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Another Pony Lawsuit....

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  • Whoo. Okay. I misunderstood what the situation was from reading the original linked articles. I was under the impression that the pony had foundered and rotated after the purchase but was alleged to have done so because of a condition existing before the purchase.

    Allegedly not disclosing a pony's history of laminitis, complete with rotation, is a whole 'nuther bunny. And if that is the case, then poor, poor pony.
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    Comment


    • The whole big money pony situation is a real issue for me... I mean we're talking about KIDS and PONIES.... but when you're looking at a commission on a nearly 200K pony, yeah, adults have been known to get greedy in order to make easy money. What makes me sick is that little kids are involved in it, and it's BIG, high stakes business for these trainers. Its the kids AND the poor ponies that get caught in the middle, and it's truly a shame.

      Comment


      • Whether there was anything wrong with the pony or not, we can all admit, there are some shady people in the h/j industry.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Alternative1 View Post
          Whether there was anything wrong with the pony or not, we can all admit, there are some shady people in the h/j industry.
          I think we can all admit there are shady people in every single industry. Horse or not horse. The h/j industry is not special in that area.

          Comment


          • What makes me crazy is that any trainer would represent to a purchaser that $175k spent on a 5 year old animal is considered "a good investment". Whomever bought this pony from the breeder made an AMAZING investment at no doubt $4k.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Dorothy Gale View Post
              What makes me crazy is that any trainer would represent to a purchaser that $175k spent on a 5 year old animal is considered "a good investment". Whomever bought this pony from the breeder made an AMAZING investment at no doubt $4k.
              I am assuming, and it may well be a bad assumption lol... that the investment was going to be from leasing this pony out year after year. A top pony can lease for 60-80K annually, which if you can do it for a few years and the pony's expenses are covered by the lease, then it could be a good investment. Course the risk is extraordinary given the propensity of these creatures hurting themselves, or of the pony getting some bad riding kid who screws it up etc. So i'm not saying it wasn't a stupid decision, but I hear that all the time, just buy it and lease it for years, you'll make a ton of money. Again I could be totally off and that was not the plan but given that the kid was 12 I believe, or at the youngest 11, she was going to age out of showing it relatively quickly so there had to be a pretty short term plan of next steps for this "investment".

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Mayaty02 View Post
                A top pony can lease for 60-80K annually
                The top, top ponies are more than this annually. Six figures for a lease is not uncommon for Devon, PF, and Indoors winners which I guess they were hoping for with this pony.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by iEquitate View Post
                  The top, top ponies are more than this annually. Six figures for a lease is not uncommon for Devon, PF, and Indoors winners which I guess they were hoping for with this pony.
                  true and given it's a young pony, they probably had expectations of doing this for a very long time...

                  Comment


                  • I love how many of you are buying into the buyers statemant that the pony was nerve blocked to show. Right, it was being blocked every time it showed since pony finals? This thing was winning early 2013 in palm Beach. Do you really think in their very successful business that the folks at heritage care that much about getting one pony to the ring. Do you really think they cared that much about one commission out of all the commissions they make in a year to lie about a vetting, etc. It would be easier to just find them another pony. I also have my sincere doubts that this animal was represented as an "investment". That is in the law suit to fluff it up.Again, this sounds like a lot of mama drama.
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                    Comment


                    • So if you believe the complaint, the buyer DID have a PPE but she relied on the trainer/agent's representations of the PPE. The PPE showed rotation and the trainer/agent blocked the pony's feet post-purchase so it could show. Only the buyer and her daughter were not told that blocking was being done and they didn't suspect because they hadn't personally been involved in the PPE. If that's true, that's disgraceful.
                      It is truly sad how often horses are blocked to show. This would not by any means be a unique situation. Or limited to naive owners who don't know it's happening (though that is not unusual either). The elite level of this sport has become absolutely disgraceful.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by chunky munky View Post
                        I love how many of you are buying into the buyers statemant that the pony was nerve blocked to show. Right, it was being blocked every time it showed since pony finals? This thing was winning early 2013 in palm Beach. Do you really think in their very successful business that the folks at heritage care that much about getting one pony to the ring. Do you really think they cared that much about one commission out of all the commissions they make in a year to lie about a vetting, etc. It would be easier to just find them another pony. I also have my sincere doubts that this animal was represented as an "investment". That is in the law suit to fluff it up.Again, this sounds like a lot of mama drama.

                        Here is the thing, none of us posting here (I assume) knows WHAT happened. But I am going to keep an open mind that it COULD happen (and has happened before in other situations I'm sure)... and will obviously wait to see how it plays out before making a judgment in my mind against the plaintiff or defendant.

                        Also, buying a young high dollar small pony for your 11 year old is going to be an "investment" because they will age out of riding it when they are 13... so either it has to be a resale prospect or something that can be leased. Do you honestly think they intended to have the kid ride it for two years and then retire it? It will be useless to the kid when she's 13, therefore it HAS to be resaleable. I don't know many people who would buy something for $175K with NO expectation to at least get their money back, and preferably more... but with rotation, it will be next to worthless... so that is a huge hit IF it was withheld from the buyer. Not saying that it was, because we don't know the FACTS, but if it was, that is a HUGE loss to the buyer financially.

