$2.1 Million Mare at Center of Lawsuit Over Sale

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The $2.1 million sale of Love Me Only at the 2011 Keeneland November sale is at the center of a lawsuit The $2.1 million sale of Love Me Only at the 2011 Keeneland November sale is at the center of a lawsuit

A pregnant mare who sold for $2.1 million at the 2011 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale is at the center of a dispute over whether her owners and consignor were aware that she may have had laminitis when she entered the sale ring.

The mare, then-3-year-old Love Me Only, is a half-sister to the European Horse of the Year and successful sire Giant’s Causeway. Unraced, she was sold in-foal to European Horse of the Year Sea the Stars.

Frank and Jane Lyon of Summer Wind Farm in Georgetown, Ky., bought Love Me Only from Reiley McDonald’s Eaton Sales, which consigned her on behalf of a group of owners affiliated with Coolmore, the global racing and breeding operation that owns Ashford Stud in Versailles, Ky., where Love Me Only was stationed for about six weeks prior to the sale. She shipped to the United States from Ireland.


According to the complaint filed in Kentucky’s Fayette Circuit Court Jan. 27, 2012, Love Me Only was transported from Keeneland to Summer Wind Farm on Nov. 9, the day after she sold, then “on or about Nov. 10 and 11, 2011, began to exhibit physical problems and was very sore.”

On the morning of Nov. 11, Dr. Scott Morrison, head of the podiatry department at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, examined and radiographed Love Me Only and consulted with Summer Wind’s regular veterinarian, Dr. Scott Pierce. The following day, Pierce issued a report stating “X-rays and clinical signs indicated chronic laminitis.” On Nov. 14 the complaint says, a second veterinary report, from Dr. Bryan Fraley said Love Me Only “had an acute episode of laminitis in which (her) coffin bone had significantly sunk.” Fraley’s report expressed “concern about the longevity of Love Me Only as a broodmare.”

That same day, Summer Wind verbally notified Keeneland it intended to reject the purchase of Love Me Only, and on Nov. 15 confirmed that with a letter to director of sales Geoffrey Russell.

Keeneland advised Summer Wind on Nov. 17 it would not rescind the sale. According to the Conditions of Sale, published in Keeneland catalogues, buyers must state their intention to reject a sale based on a published limited warranty within 48 hours after the session in which the horse is sold and before it leaves the sale grounds.

In the meantime, Summer Wind learned through Eaton Sales principal McDonald that Love Me Only had been administered Butazolidin five times between Nov. 5- 8. A blood sample from Love Me Only was sent to the University of California-Davis testing laboratory by Summer Wind and a letter to Pierce said the test confirmed “large quantities of Bute,” the complaint says.

According to Keeneland’s Medication Policy, as many as two non-steroidal anti- inflammatories may be administered to sale horses. There is no requirement for disclosure.

The suit, among other things, claims that Eaton Sales and Love Me Only’s owners, through this administration of Bute, violated the Ninth Term of the Conditions of Sale that prohibit, in part: “Any invasive practice which intentionally conceals a material defect or chronic lameness.”

Summer Wind is charging fraud by misrepresentation and omission, fraudulent concealment, breach of contract, and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. In the complaint, Summer Wind claims Jane Lyon and farm manager Mark Moloney asked an employee of Eaton Sales if there was “anything wrong” with Love Me Only and if the mare had any “history of medical issues.” The complaint says they were told Love Me Not “had no issues.”

The suit originally named Bemak (a foreign LLC doing business as Ashford Stud) and Eaton Sales, agent, as defendants. Documents filed with the court show that the owners of the mare at the time of the sale were Orpendale (45%), Chelston Ireland (45%) and Wynatt (10%), all of whom have been added as defendants in an amended complaint.

A series of responses and interrogatories between attorneys for the parties (William Hoskins of Jackson Kelly on behalf of Summer Wind and Barry Hunter of Frost Brown Todd for the defendants) indicate that Love Me Only was subsequently inspected on behalf of the defendants by Dr. Ric Redden and found to be “perfectly sound.” Defendants claim veterinary records prior to the sale demonstrate the absence of laminitis. The mare delivered a 2012 Sea the Stars foal, inspected on behalf of the defendants by Dr. Ben Stivers and found to be healthy. She was bred back to Distorted Humor.

