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Selling filly and retaining future breeding rights via ET

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  • Selling filly and retaining future breeding rights via ET

    I was wondering if any of you has ever did it:

    Selling a filly, for a lower price, or for the price of a colt (if you usually sell your fillies at higher prices than colts), and asking to retain breeding rights (not exclusive of course) via embryo transfer.

    How would you put this down in a contract? Would you keep a certain % of ownership on the filly to be sure that if she sells before you get the # of ET foals you want, at least, you get back a % of the sale, instead of the foals you tought you would get via ET?

    Or if you don't keep a % of ownership, would you put a penalty in the contract if the owner sells the filly to a third party before you have the chance to get the # of ET foals out of her you wanted?

    Would you call it even if the filly dies or become infertile before you can do it?

    Of course there would be a time frame (like... let's say, between the age of 2 (? is it doable at 2 or would it be considered inhumane? I mean, ok the filly would be bred... but she would not carry the foal) or 3, to max 5yo? Would you assume to only get x number of embryos, or would it be linked to a sort of x number of live foals? (as one's know, we can flush 5 embryos and get no live foal...)

    Then, the filly would need to be inspected and approved with at least one registry (ideally her birth registry) for breeding in order for her foals to get registered... So that part would also need to be covered into the written agreement. Who would pay? The one who wants to get the embryos? But it would also benefit (for the future) the owner in the sense that her filly (now mare) would have this + on her c.v. in case she gets hurt, or in case the owner wants to breed later. Would you share 50/50 the costs of inspection?

    Les Écuries d'Automne, Québec, Canada
    Visit EdA's Facebook page!

  • #2
    If I wanted to breed her, I'd just keep her! Sorry, I know that's not much help.
    In an age when scientists are creating artificial intelligence, too many of our educational institutions seem to be creating artificial stupidity.—Thomas Sowell, Is Thinking Obsolete?


    • #3
      Well as a buyer I would never agree to it.


      • #4
        I agree keep the filly if you want to breed or at least keep her til you can do the embryo transfers yourself at three. The only option I see to this is to sell 49% of her and keep the controlling share. PatO


        • #5
          Breeding is a huge risk-what if the mare has complications and has to be put down?

          Will you pay the vet fee's? Reimburse the owner of the mare?

          I have never heard of this type of deal nor do I think anyone would be willing to purchase a mare you get to breed.


          • #6
            In my option, I would never buy a mare with this kind of deal. It would make me feel that I do not own the mare 100%! I would keep walking on and look for the right horse with the right deal that I can live with.


            • #7
              It is funny as seeing the Dachshund in the name I though about what is common in the dog show world and that is co-ownership. That is how dog breeders keep bloodlines coming back...they retain partial ownership and final ownership might or might not transfer over when all the obligations have been met...the puppy back clause. But the turn over in horses is so much slower than dog breeding. PatO


              • #8
                I wouldn't buy a mare with such a clause either. If she was good enough to breed, I wouldn't want to spend time each season waiting for the previous owner to get embryos off her before I could breed her for myself. Especially if this was something that might occur more than once. A mare is not like a stallion, capable of breeding technically 365 days a year. A couple of breedings wouldn't upset the schedule much, with a mare you're talking about a whole different ball game. Plus, the risk and hassle to the new owner isn't worth a small discount in the initial purchase price. At least not to me.


                • #9
                  Interesting. As someone who could potentially be in the market for a filly next year, I think what you're proposing sounds very reasonable. I would gladly agree to something like this if it meant I could buy, at a price I could afford, a quality filly that the breeder would have otherwise kept for her own stock.

                  I think splitting the cost of the approval 50/50 makes perfect sense. Your breeding rights are worthless without the approval, but approval also increases the value of the horse for the owner, so both parties benefit equally.

                  An embryo transfer really does not pose a significant health risk to the horse. It's just the inconvenience of getting her to a competent veterinary clinic, etc. The seller should be responsible for all related costs, including the BSE - as she would if she still owned the mare herself.

                  As a buyer, I would want the breeding rights to expire certainly by the time the mare is five, but getting it all done by four would be better. Once she's five, she'll be in a full training regimen, competing, etc., so hauling her back and forth between the clinic would be disruptive to the routine. I would also want some reasonable limits on how many embryos you get and how many attempts to get them - regardless of the final outcome. If she's just not conceiving with Greatest-Sire-on-Earth's frozen for whatever reason, don't make me haul her around week after week trying to breed her over and over again with the same sire's bad semen. Same thing if you're trying to put the embryo into a recipient who can't carry past 60 days - or 9 months... shouldn't be my problem.

