Mis-sold horse. Wondering if anyone could offer legal advice?

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I purchased this horse five weeks ago from a lady I now believe is a dealer (although this wasn't made clear to me at the time). He was purchased to event and show jump primarily. Upon viewing he jumped (although only small as he was (unfit)) and schooled, and there were no warning signs. When we got home however, he was trashing very small jumps and was struggling in the school. After this I began some research, only to find out that at 3 months he was nearly put to sleep due to a hock issue but had an operation, at which point the vet advised he should only ever lightly hack. Since then he has been to one home where he became lame for 9 months and was nearly put to sleep again, was sold on as a hacker, then sold on to a dealer. We are lead to believe that this dealer gave him steroid injections in his hock and then sold him on to another dealer (the lady that I bought him off). Five weeks on and he has gone lame on said hock, and cannot even hack never mind jump! He was advertised as a perfect riding club and pony club prospect and an all rounder, the ad also said he had done cross country schooling, none of which he is capable of. There are lots more details to this story however I didn't want to bore anyone! So if anyone could offer any pearls of wisdom on legal rights it would be much appreciated :)
 

Cinnamontoast

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Have you spoken to the seller? If she's a dealer, I believe you can return the horse for a refund as he is unfit for purpose under the sale of Goods act, as a horse is classed as goods.
 
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I have spoken to the seller and she did not acknowledge that he had been mis sold but did agree to a full refund and to have him back, but has since starter to ignore me!
 
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I shall speak to an equine solicitor, I just wanted to see whether anyone had been in similar situation and how they had dealt with it. That is after all what these forums are for.
 

Thriller

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That poor poor horse.

I would be unfortunately loading up and taking it back and not leaving until i had my money back - but fully expect that the horse will be buted up again and sold. Why was it not just pts :(
 

ribbons

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To repeat chestnut cobs question, did you have the horse vetted including bloods taken for future testing if necessary.
 
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We didn't have him vetted, which is why I don't really know where I stand. Because initially I thought I wouldn't have a leg to stand on 'buyers beware' and all that. But evidently that isn't always the case. I was only given a receipt for the deposit, not for the full amount as she told me she would send it via post (far too trusting yet again!). I am a member of the BHS though, I will definitely contact them in the morning though if that's the case! And no i'm not in Kent.
 

ribbons

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In that case I suspect you will have a battle on your hands, one that may cost more than its worth.

If you can prove the facts that you've discovered, and prove your seller was aware of those same facts it will help, but I would imagine that will be very difficult.
 

Pearlsacarolsinger

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Have you got a copy of the ad that you answered, or anything else describing the horse as suitable for the activities you listed in OP? If so take this to Trading Standards along with your evidence of his health record and your vet's assessment of his current state of health. IMO this horse should be pts to stop it being passed round any more, so unless you are able to offer a retirement home for life and the vet says that it is feasible that the horse remains field sound, I would try to work with TS, not on returning the horse for a refund but on them taking the seller to court for misrepresentation.
 

kateandluelue

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IMO this horse should be pts to stop it being passed round any more, so unless you are able to offer a retirement home for life and the vet says that it is feasible that the horse remains field sound, I would try to work with TS, not on returning the horse for a refund but on them taking the seller to court for misrepresentation.

I agree with this statement by Pearlsasinger. i agree on really the horse should be PTS, how awful if he ends up in wrong hands or being passed from home to home. Im not saying my way is at all right, but if it was me i would be seeking vet advice and offering retirement livery for this horse. If this was not possible i would PTS then sort the financial side out with the dealer with the use of legal advice xx
 
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Yes I do have a copy of the ad saying that he was suitable for all the activities, i'm getting my hands on his past vets reports and having a vet out to look at him this week. Although I do agree that he has no form of life remaining in a field lame, I also don't want him to be passed about because he deserves more than that. Thanks everyone for all of your help and also thank you for not having a go about the amount of obvious mistakes I made in the purchase of this neddie! It's much appreciated :) I don't suppose anyone knows anywhere that would offer him retirement? As I can't personally afford to do so.
 