Defendants say Love Me Only was shipped barefoot from Ashford Stud to the Keeneland sale grounds Nov. 4, 2011, where she was shod by Steve Norman. According to a statement from Reiley McDonald, he informed Coolmore/Ashford representative Paul Shanahan the mare was administered Bute after becoming “foot sore having been shown hundreds of times” and was “slightly off on her turn.” The mare was not inspected by a veterinarian representing Summer Wind prior to entering the sale ring.

The plaintiffs, who request a jury trial, are seeking rejection of the purchase, compensatory and punitive damages, and attorney’s costs. Depositions and further discovery in this case are pending. No trial date has been set.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the deadline for notification  to rescind a sale under Keeneland’s Condition of Sales. It is 48 hours from the end of a session in which the horse is sold.

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  • Knowitall

    Interesting to see Fraley say acute, Morrison say chronic, and Redden say no problem. I certainly can tell you which one got paid the most;-)

    How is the mare doing now?

    • Knowitall

      Correction: Summer Wind vet Pierce derived “chronic” from Morrison consultation.

    • http://deafequinefanatic.blogspot.com/ Heidi Carpenter

      She is doing very well!

      • Knowitall

        Thanks Heidi. Does she keep her foals with her to raise or does the management of her feet preclude the stress of nursing her foal and they go on nurse mares?

        • http://deafequinefanatic.blogspot.com/ Heidi Carpenter

          Her Distorted Humor colt is by her side–she has bounced back so well that she’s able to bond with him normally.

  • Tinky

    Fascinating – thanks for the story, Ray.

  • Hossracergp

    How can a horse whose coffin bone has “significantly sunk” be considered “perfectly sound”?

  • anderson5999

    This is an example of why people hesitate to get involved in racing and breeding – the element of deceit.

  • Christine Dix

    Can we not even breed horses that cannot be walked around without a rider?……… “foot sore having been shown hundreds of times” and was “slightly off on her turn.” “Shipped barefoot” and then shod. Are they trying to blame the farrier?
    Who gets to keep the foals?
    A jury trial….This is more bad publicity by people who cannot represent horse racing positively……

    • Knowitall

      One foot sore mare does not a breed make.

  • its post time

    Where are the radiographs from the depository?

    • Knowitall

      Mares typically do not have xrays in depository. Only prospective racehorses do.

      • littlehelp

        repository.

        • Knowitall

          Thx. LOL, true. See and say…

      • Bad Agent

        Suppository…

    • Helen Bach

      simple palpation and flexion test would reveal founder. radiographs might not reveal the condition before structural damage had initiated. the buyers are IDIOTS not to vet a $2.1 million mare to confirm she was in foal and healthy BEFORE removing her from the sales grounds. Everyone but IDIOTS knows not to remove a horse thinking you can check it later. the lawsuit is BS because they had more money than brains. who was their agent? they should sue him and check for kickbacks.

      • Knowitall

        Son-in-law.

        • helen bach

          Oh, brother!

  • Christine Dix

    A 3 year old already in foal?

    • Helen Bach

      Wouldn’t that raise some red flags and some questions? It would for me, and I have never bought a $2.1 million broodmare. It is speculative to say that the sellers were deceptive. It is a fact to say the buyers failed to perform normal due diligence and were IDIOTS.

      • griffox

        if I was spending that much money on a horse, I would have a full set of radiographs and drug tests. I won’t go as far as to say the buyers were idiots, maybe they did what they could.

  • riatea

    Wow, 2.1 mil seems high to begin with for that mare. How is she doing, did she have any foals?

    • Knowitall

      High for a half to Giant’s Causeway by Sadler’s Wells on a cover to Sea The Stars? (I think she had both foals and was bred back this year, too.)

  • Guy Fleegman1

    Yay! Some more positive press for the Horse Racing Industry. How sad.

  • Otis

    Guess what?! Pregnant mares should not be given Bute.

    • Beach

      And it was well-known she was pregnant, so I read. It’s hard and sad that a lot of money is involved here, I just hope the mare is cared for. Any word on whether or not she has had the Distorted Humor foal? I would imagine the laminitis was brought under control; why else would they have bred her back after her Sea the Stars foal? Prayers…

      • Otis

        Plus, just think, horses grow to at least 5 yrs of age, sometimes longer. She was trying to grow and so was the foal.

        • Beach

          Yeah, like humans, “babies having babies” is not even necessarily a moral issue, it’s a practical or “health” one. God, I hope she and her foals are cared for, again. The mare is not responsible for the irresponsibility and silly foibles of humans.

          • Maureen Tierney

            A great point. Breeding a filly at 3 says money is a big issue, far larger than the health of the filly, her foal, or the breeding future of the horse.

