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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47880
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I bought a horse from a professional hunting yard 10 days

Customer Question

Hi.
I bought a horse from a professional hunting yard 10 days ago. Since bring her home the mare naps (rears) when she doesn't want to go past something hacking. I paid £5,250 for the mare and it cost me £400 approx to have her vetted.
I have rung the guy I bought her from who then told me he is not the owner. He is declared on vet certificate as owner. He will have profited from the sale (won't have done it for nothing). His full time job is farrier. I cannt quite figure out the set up at the yard, who owns it, how it's run as a business.
At no point did he say mare can be spooky out hacking. Bought for me and my daughter to share with hacking being important part of what we wanted her for.
I want to return her, get my money back and the vets fee is my loss. He is refusing, says "owner is not in position to take her back".
I am not sure if he is a dealer and how this affects my rights.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today. On the balance of probabilities do you believe he is a dealer?

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, not as such ie it is not his main profession. However, he is not an amateur and is making money out of riding and selling horses. He also is connected not sure if he runs the yard who hire out horses for hunting.The girl who rides for me sell 3-4 horses a year and runs a livery yard. She was classified as a dealer because she makes her money from horses.Not sure if this helps?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
01386 751060
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Thanks calling shortly

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hi there, so when a consumer makes a purchase from a business seller, they will have certain 'statutory' rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. The law states that the goods must be:

· of satisfactory quality – they must not be faulty or damaged when you receive them;

· as described – they must match any description given to you at the time of purchase; and

· fit for purpose – they should be fit for the purpose they are supplied for,

If they do not match the above requirements, you will have certain legal remedies against the seller.

If the goods do not meet the criteria mentioned above, you will have the following rights:

1. Reject them and request a refund - this is only possible if the rejection occurs within 30 days of purchase.

2. Ask for a repair or replacement – if you are too late to reject the goods or do not wish to get a refund straight away, you can ask the seller for a repair or replacement. Obviously a repair is not possible here so it would be a replacement.

If there is still time to reject the goods and request a refund, you may do so. You can quote the applicable rights you have under the Consumer Rights Act as mentioned above. If they appear reluctant to assist, write to them one more time, warn them that they have 7 days to comply and inform them that if they fail to meet their legal obligations, you will have no choice but to report them to Trading Standards and start legal proceedings to seek compensation for your losses. This can be done via www.moneyclaim.gov.uk

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, last question for now. If I go down route of small claims, can I claim the costs ie the £400 or do and the hearing fee?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

If you mean the claims and the hearing fees for the court, then yes you can ask for those to be reimbursed by the other party, but only if you win. Also you do not include them in the original claim, these are claimed once a decision is made in your favour

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
HiI am going to write a letter today, should it be "without prejudice"? Thank youEmma
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Yes you can label it as such but only if you ate trying to settle, not if ypu are trying to threaten legal action without attempts to settle

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Please confirm fees for claiming via small claims court
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Assuming you are claiming £5650 in total then it would be £410 claim fee if submitted online and then a hearing fee of £335

