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DD Crushed by pony sale gone bad!

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  • #61
    Originally posted by mvp View Post

    I'm not sure your hiring this person as your horse trainer establishes the kind of fiduciary duty involved in representing your interests in a sale.

    Also, OP, did the pro 1. tell you no one who had come to see the pony wanted him; 2. buy him from you for a lowball price (lying about motive or to your kid or whatever);3 and then sell him to those same "uninterested" buyers for more money? That is an obvious No-no. Can you document the amount you received from the pro and the amount the buyers paid 24 hours later?

    Confused because I assumed you would have mentioned this BS transaction and the discrepancy in price if it had happened this way.
    If you mean mention it to us, It's in her OP.
    *****
    You will not rise to the occasion, you will default to your level of training.

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    • #62
      If you as a professional sell something for another person on that person's behalf, you are an agent with a fiduciary duty. Absent some kind of waiver, which I am scratching my head trying to figure out how that could possibly be/how the OP wouldn't have realized she was hiring the pro in some non-fiduciary capacity-- the seller's agent owned the seller a fiduciary duty. The moment the OP said "I want you to help sell this horse on my behalf," the relationship was created. Tort law creates these duties precisely so that you don't have to quibble about what contracts say.
      ~Veronica
      "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
      http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

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      • #63
        Originally posted by Midge View Post

        If you mean mention it to us, It's in her OP.
        Well, yeah but does she have proof of the dates and amounts to back it up?

        Again, not defending the trainer but this is what others will ask before taking any action to censure trainer or proceed with a civil action. And no matter how flat the pancake, there is another side.

        Does this trainer have a local reputation as an honest person to deal with in buying it selling? Or is it just a recognizable name and assumption of honesty?

        This thread is a pretty good lesson in a number of areas in the trainer-client relationship.
        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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        • #64
          I have not read every page, but WHY ARE YOU KEEPING THIS TRAINER'S IDENTITY A SECRET???
          \
          Truth is an absolute defense to defamation. If everything you have said is the truth, then "out" the damn woman.
          "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism" https://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/c...lies/smile.gif

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          • #65
            I do not understand why you are protecting this woman. Truth is an absolute defense to defamation. If everything you have said is true (and you can prove it) then "out" [edit]. (I have only read PP 1 and 2, so this might have been suggested)
            Last edited by Moderator 1; Jul. 30, 2019, 05:23 PM. Reason: language
            "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism" https://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/c...lies/smile.gif

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            • #66
              Originally posted by findeight View Post

              Well, yeah but does she have proof of the dates and amounts to back it up?

              Again, not defending the trainer but this is what others will ask before taking any action to censure trainer or proceed with a civil action. And no matter how flat the pancake, there is another side.

              Does this trainer have a local reputation as an honest person to deal with in buying it selling? Or is it just a recognizable name and assumption of honesty?

              This thread is a pretty good lesson in a number of areas in the trainer-client relationship.
              How does it even matter what the price was. Do you think that the trainer sold the pony at a loss? Or for way less than original asking price? Why would she make less on the sale than her commission would have been had she just sold the pony as an agent? Obviously the pony wasn't staying in the barn which could maybe be a factor if she was to continue to receive training fees.


              It is pretty obvious that she sold the pony to the original interested party for close to the original asking price and made more on the sale than she would of on a commission. And she probably charged a finders commission to the buyers on top of it. Even if all she charged was a finders commission doing that still would have breached her fiduciary duty to the original owner no?

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              • #67
                Originally posted by vxf111 View Post
                If you as a professional sell something for another person on that person's behalf, you are an agent with a fiduciary duty. Absent some kind of waiver, which I am scratching my head trying to figure out how that could possibly be/how the OP wouldn't have realized she was hiring the pro in some non-fiduciary capacity-- the seller's agent owned the seller a fiduciary duty. The moment the OP said "I want you to help sell this horse on my behalf," the relationship was created. Tort law creates these duties precisely so that you don't have to quibble about what contracts say.
                I get it. Thank you for explaining that. But the OP listed a bunch of things-- taking kid to every horse show, putting pro rides on the horse-- that all look like things a horse trainer does rather than things a sales agent does. But I see how the OP could have thought that *those things* and, really, her long relationship with the pro as her "one stop expert for all things pony" would mean that she expected she was hiring a sales agent (and gaining the feduciary relationship) when she had her pro show people the pony she wanted to sell.