          • helen bach

            Hardly! It says she has something wrong and cannot run. Anyone buying a 2.1 million horse should know that and determine the problem.

            Love Me Only never made a single start. It was because of a “big money issue”.

          • Beach

            I can’t believe that people just go ahead and do it. I’d be terrified to do it. Translate it, as I know you can: Does anyone want their 13-year-old daughter giving birth?!! Same thing, different mammal. :-/

          • Mr Ed

            baloney. same thing. different mammal.

  • Richard C

    There are some wild definitions of “no issues” being tossed around by some of the folks in the story. It reads like a mystery novel by Dick Francis.

  • Oscetra

    I purchased a broodmare that was found to have laminitic front feet shortly after purchase. X-rays revealed arthritic changes and rotation of her coffin bones. It did not “just happen”. This will be an interesting case to watch. I found out later, quite accidently, that the mare had problems all her life with the coffin bones in her front feet. It costs a fortune to maintain her. The previous owner or Keeneland should pay all the monthly bills on her for shoeing and anti-inflammatories. Pay attention Keeneland! This happens all too often at the broodmare sales.

    • Helen Bach

      Welcome to the idiots club. join summer wind. if it didn’t “just happen” you, your vet, or agent should easily recognize a foundered horse. If not, keep your money in your pocket or buy a parakeet.

      • Knowitall

        What is the parakeet is on bute?

        • helen bach

          Give is some omeprazole and hope for the best.

    • WT

      “Here’s your sign.”

  • Oscetra

    Most of us just “gimace” and bear it…

  • Edgred

    What would the CHRB do?

    • helen bach

      1 .Deny, deny, deny, deny.

      2. Invite PETA to a barbeque at Bo’s.
      3. Ask Bob for his favorite sweetmeat recipes.

    • Knowitall

      Cuss. A lot.

  • Stacey Gunderman White

    I am commenting without full disclosure. However my initial reaction is… Finally, the CONSIGNORS are being held accountable… With that said there are good ones and bad ones.

    • Helen Bach

      The sales companies and the vets make the rules. consignors and buyers are just the providers of product and funds. get real. there are good and bad in every field of business. it is not the role of government or consignors to protect you from your own ignorance.

  • Laura

    I bought a mare at Keeneland november sale that had CANCER. It wasn’t disclosed at the time of the sale and it’s something the vets cannot do in a normal procedure sale exam. Needless to say, Keeneland said, my bad. The mare developed bumps all over her skin just three weeks after the sale after something they gave her “worn off”. I lost a lot of money and I still pay the monthly bills to support the mare although she cannot foal anymore (never did, for me). I will never ever buy a mare again at the November sale unless is from someone I know beforehand.

    • WT

      Was she gray? Very common in grays.

      • helen bach

        please provide the source of this enlightening information. Me thinks your pig needs a bath.

        • Maureen Tierney

          Seriously? It is common knowledge that grey horses are prone to tumors which are melanoma and cancerous. Grey is my favorite color but after losing a horse to those tumors, I won’t buy another one. I find it very interesting that Tesio felt that the color grey was a disease. He may someday be proven to be correct.

          • Barney Door

            Blatant nonsense. Please provide data. Tesio was not an oncologist.

          • Maureen Tierney

            It is common knowledge. See link below. The Tesio tidbit was just that.

            http://www.cvm.umn.edu/equinegenetics/ghmelanoma/home.html

          • helen bach

            do you even bother to read the content of the meaningless links you post. Quote from your own source: “While melanomas are very common in gray horses, we believe that they are
            less frequent and less likely to occur in gray Quarter Horses than in
            other breeds” WTF does that mean? It is very common unless it is not. What is the statistical incidence of “very common”. Do you not recognize pseudoscience when and if you bother to read it. It is common knowledge that you do not.

          • http://www.theracehorseexperiment.com/ Maureen Tierney

            You must have a vet – ask him or her. And as for some breeds being more prone to some things than others – also common. I see you spent the 40 years learning very little.

        • Laura

          she is a bay mare and looked amazing at the time of the sale. according to the consignor, she wasn’t in foal because her owner had died therefore no one bred her that year. 3 weeks later she was covered in bumps and the biopsy came back positive for lymphoma.

          • WT

            Sorry for your misfortune, but nobody could have seen that coming. Had a dog get lymphoma. One day she was fine, next day not. I was devastated, too.

