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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71154
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I live in Surrey. Last April, I had a problem horse that I

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I live in Surrey. Last April, I had a problem horse that I sent to a dealer in Herefordshire (a***** to be retrained and then sold. He thought it would take 3-4 months, and we could likely get £3-4k for her. But supposedly, after months of retraining and several people looking, he claims he had no takers. He was not very responsive, he usually ignored my calls/texts, but not always. Last December, after 7 months, I told him to sell her as a project horse for £1k, but honestly I would have taken £1. She was costing £649 per month in his livery plus vet bills. I decided not to pay him for the December livery, thinking he could take his livery out of the proceeds of the sale, and because of his lack of communication I feared I would never get my money (this happened to me once before when I sold a horse through a dealer. It took me 3 months to get my share of the sale.) Of course, if the costs should come to more than the proceeds of the sale, I had every intention of paying.I heard nothing from him until January, when he said no one had shown interest but "She's out with the broodmares to reduce my costs and will keep you posted when she finally sells." Since then I've heard nothing.For the past 3 months, he's ignored several texts and phone calls. I've asked several times for a discussion and updates, but nothing. I've paid nothing in monthly costs. This is competition season when buyers are looking and if we're ever going to sell her it's going to be now. She's probably now unfit and unhealthy since she's been dumped out with the broodmares, and probably not marketable.What should I do? I think he may have stolen my horse but quite honestly, if he wants her he can have her. Before she went for retraining she had been quite a dangerous ride, rearing and bucking, etc., but still young (6 years now) and possibly retrainable. I know that I am still legally and financially responsible for her (I still hold insurance on her). Really, my big fear is that he won't be able to sell her and send me a bill for thousands of pounds of past livery. I was thinking about driving up there with a horse trailer and demanding her return, but I fear he will present me with an unfit, useless horse with no prospects, which I'll have to give to another training yard and which will end up costing me even more.Jackie
So, in short, he has had your horse for some time and you haven't had the money?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Well, presumably he hasn't sold her yet, so there's no money. (But I don't know that for sure because I haven't been able to reach him since Jan.) But I haven't paid the livery since November. So I probably owe him.
Ok. What are you hoping to achieve?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Really, I'd like to just sign her over to him and let him have her to deal with her. But really, I can't imagine he'll take that responsibility.Right now I think he thinks he has the best of all worlds, i.e., he can just have her around and make minimal effort, and if a buyer comes happens to come out of nowhere, he'll sell her, keep the proceeds and send me a bill for the remainder expenses.But he's probably not going to sell her because I don't even think he's advertised her. He hasn't even informed me of the costs of keeping her out with the broodmares. So I've got no idea how much I might be in for.But if I don't hear from him soon, I'll probably have to drive up there with a horse trailer and demand her back. Doing this would be very expensive, given that I'd need to hire a trailer and even a person to help me load her. Then I'll need to find a place to put her. In total we're probably talking about £1k in expenses, which would be very difficult for me to pay right now.
No, it is quite unlikely he will want to do that. I suppose you could ask. Ultimately, it is a choice for you. You can demand her back at any time. He does not have a right to retain her. If he isn't acting though then overall you are probably better getting her back because you can sell elsewhere. There is no point in prolonging the inevitable. You are much better off facing the situation and dealing with it. If you are suffering loss now then you should really be trying to recover her so that you can bring an end to it. Can I clarify anything for you? Jo
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