Every horse owner knows the feeling. You just picked up what you think is your perfect equine partner. You spent months looking for this horse and you can’t wait to get him or her home. But some might also know the feeling when the excitement quickly fades. You get home and realize…this is not the horse you remembered trying. Perhaps “Ole Buddy” isn’t so kind and friendly now, and you’d like to know what recourse you have on the purchase.
Your options will hinge on the presence (or absence) of a horse sale contract or purchase agreement. Technically speaking, all sales of equines over $500 must be placed in writing to be enforceable, because of the Statute of Frauds. Crooked horse dealers have existed for centuries, and it’s not uncommon for an experienced seller to take advantage of less-experienced buyers, selling them an animal they know cannot meet long-term expectations.
A purchase agreement for your new equine friend is a fairly simple legal agreement for an attorney to put together and can end up saving both parties in the long run by spelling things out at the outset of the sale.
What Should Go Into a Horse Purchase Contract?
Now that we have established why the existence of an equine purchase agreement is necessary, we should discuss some of the key items to be included in the contract. These are both for transparency and for the protection of the sale. Some basic things to include are:
- Name or registration information of the horse
- Age of the horse
- Sex of the horse
- Price and payment terms
- Date of sale
Other things that should be discussed and then placed in writing are warranties related to the horse. Because of the unpredictability of horses and other animals, most sellers choose to sell the horse “as is” with no guarantee.
Unfortunately, this means if you sign a sale agreement with the condition listed “as is” and the seller materially misrepresented the horse’s abilities or conditions, you are still stuck.
Good practice is detailing the ability, soundness, condition, and habits of the horse in the agreement, for both parties to agree to. This protects the buyer from getting a horse that is not what they paid for, and this protects the seller from a buyer claiming misrepresentation because they had remorse even though the horse is everything they wanted initially.
Buying and selling a horse is a major investment that affects the well-being of both parties, and of the horse. While negotiating a purchase agreement for a horse doesn’t have to be lengthy, complicated, or difficult, it is a valuable part of the process to protect everyone involved. Consider contacting BB&C for all your horse purchase agreement needs. With an experienced team of contract drafting attorneys who are well-versed in the unique needs of the equine industry, we can help make the process of bringing home your new friend with confidence and excitement.
The content of this blog is intended to be general and informational in nature. It is advertising material and is not intended to be, nor is it, legal advice to or for any particular person, case, or circumstance. Each situation is different, and you should consult an attorney if you have any questions about your situation.