Seller beware in UK Horse sales and horse dealing, for selling horses in the UK has become a very litigious occupation.
According to Emma, who claims that 90pc of Irish dealers would go out of business within 12 months if they operated in Britain.
There’s no such thing as spitting on a handshake over here (in the UK); we have to sign contracts and we even have clients taping conversations, she explains.
The Sale of Goods Act says that if something is not suitable for the purpose for which you bought it, you are entitled to get your money back.
That’s okay when you’re talking about a car or a piece of equipment, but when you’re talking about an animal, it makes life very difficult.
“I am in court next week over a horse that got ringworm six weeks after I sold it and now the owner is suing me for £7,000″
I’m not a mind reader, I could not have known that the horse would develop ringworm, but I have to go and defend myself in court over it, it’s crazy,” she sighs.
UK Horse Sales – Seller BewareCaitriona Murphy (Ireland)
I could sell a horse and, after three or four months, the owner will come back, say it looked at him funny and I have to take it back and hand back the money.
The sue-first ask later, tendency of many buyers has forced Emma to keep accurate records of every contact she has with owners.
Including after sales contacts; everything from emails to text messages.
It’s sad because I’m not like that, but I have no choice, she says. If I sell a horse as being quiet in traffic, I will video that horse riding up the high street of the local village with cars and trucks passing, because if the new owner comes back months later saying the horse is spooky, I have video evidence that when I sold the animal, it was quiet.
I am very patient, but sometimes I have to go for a walk around the block to calm down before I can deal with some clients.
Years ago, when horse buyers were old-school hunting crowd, they knew whether a horse was right or wrong, but nowadays you have different owners.
They have gone out and bought everything in a catalogue, gone for a few riding lessons at the local riding centre and then decided to buy a horse.
For the first few days the horse is fine, but then it’s left standing in the stable for a week on full feed, before taking it out on the road on a cold windy day
And then the owner complains that the horse bucked.