How Long Should A Breeding Be Honored?

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How Long Should A Breeding Be Honored?

This is a discussion on How Long Should A Breeding Be Honored? within the Horse Breeding forums, part of the Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics category

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    06-22-2013, 09:28 PM
How Long Should A Breeding Be Honored?

Legally, I know that if I buy a breeding to a stallion and the stallion is sold and the new owner doesn't wish to honor the outstanding breedings, unless it's in the sales contract, they're really not obligated to do so.

I recently heard of an interesting (OK interesting because I'm not involved, otherwise it might be MORE than interesting.) situation. The original stallion owner sold several breedings and, after MANY years, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. This person lived for several years after the diagnosis and continued in business during that time. A letter was sent out to inform holders of breedings that the end was near, probably at least a year before the owner died, and if they wished to use their breeding they needed to do it because after the owner's death, there was no guarantee that any breedings would be honored. The owner passed and left the horse to someone new, who actually tried to honor some of the breedings and then re-sent a letter to all outstanding breeding holders to use them by such and such a date as the stallion was going out on lease and the lessee would not be required to honor the breedings. BTW, 3 years have now passed since the original owner passed on and these are still breedings that original owner sold.

The stallion has moved to the lessee, who actually is planning on buying him in the fairly near future. Several people have contacted the lessee requesting that the breedings they bought from the original owner be honored.

Even had the original owner NOT died, I would think that 3 to 4 years after the purchase of the breeding would be adequate time to use it, if you're going to. I don't know how long ago the people bought the breedings, conceivably 15 plus years, the stallion isn't a spring chicken and they've had lots of time to use the breedings.

Because of this, I've rethought my breeding contract and now limit the FIRST use of the breeding to 3 seasons. So, if you bought a breeding in 2013, you'd have until 2016 to use it the first time, with no penalty. I'm not talking about a live foal guarantee, I'm talking about trying for the first time to breed the mare. After 3 seasons, I think that the mare owner either faces the risk of loss due to death of an aged stallion or gelding in the event the owner decides to no longer stand the stallion. If, after 3 years, the mare owner wants to use the breeding, then I think a handling fee is appropriate, whether or not the stallion owner is the seller of the breeding or not.

For instance, I sell a breeding to Skippy and 5 years later, sell him to someone new. I think it's perfectly OK for the new owner to charge a handling fee to honor the breeding, IF they chose to honor the breeding at all. After 5 years, I would feel fine about charging a handling fee if I still was standing the stallion. Either that or I'd be ok with charging the difference if the stud fee had gone up.

How long would you expect a stallion owner (regardless of whether they are the actual seller of the breeding) to honor a breeding purchased from a particular stallion? What is your reasoning for your thinking?
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    06-22-2013, 09:37 PM
I thought that most breeders require the breedings to be used during a certain season. I also think its asinine to allow people to buy a breeding now for a breeding date X years from now. Way to much can happen in that time frame to both the horses involved and the owners, as we'll as stud few fluctuations, etc. Doesn't make good business sense to sell like that.
    06-22-2013, 10:06 PM
I'm not into breeding so I really don't know BUT given that there were multiple official letters sent and a due date set it's perfectly reasonable for the lessee to refuse breedings, BUT I do think there should be a time limit in breeding contracts to avoid situations like this.
    06-22-2013, 11:01 PM
In the past, it's never been too much of a problem. I ran into a situation where I bought a breeding late in one season and made it clear (in writing) to the owner that I wanted the breeding for the following season. The owner sold me the breeding, never said the horse was for sale, nor in fact that the horse was currently being negotiated on. The new owner chose not to honor the breeding and told me that I was welcome to pay HER for the breeding if I still wanted it. I was pretty hot about that, and because of it, will only pay for a breeding right before I use it and won't pay a "booking fee" to hold the breeding either.

In the past I've never seen time limitations and it's really never been a big problem, but recently I've started seeing time limit clauses in the breeding contracts and have started putting one in mine.
    06-24-2013, 11:04 PM
I think a limit is completely acceptable. You are protecting yourself and them. Realistically, if you are buying a breeding for a mare to use in 7 year than maybe you should not be thinking of breeding that mare at that time. If you want that specific stud than whats the harm in waiting until a year or so before you want to breed. Ideas and horses change over years and why commit to something like that. In addition, stallions are expensive to keep and even more so to campaign its unrealistic to assume that an owner would want to do that for the life of the horse. They may but they may just as easily get a nicer horse, lose a job or decide to geld the horse for about a 1000 other reasons. It seems smarter to wait until its on the near horizon to select a stud. I don't mean a week before the mare comes in but a year maybe two makes sense to me.
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    06-24-2013, 11:16 PM
If I bought a breeding to a stallion, I'd be using it that year. If for some reason I couldn't breed or my made doesn't catch, it'd be nice to get a re-breed for just the collection and shipping fees the next season.

Anything after that is just bs in my opinion.

So in response to your question, I'd say 1 year. So the 2013/2014 year. Beyond
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    06-25-2013, 10:14 PM
I have been nice enough to allow this year or next year, but no later. Most stallion owners allow only that year.
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    06-25-2013, 10:30 PM
When I worked at a ranch that stood stallions, the breedings were sold as "1991 breeding to "....", for example and yes it was that long ago that I worked there, lol.
    06-26-2013, 01:57 PM
In the breeding contract for my mare it states something like, the contract is viable until the foal stands and sucks. So we are eligible for a rebreed until the mare has a live foal who stands and nurses . It also has a clause about a substitution if that mare won't take or the stallion dies. It'd suck to have 2 years to get a mare in foal or else, given the fact that the breeding fee was 3500 bucks.
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    06-26-2013, 03:20 PM
Originally Posted by trainerunlimited    
In the breeding contract for my mare it states something like, the contract is viable until the foal stands and sucks. So we are eligible for a rebreed until the mare has a live foal who stands and nurses . It also has a clause about a substitution if that mare won't take or the stallion dies. It'd suck to have 2 years to get a mare in foal or else, given the fact that the breeding fee was 3500 bucks.
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That's why I try to not have to limit things too much but at some point you have to be able to say, NO. I'm trying to find out where most folks feel that limit should be. And that's why I excluded the live foal guarantee situations, I'm just asking about the first time to use the breeding situations. I would not pull the plug on an owner who was having a difficult time getting a mare to take, who was trying with a conscientious and reputable vet. I know people who go out and buy breedings to what they think is an up and coming stallion when he's a yearling or 2 year old and hold on to them for YEARS which is how this thing with the stallion in question got started, I'm willing to bet.

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