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Buying horse with no papers? From trainer.

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  • Buying horse with no papers? From trainer.

    I am hoping to buy an 8 year old Imported Dutch Warmblood gelding from my trainers & I have scheduled the pre-purchase exam with my vet. I have leased this horse for the past 6 months and I am confident that he is a suitable horse for me. The problem I am having is that the owners are unable to produce any type of documentation for the horse. zero, nada. Horse has no paper trail. I’m not sure how to proceed.

    My trainers (who state they are he current owners) balked when I asked about obtaining the horse’s documents (any vital records, registration, passport etc). They tell me “there are none”; that they have been lost between the different states the horse lived in; passport is gone because it was “so long ago”. I am being told (by them) that such papers are irrelevant, and “mean nothing” and that I'm being difficult in asking (that's the polite version). They say they are willing to “ask” the man who imported him (very well known person in our sport (someone I only know by name) as well as some of the people who have shown him since he’s been in the country (who I have met personally).
    I can’t justify paying nearly 6 figures for a horse that could (not only be stolen) but have breeding/ history nothing similar as described.
    No paper trail at all on this "imported Dutch Warmblood"? Really? How aggressive should I be about obtaining these? Is it a lost cause?

    I am so upset. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    If the horse is actually a QH/TB cross, or a beefy unraced TB, or a TB/draft (or any other possible combination of definitelynotwarmblood)... but still satisfactory in every other way in terms of your needs/goals... would you still be willing to pay the nearly six figures? If yes, then I would leave it alone. If no, the breeding is why you are willing to pay that much money, then you should certainly be aggressive about it.

    If it were me, I would only be concerned about whether the horse's performance ability warranted the price tag. He is, after all, a gelding. While certain bloodlines are no doubt predictive of talent and useful for evaluating a younger, unproven horse, I would assume that by the time an 8 year old horse has a high-five figure price tag, there isn't as much guesswork in determining potential and suitability.

    It's certainly your prerogative to value bloodlines enough to pay more for them, but in this case, I would be more interested in how he is priced relative to others of similar physical ability. Therefore, I would most definitely want some documentation of what he has DONE, at the very least while he has been stateside. If they can't even produce that, I would be running, not walking.

    Comment


    • #3
      Does the horse have a name? A USEF record? If he's 8 and has a "proper" Dutch name it should start with the letter Z. If you have a name or a sire's name, this site may be helpful: http://www.horsetelex.nl/

      It is quite possible that the paperwork was lost along the way. IMHO, worth pursuing just for the sake of curiosity.
      The Evil Chem Prof

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't know what kind of people ethics-wise you are working with here, but "lost papers" could mean that someone is being less than honest.

        My friend's horse was one of those with lost papers. Turns out the horse was 16, not 14, so she wouldn't have been worth as much, as you can't insure a 16 year old.

        Due diligence is in order.
        2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

        A helmet saved my life.

        Comment


        • #5
          To be honest, I would be leery of a trainer who gets tetchy about a client trying to do her homework before writing a five-figure check. (Isn't it going to be hard to get the critter insured if you don't have anything -- papers, show record, passport -- to prove that he's worth what you're trying to insure him for?) If you know the names of these folks in the horse's past, maybe you could get in touch with them yourself?

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            i have no information about him other than word of mouth. And he had no show record prior to this past year.
            literally...any paperwork verifying his past (age, anything!) would help me just feel better. I am pretty certain I am being taken taken advantage of (and other professionals i have consulted with have remarked "do they think you are stupid?"). That part-dealing with the trainer situation-will be the next challenge.
            Would this horse be worth less if they can't verify where he came from or breed/bloodlines? somebody recently told me that all imported horses from Europe who are older than 5 are either branded or have a microchip. i have never heard of that--does anyone know if that's accurate?
            Thank you so much for your responses. I'm a mess. I absolutely adore this horse and have a bad feeling about the way things are proceeding,

            Comment


            • #7
              If your gut is telling you that something is wrong, it probably is. And, yes, I would wonder about future dealings with the trainer.

              Dutch horses born after a certain year aren't branded. There's a 11-y.o. at our barn that isn't branded, so an 8-y.o wouldn't be either. I know they microchip now, so maybe that started whenever the branding stopped. While there are two systems for microchips I think that a scanner for either one can at least detect a chip from the other. A vet who puts them in should have a scanner.
              The Evil Chem Prof

              Comment


              • #8
                So many red flags I don't know where to begin. You are asking reasonable questions and not getting answers that jibe -- or are respectful of your intelligence.