                  On the flip side, what if you get more than one embryo with one breeding? You'd probably want that scenario covered as well. Seems to me it would be your right to keep multiples. If your contract states "3 embryos" and this makes four, what happens to the extra?

                  Having said all that, you're the one taking the biggest risk. What if the mare turns 3 and the new owner misses the inspection because she's on vacation in Cancun (ick) or... the trailer's got a flat... or... or... whatever. What if they just never show up at the repro vet and your frozen semen is sitting there waiting for the mare to arrive?

                  You would definitely need some means to protect yourself. Retrieving the horse in the middle of the night is probably not the best option. Maybe you could retain the registration papers and not submit the transfer of ownership to the breed registry until the approval and breeding rights agreement has been fulfilled. Just a thought - trying to think of what I might do to protect myself if I were the seller...

                  I like the idea!


                  • #10
                    I think that an agreement like the one you mention is very difficult, for at least as many reasons as the number of questions you ask. For the owner: Embryo transfer is not an insignificant procedure and can impact the future reproduction of the mare. Pregnancy is not an insignificant situation and can impact the future health of the mare. It certainly puts a cap on her early training. What if a problem happens to her? What if the owner wants to do Young Horse or Breeding shows with her and you keep her pregnant during that time? What if she needs Regumate and special treatment? For buyers: What if the previous owner insists on Regumate and stall rest for your prospect? Do you give her her fourth year off? What if she aborts and the owner wants another year? What if the mare has complications during birth or never gets preggo? Who makes the call on her health - you or the other owner? Do you now owe more money? I could go on and on. I would never sell a horse with such strings attached, and I would never buy a horse with such strings attached. There is too much gray area when it comes to horse breeding and horse health. OP, if you want a foal, keep and breed the mare. If you want to sell the horse, sell her. Otherwise, you are opening yourself to a potentially very bad situation.
                    Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation


                    • Original Poster

                      Breeding is a huge risk-what if the mare has complications and has to be put down?

                      Will you pay the vet fee's? Reimburse the owner of the mare?
                      Pregnancy is not an insignificant situation and can impact the future health of the mare. It certainly puts a cap on her early training. What if a problem happens to her? What if the owner wants to do Young Horse or Breeding shows with her and you keep her pregnant during that time? What if she needs Regumate and special treatment? For buyers: What if the previous owner insists on Regumate and stall rest for your prospect? Do you give her her fourth year off? What if she aborts and the owner wants another year? What if the mare has complications during birth or never gets preggo?
                      I think you two did not read my initial post. I said no pregnancy for the donor mare (the sold filly). Only ET. And with a time frame that will likely result in the fact that the embryos will be recovered before the filly is into serious training/showing.

                      My situation is not a situation where I would OFFER "at large" for sale a filly... and then surprise-surprise for the buyer... I want to retain some kind of breeding rights lol!

                      It is more like a situation where someone IS interested in a filly that I would rather like to keep for breeding. But, in the same time, I see the possibilities for that filly to do something great in sport, and the interested client is certainly able to develop her up the levels. So. I was thinking it might be a win win situation if I sell the filly to the interested client while keeping some breeding rights that would interfere only minimally on the early training schedule (if it is at all). But I am not sure how to write all this down, and don't want to forget anything. Would not be a surprise for the client as this would all be discussed and let's assume that client is like catzndogz22, and is open to it.

                      Embryo transfer is not an insignificant procedure and can impact the future reproduction of the mare.
                      Yes just like training is not an insignificant exercice for a young horse and can impact the future of his competitive career... If something goes wrong, it can go wrong on about any aspect of a horse's life. Hell, some horses just fool around in the paddock and can break a leg! I feel breeding is less risky than competing. But this is MHO. Expensive mares are flushed for embryos all the way and of course a vet can do mistakes, but if it is an experienced vet in these kind of procedure, I am pretty confident the mare has minimal chances to get hurt and become sterile.
                      Les Écuries d'Automne, Québec, Canada
                      Visit EdA's Facebook page!


