Horse sale agreement: seller's version

This is a version of our horse sale agreement tailored for sellers rather than buyers. When buying a horse or pony, the buyer takes most risk in whether the horse is sound. A sale agreement therefore usually rebalances the risk back to the seller. This version is slightly different in that it protects the buyer slightly less and includes provisions that favour the seller rather than the buyer. If you are the seller, you are more likely to be better off presenting your own terms, rather than accepting those of the buyer.
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About this horse sale agreement

Many buyers are likely to be nervous about the condition of a horse for sale. It is very hard to ascertain whether a horse has any problems or vices from a viewing that lasts just a few hours. One way of reassuring a potential buyer that a horse is sound is to present a sale agreement in which you warrant (promise) that the horse is fit and doesn't have certain vices.

Use of an agreement is likely to present you as a professional and trustworthy seller. If anything does go wrong once the horse is sold, having used an agreement, you are more likely to receive a friendly phone call and the chance to talk through the problem, rather than an immediate summons to court.

Using your version of the agreement (rather than a buyer's) allows you to set the conditions of sale. If there are potential problems, you can remove your warranty relating to it without bringing the removal so obviously to the buyer's attention. You can also choose terms around payment and delivery that suit you rather than the buyer. If you present your agreement first, it is more likely to be the one that is used.

Using this sale agreement

This horse sale agreement is suitable for any transaction.It might be the case that:

  • you are selling a horse or pony for recreational use
  • you are selling a brood mare or stallion

An agreement transfers much of the risk of buying back to the seller, and so many sellers are reluctant to use them. However, as a buyer, the consequences of not using an agreement could be expensive, both financially and from not having a horse to ride, and so many buyers will insist on using one. If you do use one, it is better from your point of view to use one that benefits you as much as possible, rather than one that transfers all risks to you.

Many people think that an agreement is too formal or legalistic, especially when the other side can be trusted. As far as possible, we have drawn the agreement so that both sides will be happy to use it. It should be difficult for the buyer to refuse to use this document on grounds that it appears too technical. For example, our use of plain language (and lack of legal jargon) should ensure both sides understand the agreement, and reduce any worries about what exactly the deal is.

Alternative documents

  • If you are the buyer, then you will probably want more provisions that protect you rather than the seller. Look at: Horse sale agreement: buyer's version.
  • If there is a lot at risk - the value of the horse might be high or you might need the horse to be able to perform at a certain level - then we sell another version of this document that contains more warranties that the horse is sound, and more advanced provisions relating to matters such as seller's right of first refusal to buy if the buyer subsequently sells the horse. See Horse sale agreement: high value transaction.

Document features and contents

Equestrian legal documents are one of our specialities. The writer of this document has ridden for many years and has bought and sold many horses and ponies for recreational use, to back and sell on, and for the family-run stud. The document is carefully considered to include practical matters that a solicitor who isn't an experienced horseman would be likely to exclude.

The agreement includes the following provisions:

  • Details of the seller and the buyer
  • Details of the horse
  • The sale agreement
  • After the transaction: how and when the horse is transferred to the new owner
  • Non-payment by the buyer
  • 11 seller's warranties applicable to any transaction (which can be reduced at your discretion)
  • Additional warranties specific to brood mares
  • Additional warranties specific to stallions
  • Drugs test and consequences of finding traces of drugs
  • Completion of transfer documents
  • Record of achievement
  • Miscellaneous legal provisions to protect both sides

This document was written by a solicitor for Net Lawman. It complies with current Irish law.

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