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Leone Equestrian Law LLC provides legal services and consultation for equestrian professionals ranging from riders and trainers to owners and show managers in the FEI disciplines on a wide variety of issues.
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Latest Thinking

You Sold Me a Stopper!

Update: Case Verdict Reached – The Florida federal judge in this case, ruled in favor of the former owner and trainer of Vorst, after the jury found that they had not misrepresented the medical history and performance of the horse. Read more here.
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The recent lawsuit in Florida over the sale of a potential grand prix horse, Vorst, to a wealthy Mexican owner provides an opportunity to discuss the responsibilities of sellers and risks to buyers in a horse deal. This case is especially interesting since all the parties appear to be knowledgeable and sophisticated participants in equine sport. However, a horse was sold and did not turn out as hoped. To coin a phrase from the financial industry: “Past performance is no guarantee of future performance.”

In this case, a horse was purchased for $250,000 and shipped to Mexico. At the first competition, the horse allegedly started stopping and went lame. The owner sued on the basis that there was misrepresentation as to the horse’s past performance and soundness. The seller denied the allegations and claimed that the new owner didn’t properly prepare the horse for competition, causing injury. The horse is now supposedly valued at $30,000.

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