A “bitter” legal dispute over the sale of a £100,000 dressage horse has been settled out of court.
Calum Whitworth and Louise Briscoe have come to an agreement shortly before the case was due to be heard in Birmingham County Court.
Ms Briscoe bought talented dressage horse Ramazotti III from Mr Whitworth in May 2014, with the intention of competing him at advanced level.
But she alleged the gelding’s behaviour deteriorated after September 2014, until which time Mr Whitworth had been travelling to her base twice a week to teach the combination. She also said he had “temperamental issues”, according to her legal representative.
Mr Whitworth disputed this, saying the behaviour was normal for a dressage horse at that level.
Before the sale, he had enjoyed success with Rambo up to intermediare I level, and had twice been crowned national champion.
“The court case got quite bitter, which I am sorry about and I am pleased that we have been able to settle things amicably,” Mr Whitworth said.
Each party was backed by “prominent experts in the field, who were at odds as to whether the horse was suitable”, the solicitor added.
Ms Briscoe, whose case was that she was a “nervous amateur”, said: “I feel I was let down and obviously I am not the first person to have been sold something that they did not bargain for.
“It is very often the way in which a complaint is dealt with that will influence whether a buyer is willing to litigate but thankfully in this case I received a good deal of support.”
Mr Whitworth added: “I was enthusiastic and hopeful that the partnership would work.
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“I did not anticipate that Rambo may be unsuitable for Louise and I am sorry about this.”
See this week’s H&H magazine, out 1 December, for more on this case, and the legal aspects to be aware of in a similar situation.