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A Sussex stud owner claims he has been forced to sell Chailey Stud in East Sussex to pay for his legal battle with West Midlands stable manufacturer Monarch Equestrian.

Carl Evans, 34, has spent more than £100,000 in legal costs in a dispute over what he claims is the poor quality of workmanship on 30 looseboxes he bought from Monarch Equestrian of Willenhall in 2004.

Mr Evans says he paid £28,000 for the looseboxes in 2004, but claims the workmanship was inferior. He said he tried to get Monarch to acknowledge this and reimburse him.

The firm, established 40 years ago and billed on its website as “a world-renowned company with customers around the globe”, strongly disputes his allegations.

Mr Evans said: “I’ve sold the stud to fund this case. I didn’t want to go to court. I was trying to talk to Monarch Equestrian for a year and a half to get them to honour their guarantees before taking legal advice.”

Mr Evans owned the 15-acre Chailey Stud for seven years.

The case was due to be heard at Poole County Court, Dorset, in May, but has been postponed until next year to allow Mr Evans time to submit new testimony from a metal expert and an expert in horsemanship.

Monarch Equestrian manufactures a range of stabling, horse exercisers and other products.

A spokesman for Monarch Equestrian said: “Those allegations are strenuously denied. The matter goes to trial next year. It is inappropriate to comment any further during these proceedings.”

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (17 July, ’08)