Cowboy Chaps to Business Suits: advancing the art of the sale

{Image Source: Cal Poly Rodeo 1953}

In October 2010 I wrote a post about Florida's new laws governing equine sale transactions (click here to read original post); I was surprised that California did not have a comparable statute- California had a much more limited involvement in sales.

~Enter January 2011~

California enacts  California Business and Professions Code Section 19525, bearing close affinity with the equine transaction laws in Florida and Kentucky, among others.
(perhaps the California Legislature reads my blog!)

So how does this affect you and your horses?

Here is an excerpt from the law:

(d) It is unlawful for a person to act as a "dual agent," which is
hereby defined as a person acting as an agent for both the purchaser
and the seller, in a transaction involving the sale, purchase, or
transfer of an interest in an equine without the prior knowledge of
both the purchaser and seller, and the written consent of both the
purchaser and seller.
(emphasis added)

This portion alone could make many horse sales technically illegal- do you always have your sale agreements in writing?  Do you ask if your agent is representing the other side?

However, there is an important limitation:
(a) For purposes of this section, "equine" means a horse of
any breed used for racing or showing, including prospective
racehorses, breeding prospects, stallions, stallion seasons,
broodmares, yearlings, or weanlings, or any interest therein.
 The statute is limited to horses participating in a particular enterprise, such as racing or breeding; these horses are typically used as business property.  The state has an interest in regulating fair business practices for a variety of reasons.

 I'm a little unclear on the far-reaching implications of this new statute; when laws are new it can be uncertain how a court would interpret it in a dispute.

For example, what does a horse used for "showing" mean for the purpose of this section?
Schooling shows? Rated shows? How often does a horse have to compete at a show each year to qualify?  Does the buyer or the seller have to intend for the horse to be used for showing?

Equine Attorney Paul Husband is going to discuss this statute via simulcast,
 and I've registered! Have you? It's free and open to the public! Click here to find the link to sign-up.

Date: 5/2/2011
Time: 7:00 pm Pacific Time 
Speaker: Paul Husband, Attorney at Law
Format: Simulcast - attend via your phone or computer

Finally, while statutes and laws often seem confusing and wordy, I encourage you as a responsible horse owner to know the law and your rights guaranteed by California.  And for non-Californians, I encourage you to attend the simulcast and read the statute: similar laws may be coming to a state near you.

Read the full text of the new law here
(Don't worry, it isn't very long!)

Whether you like this law is a personal choice and reflects your interpretation of policy; I'm undecided if this law goes far enough to protect the rights of all horsemen and women,
or, could it be that the state is intruding on affairs that we want to handle on our own?