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Need help. Boarder not paying

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  • Need help. Boarder not paying

    Hello everyone. I was wondering if you folks had any advice for us. My dad and I got our farm certified for the Delaware breeding program a few years back. This year we got our first foal.

    He arrived in November with a coggins. Since then the owner has be unreachable and unresponsive to our request. We are very cheap because we wanted to just cover our feed bills. We have sent numerous statements and letters, but no response. We finally recieved a check for december. that leaves November, January, February, March, and now April.

    We didnt give him a formal boarding agreement, which was our mistake. He has horses racing in florida and they come back up this way in the near future. Im guessing he will too.

    Can I file complaints with the TJC or the Delaware group, or do you think it would be wasted time. Im considering dropping this horse of with the trainer once we find him. He is another mouth to feed and its adding up.

    Im just kind of stuck. Any suggestions?
    Last edited by AlexMakowski; Apr. 10, 2009, 05:32 PM. Reason: spelling error

  • #2
    Get a bill together, take to the Delaware stewards. Ask them if they can help. Usually they can hold purse money if the guy has license.
    Race training and retraining Thoroughbreds.


    • #3
      Also check the lien laws in your state. In some states, it's very simple to place a lien on the horse for board. Do you know what the foal is worth? Are you charging late fees on the outstanding amounts?


      • #4
        I sent you a PM


        • #5
          Contact whoever is in charge of Delaware certifying as well. If nothing else you should at least be able to withhold certification as the whole idea is to bring money to the farms which obviously this did not do. There is often ways to take possession of the animal for non payment through the courts but more often than not the horse isn't really an asset and is more of a liability that the farm owner doesn't want. Not sure if that is the case with this horse or not.
          McDowell Racing Stables

          Home Away From Home


          • #6
            Get a judgement against him and then take that to the stewards. They like to see the judgement, otherwise it's just a case of one person saying they are owed money.


            • #7
              Ditto on take it up with the stewards.

              Don't you love people who do that?
              I had a guy who I thought was an upstanding owner string me out for over 6 months on a dirt cheap boarding bill. All I was charging was enough to cover feeding expenses. I charged him -0- for all of the work and rehab that I put into this horse, who came to me injured and with a body scale of 2, and left healed and with a score of 4, heading for 5.
              He has horses on the bigger circuit; NY, NJ, etc. Has them in training with trainers who are easily charging $80/day.
              I got involved for my own reasons, mostly to help out a really nice hard knocking horse who landed in the barn from hell. It certainly wasn't to make money, not at 6/day.
              First check came in a timely fashion...but that was it...
              Anyway, by the time I delivered this horse to his final destination, this guy owed me over 1k. And he proceeded to blow me off with promises (oh, next week, opps, didn't get to the PO, etc.)
              I had to get nasty with him to collect, and he was quite offended and huffy about it. He also pissed my vet off by stringing him out for months for a routine vaccine bill. Guess who the vet chewed out for that?
              I also am pretty sure he trash talked me to other folks about it too. Had one woman cut me off at the knees right after all that went down.
              Like they say, no good deed goes unpunished...at least the horse ended up OK.


              • #8
                The biggest owners often are the worst to pay. I saw a stewards ruling on the wall the other day against a big owner who you would think has the means to pay a bill.


                • #9
                  We had an outrider ask if he could turn a couple of horses out for a "few weeks". One of them crippled, permanently, a 2 year old homebred we brought in for a few weeks turnout and the other one he left there for oh 9 months without paying a bill. Might I add the latter was recovering from a cracked sesmoid. We finally took it to the sale, got $300 for it, and went on about our business. Told the guy the horse colicked and died. The guy quit outriding so we couldn't take him to the stewards. Aside from feed I think this guy cost us in the neighborhood of $50k in purses, based on the earnings of this guy's brothers and sisters.
                  To get in the winners' circle you must first get into the gate


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by QHJockee View Post
                    We finally took it to the sale, got $300 for it, and went on about our business. Told the guy the horse colicked and died.
                    While I can understand that you had the horse for months with no compensation I would NEVER, EVER recommend anyone taking this route after having a non-paying boarder. You cannot sell someone else's animal that you have been contracted to care for without getting a judgement against them - then you take it to the stewards.

                    Once you have the judgement - easily filed in small claims court, the stewards have the ability to rule the offending party off until the judgement is paid in full or to the stewards satisfaction. At that point the best thing I have found is to deliver the horse to the person, where ever they have their other horses and say "here is the horse, the judgement is for $x amount, stewards have outlined this plan of action/payment for you to stay on the grounds." That might mean the stewards suggest dividing the judgement amount into smaller chunks to be paid by a certain date or paying in its entirety by a certain date, in order for the offending party to be able to stay on the grounds and continue to make their living.

                    Get that judgement and the stewards can help you.

                    And yes, it's often the big owners who are the worst pay. My small clients always make sure we get paid promptly (knock knock).
                    Jessi Pizzurro ~~ Pennyroyal Stables
                    Racehorses, OTTBs ~~ 330 383 1281
                    Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway. -- John Wayne


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jessi P View Post
                      While I can understand that you had the horse for months with no compensation I would NEVER, EVER recommend anyone taking this route after having a non-paying boarder. You cannot sell someone else's animal that you have been contracted to care for without getting a judgement against them - then you take it to the stewards.
                      In Maryland, if someone does not pay the bill, the horse is yours. It is a bit more complicated than that, but very simple to enact. You take your board agreement (which I know the original poster does not have) and some sort of proof that there was no bill paid and the local court awards you the horse. My barn owner took two horses to the sale after several months of unpaid bills. Maryland law is one or two months, but they waited 6 or so and tried to sell the horses outside first. I am not sure they went to court for that one, though....the owner may have told them to do what they want with it, essentially relinquishing ownership.

                      I do not agree that someone should sell the horse and tell the owner the horse died because that is as dishonest as the owner not paying and could land the boarding facility in trouble with the law, if nothing else.


                      • #12
                        Yeah lucky you, now you have a most likely worthless horse plus no money for all the back board.
                        McDowell Racing Stables

                        Home Away From Home


                        • Original Poster

                          Thanks for all the advice guys. For starters we are getting a letter and bill together now to personally deliver to Delaware Park this week. Will go from there and keep you guys updated as I may need some more advice.

                          No papers on foal. Just a coggins under a name that is not in the TJC database.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by AlexMakowski View Post
                            . . . . No papers on foal. Just a coggins under a name that is not in the TJC database.
                            Is the name on the Coggins the foal's name or the dam's name? For example, Mary's Faith '08 would tell you this was the 2008 foal born to Mary's Faith.


                            • Original Poster

                              I will have to dig out his coggins agains.

                              Another side note. Just discovered the owner actaully an actual trainer. Does this change anything?


                              • #16
                                As long as the trainer has a valid racing license, then it does. You can then go to the stewards.

                                In our case, we did not have a contract, and this horse was not a racehorse, just some gelding with a broken leg that the outrider picked up to turn into a trail pony for someone.

                                Always, always, always have a contract. As my hubby apparently didn't learn a lesson from this he accepted a horse to train and even after my prompting did not secure a training contract. That was 15 months ago. Horse left our care in June bound for Fair Hill, broke down three wks after arriving, owner still owes us 9 grand, won't pay and can't find. Sent collection agents of the not so nice kind but he packed up and moved on. No track license so can't go thru ARCI database.

                                he is major reason my house is foreclosed on.

                                always get contract
                                To get in the winners' circle you must first get into the gate