        • WT

          You must be a newbie to horses. Maureen posted a very good link for you to read.

          • helen bach

            yeh. a newbie. if 40 year of listening to bs from maureen and her links qualifies as a newbie. Please explain what is so good about her links. Is she in the sausage business? AH.

    • Beach

      I’m very sorry about the mare and what happened to both of you. What a bunch of cheats…

      • helen bach

        My mother was sick once. Also had nothing to do with the topic at hand.

  • rachel

    Article 2 Of The Uniform Commercial Code “implied warranty for a particular purpose” guarantees the purchase is fit for that purpose…

    • Red Rider

      Thus the sale is final. Mare was presented as “in foal”. No purpose or intended use is guaranteed or implied. It is not even implied that she is reproductively suitable for future breeding. It is up to YOUR vet to make that determination, since my vet cannot WARRANTY that you can get her pregnant again, or anything else once you take possession.

      You are buying a horse that is in foal, or not in foal. The “particular purpose” is neither stated nor implied, since you can use the mare for anything you wish, including Canadian hamburger.

      • rachel

        You have to read the whole section of the law. It is absolutely implied that if you’re selling an animal for breeding purpose you’re “warranty” is that it is fit for the purpose of a healthy breeding animals, unless specifically sold without warranty. The implied warranty of fitness is explicit and encompassing in describing what it covers.

        Of course, you can always include the caveat”as is” to exclude implied warranty, but i’m pretty sure you wouldn’t get 2.1 million for her…

        • helen bach

          Fit for breeding does not guarantee future conception, a live foal birth, or anything else. the determination that a mare is suitable for breeding is made a particular point in time and does not imply or guarantee future suitability.

          If you have purchased a broodmare with the misconception that the interpretation you have given is correct, you are asking for a problem. Get your vet to check for suitability, which is impossible for anyone, including your representative, to warranty.

          Read it again.

        • helen bach

          The UCC recognizes established contractual agreements unless they violate existing law. Agreeing to conditions of sale should qualify as a contract between buyer and seller.

        • Knowitall

          She is alive and has produced two foals and been bred back for a third so she has more than guaranteed her “warranty.”

  • betterthannothing

    Is Love Me Only alive? If she is how is she doing?

    • lmferg0

      She had the 2012 Sea the Stars foal, and has since had a 2013 Distorted Humor foal.

      • betterthannothing

        Thank you.

  • Nucky Thompson

    They paid $2.1 million yet they did not have their vet check out the mare before they bought her – how cheap and stupid that is. I have my vet check out our $15,000 purchases. Difficult to have much sympathy for the plaintiffs. Surely bringing this court case is not going to help the sales prices of the offspring. No winners here !

    • Knowitall

      Broodmares are are often checked for repro soundness, not radiographs of their front feet. Although for that kind of money, not a bad idea…

      • Helen Bach

        Palpate the mare’s feet.

  • Sampan

    It would appear to me Summer Winds Farm didn’t do its due diligence.
    To ask if there is anything wrong with the horse tells me they should have got help before they considered buying the mare. There are some very knowledgeable horse people out there who would have spotted the problem, and saved them a lot of grief.

  • Helen Bach

    simple palpation and flexion tests would reveal recent founder. Alterial pressures, bloodflow changes (“heat around the coronet band), and structural anomalies are revealed by palpation. radiographs might not reveal the condition if taken before structural damage had initiated. For sales when radiographs are on file, they would be placed there days before the sale and could have been taken before that. They are not generally done for broodmares anyway.

    the buyers are IDIOTS not to vet a $2.1 million mare to confirm she was in foal and healthy BEFORE removing her from the sales grounds. Everyone but IDIOTS knows not to remove a horse thinking you can check it later. the lawsuit is BS because they had more money than brains. who was their agent? they should sue him and check for kickbacks. This is not a reflection on the industry, it is a reflection on what happens when ignorant parties have big checkbooks. they should shutup and sell the foals.

    • 66puppies

      You need to look up the definition of “chronic”. the founder was not recent. It was CHRONIC. Also, how do you palpate a hoof? IDIOT.

  • Barney Door

    Conditions of sale are clear. Mare is either pregnant or not pregnant. All other issues are based on discovery and not conditions of sale, “Buyer” can check for any issue and at decide not to bid; but consignor is not obligated to provide additional information.

    Same conditions apply to $2.1 million mare that apply to $5k mare, and everyone knows it. Is Keeneland expected to warrant every horse free from any perceived defect. Only “defect” in a broodmare is that she cannot reproduce and even that is up to buyers vet to determine. It is not a condition of sale.