kateandluelue

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Yes I do have a copy of the ad saying that he was suitable for all the activities, i'm getting my hands on his past vets reports and having a vet out to look at him this week. Although I do agree that he has no form of life remaining in a field lame, I also don't want him to be passed about because he deserves more than that. Thanks everyone for all of your help and also thank you for not having a go about the amount of obvious mistakes I made in the purchase of this neddie! It's much appreciated :) I don't suppose anyone knows anywhere that would offer him retirement? As I can't personally afford to do so.
Bless u u havent done anything wrong. I bought a horse last summer unvetted who had a spavin in hock i didnt pick it up initially, i was a bit silly and just sat on the horse for 10 min said i loved her and bought her like that. she has OCD which will worsen over time. I was gutted, got a confession out of the old owner after begging her to tell me what was wrong before i had full vet investigations and she confessed. Everyone said send the horse back but i couldnt send her back to that vile person to be filled with painkillers and sold on so now shes my big happy hacker :)
 

Pearlsacarolsinger

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I don't suppose anyone knows anywhere that would offer him retirement? As I can't personally afford to do so.
No-one is likely to be able to offer an unsound horse a permanent retirement home, the charities who might have done so, once upon a time, are all full. I am afraid that the responsibility is yours OP. If you can't afford to keep the horse in retirement, then you should pts for the horse's benefit.
 

Exploding Chestnuts

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We didn't have him vetted, which is why I don't really know where I stand. Because initially I thought I wouldn't have a leg to stand on 'buyers beware' and all that. But evidently that isn't always the case. I was only given a receipt for the deposit, not for the full amount as she told me she would send it via post (far too trusting yet again!). I am a member of the BHS though, I will definitely contact them in the morning though if that's the case! And no i'm not in Kent.
join the BHS as a gold member and they will give you access to legal helpline/
Trading standards will also advise, it is NOT buyer beware.
keep a diary of everything.
Costs as well, you can ask her for expenses.
In the end it may be that you PTS, [advise them of your intent], and then go to small claims court.
Do you have the passport, it should have relevant owners addresses on it.
 
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PeterNatt

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Sorry to read about your horse.
Sadly there are a number of dealers out there who pretend that they are private sellers.
Try to find more adverts from the dealer that sold you the horse so that you can demonstrate that they are a dealer as you can then use the 'Sale of Goods Act' to get a full refund and also get back your expenses.
However be aware that the dealer may not have any assets in which case it may be difficult to get the money back in one go but you could go for instalments.
Please find below a list of specialist equine solicitors:

SOLICITORS – EQUINE

Deborah Hargreaves
Edmondson Hall Solicitors and Sports Lawyers
25 Exeter Road
Newmarket
Suffolk
CB8 8AR
Tel: 01638 560556
Tel: 01638 564483
E: solicitors@edmondsonhall.com
E: ah@edmondsonhall.com
www.edmondsonhall.com/page/1r6ef/Home/partner.html
Wroyte an article on The Legal pitfalls of Buying and Selling Horses

Actons
Tel: 0115 91002200 Caroline Bowler

Mark Carter
White Bowker Solicitors
Tel: 01962 844440
www.wandb.co.uk
mark.carter@wandb.co.uk

Helen Niebuhr
Darbys Solicitors
52 New Inn Hall Street
Oxford
OX1 2QD
Tel: 01865 811 7000
01865 811712
Fax: 01865 811 777
www.equine-law.net
E: equine@darbys.co.uk

Jaqcui Fulton Equine Law
Tel: 0121 308 5915
jf@equinelawuk.co.uk
www.equinelawuk.co.uk

Hannah Campbell (Specialise in compensation cases)
Tel: 01446 794196 (Specialises in traffic accidents involving horses)
www.horsesolicitor.co.uk
info@horse solicitor

Elizabeth Simpson Senior Solicitor at law firm Andrew M Jackson
Tel: 01482 325242
www.andrewjackson.co.uk
enquiries@andrewjackson.co.uk

David Forbes or Belinda Walkinshaw
Pickworths Solicitors
6 Victoria Street
St Albans
Hertfordshire
AL1 3JB
01727 844511

Mark de-villamar Roberts
Langleys Solicitors Equine Law Group
Tel: 01904 683051
E: mark.Roberts@langleys.com
www.equinelawyers.co.uk

Elizabeth Simpson
Senior Solicitor
Andrew Jackson
Yorkshire
Tel: 01482 325242
www.andrewjackson.co.uk

Richmond Solicitors
13-15 High Street
Keynsham
Bristol
BS31 1DP
Tel: 0117 986 9555
Fax: 0117 986 8680
enquiries@richmonssolicitorsco.uk

Jacqui Fulton
Giselle Robinson Solicitors

Knights Solicitors
Tunbridge Wells
Tel: 01892 537311
www.knights-solicitors.co.uk
Work with GRC Commercial Bailiffs
Senior partner very good on equine matters