                      • #12
                        I would worry about the vet situation. Is the filly staying local to you or perhaps moving several states away. Will there be access to a vet/clinic that is good enough at ET to make it worth trying. It sounds creative, but very complicated to me.
                        Whispered Wish Weser-Ems: Breeding quality German Riding Ponies!
                        Standing the stallion Burberry


                        • #13
                          ET will not delay or really impact training. ET (if one does not try to take embryo after embryo) is not at all likely to impact a mare's future ability to be bred.

                          That said, I do not think this scenario is one that is simple or without pitfalls. A lot needs to be hashed out ahead of time and put into writing. The contract needs to stipulate a limit to the number of attempts to be made. As hluing stated, the vet available on the donor end needs to be capable. If I were the buyer, I would not allow more than 2 attempts a year. I would not allow more that 6 attempts total.

                          Another bit of food for thought. As the saying goes possession is 9 tenths of the law. That means that the one who has physical control of his property is clearly at an advantage should his rightful ownership of the property ever be subject to challenge. That essentially means that in this case the seller will have a heck of a time enforcing the contract if the buyer decides that they do not want to honor it.
                          Mary Lou


                          Member OMGiH I loff my mares clique


                          • #14
                            I am with the posters who said they would never buy a mare under these conditions. Sounds complicated and like a lot things could make the relationship go sour. If you want a foal from this mare so badly, you should probably just keep her, breed her and then sell her after you get the foal you want.


                            • #15
                              I saw a sales ad once for a very nice filly with this condition. What they had done was list the filly with two different prices. It was something like 24k full sale or 17k if breeder reatained breeding rights via ET. It was a quality filly and I could see someone being attracted to the lower price option who wasn't interested in breeding and was only looking for a top end performance horse they couldn't otherwise afford.


                              • #16
                                I know of a seller who sold a filly with breeding rights

                                Yes, you can retain breeding rights. Everything is negotiable, well almost.

                                Whether or not you'll find a buyer here among us posters is another story altogether.

                                PM me and I'll give you the contact name and number of a breeder who had a similar deal with her Escudo II filly. I don't know all the details of what buyer and seller eventually settled on as far at how many ETs, time frame and price.


                                • #17
                                  Horse sales are complicated at best. I wouldn't touch a deal like this with a ten foot pole!!! If you want embryos...keep the filly until you get them...then sell her.
                                  Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


                                  • #18
                                    Hello OP, I thought I read your initial post correctly but I may not have. Superovulation and flushing is not insignificant even by experienced veterinarians. Ask me how I know. That said, the number of questions you asked the board underlines how complex your situation can be. It is difficult to predict all of the variables if you want to sell a mare and retain breeding rights and incorporate them into a legal document. I would not purchase a mare with strings like this but it seems like you may find people who will. I suggest contacting experienced repro vets and asking about everything that can go wrong... and incorporate those potential issues into your contract. Good luck!
                                    Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation


                                    • #19
                                      From a legal standpoint this contract would be a nightmare (and as said before very unlikely to be enforceable):

                                      1- location: what if owner of filly moves to area where no experienced repro clinic is clos by? Say it is a 8-10 hr ship- who pays for hauling? It would be too far away to go back and forth, so owner could be looking at 3-4 months without filly at a facility where owner could not keep watchful eye.

                                      2- insurance: who will pay for insurance. If filly is to be shipped and out of owners care and custody, someone will need to insure.

                                      3- expense: this filly better have some pretty significant value as a broodmare - just adding up cost of shipping, insurance, vet is mind boggling. Wspecially when new owner may have zero repro experience and you would have to pay clinic/vet fees for every shot of prostin! You would most likely spend more than you would be able to sell her for now- so is it worth it?

                                      4- any contract such as this would be would be extremely difficult to enforce. You could put a penalty clause in too make up for difference in price of filly, but good luck collecting if owner isn't a "do the right thing" person
                                      Expecting 2017 foals by Vagabond de la Pomme, Cornet Obolensky, Zirocco Blue, Catoki and Christian.


                                      • Original Poster

                                        I think I am too much of an optimistic person. And yes I had clients interested in such deal so I only wanted by posting here to try to see all aspects and be prepared to write the best contract possible, for both parties. And to see if any of you have done that kind of deal with success.

                                        But if I resume in very short the majority's opinion, it's kind of: don't do it unless someone twists you an arm to do so and you are sure that this person is trustworthy and you are ready to let it go if things changes for the owner.

                                        Les Écuries d'Automne, Québec, Canada
                                        Visit EdA's Facebook page!