    Why wait almost two years? Ugly foals? Further deterioration of mare? Decided don’t want mare anymore? You don’t get to turn her back initially, and you surely don’t after two foals.

    • WT

      Amen. It’s probably the ugly foals, LOL.

      • helen bach

        If they were potential $ 500k – 1 million yearlings would this lawsuit exist?

        • Knowitall

          Given that the lawsuit was filed in January of 2012, less than three months after SW purchased the mare and attempted to negotiate a settlement w/ sellers, I’d say it has little to do with the foals in reality. It has to do with feeling that they were screwed by non disclosure (even if lack of due diligence is equally at play and it is a reach to say actual stated sale conditions were breached.)

          I think Keeneland forced them to pay up in the meantime which led to the legal claim as the only recourse.

    • Knowitall

      This legal battle and contentious effort to settle had been going on from the beginning. It is just being reported in media now. Sounds to me like the egos involved are even more expensive than the mare.

      • Maureen Tierney

        I would bet the foals turned out not to be great.

        • helen bach

          Possibly your first accurate comment. Omniscience apparently does occasionally yield a realistic assessment.

  • Allen G

    A 24 hour period to rescind a sale is way too little. At least 7 days would be more appropriate. It would allow time to get blood tested, xrays, etc. Keeneland should also order full disclosures on all medication. Buying a used car has a better warranty. Why people would trust the sales at Keeneland is beyond me.

    • WT

      There is a repository at the sale that a buyer can access for health records. I did that once for a mare I was interested in but I suspected had an eye problem. She did and I did not buy her. There is time pre-sale to take x-rays. Blood work results take longer but can be done as well. A smart person wouldn’t buy a used car without taking it to a 3rd party mechanic to be checked out. Someone buying a horse should take the same precaution.

      • helen bach

        Yup.

    • helen bach

      The buyer determines what the horse is worth, not the seller. Why not a month? How about a year? I vote for 5,000 miles.

  • Red Rider

    Summer Wind case is nothing but hot air!

    • WT

      Yup.

  • http://www.theracehorseexperiment.com/ Maureen Tierney

    This whole issue shows the total lack of understanding regarding laminitis by vets and horsemen alike. First if a horse has laminitis the hoof shows it. A sinker – which it is purported the horse is – has a very flat (often convex sole) and if it is chronic, a dishing of the dorsal hoof wall. Drugs cannot hide that. Second, x-rays cannot distinguish chronic laminitis from recent laminitis unless there is loss of coffin bone. So Rood & Riddle is lying. Ric Redden is not the expert he pretends to be – or he has no ethics (or perhaps both) I don’t know which.

    The really sad part is that laminitis, treated correctly, is a minor and transitory condition. I have “cured” (by which I mean the horse has healed itself with my help) at least one horse treated by Rood & Riddle, and when they failed to cure him, they recommended his owner put him down. She refused and he has now been sound for 4 years and is ridden regularly.

    Rood & Riddle and Ric Redden should be ashamed of themselves, but sadly, they make a lot of money torturing and then euthanizing horses and have no desire to learn how to simply and inexpensively return horses to soundness. Those who like to view a video of a formerly foundered mare can see one here.

    http://www.barefoottrimming.com/index.php/the-hoof-guided-method/success-stories/founder-recovery-lucy

    Lucy is the palomino.

    • WT

      Most definitely agree, Maureen. You don’t need x-rays to know if a horse is chronically foundered. The hoof will show it. I manage a horse and a pony with the condition and it is obvious looking at their hooves. As Fraley stated, if her coffin bone had “significantly sunk” I don’t see how she could still be alive and carrying foals because that means her coffin bone had detached from the hoof. She may have been having a mild laminitis episode during the time of sale but it wasn’t life threatening if she’s being bred and having foals. I don’t see how Summer Wind can win this, and they shouldn’t. If the mare had to be put down I’d think differently. All I can say when you go to the sales is “buyer beware.”

      • Maureen Tierney

        Historically Buyer Beware has been the rule, and I find no problem with it. If you know horses you should see problems. If you don’t know horses you should bring someone with you who does. Drugs can hide a lot of things, but subconsciously we are always picking up little things – which add up to “gut” feeling. Always listen to your gut, that is my advice to all my clients. Feet are actually critical and are shockingly overlooked. The feet tell quite a story if they are listened to.