                Also, the OP opened with the "damages" related to her kid's state of mind (even though they were selling the pony to anyone, not exclusively to the pro or the pro's fiance until that offer was made). To me, the more obvious and more easily appreciable damage is the financial one in which the pro ripped off her long-time client in the space of 24 hours.

                To me, this all looks simple and, most likely, easy to document. To the OP maybe not? Others sure are confused about it all. I assume that since the buyers are cooperating, all the OP has to do is establish that the pro was working as her agent; explain the chain of events, and ask a judge to compare the dated bills of sales. sales amounts and signatures. And insofar as this looks so simple to me, I can't figure out why the pro's attorney dad thinks there's something to fight over.

                What am I missing?
                The armchair saddler
                Politically Pro-Cat

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                • #68
                  I don't know because it is pretty much spelled out in the first post.

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                  • #69
                    What is missing is that the trainer is in the equine industry, the OP asked her to sell a horse for the OP, and that’s enough. All these other ancillary facts about the other things the trainer does are irrelevant. What the contract says or doesn’t say is similarly irrelevant (to the question of whether there is a fiduciary duty). OP’s state of mind is also irrelevant. The relationship created the duty, not a party’s subjective expectation.

                    OP says this is a USHJA certified trainer so a professional in the industry. When OP asked her to be a sales agent for OP’s pony a fiduciary duty arose between the trainer/agent and OP.

                    I have no idea what the pro’s dad is thinking and neither does the OP frankly. Seems like they just wanted to threaten her hoping she’d back down.
                    Last edited by vxf111; Jul. 7, 2019, 09:45 AM.
                    ~Veronica
                    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

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                    • #70
                      I’m a trainer....and my ex was an attorney. This is a clear breach of fiduciary trust. And yes, it’s a tort law...watch a great film “Hot Coffee”, to get a better grasp of what this means.

                      all of the “distraught DD stuff” is incidental (sorry, OP).

                      There does not need to be ANY written contract. The obligation is implicit.

                      The trainer violated her obligation to act in the interest of her client.

                      The father of the trainer is blowing a bunch of smoke up the OP’s ass, trying to bully her into backing off.

                      It’s what lawyers do. And why I have an “Ex” who is one

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by mvp View Post
                        I get it. Thank you for explaining that. But the OP listed a bunch of things-- taking kid to every horse show, putting pro rides on the horse-- that all look like things a horse trainer does rather than things a sales agent does. But I see how the OP could have thought that *those things* and, really, her long relationship with the pro as her "one stop expert for all things pony" would mean that she expected she was hiring a sales agent (and gaining the feduciary relationship) when she had her pro show people the pony she wanted to sell.
                        From a legal perspective, the trainer became the OP's agent when the trainer agreed to try and sell the pony. The length of the relationship, going to shows, doing pro rides, etc. doesn't establish agency. (I think it was posted above that they are ancillary facts). The simple act of the trainer agreeing to represent the OP in the sale of the pony created the agency. And once the trainer became the OP's agent, the trainer owed the OP a duty to act in the OP's best interest (fiduciary duty). I'm not an attorney so vxf111 can correct any errors but that is my "layman's" take on the situation.

                        Originally posted by mvp View Post
                        Also, the OP opened with the "damages" related to her kid's state of mind (even though they were selling the pony to anyone, not exclusively to the pro or the pro's fiance until that offer was made). To me, the more obvious and more easily appreciable damage is the financial one in which the pro ripped off her long-time client in the space of 24 hours.

                        To me, this all looks simple and, most likely, easy to document. To the OP maybe not? Others sure are confused about it all. I assume that since the buyers are cooperating, all the OP has to do is establish that the pro was working as her agent; explain the chain of events, and ask a judge to compare the dated bill of sales. sales amounts and signatures. And insofar as this looks so simple to me, I can't figure out why the pro's attorney dad thinks there's something to fight over.

                        What am I missing?
                        Further up the thread it was stated that OP should focus on the breach of fiduciary duty (if there was one) and daughter's emotional state wasn't relevant (from a legal perspective). Description of emotional state = more ancillary facts.