                If this horse is dirt cheap, it might be a good match -- if the "imported warmblood" part of the equation is irrelevant. But don't think this horse is any particular breed -- esp the one you are being told. Buy the horse if he meets your needs and is sound -- BUT find another trainer to work with!

                If you were to pay the market price for an imported warmblood -- you are getting fleeced if you don't have the paperwork to prove what you just purchased. Without paperwork you won't be able to sell the horse if the need arose for the price you paid. Importing a horse is not an everyday affair -- it takes money, connections and determination. And papers. The horse would never have gotten into the country and that is why papers MATTER. When being sold / when being purchased -- paperwork is what it is all based on.

                Find reputable people to ride with who give straight answers to reasonable questions.

                Best wishes.
                Last edited by Justa Bob; Apr. 1, 2012, 01:24 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by taliesinian View Post
                  i have no information about him other than word of mouth. And he had no show record prior to this past year.
                  literally...any paperwork verifying his past (age, anything!) would help me just feel better. I am pretty certain I am being taken taken advantage of (and other professionals i have consulted with have remarked "do they think you are stupid?"). That part-dealing with the trainer situation-will be the next challenge.
                  Would this horse be worth less if they can't verify where he came from or breed/bloodlines? somebody recently told me that all imported horses from Europe who are older than 5 are either branded or have a microchip. i have never heard of that--does anyone know if that's accurate?
                  Thank you so much for your responses. I'm a mess. I absolutely adore this horse and have a bad feeling about the way things are proceeding,

                  You're pretty attached, so I would take him to the vetting and the first thing to be done is to age the horse by his teeth. 8 can be pretty accurately done. The vet should not be informed of the horses "age" until after that is done. If he's not 8, then you will know and can stop there. You'll probably be out between nothing and 50 bucks depending on vet. This is the thing they can "cheat" you on the most. If the horse is really 16 and going to wear out 8 years faster, then yes, that is bad. But, if he's not really Dutch... well, his breed, age, and identity will only come up again when you go to sell him.

                  Also schedule with a vet that can scan for chips. Why not? And if it helps, I have an imported dutch (and I have his actual import paperwork) that is 15 with no brand or chip (and he went through the stallion testing).

                  Just by chance (because I know a trainer trying to pull a similar stunt), is this horse dark dark bay with no white markings and about 17 hands (guessing)?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    "I am being told (by them) that such papers are irrelevant, and “mean nothing” and that I'm being difficult in asking (that's the polite version). "


                    This is what leads me to believe that you should walk away. A honest trainer who has your best interest in mind isn't going to belittle you for asking a reasonable question. People who do this are usually hiding something.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LochNessD View Post
                      ... would you still be willing to pay the nearly six figures? If yes, then I would leave it alone. If no, the breeding is why you are willing to pay that much money, then you should certainly be aggressive about it.

                      .
                      Get yourself a TB/QH cross, or a beefy TB, lie, say its a DW, pay $3000 and say you paid six figures.

                      It might be what you're doing...so why pay the money if you can do the same thing without paying it?

                      This is my way of saying don't pay it. Also, if above mentioned horses can do the things a six figure horse can, then WHY pay it?
                      ******************************
                      www.trying2event.blogspot.com
                      www.facebook.com/UltimateStormLARigsby

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It wouldn't bother me that he didn't have papers. It WOULD bother me that my trainers were being shady about it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If I'm buying a gelding for that price, I want to know (via a show record) what he can do. The papers are only a point of interest, since you can't breed a gelding anyway - they mean nothing if the horse isn't competitive in your area of sport. If the horse moves a 10 and jumps the moon, the papers still don't matter much. You can't ride papers.

                          Now, the behavior of the trainers involved would have me seriously questioning their ethics and what they are trying to pull off. I would also worry about what sort of management the horse has been getting, since they want to sell it to you for a pretty penny.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Do you know the horse's registered name and/or the sire and dam? If so, you should be able to contact KWPN and have replacement papers sent to you assuming said horse is who he says he is.

