Legal bill of £16k over sale of horse

A judge has ordered a keen horserider to pay damages of more than £16,000 following a dispute over a horse sale.

Friday, 6th January 2017, 9:43 am
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 1:03 pm
Legal row: Maisie the horse, who was the centre of a four-day court battle

Alison Metcalf of Bank Farm, Out Rawcliffe, had sold a dressage horse called Maisie to Danny Davies through a third party agent in November 2014 for £7,500.

But Mr Davies, a retired solicitor from Surrey, claimed the circumstances around the sale were misleading and when Maisie failed to live up to his expectations he took legal action. Following a four-day hearing at Manchester County Court, Mr Davies, who had claimed damages up to £30,000, was awarded £16,597.

Recorder Khan dismissed four of the issues, but accepted three issues had amounted to misrepresentation.

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These were that Maisie was 17.2 hands high, not 17 hands as stated in the sale; that statements relating to Maisie’s competitive achievements were “fraudulent or at least negligent”, and the horse’s results from a suitability performance test “amounted to a misrepresentation”.

The judge said in his written judgement, published last month, that “Maisie’s height, her competition record and qualifications were important considerations for Mr Davies”.

Mr Davies said he was an amateur rider who competed in dressage events as a hobby.

He added: “The horse was marketed on behalf of Mrs Metcalf by dealers. It was falsely given a glowing description of achievement and was said to have the ability to go all the way to advanced dressage.”

Mr Davies eventually gave Maisie away free to be a surrogate broodmare.

Mrs Metcalf, a parish councillor and a former member of the Blackpool Landau Association, said while she accepted the judgement, Maisie had been sold “in good faith”.

She added: “Maisie was a lovely horse who had a fabulous temperament.

“We were hoping she would find a loving home with someone who would appreciate her talents. She was sold through agents in good faith.

“Whilst we accept the judgment, this has been a difficult and complex case in which the claimant only succeeded with a few of his main points.

“In my opinion this is an important case for anybody selling their pet horse or pony through an agent as they need to ensure the agent informs the buyer that the sale is on the basis of a private seller.”