    • Knowitall

      You know, trashing the intentions and good work of others doesn’t elevate your own? Summer Wind’s phone number is listed if you would like to offer your services to them.

      • Maureen Tierney

        You know I do not trash good work. I do trash those that charge a fortune for something they know they have never done and have stated in print that is impossible. Reversal of rotation. So since they do not believe it can be done, clearly they have never done it. Instead they charge $400-$500 for special shoeing, which doesn’t work, then after owners spend thousands of dollars they shrug their shoulders and say there is nothing more to be done.

        FYI I have called Rood & Riddle (in 2012) and talked to Dr. Morrison. I explained that founder is very curable, and asked if he would be willing to recommend me to the owner of (or give me) a horse which they had given up on, so that I could prove how easily it can be done – at no charge to the owner. Dr. Morrison said he would, but of course he never did. I am sure that many horses have probably been euthanized sine then.

        The likelihood of Summer Wind listening to me over Ric Redden and Rood & Riddle is extremely slim.

        • Knowitall

          Summer Wind didn’t use Redden, the sellers did. The mare is doing ok so I guess some of those vets you think so little of did something right, especially with a sinker.

          And if any farm would listen to you, it is Summer Wind. Give it a go.

      • Maureen Tierney

        In case anyone knows of a foundered horse – or has a horse founder sometime in the future – I would be happy to trim the horse for free. Founder and laminitis are COMPLETELY curable as long as the coffin bone is intact. I would die a happy woman if this fact – and how to achieve a complete cure – became common knowledge. I can be found by googling.

    • betterthannothing

      “Rood & Riddle and Ric Redden should be ashamed of themselves, but
      sadly, they make a lot of money torturing and then euthanizing horses
      and have no desire to learn how to simply and inexpensively return
      horses to soundness.”

      Thank you Maureen for information and bold statement.

      Alcohol blocks work for about one week, just long enough to hide chronic laminitis in a pregnant broodmare and for her to go through a sale. Terrible business. Awful for horses.

      I have heard some terrible things about Redden and his barbaric amputation business.
      Sadly, sometimes money and ego come first. Has any vet or vet hospital ever reported a critical or lethal doping overdose to the DA and FBI? Cruelty to animals, endangerment and gambling fraud must be less important than protecting colleagues and revenues.

      • Maureen Tierney

        Excellent points. Business comes first.

        • helen bach

          Laminitis or no laminitis is not a condition of sale.

    • Beach

      I’d second this, with the disclaimer that I’m a horse lover but not a “horse person” as I have never bought/sold or been able to have my own(ie, nothing like the day-to-day expertise that some of you guys here have)–BUT, I have a friend with a rescue of ~ 30 horses, many of whom have foundered, recovered, and now are simply carefully watched and treated again if needed. It seems to me that laminitis is absolutely not fun, but in many cases is not fatal or even, when treated correctly, permanently physically limiting(depending on what you want your horse to do for you) for the horse.

    • helen bach

      You should be ashamed for practicing without a license. Laminitis is neither minor nor transitory. It is a condition that can be halted before damage occurs, but it is not a disease that can be “cured” by you or anyone else. Once damage occurs, the condition is permanent and often worsens relative to time and circumstance.

      Full recovery is possible from mild founder (no rotation of the coffin bone). Once rotation occurs it is irreversible and the horse is never sound again. The case you cite had to be mild. (Maybe R&R were trying to keep your friend from throwing good money after bad.)

      I am at a loss to determine how your self-aggrandizing stories have any relevance to this lawsuit. Nonetheless, I would call you as an expert witness for the plaintiffs; if I represented the defendants.

      • Maureen Tierney

        First of all I am not medically treating the horse – no surgery, no drugs. I am only trimming the feet. You speak from lack of knowledge. I have cured many foundered horses who are now sound, being ridden, and their owners are happy. The LIE told by vets that it is NOT curable causes countless deaths and devastating heartbreak to many people. Rotation IS reversible – and I am not the only one out there who knows or does this. There ARE vets who are aware of this, Dr. Thomas Teskey in Arizona is only one. IF you would like to know the TRUTH I suggest you search the internet. Here is a link with x-rays showing reversal of coffin bone rotation. You are a great example of what is wrong with the TB industry. People who think their knowledge is extensive but are out of touch with current horse keeping.

        http://www.healthehoof.com/coffin_bone.html

        • helen bach

          First, of unless you actually possess the omniscience you believe you have, you lack any knowledge of from whence I speak.