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ben
This is a copy of my letter to Sam Booker (left of addresses):
Without Prejudice
Dear *****
Following our conversation and subsequent text messages on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th of July, I have spoken to my solicitor regarding the purchase of Diamond (grey ISH).
Diamond is not “fit for purpose”; I was clear that one her primary functions would be hacking and she is more than just spooky, although she was not described as such when we tried her. When she sees something she does not like, she absolutely refuses to pass it, threating to rear and lifting her front legs off the ground. I gave her the benefit of the doubt for a few days but a horse that I cannot hack out is not fit for purpose. Furthermore, at no point did you advise me that you were not the owner of the horse and selling on behalf of an owner.
The vet has clearly noted on the certificate that you are the owner and that the use of the horse is hacking with some show jumping. This is at best misleading.
My solicitor’s advice is that I am able to make a claim against you via the small claims court (not the owner as the contract is between us). The basis of the claim will be my statutory rights under the Consumer Rights Acts 2015, where by a customer is entitled to a refund within 30 days when the horse is not fit for purpose and or as described. If we have to follow this route, I would also claim for all costs in the process which will be circa £1,500 (solicitor, court, vet, transport, livery). If I am successful, and my solicitor believes it very likely then this will be payable in addition to the purchase price.
It would be in all of our best interests for you and the owner to accept the return of the horse and refund the purchase price of £5,250. I will return her to you at no cost. It is not in my nature to be confrontational but I must insist on the return of this horse.
Please advise within 5 days of the course of action you are going to take. If I do not hear from you within this time then I will file the claim with the court. If you would like to discuss the matter with me then I am very happy to talk to you.
Yours sincerelyEmma Davies (Mrs)
Letter sent both regular post and registered post to Doug stables.
Emailed to***@******.***
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxThis is content of his response (left off addresses):
Without Prejudice
Emma,
Your letter of 18th July refers.
Firstly I am writing to advise that I not be excepting the return of Diamond.
The horse was advertised correctly and no mention of hacking was described in the advertisement.
When you tried the horse in the school, you decided that you wanted her there and then, when asked if you wanted to hack her down the road you declined my offer, I then rode her away and you watched. You were at that point told that the mare could be spooky whilst hacking alone.
With regard to you making a claim against me via the small claims court, this is not possible as myself or the joint owner is not a horse trader, we both have relevant full time employment. My solicitor is more than happy to talk to you in greater length confirming the facts that are necessary to enable you to claim under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
Once again I reiterate that I am not prepared to accept the return of the horse, Diamond as under no circumstances is she not fit for purpose.Yours sincerely
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxIgnoring the grammar and spellings, I think we need to find away to get away from he says / she says. He is factually incorrect, he at no point during the sale process told me she was spooky. In fact when she looked at something on the side of the road, his groom told me it was unusual and she never does that. Even if he did (neither of us can prove independently either way) there is a fundamental difference between "could be spooky" and rearing and napping.It is unusual to hack out a horse you are trying in my experience, in hindsight I cant help but think he has off loaded a problem horse as he offered to hack her out etc. I guess to cover himself.When I called him to describe her behaviour, then her said she could be a little bit spooky, he then said she might shy away from something but had never reared or napped. Obviously again this cant be proven.At no point did he tell me he was not the owner or joint owner of the horse. Again, when I called him he said he needed to consult the owner, his letter suggest he is joint owner - inconsistent and almost impossible to prove from my side. But the fact he mis led me and the vet by omission could be helpful.So, I with his insistence he is not a trader we have the option to pursue the fact the horse is not as described or similar? Please can you advise your thoughts, I really cannt afford to keep this horse, it is dangerous to me and not suitable for hacking the prime purpose for buying her.Many thanks, ***** ***** length but thought it important you could see all facts.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hi there, whether he is a trader or not is going to be something a court decides on when they look at his activities in selling horses. The fact that he has other employment certainly does not mean he cannot be a trader, you can have a main job and still be considered a trader as a separate or secondary business involvement. If he is genuinely not a trader then you can only pursue him under a misrepresentation or breach of contract claim. You need to take into account the advert and also what was discussed prior to sale. he advert will at least be a documentary piece of evidence, the verbal discussions will be your word against theirs so eventually the court will have to decide whose version of events they think is more credible

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, I think it will have to be misrepresentation.
How do I word the legal part of misrepresentation so it sounds firm enough?
Thanks
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Well it is a basic case of were you told something that did not turn out to be the case. Misrepresentation is just that - the seller misrepresents the item they have sold you by providing an inaccurate description, either in the advert or in subsequent discussions and such description has influenced your decision to buy the item. Do not get bogged down with legalese, not only does it not really exist much in these circumstances but it is best to keep things to the face and important matters rather than complicate it