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Ocala, FL Equine Agent Purchase & Sale Attorneys

Agent Purchase and Sale Issues Regarding Horses in Florida

Equine sales transactions are a big business in Florida. A lot of money can be at stake in a horse sale, and when someone does not get the horse that was bargained for, equine lawyers usually have to get involved to resolve the dispute over the animal. The laws in Florida regarding equine sales transactions are very strict, and should be taken seriously.

Disclosure Requirements in A Horse Sale

Horse sales in Florida are governed by FAC Rule 5H-26.004, which requires a mandatory, written bill of sale detailing:

  • Information about the buyer, owner, or their duly authorized agents. This includes the names, addresses and signatures of each;
  • The horse’s name, and its sire and dam if these are known;
  • The horse’s age, if known;
  • The date of the sale;
  • The purchase price of the horse;
  • If applicable and known, the breed of the horse and the registry status of the horse;
  • The following two statements:
    • “As the person signing below on behalf of the Owner, I hereby confirm that I am the lawful Owner of this horse or the Owner’s duly authorized agent, and I am authorized to convey legal title to the horse pursuant to this bill of sale”; and
    • “As the person signing below on behalf of the Purchaser, I understand that any warranties or representations from the Owner or the Owner’s agent that I am relying upon in acquiring this horse, including warranties or representations with respect to the horse’s age, medical condition, prior medical treatments, and the existence of any liens or encumbrances, should be stated in writing as part of this bill of sale.”

Horse Sale Disputes

When key facts about the horse that is being purchased are not disclosed prior to the sale, such as whether the horse has received any medical treatments, surgeries, or drugs prior to the sale, this lack of disclosure can open up a seller, or the seller’s agent or trainer, to liability for deceptive trade practices. Similarly, dual agency is prohibited in Florida without written disclosure of the dual agency in advance of the sale, and the parties must agree to the dual agency in writing. These are just a few examples of issues that can prompt horse sale disputes in Florida.

Equine Sales Fraud

Any violation of the rules regarding the sale of horses can constitute an unfair and deceptive trade practice, and when a seller intentionally misrepresents to a buyer some fact or attribute about the horse for the purpose of inducing a sale of the horse, it is considered horse sale fraud. For example, stating a horse is “totally sound” when in fact the horse is not, or asserting that the horse can do certain feats when this may not be true, are both fraudulent misrepresentations.

A certain amount of sales puffery is one thing; however, lying to a buyer to score a sale on false pretenses is another. If it is discovered that you were enticed into purchasing a horse due to fraud or have any other equine sales dispute, you need to consult with an experienced equine lawyer immediately. If you have been involved in a horse sale that has gone poorly, contact the equine lawyers at Schatt Hesser Mcgraw.

(352) 789-6520