          Second, you cannot reverse coffin rotation and if you have done so, certainly you have published and gained notoriety for the feat. Please provide documentation for your and Dr. Teskey’s research and studies.

          Third, an x-ray showing before and after could just as easily be an after and before.

          Fourth, I agree totally with your last statement and believe it applies to ego-maniacal “caregivers” who believe they can do things that none of the educated, trained liars in the veterinary profession have been able to accomplish.

          Finally, none of your braggadocio and personal insults has a thing to do with the topic at hand, which deals with the merits of the lawsuit.

          Your mother was a hamster and your father wreaked of elderberries.

  • Naline

    Too many signs prior to the sale, The biggest red flag is she is 3 and in foal. She was shipped from another country to be sold. This is one of the many reasons, this sport is being ruined. No one takes pride in their stock and/or breeding. It’s the hunger for money and no matter the cost. I do hope the buyer receives his money or compensation. I hope this becomes an example of being dishonest.

    • Knowitall

      Why is being in foal at 3 (giving birth at age 4) from those connections (by a sire standing in Ireland) or being shipped to US to be sold at largest TB breeding stock sale in the world a red flag that she was sore at sale or might contract laminitis?

      • Helen Bach

        Because it is equally irrelevant; being 3 and having laminitis. She was in foal which indicated she could conceive. She subsequently had a live foal, which indicated she could carry and deliver. Case closed.

  • old horse lover

    If she is so bad of foot why do they keep breeding her?Are they giving her bute so she can walk now?How about the foal she was carrying when she was adminsitered Bute .Doesn’t that go into the foal also?Is it normal to ship a barefoot horse from another country?Odd case .

  • mscurmudgeon

    Ha. Some things don’t change, especially when you know the players. Not sure most people care about the horse’s welfare as long as they get their money. It reflects poorly on so-called Kentucky horsemen and the industry in general.

  • In Tears

    Poor management probably caused the laminites, now the mare through no fault of her own has to sit in limbo and wait her fate probably by court order. Too bad there is no honest answer cause everyone is yelling sue. How sad for a nicely bred mare carrying a well bred foal. Does the term buyer beware still exist? I pray for the innocent mare

    • Maureen Tierney

      Yes exactly!!! Now the mare is suffering. It breaks my heart that she, along with countless others, suffers from something that is so avoidable and curable. It’s all about money. Rood & Riddle (and others) state as fact that founder cannot be completely reversed. There are other besides myself who know that to be completely untrue. And of course it has nothing to do with the fact they they charge owners thousands of dollars and I charge $40 and they cure is so easy they could not justify their charges. Below is a link explaining what distal descent of P3 is, with x-ray evidence of its reversal. Distal descent of P3 is the correct term for sinker.

      http://hoofrehab.com/jessica.htm

      • helen bach

        Oh Omniscient One, thank you for your update on the condition of Love Me Only. Apparently Summer Wind read your marketing efforts and sought your counsel after all.

    • Knowitall

      The mare is fine and not in limbo. She is owned by Summer Wind and they take excellent care. Their horses live better than most humans. No expense is spared for her and she was bred back yet again this year after two foals, one in 2013 and one in 2012, so no worries on the mare. This is just a pissin’ match between men.

      • Maureen Tierney

        That sounds good. But so was Secretariat on a farm which spared no expense where he got excellent care. Didn’t keep him from being euthanized. Just because she foaled and was bred back doesn’t mean she is fine – all it means is that she is fulfilling her purpose of providing people with foals.

        I did go search for Summer Wind farm – and ran across the photo of Love Me Only when she sold for the $2.1 million. If you look at the the photo (you’ll have to zoom your window) you can see that the left front foot is laminitic. This is evidenced by the dipping down of the hairline and coronary band at the toe.

        If you know an email address for Summer Wind, you can send it to me at maureen@forthehorse.net.

        • Knowitall

          No, Secretariat was in 1989.
          And if this was still 1989, Love Me Only would be Not, too.

          I was simply informing In Tears that she could dry ‘em up – this particular mare is not in limbo with no one taking care of her or her needs.

          • Maureen Tierney

            If you think things are different now, you are mistaken. Friends of mine received a free mare a couple years ago – by Easy Goer. She came foundered. A trip to any farm by anyone knowledgeable regarding laminitis and founder would reveal lots of horses with laminitis. You would be very surprised by the number of horses who have laminitis for years before “suddenly” having an episode. People are very ill informed and that includes most vets.

          • Knowitall

            Apparently everyone but you is ill informed. Got it.

