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-   -   First right of refusal (http://www.horseforum.com/horse-law/first-right-refusal-103003/)

starlinestables 11-09-2011 11:27 PM

First right of refusal
 
I'm just trying to get a consensus to see if I should push the issue or not.

I'll try to keep this short.

I sold a hunter/jumper pony July 8, 2010. 6 weeks later the daughter decided she didn't want to do english anymore and was losing interest in her and asked if I wanted to buy her back. At the time, I just bought a house and didn't have the cash laying around anymore. I usually wait a month before using the money just in case even though its not in my contract but again this was 6 weeks after the sale. I did list her for sale on my website, referred buyers her way, offered to come get her and help sell her if she paid for food and care while for sale. Never really heard from her after that.

My sale contract states:

a. The buyer agrees to pay the seller $$$$ cash upon delivery of said horse.
b. If the buyer chooses to sell the horse with in a year of signing this agreement, the buyer agrees to offer the original seller, my name, the first right of refusal to purchase the horse under this same agreement for the same purchase price regardless of value.
c. IF THE BUYER CHOOSES TO SELL THE HORSE BEYOND A YEAR OF SIGNING THIS AGREEMENT, THE BUYER AGREES TO OFFER THE ORIGINAL SELLER, my name, THE FIRST RIGHT OF REFUSAL AT FAIR MARKET VALUE.


Fast forward to now, I have a few students looking for ponies and so I was browsing craigslist and happened to find my old pony for sale by the same owner. Of course I jumped at the chance.. I loved this pony! I contacted her.. She said that they may delay selling the pony until blah blah blah but said that she had an old broke appy gelding for sell if I was interested. I replied saying I hope she would reconsider.. explained why and told her a little about my prospective buyers and why the appy gelding wasn't what we were looking for (nicely). I also said that if my students weren't interested then I would most likely buy her back to use in our rapidly growing lesson program. Overall a very nice and pleasant email. She responded with "Don't ever email me or call me again". I sent her another email apologizing if I offended her and asked her how? no response. I just sent her a longer apology email trying to guess how I offended her and offering apologies and explanations for each possible scenario on how I might have offended her. The last thing I wanted to do was offend her in anyway and make sure we have good business dealings.

I have to admit I am kind of peeved. I really care that my horses are placed in good homes. I am hoping it all works out but I'm thinking about pushing the issue. According the the wording in point c, its been a year and I could still require first right of refusal. I know it may be a stretch if I took it to small claims. What do you think my odds are?:cry:

kevinshorses 11-10-2011 12:09 AM

I think you should have someone else try to buy him before you do anything else. That would be the easiest way. Then you could get an attorney to send a registered letter to get thier attention and see if that helps. If not then I would let it go and not spend any more time on it.

Dreamcatcher Arabians 11-10-2011 12:53 AM

I'd have a friend buy the horse for me and forget the whole thing. She sounds like a nutcase.

drafts4ever 11-10-2011 02:19 AM

I'd have a friend buy. Don't have them say where they would be boarding in case she's so crazy she'll refuse just because of your stables. If she requires a home check then hmmm, not sure what to do there but I'd have a friend buy the horse and you either fund it or reimburse.

Joe4d 11-10-2011 08:08 AM

You had first right of refusal and you refused, I dont see how you feel you have any claim to that horse.

Your own words,
"6 weeks later the daughter decided she didn't want to do english anymore and was losing interest in her and asked if I wanted to buy her back"

You had first right of refusal, you refused.
This horse isnt yours and the current owner fulfilled their contractual obligations.

WickedNag 11-10-2011 09:00 AM

First right of refusal contracts do not stand up in any court anywhere according to my lawyer friend/ex judge. Do your research. You sold the horse, you have no right to any claim regardless of what a contract says. You gave up your rights to the horse when money exchanged hands. You did not lease the horse, you sold the horse, what gives you any right to have any say over the horse? Think of it in terms of buying a car... regardless that the horse is a living thing it is still property.

I also agree with Joe4d you already gave up your first right of refusal, which the owner never would have had to offer in the first place. But she honored her word and offered.

Move on and if you think someone would be interested in purchasing the horse, send them her way. No reason to be shady about it.

iridehorses 11-10-2011 09:11 AM

I have to agree with everything said, Kevin and others say have a straw buyer pay for the horse if you still want him. Joe and Wicked said what I would have said, they fulfilled their end of the contract - if it could have even been enforced - and you refused.

They could be angry with you since they offered you the pony before and you turned them down, but now you want the pony. It doesn't matter - have someone else buy the horse for you.

sillyhorses 11-10-2011 12:42 PM

They offered you the first right of "buying" when they decided to go another direction a year ago. You turned them down. You have no legal leg to stand on with this situation (per your own words), and the woman can be as rude as she wants, unfortunately :/ Perhaps, as has been suggested, you can have your clients whom you feel she might be suitable for personally contact the seller and be sure to not mention your name in the process? Stinks that you were unable to buy her back when they first offered...

Speed Racer 11-10-2011 01:04 PM

First rights of refusal are unenforceable legally, and you could be required to pay the other person's court costs once you lose.

The owner already offered you the horse, and you couldn't take him back at that time. She's not obligated to offer him to you again, regardless of your little ploy in the form of your third bullet point in the contract.

If you think he's perfect for one of your students, have their parents contact this woman.

iridehorses 11-10-2011 01:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Speed Racer (Post 1228912)
If you think he's perfect for one of your students, have their parents contact this woman.

But then she would lose out on the markup or commission.


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