                        I too wonder what Attorney Dad might argue. I can only think of one scenario and it would look something like this: Trainer shows pony to pony buyers. Pony buyers say they aren't interested. OP then sells pony to trainer and agency relationship between OP and trainer ends. After OP sells pony to trainer, pony buyers change their mind and contact trainer saying they will buy pony. In this scenario, the ethics don't look great, but it could all be perfectly legal.

                        I am in no way defending trainer or taking sides. But like mvp I am wondering what Attorney Dad could argue. Surely the timing and sequencing of the events will be important to establish.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Assuming all is as the OP has stated (and no offense meant, OP, but sometimes threads like these get pretty crazy), the arrogance and stupidity of a trainer acting in such a manner is pretty mind-boggling. From a purely self-interested perspective, the trainer just lost considerable income from a family that would have likely stayed with her for many years, training, showing, and buying or leasing more horses as the daughter moved up the levels. Did the trainer somehow not expect the family to notice that the pony was gone overnight?

                          Very gently, though, OP, I do have to say that the promise that the pony would stay in the barn so your child could continue to ride and see the pony and would only be leased to the very best people sounds awfully pie-in-the-sky. It sounds like the trainer was taking advantage of your desire to emotionally cushion the shock to your daughter selling a beloved pony. There's no way what the trainer said could be true--even if this buyer wasn't there and waiting, if after six months someone offered a large sum of money to purchase the pony, or lease the pony off-property, surely your trainer's fiancee would have accepted it?

                          I'm surprised the first lawyer you consulted, OP, said that about your trainer's father. I'm not a lawyer, but the case made by the lawyers in this thread that your trainer violated her fiduciary duty under the law is persuasive to me.
                          Check out my latest novel, Pride, Prejudice, and Personal Statements!

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                          • #73
                            One of the lawyers here can correct me if I'm wrong but I'm guessing legal action would result in trainer owing the OP money, not the return of the pony. At that point it does become a numbers game- Was the pony sold for enough money that the $ trainer would owe OP would be more than the cost of legal recourse? If not, then posting the factual situation online and telling everyone you know isn't a bad option. Unfortunately, I think either way DD is going to need to move on from pony being in a new home. Does pony have a new little girl? Perhaps it would help DD to write new owner a letter detailing all of pony's likes/dislikes. I assume DD is moving on to a bigger pony or horse? Find a new trainer first, then start looking for a new mount.

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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by Ruth0552 View Post
                              One of the lawyers here can correct me if I'm wrong but I'm guessing legal action would result in trainer owing the OP money, not the return of the pony. At that point it does become a numbers game- Was the pony sold for enough money that the $ trainer would owe OP would be more than the cost of legal recourse? If not, then posting the factual situation online and telling everyone you know isn't a bad option. Unfortunately, I think either way DD is going to need to move on from pony being in a new home. Does pony have a new little girl? Perhaps it would help DD to write new owner a letter detailing all of pony's likes/dislikes. I assume DD is moving on to a bigger pony or horse? Find a new trainer first, then start looking for a new mount.
                              I think that's right. The most logical thing is to make the OP financially whole. I don't think the "I just want my pony back" is going to be what a judge decides. After all, OP initiated the process of selling the pony in the first place, so one way or another, it was leaving. And, really, the "damages" here are primarily financial. Or rather, it's will be easiest and most patently fair if someone can just note the money that the OP lost in this deal and have the pro pay that amount in damages.
                              The armchair saddler
                              Politically Pro-Cat

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Originally posted by mvp View Post

                                I think that's right. The most logical thing is to make the OP financially whole. I don't think the "I just want my pony back" is going to be what a judge decides. After all, OP initiated the process of selling the pony in the first place, so one way or another, it was leaving. And, really, the "damages" here are primarily financial. Or rather, it's will be easiest and most patently fair if someone can just note the money that the OP lost in this deal and have the pro pay that amount in damages.
                                I agree that this could be the outcome. I just think it's sad that money is ALWAYS judged to be more important than any other factors. Die from a prescription med? Get compensated with money. Cancer from baby powder? Get compensated with money. Child cheated out of pony by unscrupulous trainer? Child's mom is compensated with money. There are some things money just can't buy (and I am not quoting MasterCard). I feel so sorry for the young girl in this case.
                                Rack on!

