Legal advice please!

Soot

Paranoid!
Aug 7, 2007
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Normally they do take bloods for a 5-stage vetting. They then store these for 6 months, so that they can be pulled for testing *FINGERS CROSSED* ...

If your vet thinks the problem is older and would be happy to act as expert witness, then it sounds like you might have to sue the vetting vet ... It was that vet's expert advice that declared him sound, after all.

What a bummer though :(.
 

Chukka

Passionate about Clydes
Mar 18, 2008
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You usually have to request bloods to be taken. Some vets take them as routine but not many. Its more work for them.

What I would do is phone the dealer and say there may be a problem with the horse and you notifying them from this date and then write everything down incase you have to put it in writing to them.
 

Kady A

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Sep 10, 2003
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In a 5 stage vetting - bloods should be taken as a matter of course. I even checked with our vets that they do this, and they do.

As you are still within your 30 days, personally I would contact the dealer and let him/her know the situation. It would be quite easy for that time period to expire whilst we all debate the legalities ;) We can all jump up and down and shout and say who to sue, but until you have spoken to the person who actually sold you the horse, you won't know whether this is the road you need to go down. Always keep notes of dates and times of calls, copies of correspondence, when telephoning the vets who did the vetting of your horse get the name of people you speak to whilst also noting time and date.

Under the Sale of Goods Act it would appear that you have been sold a horse who is unfit for the purpose for which he was bought and in that respect you do have some protection under the law.

I hope the vet did do bloods - then a doping can be ruled out (or not). I was formerly a solicitor - before seeing the light and working with horses ;) but if you don't get a favourable response from the the vet who vetted your horse I would strongly recommend you seek advice from a solicitor - preferably one with experience of equines. There are quite a few out there.

I really hope you don't have to go down this road, and the poor horse can be sorted out. Its a terrible situation for you both and I really feel for you.
 

acw295

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May 21, 2006
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I had a 5 stage vetting in June, bloods were optional. I didn't have them in the end as Molly hates needles - that was at my risk (but I trusted her then-owner ;))
 

Laura83

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Apr 16, 2008
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I hope the vet did do bloods - then a doping can be ruled out (or not). I was formerly a solicitor - before seeing the light and working with horses ;) but if you don't get a favourable response from the the vet who vetted your horse I would strongly recommend you seek advice from a solicitor - preferably one with experience of equines. There are quite a few out there.

Thanks. If I have to I will definately be speaking to a solicitor.

I don't yet have any means to prove he was drugged but likewise there is no proof that he was NOT, and I now have a completely unbiased vet willing to put in writing this is not an acute problem. If I have to go to court I have been advised to claim all expenses, that includes rugs, livery, feed, bedding, tack, transport, vets fees, vetting fee and legal expenses.

I have already spoken to the dealer once over the weekend so she is aware there is a problem. She's now not reachable on any of her phone numbers.
 

Gimp

Gimpy Gimp Gimp
Jan 19, 2005
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Thanks. If I have to I will definately be speaking to a solicitor.

I don't yet have any means to prove he was drugged but likewise there is no proof that he was NOT, and I now have a completely unbiased vet willing to put in writing this is not an acute problem. If I have to go to court I have been advised to claim all expenses, that includes rugs, livery, feed, bedding, tack, transport, vets fees, vetting fee and legal expenses.

I have already spoken to the dealer once over the weekend so she is aware there is a problem. She's now not reachable on any of her phone numbers.
what a nightmare for you, I would keep calling the vets every 1/2 hour till you get an answer about the bloods. I always thought that was included in a 5 stage vetting.. at the price they charge you would expect so!

So the dealers not answering you, I would call of a different number.. they will have to answer sometime. If not hand deliver a letter, or send via atrackable method with proof of signitue.. I recommened Royal mail special delivery.

Good luck I hope you get some sort of result.
 

sancho

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Apr 2, 2007
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I used the dealers vet because there was no other local vet in the Yellow Pages and no replies to the thread I posted here asking for recommendations.

My vet has been out today, she's reported pretty severe bilateral lameness in the right hind, less severe lameness in the left hind and lameness in the right fore. She can find no evidence to suggest acute trauma and with the lameness affecting 3 limbs feels it is more likely to be a long standing problem than something that has occurred in the past 3 weeks and is prepared to put that in a written report for me.

