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How to Enforce a “Live Foal Guarantee” in a Horse Sale

In the horse industry, sellers sometimes offer mares for sale as a “2-in-1 package” where the mare is represented as being in foal.  But what if the mare fails to carry a foal to term?  What if the foal dies soon after the birth?  Can a mare owner enforce a “live foal guarantee” on a breeding that he or she never arranged?  Mare owners have options.

  • Pay the Stud Fee and Sue the Seller for Reimbursement.  This option will depend on the terms of the sale agreement, how important the “2-in-1 package” was to the buyer, and state law.   Also, if the seller refuses to help secure a re-breed right, the buyer might want to paying the stud fee now because timing can be critical in horse breeding and the buyer is mitigating his or her losses in that manner.
  • Sue to Enforce the Breeding Contract.  This option might make sense if the contract is understandable and clear.
  • Sue the Seller to Recover the Overpayment.  If the buyer cannot get the re-breed right honored, or does like the other options, he or she might consider suing the seller for recovery of an overpayment on the basis that the sale involved a 2-in-1 package – not just a single broodmare.

Avoiding Disputes

To avoid disputes in the future, use carefully worded contracts.  In fact, verbal breeding-related contracts run the risk of being unenforceable under laws called “Statutes of Frauds” in several states.  Many of them require a written contract for any agreement that “is not to be performed within one year from the making thereof.”  In 2000, a New York court ruled that a verbal contract involving the boarding, breeding, and care of broodmares and foals was unenforceable under New York’s statute of frauds.  The contract at issue in that case, by its terms, would take more than one year to be performed.

If you buy a mare with a transferable re-breed right from the stallion owner, confirm that right with the stallion owner or manager directly and make sure it is written.

Careful planning will avoid these disputes.  We can help you in the process.

Categories: 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 and, and

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Our Equine law blog (and its author) in the news!

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.

Julie Fershtman’s Recent and Upcoming Equine Law Speaking Engagements Include:

National Conference on Equine Law in Louisville, Kentucky on April 29, 2020. Topic will be on Waivers/Releases of Liability Involving Minor Participants. 

U.S. Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) Annual Convention in Denver, Colorado on December 10, 2019. Topic will be on Equine Liability. 

IRMI Emmett J. Vaughan Agribusiness Conference (“AgriCon”) in Sacramento, CA (April 2019), and Richmond, VA (June 2019) and in Des Moines, IA (September 2019), on topics of “Equine Activity Liability Acts” and “Equine Mortality Insurance Disputes.”

National Conference on Equine Law in May 2019 in Lexington, KY, on the topic of “Equine Activity Liability Act Updates” and liabilities involving hosting of equine clinics. 

Agricultural Claims Conference in Kansas City, MO, in March 2019 on topics of “Loose Livestock Liabilities.”

2018 American Bar Association Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL, on “Equine Mortality Coverage and Disputes.”

November 2018, American Horse Council webinar on “Equine Liability.”

Honors & Recognitions

Equine lawyer, Julie Fershtman, has received 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. 


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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