In equestrian sports and trade commissioners (agent) and trainers play an important role. No doubt about it. On one hand there is a huge dependency of athletes on trainers and agents. On the other hand, it is often the trainer and the agent who can make a deal go through. It is not uncommon that there is very little transparency on their positions and interests in a deal which may often lead to fraudulent situations.
Recently Schelstraete lawyers dealt with an interesting case. A foreign buyer purchased a stake of fifty (50) percent in several sport horses in the Netherlands. This is at least what he believed. For his stake in the horses the foreign buyer paid almost EUR 300.000,-. The buyer was told by the trainer that the trainer invested an equal amount in the horses too. Therefore, the total value of this investment would equal EUR 600.000,-. The buyer and the trainer subsequently decided to part ways. The trainer wanted the foreign buyer to buy his 50 percent out for the amount around EUR 300.000,-. When the buyer asked for the proof that the trainer had also paid the same amount to the Dutch party, the trainer sued him overseas seeking a buy-out.
The foreign buyer facing litigation overseas engaged Schelstraete lawyers who managed to force a breakthrough in this litigation. Schelstraete filed a motion in the Netherlands seeking discovery of financial documents from the Dutch agent / intermediary. The Court granted the motion and ordered the Dutch party to produce copies of the documents related to the transaction and the settlement of the price by the trainer. Confronted with the court order and its enforcement towards the agent, the trainer settled the case and withdrew his claim. In short, Schelstraete managed to turn the tide. The hunter became hunted.
The foreign buyer was represented by Vincent Zitman and Piotr Wawrzyniak of Schelstraete Equine Lawyers.
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