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A written loan agreement is strongly recommended. It will provide certainty for both parties as to the terms on which the horse is being loaned. This will reduce the risk of disputes arising.
The terms of the loan agreement will vary depending on the nature of the arrangement. However, there are certain matters that all equine loan agreements should cover. These include the following:
• The parties' (i.e. the owner(s) placing the horse on loan and the borrower(s) taking the horse on loan) names and contact details. This ensures clarity over who the contracting parties are and where they can be contacted;
• A clear definition/description of the horse being loaned. This should be done by reference to for example colour, gender, height, age, any relevant breed registration details and the implanted identity chip. Further details to include are the name of the horse and any freezemark number. Reference can also be made to the description in attached photographs or a copy passport signed by the parties;
• The term of the agreement (i.e. how long the loan agreement will continue for). This could be a fixed term, ending on a specified date or after a stated period of time. Alternatively, it could continue indefinitely with one or all of the parties having the right to bring it to an end by giving a certain period of notice to the other(s);
• The limited purposes for which the borrower is entitled to use the horse;
• Whether there is to be an option for the borrower to purchase the horse at any stage and, if so, how the horse will be valued;
• Where the horse is to be kept;
• Express provision for the borrower to properly care for the horse (including how often the horse should be shod, wormed and have its teeth done);
• Whether any fee is to be paid for the loan and who is to be responsible for the cost of the farrier, vet, horse's care etc.;
• Who is to be responsible for insuring the horse, the extent of the insurance to be put in place and who is paying the insurance premium;
• Rights for the owner to have access to the horse to see that it is being properly looked after and that the terms of the agreement are being complied with;
• A right for the owner to retake possession of the horse if the agreement is being breached and there are welfare concerns;
• Express permission for the owner to retake possession of the horse at the end of the loan and for that purpose to enter any premises where the horse is kept; and
• Arrangements in respect of the horse's tack (i.e. who owns it and whether it is being provided to the borrower as part of the arrangement). A schedule of the items of tack should be attached to the agreement so that there is no dispute in relation to what was provided and who owns them. It will also evidence their condition at the time of the loan and provisions could be included as to who is responsible for their damage.
As specialist equine solicitors we are able to draft bespoke horse loan agreements swiftly taking into account the unique characteristics of the industry. This makes our loan agreements affordable. If you would like us to draft one for you please get in touch.
If you are unsure whether you have a case or valid defence to a claim please get in contact. We are always happy to listen to a potential client's situation. If we think you have a claim to bring, or valid defence to one brought against you we will let you know.
We are specialist equine solicitors who understand the industry. This enables us to understand the terminology used in the horse world and quickly get to grips with your case.
If you are thinking of bringing a claim, or defending one you should contact a specialist equine lawyer as soon as possible. Delaying could damage your claim or defence.
We look forward to hearing from you and helping you resolve your dispute.
Equine Law is a niche area of legal practice. It is the application of legal principles to all aspects of equestrian activities.
The equine industry is unique and it is vital that clients have access to a solicitor who really understands how it works so as to quickly grasp the key issues involved and achieve the best possible result.
At Kilcradin Solicitors we provide the full range of equine legal services from horse purchase disputes and agreements to representation before the governing body of each equestrian discipline.
If you have an equine law query, please get in contact.