Frequently Asked Questions

Is the disclosure of ownership required when buying a horse at public auction?

No, the disclosure of ownership is not required under the Sales Integrity Program's Code of Ethics. However, the Sales Integrity Program recommends that ownership be disclosed. Additionally, sales companies that adhere to the Code of Ethics will establish an ownership registry where ownership may be disclosed.

A prospective buyer has every right to ask the consignor anything relative to the horse's ownership, and if such information is unsatisfactory, he/she may chose to delete the horse from further consideration. A buyer should ensure their sales company includes a Condition of Sale addressing ownership transparency.

What medical procedures must be disclosed when buying a horse at public auction?

Medical conditions and procedures that must be disclosed include:

What is the repository?

The repository is a designated area in which radiographs, veterinary certificates and any other information the seller wishes to disclose can be kept and referenced. Check to make sure your sales company maintains a repository or similar area. Repository access can vary by sales company. Keeneland, for example, requires the repository be accessed only by a veterinarian.

Can I inspect the horse before I buy it?

Yes. Potential buyers are encouraged to inspect a horse prior to sale. Some buyers inspect a horse several times prior to sale.

What is dual agency?

Dual agency refers to the practice of an agent accepting a commission from the buyer for purchasing/bidding on the horse on the buyer's behalf and also accepting any commission or other commercial benefit from any party involved with the selling/consigning of the same animal, without disclosing this. The Sales Integrity Task Force emphasizes to any buyer, that dual agency (without disclosure to all parties) is inherently fraudulent. No agent/trainer should ask for a commission from a consignor, nor should a consignor pay a commission. All parties should understand that acquiescence to the practice does not mitigate its fraudulence, and the Task Force implores sale companies to print prominently in all sale catalogues the relevant state statute relating to dual agency. Also fraudulent is any prearranged agreement that establishes a secret price for a horse prior to the sale, and then bidding up the price and dividing any overage between the buyer's agent and consignor, in the situation where the agent also represents a potential buyer. A written agreement between agent and seller is recommended.

The Sales Integrity Program has created a bloodstock agent code of conduct. Ensure your sales company includes this code of conduct as a condition of sale.

I suspect dual agency what do I do?

If you suspect dual agency and your sales company participates in the Sales Integrity Program's code of ethics you should begin the following dispute resolution process.

  1. Provide a written statement to the sales company describing how the alleged breach occurred. This statement must include the sale location, date, hip number, parties involved, summary of circumstances and any other pertinent information. Sales Company Contacts:
    Keeneland Association, Inc. Ocala Breeders' Sales Fasig-Tipton
    Geoffrey Russell Tom Ventura Boyd Browning
    Director of Sales Director of Sales Executive Vice President
    P.O. Box 1690 P.O. Box 99 2400 Newtown Pike
    Lexington, KY 40588 Ocala, FL 34478 Lexington, KY 40511
    (859) 254-3412 (352) 237-2154 (859) 255-1555
    (859) 255-2484 fax (352) 237-3566 (859) 254-0794 fax

    Keeneland, Fasig-Tipton and OBS have agreed to adopt the Bloodstock Agent Code of Conduct and thus the dispute resolution process as a condition of sale.

  2. If the parties are unable to resolve the matter among themselves, with the help of the sales company, the complainant may initiate arbitration pursuant to the rules of the American Arbitration Association.
    If arbitration occurs, it will be held in Lexington, Kentucky and the findings and decisions through arbitration are final and binding on the parties.
    The Code or a violation of the code does not preclude the aggrieved party from pursuing all remedies at law that he may have.

What are the conditions of sale?

The conditions of sale are the rules governing the conduct of the sale.

What is an agent disclosure agreement? Why do I need one and where do I find it?

The agent disclosure agreement is a written agreement made between the agent and the buyer. The agreement provides that the agent and the buyer will adhere to the Sales Integrity Program's Agent Code of Conduct. The agreement also sets forth the compensation that the agent will receive from the buyer.

The agent disclosure agreement can be downloaded here.

Do bloodstock agents need to be licensed?

No. Bloodstock agents do not need to be licensed. However, the Sales Integrity Program has created a Bloodstock Agent Code of Conduct that all agents are encouraged to abide by. It is important to ensure that your sales company includes a Bloodstock Agent Code of Conduct in their conditions of sale.

What is the typical bloodstock agent commission?

The typical bloodstock agent commission is 5%.

Act with prudence, buy with confidence: A program of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association

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