Event rider in legal wrangle over 2012 horse

  • Event rider Polly Jackson is suing the owners of the horse she hoped would take her to the 2012 Olympics after they decided to sell it.

    In a writ, lodged at the High Court last month, Miss Jackson alleges that Paul and Christine Kilmister, of Bournston Equestrian, breached an agreement regarding the ownership of Bournston Highland Charm.

    The Australian thoroughbred is one of Miss Jackson’s top rides, coming second in the CCI*** at Blair Castle last year.

    But she has not been able to compete him this season because of the legal wrangle.

    Neither party wanted to comment, but according to the writ, Miss Jackson is claiming between £50,000-£100,000.

    Miss Jackson found the horse in 2006 and he was bought for Aus$132,000 (£77,172) by Bournston Equestrian for her to ride.

    The writ reads: “The claimant and first defendant came to a verbal agreement whereby the defendants agreed to pay the claimant to keep the horse at her premises.

    “[They] agreed the claimant would be the sole rider of the horse and he would not be transferred, given or sold to any other rider or owner prior to the 2012 Olympic Games.”

    According to the writ, the Kilmisters paid the livery bills until May 2008, when it was agreed that Miss Jackson would pay all expenses in return for an owner’s share.

    Later, Miss Jackson claims, the Kilmisters asked her to find a buyer, but promised she would keep the ride.

    But last September new owners were found who wanted to move the horse.

    Miss Jackson refused and the ownership of the horse, who is still at her yard, is now a matter for the courts.

    Mr Kilmister told H&H that he refutes Miss Jackson’s version of events and has launched a counterclaim.

    No hearing date has been set.

    This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (9 September, ’10)

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