Seller of lame horse ordered to repay twice sale price
A woman who sold a lame horse for almost $5000, after advertising on Facebook that the horse was fit for mustering and campdrafting, has to pay the buyer almost double the price.
The ad showed seven-year-old stockhorse Regal Oak as a healthy looking horse being ridden under saddle and included a video of it being exercised, a tribunal heard.
But none of the images of the gelding were recent or taken by Megan Prow, who sold it within six months of buying it, Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal was told.
A veterinary surgeon who later examined the horse for new buyer Kevin McQuillan of A-Mac Grazing Co., after radiography and ultrasound, said it was only suitable to be ridden at a walk.
"Regal Oak is a well mannered gelding who is bred to work cattle with a good foundation both on the ground and under saddle,'' the Facebook ad said.
It said the horse had done campdraft and horsemanship clinics and steady mustering and it had been exposed to helicopters, bikes and dogs.
"He rates and tracks his cattle,'' the ad, which was copied from a post by a previous owner, said.
When Mr McQuillan asked Ms Prow if the horse had any injuries she said "no'', although it had three sizeable scars, including a large one on a hind leg.
After the horse was delivered to Mr McQuillan, it was spelled for a week, but then showed hindlimb problems after the second or third ride, the tribunal heard.
Michelle Bolch of Remtech Equine found obvious hindlimb lameness.
Townsville veterinary surgeon Dr Justin Nicholls said the horse had an injury or ongoing leg damage that was a few months to a few years old, and it must have been obvious for some time.
Regal Oak also had osteoarthritis compounded by inflammation and degeneration of the tendon at the front of the hock, he told the tribunal.
Dr Nicholls said he would not recommend the horse muster cattle or do campdraft or horsemanship clinics and it was only suitable to be ridden at a walk.
Ms Prow claimed the horse was not injured while she had it.
But Magistrate Cathy McLennan said she must have been aware of the injury at the time she advertised it, given a large scar over the injury area and obvious signs of lameness soon after purchase.
"It is entirely disingenuous to suggest she couldn't have known about the problems unless an ultrasound was done,'' the magistrate said.
Ms Prow said Mr McQuillan should have onsold the horse to mitigate his damages or it could have been sold to a knackery, but the magistrate found Regal Oak had negligible value.
On February 18, Ms Prow was ordered to pay Mr McQuillan $9612, including the purchase price and expenses for getting the horse assessed by an equine service and veterinary surgeon.
Originally published as Seller of lame horse ordered to repay twice sale price