                        I am very curious to hear the other side and see where this goes.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by chunky munky View Post
                          I love how many of you are buying into the buyers statemant that the pony was nerve blocked to show. Right, it was being blocked every time it showed since pony finals? This thing was winning early 2013 in palm Beach. Do you really think in their very successful business that the folks at heritage care that much about getting one pony to the ring. Do you really think they cared that much about one commission out of all the commissions they make in a year to lie about a vetting, etc. It would be easier to just find them another pony. I also have my sincere doubts that this animal was represented as an "investment". That is in the law suit to fluff it up.Again, this sounds like a lot of mama drama.
                          I didn't think anyone was buying into it. There's been one half of the story posted, a lot of speculation, and "Wow, IF that was true, that's awful."

                          None of the defendants have filed a response yet (last I checked). I'm sure those will be equally revealing if and when they are posted online -- and they should be, sometime in the next few weeks.

                          Comment


                          • Right, it was being blocked every time it showed since pony finals?
                            Whether it happened in this situation is only known to those directly involved in the pony's care. But yes, there are horses that are blocked for every show.

                            Comment


                            • It will be interesting to see how this plays out. It seems a pretty simple matter, since the xrays wil either show rotation or not.

                              I do know this type of thing happens, but I'd be surprised it it happened at heritage. Not because I know enough to think their ethics are completely above board, but because what I do know is they are extremely rigid in their business practices and if the pony mom was saying, 'Find us a pony or we will go somewhere else.' the answer would be, 'See ya!' They didn't have to have this particular pony, although as amazing as it seems, this is a low price for a winner.

                              It could have happened exactly as pony mom states it did, but I would put that as the least likely scenario.

                              There was one line in the complaint that made me go, 'Well, there's the problem.'
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                              Comment


                              • Agree Midge, I have a hard time understanding Heritages potential motivation here (if it happened as mom says), but I am also not going to discount it out of hand just based on who they are. Stranger things have happened!

                                Comment


                                • Honestly, I have no knowledge of animals being blocked to show. What do you mean, a block like when you are doing diagnostics? I have never heard of vets doing this to get an animal to the ring. I've been in a tight spot before at a big competition with a horse that had scratches or a pony that had something going on that we hadn't been able to get to the bottom of. That has never been presented as an option (not that I would do it, but we were pretty frantic and I feel like it would have come up if it was something that was common).

                                  I think that people assume too much. Like someone else said, these guys have a huge business with a lot to lose. Why would they do something like that with this one pony? And I can tell you from experience, animals can leave a program where they are sound and happy and quickly fall apart with different management. It happens all the time.
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                                  • I would also think the defendants would be happy to go to trial if the x rays are indeed clean.

                                    Legal experts, is there any reason NOT to go to trial if such is the case?
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                                    Comment


                                    • The motivation is money. If you turn down business or animals that can win if "blocked" then they and many other trainers will be not earning as much money. This is a very common story. I know many victims (including myself) that bought/or leased ponies and horses from a trainer and once they leave "their programs" the animals does not perform or breaks down. It is usually attributed to their "fabulous training program" or the rider's inability to ride as well as their pro kid but.....there is always more to it. And no barn, no matter how successful they are turns down a potential sale or customers(that's another fallacy). A customer is a customer.

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by Midge View Post
                                        I would also think the defendants would be happy to go to trial if the x rays are indeed clean.

                                        Legal experts, is there any reason NOT to go to trial if such is the case?
                                        The phenomenal expense of hiring lawyers to prove to everyone else what you didn't do comes to mind.

                                        Being innocent doesn't make lawyers be free.
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                                        • No leyla, I disagree. Oftentimes, it is the "fabulous training program"!! I've had it happen myself. I had a horse that had done beautifully with me for five or six years with a novice adult owner. I sell the horse and the new owner had a new farrier, poor footing, different training regime and voila, horse gets sore. Sore horse behaves badly. They call me up and say, "What's your secret?" There was no secret. Really.

                                          In this case, I offered several options because I was very, very bummed that the horse was doing so poorly:

                                          1) Send my rider over to school the horse for free and offer her input.
                                          2) Take horse back and resell. No training fees, only regular boarding which they would be paying anyway. Only charge a commission if horse is resold for enough for Owner to recover purchase price and then pay me.
                                          3) I offered full disclosure of all farrier invoices (to show that horse didn't have any special shoes) and all vet records (to show that horse didn't have any unusual maintenance.

                                          Guess what? They wouldn't take me up on any of my offers. What they demanded I do was purchase the horse back. Now, first of all, it was a client's horse that had quit riding. I made a 10% commission off the deal. And second of all, why would I buy, for full price, a horse that was now lame and untrained? They cussed me out in public at a horse show and claimed that I was dishonest and that the vet was "in on it". They tried to have the horse put down. They loudly threatened a lawsuit. Nice.

                                          In this case, really and truly, it was the change in management and training. Sweet, TB gelding turned into bitter, unhappy TB.
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