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                                • #76
                                  Originally posted by OneTwoMany View Post
                                  I too wonder what Attorney Dad might argue. I can only think of one scenario and it would look something like this: Trainer shows pony to pony buyers. Pony buyers say they aren't interested. OP then sells pony to trainer and agency relationship between OP and trainer ends. After OP sells pony to trainer, pony buyers change their mind and contact trainer saying they will buy pony. In this scenario, the ethics don't look great, but it could all be perfectly legal.
                                  That’s what I was trying to say. Buyers said no or maybe OP rejects a low offer. Trainer buys Pony. Buyers change mind and call trainer to make offer or a second offer on Pony trainer now owns. It’s possible. Did trainer act with specific intent in buying the Pony and then contact buyers or was it completely coincidental?

                                  Unlikely, questionable ethically but not impossible. When does the fiduciary responsibility legally stop? Is it spelled out or one of those ‘ it depends” things?
                                  When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                  The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                                  Comment


                                  • #77
                                    For the hypo where the prospective buyer says no, the trainer buys the pony, then the prospective buyer turns around and changes her mind and wants to buy from the trainer... the facts shade this as not only extremely unlikely (why was trainer suddenly interested in the pony for an "in barn" use at a cheap price? The timing is awfully coincidental) but it still is likely to be a breach of fiduciary duty. The duty of a sales agent is to get the best possible price for the horse. Unless the trainer was the only interested/likely buyer and that price was a market price-- it's a problem. This is self dealing. The sales agent was on both sides of the transaction and again, arranged a price to HER benefit and the owner/principal's detriment.

                                    The agent buying the pony was not an arms length deal, if the facts as the OP states them are true. That's why there's a problem.

                                    It would be just as much a problem if the PB was never in the picture. It would be a BoFD for the owner to say 'sell my pony,' for the trainer to not show the pony to people, for the agent to turn around and say 'it hasn't sold,' and for the trainer/agent to negotiate a cheap price to benefit herself.

                                    Focus here on the duty of loyalty. The question is whether the agent put her duty of loyalty to the owner/principal second to her own interests. That's the question. Even if PB was waffly, it sounds like the agent took advantage to get a pony for below ticket/market-- and THAT is self dealing even without PB being involve. PB being involved just makes the scheme a lot more patent, frankly.

                                    The remedies/damages are a question of state law and we don't know where OP is and what state law applies. But damages could include not only lost profits but mental anguish and punitive damages. This is a state specific question that can't really be answered in the abstract.
                                    ~Veronica
                                    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                                    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                                    Comment


                                    • #78
                                      Originally posted by Rackonteur View Post

                                      I agree that this could be the outcome. I just think it's sad that money is ALWAYS judged to be more important than any other factors. Die from a prescription med? Get compensated with money. Cancer from baby powder? Get compensated with money. Child cheated out of pony by unscrupulous trainer? Child's mom is compensated with money. There are some things money just can't buy (and I am not quoting MasterCard). I feel so sorry for the young girl in this case.
                                      Well, I mean, from a practical POV we can't bring people back to life or magically undo cancer I don't know that it's a judgment that money is MORE IMPORTANT but rather that it's a remedy that can be awarded.

                                      In some cases the award is specific performance, not money damages (i.e. give the pony back) but not in the kinds of cases you're mostly mentioning, which largely sound in tort (the products liability cases). The remedy for fraud could be voiding the contract in which case it would mean getting the pony back. Maybe. It depends.

                                      BoFD is a tort, likely damages would not be injunctive but some form of money damages. This is state specific and we don't know what law applies to the OP's case.
                                      ~Veronica
                                      "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                                      http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                                      Comment


                                      • #79
                                        We also might be assuming some things about pricing that aren’t correct, assuming trainer made a fat profit might not be what happened. Kind of muddies it up.

                                        OP need not get specific either, especially if she wants to persue any action. No details online is best. But she needs to anticipate this might be trainers defense. A coincidence she made nothing off of.
                                        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                                        Comment


                                        • #80
                                          This is such an interesting situation. As I'm thinking about it, the DD's feelings are a factor here because seller was persuaded to take a lower price when Trainer promised to keep the pony in barn. Even if the original deal had fallen through (perhaps buyer made a low offer), seller could have kept marketing the pony and might have gotten the desired price for pony from another buyer had trainer not persuaded the seller with the in barn situation.
                                          http://patchworkfarmga.com

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