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Doing business with JILL BURNELL? BEWARE.

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  • Originally posted by Samotis View Post
    This whole thing is just ridiculous. If the horse was "stolen" and you have proof, then go get the horse.

    Why would you let her be in the wrong hands? you know where she is so pick her up!
    Let me just start off by saying that I know nothing about what is happening with Grand Affair or the parties involved. I should also point out that I am not a lawyer, but as an Equine Appraiser and Equine Expert Witness, I've worked on quite a few cases in which something similar has happened. As well, I just finished taking a great seminar on this very subject. These are important facts that ALL sellers need to know.

    At the end of the day, possession is 9/10 of the law.

    Many sellers do not realize that a Bill of Sale is a legal document that transfers the title of the horse. Once you hand over a bill of sale to a buyer, it IS their horse, regardless of whether they still owe payments or not. One of the biggest disputes all equine lawyers deal with is over transfer of title or ownership of a horse.

    If you have sold a horse on payments, DO NOT combine your purchase agreement and bill of sale all into one. Why? Re-read the paragraph above! Because a bill of sale determines title on a horse, even though a buyer may not have finished paying on a horse, if they have a bill of sale on the horse, THEY OWN THE HORSE and therefore can easily dispute any further payments at a later date! ...which also means, at the end of the day, it DOES NOT matter who's name the registration papers are in. Most Equine Breed Registries will tell you that they are not in the business of proving titles. As many people know, especially in the performance world, a horse can change ownership 5 or 6 times with the registration papers never being transfered. It does not mean the last person listed as owner on the registration papers is the legal or rightful owner.

    The only way to combat this HUGE, HUGE problem in our industry, is to realize it is important that a purchase agreement or promissory note be drawn up for buyer that is purchasing a horse through payments, and DO NOT EVER give the buyer a signed bill of sale until all pre-sale conditions have been met. As well, it is important to retain a security interest or collateral interest in the horse, otherwise....you DO NOT have the right to repo the horse. Then your only recourse is to sue for damages! Please note that the States of Florida, California and Kentucky have special requirements regarding bill of sales - which is also why it is so important to not just go on the internet and ask someone for a generic promissory note agreement, etc., as most generic contracts are missing crucial elements. It is sometimes worth it's weight in gold to pay an Equine Lawyer (or a lawyer with a bit of equine knowledge) to draw up your own personal contracts that you can potentially use over and over. If anyone needs a referal to a good Equine Lawyer in their state, email me.

    Also note, in your promissory note or purchase agreement, it is so important to make sure a clause is added stating if the buyer does not finishing paying for the horse, you have the right to come onto their property and remove the horse. You DO NOT have a right, as a matter of law, to go on to someone's property and seize or repo a horse unless it is agreed up front.

    People have a misconception that a Sheriff or the Police will accompany a seller out to pick up their horse. This is a civil matter. The police are NOT going to help you if you don't have anything in writing or the proper documentation. I know there are lots of shows on TV right now regarding repossession, but it's important to understand that they are not just showing up on someone's property and taking their vehicle just because. They have already gone through the courts and have the proper documentation to back them up.

    Hopefully, that answers your questions regarding, "why can't you just go and pick up the horse". Simply put...it just isn't that simple!

    If more people would realize stuff like this, as well as always making sure any deals are done by contracts and not just a hand shake and a hope, you would be putting equine lawyers and people like myself (equine appraisers/equine expert witnesses) out of business!
    Last edited by Daventry; Dec. 31, 2012, 01:09 PM.
    Home of Welsh Cob stallion Goldhills Brandysnap
    Also home to Daventry Equine Appraisals & Equine Expert Witness


    • Re: Grand Affair

      I don't know anything regarding the ownership of the horse but a quick search of USEF shows that the last recorded USEF owner was:

      GRAND AFFAIR (104664)
      Foal Date: 5/2/1995
      Breed: OLDENBURG
      Color: Chestnut Sex: M
      Sire: GRANDE SABER
      Membership Type: LifeHorse Report
      Owner ID:176931
      Active Member - Senior

      Breeder: WATT, JOAN
      As it is marked SOLD, that means that owner notified USEF that they sold the horse and the new owner has not transferred the horse into their name.

      I don't know of any court that would not go by a bill of sale for a horse to determine the current owner. Just because you have papers doesn't mean you are still the legal owner. If you signed a bill of sale, you are no longer the owner, no matter what the papers say, or who has the papers.

      What I find interesting is that the new owner never transferred the ownership for such well known mare that was continued to be used for breeding. Regardless of why they didn't transfer the ownership, the previous owner did notify USEF that they sold the horse. That implies that at one time they were the legal owner of the horse, and I am guessing that is not the person that has the "papers" based on the names that have been given so far.