                            I agree with the other posters, it's really not a big deal to not have papers or not be registered, especially when we're talking about a gelding. However, the way you describe it, the trainer's actions are screaming 'red flag' to me. Given your situation, I'd suspect that the horse is significantly older than 8, and/or is not who they say he is breeding wise. Good luck!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm share the same opinion. Trainer's behavoir is suspect. Papers and or passport are more than just, who's your daddy. It's states age and more than likely with that passport you can find out what they did before importing per competition record. But I'm guessing that's part of the reason so many papers go missing to begin with. If indeed your horse was imported, there would be a paper trail.

                              Terri
                              COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

                              "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Papers are not proof of ownership and I am pretty sure if this horse was stolen they would not be taking it to horse shows. Wouldn't someone be looking for their expensive stolen show horse? Worst case the horse is older than they are saying, have a vet look at the teeth for a ballpark range or its not a warmblood. Is the horse that good of a jumper that its worth the price? 50k seems like a lot with a horse with no show record past last year. At least they are not giving you fake papers or ones from a similar horse, have had that happen to a friend.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Correct we don't ride papers. Not that this should matter to a rider, but if a gelding turns out to be a reall good horse, other people do care about the breeding. As in breeders. More than likely the breeder set out to breed a horse that can excel at said discipline. Temperament, soundness, early years raised and started properly, probably helped in the overall success. Breeder might still be breeding from that line and it's nice for him/her to be aware or to track these horses by way of papers even if a gelding. So still nice to fill in the information correctly into the USEF database.

                                  I know I'm in the minority but just something to think about. Best of luck finding out who your horse is. As the above poster mentioned, highly unlikely stolen. And passports or papers are not proof of ownership.

                                  Terri
                                  COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

                                  "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    This is way shady in my book. I own horses that are imported or have papers. I have all their papers and that's how they sell. I also know where to track papers down if needed. So no, a trainer blowing over something they should have in order.

                                    One way to check is that if you know the name of alleged importer, contract him/her and see if they have any record of importing that horse. I certainly would not let the trainers be involved in asking for that information.

                                    I think it is a good bet the horse is a not a Dutch warmblood but some domestic cross. Nothing wrong with that but you seem to be paying an imported warmblood price for the horse.

                                    If you can, separate your emotion on this one. I appreciate that you like the horse, but there are other horses that can be liked out there. I would have a really hard time paying in the high five figures for any horse that didn't have papers and/or a documented show record. Frankly for the high five figures, there are lots of horses with papers and records out there for lower prices. You can use the money you "save" on extra training.

                                    One question about the trainers. Are these crooks your trainers by any chance?
                                    Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule
                                    http://www.ironwood-farm.com

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by taliesinian View Post
                                      i have no information about him other than word of mouth. And he had no show record prior to this past year.
                                      literally...any paperwork verifying his past (age, anything!) would help me just feel better. I am pretty certain I am being taken taken advantage of (and other professionals i have consulted with have remarked "do they think you are stupid?"). That part-dealing with the trainer situation-will be the next challenge.
                                      Would this horse be worth less if they can't verify where he came from or breed/bloodlines? somebody recently told me that all imported horses from Europe who are older than 5 are either branded or have a microchip. i have never heard of that--does anyone know if that's accurate?
                                      Thank you so much for your responses. I'm a mess. I absolutely adore this horse and have a bad feeling about the way things are proceeding,
                                      You feel, and agreed...1. he has no brand big red flag, 2. You should be able to speak directly to importer, 3. for that kind of $$$ they not you should be doing his homework. 4. and then there is the bigger picture, do you ride the papers or the horse? For that much $$$ does he have a big enough provenace as a show horse to justify the price...???

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Justa Bob View Post
                                        So many red flags I don't know where to begin. You are asking reasonable questions and not getting answers that jibe -- or are respectful of your intelligence.
                                        Agree with 100% of the above.

                                        Papers matter because they are part of the horses history and prove who he is (or should prove who he is). This "trainers" cavalier attitude towards basic information and questions asked by you are in my book unacceptable. You are having a gut feeling - acknowledge it and ask yourself if this is the type of person you would want to do business with.

                                        I think you already have your answer.

                                        PS not to hijack but it absolutely kills me that no governing organization has mandated microchips. They are $20. All horses should be microchipped so we can know who they are and follow their history. So people can't sell 16 year olds as 14 year olds and do the rampant "make it up as it suits". Seems pretty basic to me...
                                        Last edited by Mouse&Bay; Apr. 1, 2012, 07:18 AM. Reason: spelling - coffee had not kicked in

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