when you thought you had bought it, and have paid for the privilege. Another question is had they already ticked the box when you signed it, or did they sign it and tick it when you weren't there?


Sorry don't know if I am quoting you right as don't come on here, but I wasn't aware of the box being ticked until I received a photo copy of the NRA back in the post.
 

Red-1

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Hi,

A disappointment I know.

I guess it is a small consolation that you would not seem to be banned from loaning the horse on? At least that way you have a stable spare for your next, and the horse can have the home you think fit for her.

Not perfect I know as you will probably have to wait a few months to save for what you want, but not trapped as my first appear.

Meanwhile I would get legal advice.
 

VP2009

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They are also saying she is not to be loaned as this comes as being "passed on".

Hi,

A disappointment I know.

I guess it is a small consolation that you would not seem to be banned from loaning the horse on? At least that way you have a stable spare for your next, and the horse can have the home you think fit for her.

Not perfect I know as you will probably have to wait a few months to save for what you want, but not trapped as my first appear.

Meanwhile I would get legal advice.
 

Red-1

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They are also saying she is not to be loaned as this comes as being "passed on".

The exact wording will be essential as "this horse shall not be sold on or disposed of without prior consent of the previous seller" is different to being "passed on".

On a loan the horse still remains your property and responsibility, and I would dispute it has been passed on. There are some legal bods on here and I hope they can give you some accurate advice.

I would also contact the issuing office of the NRA to see what the original document says, it is possible that the box is not even ticked on the original, and even if it is they may be able to help with an explanation as to what is what.

If you have no joy on here with legal advice it may be worth checking your household insurance for legal advice, or your horse insurance, or if not covered with that then join the BHS for their legal advice.
 
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STRIKER

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I have just looked at our non racing agreements and there is a clause 3.3.2 but i wonder if it was ticked in error and as you have now tipped them off about wanting to sell her they are being clever. Suggest you call wetherbys first to confirm on their copy it is ticked. But agree if you have paid for her and proof of receipt then she is yours. I also agree 1 year is not long enough to retrain a horse from one discipline to another.
 

VP2009

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"The Buyer shall not sell, lease, hold on trust for another or otherwise dispose of the whole or of any part of the Horse without
the prior written consent of the seller"

is the exact wording

The exact wording will be essential as "this horse shall not be sold on or disposed of without prior consent of the previous seller" is different to being "passed on".

On a loan the horse still remains your property and responsibility, and I would dispute it has been passed on. There are some legal bods on here and I hope they can give you some accurate advice.

I would also contact the issuing office of the NRA to see what the original document says, it is possible that the box is not even ticked on the original, and even if it is they may be able to help with an explanation as to what is what.

If you have no joy on here with legal advice it may be worth checking your household insurance for legal advice, or your horse insurance, or if not covered with that then join the BHS for their legal advice.
 

Fides

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If you sold the horse would the previous owner even know? Has the previous owner checked on the horse in the past 12 months? If not, I would say that they have shown that they have no interest in the horse's future...
 

VP2009

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Previous owner has not seen horse since they did the "home check"... But my fear is that the buyer looks up the horse's racing name online and sees it has an NRA issued against it, asks weatherbys for a copy and then finds out about "the tick".

If you sold the horse would the previous owner even know? Has the previous owner checked on the horse in the past 12 months? If not, I would say that they have shown that they have no interest in the horse's future...
 

STRIKER

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Who owned the horse the trainer or the owner, the trainer might have found a buyer for her but the proceeds would have gone to the owner unless sold in lien of a debt, i would get in touch with wetherbys, then the actual owner find that info on racing post website
 

Fun Times

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I am in no means advocating a breach of contract but lets just assess what could happen if you sold the horse in breach of that clause. They could sue. To sue, they would need to demonstrate that they have suffered a loss that was forseeable and reasonably contemplated. So, depending on how much this horse is worth, that is probably the maxium extent of their claim. That said, it sounds to me like these people genuinely care about the horse and are trying to safeguard its future, which from my limited knowledge of racing seems to not always be the case.
 

VP2009

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The trainer was the owner........
Who owned the horse the trainer or the owner, the trainer might have found a buyer for her but the proceeds would have gone to the owner unless sold in lien of a debt, i would get in touch with wetherbys, then the actual owner find that info on racing post website
 

zaminda

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I would say if you look at source an exracehorse, a lot of trainers do a bit with them and then sell them on for more. I wonder if they are wanting to resell the horse and profit from your work. You say you have done fun rides and the horse does dressage, in which case it is worth more than you paid for it (I would imagine). Are they planning on giving you back what you paid for the horse?
 

VP2009

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I have done a lot with her and she has competed affiliated dressage and done ODEs and SJ and Showing and lots more. They are not planning on giving me any money back they want her returned free of charge.
I would say if you look at source an exracehorse, a lot of trainers do a bit with them and then sell them on for more. I wonder if they are wanting to resell the horse and profit from your work. You say you have done fun rides and the horse does dressage, in which case it is worth more than you paid for it (I would imagine). Are they planning on giving you back what you paid for the horse?
 

zaminda

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In which case they are taking the p***, and I wonder if they have a new buyer lined up if im honest. I have never come across this, and I work in racing, and have seen lots of horses rehomed!
 

VP2009

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What do you suggest I do? I have tried speaking to them in depth very fairly. Each time they have come back with very blunt written replies stating she is not to be sold and that if I am not going to keep her she will be given back free of charge. I really don't feel the horse or myself will be treated fairly and I don't think she deserves to go back to a racing yard with people that haven't seen her for over 14 months whereas I potentially have friends that would buy her off me that have ridden her on and off whilst I've owned her and just want to hack and go to pleasure rides as they are too nervous - something she would be brilliant for (I have explained all of this to them). I am not trying to make money from this situation but I simply cannot afford to have spent in "extras" for one horse and not be left with even a few hundred pounds to find myself a breaker or a rescue or something.
In which case they are taking the p***, and I wonder if they have a new buyer lined up if im honest. I have never come across this, and I work in racing, and have seen lots of horses rehomed!
 

Goldenstar

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These agreements are pretty common they stop horses being passed from pillar to post .
I don't see hoe you can change the basis of your agreement after a year .
 

zaminda

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Contact wetherbys, and find out if with this agreement you can change the ownership details. If you can, then sell her with a contract and cease contact with trainer, if not, then I'm not really sure, but they can't ask for her to be given back for free when you have a home waiting, and take money for her when they pass her on again. If you are a bhs member you could talk to them, or failing that have a chat with the jockey club.
 

STRIKER

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It say both parties agree to the agreements of the agreement, i would argue the case you never agreed to the box being ticked and it was not ticked when you signed and it has been ticked afterwards, where are the witnesses etc etc
 

VP2009

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This sounds good. I was planning on going above their heads and ringing WB on Monday :) . Wouldn't mind selling her with a contract at all. Never thought of that so good idea. Might also tell WB that the tick was "ticked" after I'd already signed it and I wasn't present when that clause was checked. Do you think this would implicate things in any way. Thanks for your help by the way. :)
Contact wetherbys, and find out if with this agreement you can change the ownership details. If you can, then sell her with a contract and cease contact with trainer, if not, then I'm not really sure, but they can't ask for her to be given back for free when you have a home waiting, and take money for her when they pass her on again. If you are a bhs member you could talk to them, or failing that have a chat with the jockey club.
 
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