Protecting your purchase
Depending on who you buy your horse from you will have varying rights, so it’s important you know the difference, should you need to make a claim…
When you purchase a horse or pony from a dealer or trader you have the added protection of the Consumer Rights Act 2015. When you purchase direct from a private individual you may have to rely on the Misrepresentations Act 1967 and/or a breach of contract.
Buying a horse from a private individual
If you are buying from a supposedly private individual the statements or representations that they make in regard to the horse such as its age, ability, history or health, should be true. If the statements the seller makes induce or persuade you to purchase the horse and they subsequently turn out not to be true, then you may have a claim against them.
These representations may be made in the advertisement, in pre-sale correspondence or verbally. It’s worth noting that if they are made by a third party, you may not be successful in a claim against them.
Record-keeping and written contracts
In the excitement of buying a horse it’s easy to forget to keep records of all the advertisements, emails and texts. It is advisable to keep hold of these however as, whilst in most cases a purchase will go swimmingly, you may come to rely on them in the event you wish to make a claim.
To increase your protection it is also advisable to have a written contract of sale. The contract should include all the information about the horse, the sale and any specific requirements identified and made known. Although it may not save you having to bring legal proceedings to seek recompense, it will increase your chances of success should things go wrong after purchase.
You may be able to draft a contract yourself or alternatively instruct a solicitor. Whilst this might seem like just another expense to add to the vet bill, transport, insurance and new saddle, it may not cost as much as you think and could potentially save you your purchase price and associated costs should things go wrong.