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Common Equine Breeding Disputes and How to Avoid Them

Horse breeding transactions can generate several disputes, including the following:

Problem

The stallion’s show or race schedule prevents its availability for breeding by cooled semen or live cover.

If the breeding will be accomplished by live cover, AI, or shipped cooled semen, which requires the stallion to be available for collection, this problem can be avoided by a contract that specifies a range of dates or months in which the stallion can be available.

Problem

Diseases and hereditary conditions.

The health of the stallion can potentially affect the health of the mare, her offspring, and sometimes even the mare owner’s farm. Breeding contracts provide an excellent opportunity for the stallion owner or manager to promise that the stallion is in good health and is not, for example, a carrier of diseases such as EVA (Equine Viral Arteritis), or genetic conditions such as HERDA (Hereditary Equine Regional Dermal Asthenia or hyperelastosis cutis), HYPP (Hyperkalemic periodic paralysis), LWS (Lethal white syndrome), or OLWS (overo lethal white syndrome). Mare owners may want assurances within the breeding contract that the stallion has been tested for, and is negative for, any or all of these. Breeding farms that invite outside mares might demand assurances from the mare owner.

Problem

The foal dies shortly after birth.

By industry custom, almost all equine breeding contracts come with a “Live Foal Guarantee.” As simple as that phrase may seem, it can generate widely different expectations among mare owners and stallion managers. To prevent misunderstandings, the breeding contract can define the phrase carefully. As examples, the "live foal guarantee" can be defined as: “a single foal that can stand and nurse” or “a foal that survives for 24 hours” (some contracts extend this to 72 hours) after birth.

Conclusion

Breeding contracts can prevent several disputes. The cost to have a contract drafted can potentially save a party thousands of dollars in legal fees. Consult with knowledgeable counsel, or call us if you have questions.

Categories: Breeding, Sales/Disputes

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is considered to be one of the nation's leading attorneys in the field of equine law. A frequent author and speaker on legal issues, she has written over 400 published articles, three books, and has lectured at seminars, conventions, and conferences in 29 states on issues involving law, liability, risk management, and insurance. For more information, please also visit www.fershtmanlaw.com and www.equinelaw.net, and www.equinelaw.info.

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Julie Fershtman, author of our popular and prolific Equine Law Blog, was interviewed by the State Bar of Michigan. The interview, which called Fershtman "Lawyer-Blogger," discussed our Equine Law Blog. We truly believe that this blog is the nation's most active blog serving the equine industry on equine law topics, and we thank you for visiting it. Read more here.

Honors & Recognitions

Equine lawyer, Julie Fershtman, has recieved these prestigious equine industry awards from respected equine organizations:

"Excellence in the Advancement of Animal Law Award" - American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Law Section Animal Law Committee

"Distinguished Service Award" - American Youth Horse Council

"Industry Service Award" - Michigan Equine Partnership

"Catalyst Award"- Michigan Horse Council

"Outstanding Achievement Award" - American Riding Instructors Association 

"Partner in Safety Award" - American Riding Instructors Association 

"Associate Service Award" - United Professional Horseman's Association

"National Partnership in Safety" Award" - Certified Horsemanship Association 

What our Equine Law Services can Provide

Handling breach of contract, fraud/ misrepresentation, commercial code, and other claims involving equine-related transactions including purchases/sales, leases, mare leases/foal transfers, and partnerships.

Litigating disputes in court or through alternative dispute resolution (arbitration, mediation, facilitation).

Defending equine/farm/equestrian industry professionals,  businesses, and associations in personal injury claims and lawsuits.

Drafting and negotiating contracts for boarding, training, sales, waivers/releases, leases, and numerous other equine-related transactions.

Representing and advising insurers on  coverage and policy language as well as litigation;

Advising equine industry clubs and associations regarding management, rules, bylaws, disputes, and regulations.

Representing some of the equine industry's top trainers, competitors, stables, and associations.

Counseling industry professionals, stable managers, and individual horse owners. 

THE NATION'S MOST SOUGHT-AFTER EQUINE LAW SPEAKER

Did you know Julie Fershtman has spoken at the American Horse Council Annual Meeting, Equine Affaire, Midwest Horse Fair, Equitana USA, US Dressage Federation Annual Meeting, North American Riding for the Handicapped (now PATH International) Annual Meeting, American Morgan Horse Association Annual Meeting, American Paint Horse Association Annual Meeting, US Pony Clubs, Inc.'s Annual Meeting, All-American Quarter Horse Congress, American Youth Horse Council Annual Meeting, American Riding Instructors Association Annual Meeting, CHA Annual Meeting, and numerous others? Consider signing her up for your convention. Contact Julie.

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