A Leicestershire horse producer has been left £8,000 out of pocket after losing a court case brought by a dissatisfied customer.

In November 2008, a judge at Northampton County Court ordered Jennifer Hyde of Ullesthorpe to repay £7,500 plus costs of £2,500 to Penny Cabourne of Surrey, who bought 12.2hh show jumper Mr McFlurry for her daughter.

The amount was reduced to £8,000 by agreement between the parties.

Mrs Cabourne bought the pony in November 2007 but in February last year she alleged her nine-year-old daughter could not ride him as he reared and bolted when being mounted.

She declined to speak to H&H, but in a statement her barrister Jane Bennett said: “Mrs Cabourne and three witnesses called on her behalf gave evidence that the pony could be extremely tense and fidgety while being mounted, and at worst would rear and then bolt blindly until his young jockey was caused to fall off.

“Under the Sale of Goods Act, the burden of proof was on Mrs Hyde to satisfy the court that the pony did not have the vice in question at point of sale. She could not do so.”

But Mrs Hyde told H&H she had only been alerted to a problem with Mr McFlurry four months after she sold him.

Mrs Hyde said her 10-year-old daughter had ridden the pony with no problems during the eight months she had him before selling to the Cabournes.

“When Mrs Cabourne contacted me in February, I offered to buy the pony back for £6,000, to swap him for another pony, or I’d sell him for her. But she decided to take me to court.”

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (15 January, ’09)