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Deerly 07-04-2010 12:33 PM

Breed registration vs ownership
Quick question that has probably been answered here before but I want a specific answer to my situation and I don't want to make assumptions! So sorry in advance!

What do "breed registration" papers have to do with ownership? I'm confused because I thought not all horses can be registered and even those that can be aren't? Does the AQHA work like the AKC for dogs where you CAN pay to register your dog for the club benefits/showing but it doesn't really matter in regards to legal ownership (but can be confusing if not passed around properly?)?

Ok major question: If you adopt/buy a horse what things do you absolutely NEED to have in order to have a solid, legal, binding ownership of your horse that no one can try to challenge later?

I always assumed horses were NOT like cars or houses where there is a mountain of paperwork involved?

I'm worried because when I adopted my horse who was lame, neglected and in awful shape they gave me an "adoption contract" and said that in six months they would give me his AQHA papers just so that I didn't try to turn around and sell him as a papered horse immediately.

He is still completely legally my horse w/out those breed papers right? *panic* I've poured so much money, blood sweat and tears to turn this horse around and now someone has me worried they can try to make some claim to take him back? I don't think they would... the whole point was that the owner just didn't give a **** and couldn't be bothered and the woman she hired to "manage his care" would never work again if she tried - the whole local horse community knows his story!

Still, totally panicking. I assume it's a little more involved than a dog and less involved than a car? :lol:

What I have:
- Signed adoption papers with a witness signature that state: "I [former owners name], current legal owner of [horse's barn and registered name] release any and all ownership and financial responsibility pursuant to above said horse to [my name], based on the conditions listed herin:

1. After six months of ownership, his AQHA registration papers will be transferred et al to [my name]
2. (gist: if i want to get rid of him in 12 months i have to give them first dibs)
3. (gist: dont sell for profit for 12 months)
4. (gist: if i move him from his current barn they should be allowed to visit for 12 months)
5. (gist: ill take proper care of him and seek vet assistance)
6. [my name] is to assume all legal and financial responsibilities from this date forward on the 6 year old Palomino Quarter Horse gelding [horse's name].

(signed/dated w/ witness)

Since then I have gotten him microchipped (in my name) I have endless vet bills and receipts in my name, his board has been transferred to my name at the old barn and in a few weeks he is moving to a new barn in my name.

Am I good?

Please, if I am NOT good or did some grievous error, private message me so that this thread can't be used against me until I fix it!

But of course, feel free to reassure me here!!

Cat 07-04-2010 01:00 PM

Possession is 9/10ths of the law. Why are you concerned - did you not get your papers after 6 months? If you don't - per that contract the other person is in the wrong and you can pursue them in small claims for the papers.

You have the contract in writing, etc - you are fine. While registration papers can help towards proving ownership and they help increase value - they are by no means the only way to prove ownership and any sales contract with signatures will usually override a set of papers pretty easily. Many horses out there don't have papers because they were either not transferred properly or never had them.

As long as you stick to your end of that signed contract you will be fine.

Deerly 07-04-2010 01:09 PM

Thank you! Yeah the papers have to be "found" and my mom was sending me very worried vibes that I didn't have them and I just wanted to make doubly sure I was in the clear. I don't think anyone would try anything but you can't be too careful!

Thank you!

Cinnys Whinny 07-04-2010 01:12 PM

I am sure you are all good.

About 15 years ago (I lived in CA at that time) I adopted a horse that the owners had issues with and just left (they were minor siblings). The papers were in their fathers name. As I knew this family well, there was no contract and the dad said as soon as he remembered where he put the papers he'd give them to me.

5 years later the kids are now grown up. The father (who was a second father to me) passed away. His office was then gone through to find his insurance documents but they also found my horse's papers, I was thrilled. Unfortunately, the now grown kids had a drug problem. They claimed that the horse was still theirs, came to my stable and took her so they could turn around and sell her for drug money :( I took them to court.

The ONLY reason I lost was that I had no contract. The judge said it didn't matter who her registration was in and that if I had a paper that said I had bought or adopted her there would be no question that she was legally mine.

YOU have ALL your ducks in a row, and I really doubt ANYONE can contest that he is YOUR horse!!! :)

Amarea 07-04-2010 01:47 PM

Do you at least know his number? Or registered name? You can file for a hardship registration with AQHA. I am in the process of it right now. Stiffler's previous owner never transferred his papers and I can't get either of the previous owners of record thru AQHA to get in touch with me.

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