I have tried to contact the vet who did the vetting and have left a message with the reception staff for him to call me back. There is a small chance he may have taken bloods anyway, I think very small though.
Using the dealers vet wasnt the best move tbh. Even calling out an unknown vet from outside the area would have been preferable.

I think you have a long legal battle ensuing with your vet against the dealers but, if you dont have the option to send the horse back AND get a full refund, then you will need to fight your corner. Hopefully doing bloods this late on will still how whether the poor horse was doped.

Good luck with it all. Its not fair that this sort of thing goes on but with any luck you could sue the arse off the original vet/dealer!:)

Definately seek legal advice as you have alot more protection buying from a dealer than you do over a private sale
 
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bevy

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Nov 24, 2003
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I found this:
The 5 stage vetting examination consists of 5 stages detailed below set by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the British Veterinary Association where the horse is examined both at rest and at work and the examination usually lasts for between 2 and 3 hours. A basic or insurance vetting varies but generally consists of examination along the lines of stages 1 and 2 only.
Stage 1 - Preliminary Stable Examination

The first stage of the vetting is a preliminary examination with the horse stabled and any abnormal behaviour, signs of unsuitable temperament, etc will be noted. The vet will also note the general condition of the horse and then move onto examining the horse examining the heart, lungs and eyes.

The vet will then examine the horse outside whilst stood on a level surface to ensure that the horse's weight is distributed evenly and that it stands straight. The vet will examine the horse all over to check the eyes, nostrils, lymph glands, muscular development, spine and limbs and also to check for wounds, swellings, growths, scars, heat, etc.

Once the vet has checked the horse over thoroughly the vet will view the horse at walk on a firm, flat surface to check that the horse shows regularity, suppleness and shows no sign of pain when moving.
Stage 2 - In Hand Examination

During Stage 2 the vet will require that the horse is trotted up on a flat, hard surface viewing the horse from behind, in front and from the side. The vet will look for regular, straight movement without restriction and any indication of lameness or pain.

The vet will also view the horse being turned and moved backwards to further assess the movement of the limbs. The vet may also carry out a flexion test - where each limb is lifted and held for a period and the vet views whether there is any abnormality in movement resulting from this. The flexion test can be useful in assessing seriousness of problems already identified and can expose lameness problems not otherwise found. However, flexion tests can cause lameness if applied too vigorously and so any doubt over the results of this part of the test should be discussed fully with the vet once vetting is completed.
Stage 3 - Strenuous Exercise

The vet will then watch the horse carrying out strenuous exercise in order to note the horse's respiration and heart rate. If the horse is unbroken then exercise will be carried out on the lunge, otherwise the horse will normally be ridden. The horse will be required to walk, trot and canter with the vet listening for abnormal sounds and at the end of the exercise the vet will examine the heart and lungs.
Stage 4 - Rest Period

After completing Stage 3 the horse will be rested for up to 30 minutes when the heart and lungs will be examined again and blood tests taken.
Stage 5 - Trotting Up and Foot Examination

The horse will be trotted up again in order to note that it continues to move soundly after completing stage 3.
The Results

Once the vetting is complete the vet will fill out the necessary documentation and either "pass" or "fail" the horse. The results will record any abnormalities and signs of ill-health and will record their significance based on the use the horse is intended for. In some cases there may be areas in which a problem or potential problem has been identified. However, if the horse is particularly desirable it may be that further tests may be beneficial to establish the seriousness of the problem identified and whether they can easily be treated.

It is not the responsibility of the vet to make the decision as to whether to purchase or not, but to provide a professional opinion of the health of the horse with the intended use borne in mind. If there is any doubt as to the suitability of the horse for its intended purpose based on its health it is important to discuss these fully with the vet prior to purchase so that an informed decision on whether to purchase or not can be made.
 

happyhacker101

Active Member
Mar 19, 2007
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Laura83 - am sorry to read of all the problems you've been having and hope that you manage to get something sorted out soon. Agree with previous rec - try calling dealer from another number, she's got to answer the phone sometime.