A horse dealer has been ordered to pay £5,000 to a Lancashire man after refusing to give him a refund.

Stephen Booth of Bolton bought Samson unseen for £3,900 from Lincolnshire dealers Bombproof on 23 February 2007. He dealt with employee Louise Thomas.

Mr Booth has multiple sclerosis (MS) and wanted to ride as physiotherapy.

But Samson was suffering a respiratory infection and was closer to 21 rather than the 15 years old advertised.

Bombproof replaced Samson with Preston, who turned out to have a severely overshot or “parrot” mouth.

Ms Thomas did not return Mr Booth’s calls requesting a refund and for Preston to be taken back so he took out a small claims action that was heard at Bury County Court on Wednesday, 13 February.

In her absence, Ms Thomas was ordered to pay Mr Booth £5,000 to cover the price of the horse and other costs.

Bombproof was also taken to court by Pauline Ferguson of Ayrshire (news, 1 November), and is no longer in business.

Ms Thomas now works for another company based on the same yard as Bombproof, called Lazyplods. It is no longer connected with Bombproof.

Ms Thomas said Mr Booth should have had Preston vetted before purchase.

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (28 February, ’08)