      Regardless of the ownership - I truly hope the mare lands on her feet in a good caring home.
      Last edited by Moderator 1; Jan. 7, 2013, 12:58 PM.


      • Well said, Daventry. I am an equine lawyer and she is correct in what she rights - for most states. All states have their own quirks, though, so checking with a lawyer in your state to assist in the writing of the purchase agreement and the bill of sale is important.

        What is DEAD ACCURATE is that people should NEVER do a sale or lease without a written and signed agreement that was prepared or at least reviewed first by a lawyer in the appropriate state.
        Visit Sonesta Farms website at www.sonestafarms.com or our FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/sonestafarms. Also showing & breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.


        • The plot thickens


          • In the case of one buying a foal from JB on payment, and ASSUMING there was a Bill of Sale, and the foal was then said to be sold to another party by JB (for supposed lack of payments), how does that work? Again, assuming both parties have a Bill of Sale...who is the rightful owner?

            I have no dog in this, I'm just curious as this has all become so fascinating...
            "IT'S NOT THE MOUNTAIN WE CONQUER, BUT OURSELVES." SIR EDMUND HILLARYMember of the "Someone Special To Me Serves In The Military" Clique


            • Sorry Folks...a correction was posted on FB
              Sorry that was a bleed in her broad ligament NOT a rupture.
              Evidently Grand Affair had a year's rest. Was bred for one last time under the direction of a repro vet. As some astute COTHers here noted... ET was the only future option for Grand Affair.

              I might add the article in the Chronicle about Grand Affair should shed some light on her career for those who are not sure about her ownership. The Posh Trophy of Upperville is retained by former owners of Grand Affair - Symmetry Ranch

              Sorry for the snarks out there.. the plot is not so very thick. The link to another thread posted by the "buyer" reads she's the ONLY one who says the mare was SOLD.
              Attached Files
              Tradition of "Grande" Sporthorse Champions
              GRANDE SOVEREIGN 2014 USEF 8th Leading HB Sire
              & Sire of OWN IT - USEF National HB 3yo Champion

              Grand Affiar, Grande Desire, GR Impression, Couture du Jour


              • That is a very kind offer Daventry! I know there is at least one other COTHer who is making an incredibly generous offer to others who were wronged by Jill Burnell. If you share your plight there is a very good chance you will be contacted.
                McDowell Racing Stables

                Home Away From Home


                • I've emailed Michelle, as I have a breeding contract with Jill, my mare lost her foal last year... This whole ordeal is very saddening... I personally would hate to just lose my money(being a young pup in college just trying to start life) and would still love a breeding, but I'm also with a Mare or the funds for breeding in 2013 so I was going to wait - as Jill has quite the lengthy return breeding privileges... But at this point I am more concerned about the health and good homes for these poor horses.
                  First and foremost about the horse.
                  Rose Bud Ranch Sporthorses
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                  • Daventry, do you know of a good equine lawyer in the southern Alberta area?
                    Your post was super informative, really appreciate it.
                    Practice! Patience! Persistence!


                    • Originally posted by Daventry
                      Well, seeing as the mare has a 2012 foal at side and is for sale for $18,000 (as stated in Gray Fox Farms Christmas newsletter), one can only assume a buyer would only be spending that kind of money on a working broodmare, not a retired one!
                      Again don't forget this is the SAME person who bought the foal at her side in 2010(?) when those pictures were taken showing her in horrific shape and then published then on facebook gloating about the foal purchase.

                      Even if you negate the horses condition just a glance around the paddock their standing in and most people would have run like hell certainly not defended the women and continued to buy foals and support that ill care.
                      "I would not beleive her if her tongue came notorized"


                      • Originally posted by peskee View Post
                        If Grand Affair had a BROAD LIGAMENT RUPTURE at age 12 why was she sold/leased to anyone as a broodmare at age 14/15? She did get loaded on a van by someone in Pa. and sent to Calif. for that purpose.

                        Originally posted by TWF View Post
                        ET was the only future option for Grand Affair.
                        Something is fishy here and it's not just JB (although she's the smelliest fish). What I don't understand is why TWF and Hunter's Peak allowed a mare they obviously cared about to be bred to carry a foal in the first place if ET were the only option for her? Someone had to be involved in the breeding process because she certainly wasn't in CA when it happened based on FB/forum posts. Then allowed her to be shipped clear across the country if she wasn't paid for/leased/stolen/whatever? If the mare really needed retirement that badly, then why sell/lease/whatever in the first place? I'm not defending JB but this whole thing definitely doesn't add up.