Horse Solicitor
Tel: 01446 794 196
info@horsesolicitor.co.uk
www.horsesolicitor.com

www.laytons.com

Mary Ann Reay Charles or Chris Shaw
Shaw and Co Solicitors
Equine Law Specialists
Tel: 0800 019 1248
info@shawandco.com
www.shawandco.com

Arnold Thomson
205 Watling Street West
Towcester
Northants
NN12 6BX
Tel: 01327 350266
Fax: 01327 353567
www.arnoldthomson.com
enquiries@arnoldthomson.com

Tozers www.tozers.co.uk

Eleanor Temple Barrister from Kings Chambers in Leeds
Tel: 0113 242 1123
www.kingschambers.com
 

tashcat

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On the deposit receipt did it say any where "sold as seen". Because in that case you're in trouble: many dealers selling unfit horses will write those three words and nearly always save themselves from any action the buyer takes.

Apart from that I definitely think you have a strong case, just be wary of costs in doing so.

And I agree with others, PTS might be the kindest option.

Hope you're okay, my heart goes out to the horse and you x
 

thatsmygirl

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Such a shame for the horse and your you op. google her tel number and see what comes up as it might surprise you. My friend in the same suituation done that once to find the lady had a ad on project horses asking for free horses then horses for sell. Didnt take long to go on the website and started to match the horses up. Google can be your friend
 

laura_nash

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On the deposit receipt did it say any where "sold as seen". Because in that case you're in trouble: many dealers selling unfit horses will write those three words and nearly always save themselves from any action the buyer takes.
This is nonsense. I had this from a car dealer who claimed because the car was "sold as seen" it didn't matter that the fuel tank leaked, and it was confirmed by TS and my legal advice that it is not true. If they are a trade seller then the goods have to be fit for the purpose for which they were sold, there are no magical three words that negate that. Unless the horse was sold as unridden or a project then it has to be fit to be ridden.
 

Luci07

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This is nonsense. I had this from a car dealer who claimed because the car was "sold as seen" it didn't matter that the fuel tank leaked, and it was confirmed by TS and my legal advice that it is not true. If they are a trade seller then the goods have to be fit for the purpose for which they were sold, there are no magical three words that negate that. Unless the horse was sold as unridden or a project then it has to be fit to be ridden.

While I agree with this, the reality is that it has proven very costly to get this case to court and even if you win, the seller can agree to make payments on a monthly basis..and leave you chasing for the money.

I would come down very heavily on this woman with one strong legal letter. Get all your facts in a row before you go back so you are very sure of your ground.

For future ref, as others said, google is your friend. Check the number. Check the name of the woman. There is a FB page which shares info on dealers. Next time, vet the horse and research.

Very recently saw a stunning horse up for sale jumping 1m20. Very geniune no vices etc etc. a little bit of work meant I found horse has been sold 3 x in 18 months and the advert from Cavan said it had been seen to weave and needed a competent rider..
 

ester

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I think there is a lot you can do before you have to start full on legal proceedings though. Sufficient threats and pointing out that the law is on your side with regards to fit for purpose- even more so if you can prove that she would be classed as a dealer.
 

old hand

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You may be able to go through the small claims court , much less expensive and they have raised the maximum you can claim for. You can then send court bailiffs after her if she doesn't pay up again not that expensive and you get refunded if she pays up. you could easily spend the cost of another horse through the legal route. The Court Officers help you and the adjudicator will look through the papers asking for any additional information needed before the hearing, a friend is doing this at the moment, but make sure you identify who she is and where she lives first, you may need a solicitor for that. get as much information and witness statements and if people will come to court with you to back up their statements it will help.
 

Exploding Chestnuts

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The main problem, or one of them is pony, she must be sure she is legal to pts, advising dealer of intention etc. Due to cost of its keep it is essential to deal with it quickly. Her vet will have to advise on pts , which sounds like best fate for poor pony,
 
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Elsiecat

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I've not read all the replies. But my personal thoughts are - you didn't get horse vetted, you can't prove the dealer had any prior knowledge of the issue (would have flagged up had you had a vetting) and also if you send the horse back, it could be sold on.
I'm afraid I'd be PTS and cutting your losses.
 

ester

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Has the OP said that she can't prove that the seller had no prior knowledge? Also I am not 100% sure that you always have to with regards to not fit for purpose. It probably would be best for the horse if it were PTS but I think it is the OPs perogative to try and send it back. I certainly wouldn't be PTS until the situation was resolved.
 
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