                        The comments on the new owner's FB post state the mare is not in foal for 2013 but will be bred in the spring and she is looking for stallion suggestions. Interesting given the mare was being sold with 2 breedings to Redwine.
                        Last edited by COTHalter44; Jan. 1, 2013, 03:54 AM. Reason: spelling


                        • Originally posted by Lynnwood View Post
                          Again don't forget this is the SAME person who bought the foal at her side in 2010(?) when those pictures were taken showing her in horrific shape and then published then on facebook gloating about the foal purchase.
                          Seems she either doesn't care or ignores the "care" JB gives because she also bought a 2011 foal from JB (Redwine/All of the Above). At least that mare is in a much better home now.


                          • i am not sure it is such a good idea to criticize those folks willing to buy horses away from JB - havent y'all been concerned with the horses care and wanted the horses away from JB in the first place?


                            • To set the record straight.. the show mare "Grand Affair" was issued two sets of registration papers. The foal papers in 1995 and the "NEW Pre-Mare Book papers "issued after Rain Boots was born in 2010.

                              I am her breeder, the mare and the SO. My interest is this matter is the fraud populated from JB presenting this Grand Affair as undocumented mare , using her show name, representing her as an offspring of my stallion and listing me as a breeder...simply because JB could game the system when she couldn't claim ownership or get ahold of her registration papers. JB bred additional foals registered FOUR offspring using her "new" papers while her owner (with the original foal papers) has been trying to get her mare back. Only one of these four foals had the correct documentation.

                              The fact that MY name and that of MY broodmare and MY stallion were used to defraud the owner, the registry and the people who have the resulting foals doesn't sit well with me. It's a matter of principle.

                              Believe what you want about what transpired...the mare had foal papers and was registered twice : Only one can be legit. Which one? Guess?

                              Thanks to those who understand this bedrock issue. I just want Grand Affair off baby machine treadmill before it kills her AND for her to retire to the home of her rightful owner...... who as a young rider had the VISION to buy my stallion's "test" baby in the first few months of her life. Thanks Jill you did it right.
                              Attached Files
                              Tradition of "Grande" Sporthorse Champions
                              GRANDE SOVEREIGN 2014 USEF 8th Leading HB Sire
                              & Sire of OWN IT - USEF National HB 3yo Champion

                              Grand Affiar, Grande Desire, GR Impression, Couture du Jour


                              • it really is mindboggling the things JB allegedly has done..... amazing!


                                • That is a great idea , thanks Daventry, Katy, Jos and Maggie!
                                  I will join in doing the same and offer free breedings to Baron Van Gogh and Pablito for those who are not able to get their valid GFF breeding agreement fulfilled.

                                  For anyone who is holding a valid Gray Fox Farm Breeding Contract that you won't or haven't been able to use, Rainbow Equus Meadows will offer a breeding to Baron Van Gogh or Pablitofor FREE for those Mare Owners who may be interested. Mare Owners would be responsible for collection and shipping charges, Baron and Pablito can be seen on their website at www.rainbowequus.com
                                  www.rainbowequus.com Home of stallions that actually produced champion hunter, jumper and dressage offspring and now also champion eventers


                                  • I just have to say that I am blown away with the generosity of our fellow breeders. While I personally was not taken by Jill, I know several people who were. It does my heart good to see so many working together to begin to right this situation. Donating to the Marin Humane Society will be the way we are able to help. If we were not clear across the country, I would be happy to open our farm up to foster some of the horses in the most need. Keep up the great work everyone. I know the horses will be forever thankful.
                                    Worth A Shot Farm
                                    Finding the horse of your dreams, is always Worth A Shot!
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                                    • I appreciate the generosity too and for sure many services could be donanted to help. Legal, vet, transport etc.

                                      This is not the time IMHO to promote breeding or other stallions/programs. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth actually.

                                      Kudos to those who truly do want to help.


                                      • Originally posted by cnigh View Post
                                        I appreciate the generosity too and for sure many services could be donanted to help. Legal, vet, transport etc.

                                        This is not the time IMHO to promote breeding or other stallions/programs. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth actually.

                                        Kudos to those who truly do want to help.

                                        Always someone who looks at the glass half empty. There are going to be many many people that will be if not are already out breedings that they may never see a return on because of JB. I think the community stepping forward and trying to help those people is a VERY noble gesture.
                                        "I would not beleive her if her tongue came notorized"


                                        • Originally posted by cnigh View Post
                                          I appreciate the generosity too and for sure many services could be donanted to help. Legal, vet, transport etc.

                                          This is not the time IMHO to promote breeding or other stallions/programs. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth actually.

                                          Kudos to those who truly do want to help.
                                          I actually was happy to see the other stallion owners offer their stallions.... the ones who have been taken by JB spent $$ on stud fees, etc, meaning they WANTED to breed, whatever their specific reasons........ so if they wanted to continue on that path, they would have to come up with more $$, and having the generosity of other SO's, makes it so those people can continue.