          • Maureen Tierney

            Not true. There are thousands of trimmers and owners who are experts in laminitis. Unfortunately there are not many vets, and there are not many TB industry people who are informed. It’s a sad truth the average private horse owner knows more about feet than many vets. If you doubt it, do a search for “barefoot cure laminitis”. Google returns over 8,000 results. This knowledge is out there, and horse owners who truly love their horses look for it every day and find it. Vets are not interested. Just like pharmaceutical companies would not like a 25 cent cure for a disease (and would hide it if they found it), vets do not want to lose business. They are not interested in cure they can’t charge a lot of money for.

          • betterthannothing

            “They are not interested in cure they can’t charge a lot of money for.”

            Sad but true! They are especially not interested in natural cures that are accessible to all and without side effects which need more expensive drugs or treatments to “fix”.

          • Maureen Tierney

            It is sad. Vets used to be animal lovers. No more (of course there are exceptions) now they are like doctors. it’s about money. Smart people know they cannot just blindly trust the doctor and the same holds true for vets. In fact, Australia has professional patient advocates. A great idea.

          • helen bach

            Well said. For 40 years we have bred, foaled, raised, sold, trained, and raced, and cared for thoroughbreds. That we made it without Maureen is as miraculous as her depth of knowledge and her claims.

            We have dealt with farriers who thought they knew everything and costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars. If only we had used Maureen, who really does know everything.

          • helen bach

            correct: …”and cost US hundreds of thousands…

        • http://deafequinefanatic.blogspot.com/ Heidi Carpenter

          Love Me Only is doing very well. I have seen her myself recently.

      • Maureen Tierney

        You are right, it is not about the horse herself – it’s about money.

        • Roisin

          So what else is new in this business, with a few exceptions !

  • Mimi Hunter

    I’ve gone to several hundred horse auctions – not the big fancy ones – just ordinary sales. There is an art to buying at auction – it is not for the faint of heart – and I’ve been taken more than once – its part of the game. But this case is bad. Seems like everybody screwed-up. The sellers didn’t disclose a serious medical problem, and the buyers didn’t do their homework – just probably looked at the pedigree, saw stars, or dollar signs, or whatever, and proceeded to shell out $2.1 million. [The only TB I ever bought cost me $1.00] The terms of sale for the seller probably states something like ‘as of the date of consignment’ or something similar, and then something that states that statements made sale day supersede previous statements. and the sellers ‘didn’t know’ of any changes. It’s not fair but stuff like this goes under the ‘buyer beware’. I know that this is what I was told in court when I bought and EIA positive gelding – found out later that the horse was taken to auction as ‘kill only’ – was bought by the same dealer who took him up there – and brought back – I bought him – on condition that he pass a Coggins test – it was on the bill of sale. Didn’t help. We were quarantined, the horse was shot dead in the pasture and hauled to a rendering plant – quarantine lasted 2 months after he was gone. I didn’t get my money back, because the judge said ‘Let the buyer beware’

  • Jerry McMahon

    The legal smoking gun here is undisclosed medication, especially administered in significant quantities. It’s not required by the conditions of sale in all states, but someday, a court is going to come down on the side of buyers on this issue. If it survives the appeal process, it could (and probably should) become standard practice. Everyone may have been acting in good faith here according to current industry custom and practice, but $2.1 million is a lot of money and that usually means very competent and well funded attorneys will be involved, which might just result in major changes.

    • Bad Agent

      It seems to me Keeneland might be liable only because its Conditions of Sale are so ambiguous. While they do allow for two non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications it also clearly restricts “(a)ny invasive practice which intentionally conceals a material defect or chronic lameness”. Though ‘invasive practice’ usually pertains to surgical procedures, one could could argue that any introduction of a foreign medication to mask a physical condition is ‘invasive’. The legal argument I would make is to ask – “What is the definition of invasive?” In my mind that question will have to be answered before a ruling can be made either way.

      I wouldn’t like to be on Keeneland’s side of this lawsuit. When their own conditions of sale are so ambiguous as to invite different interpretations I’m not sure how they can clearly defend upholding the sale.

      • Knowitall

        Since Keeneland isn’t even party to the suit, how are they on the bad side of this or liable at all?

        • Bad Agent

          According to the Blood-Horse, Keeneland became a party to the litigation in order to have the Lyonses remit to the sales company the $2.1 million purchase price. Thus they joined Eaton, et al, to get paid on the deal.

          • Knowitall

            I saw that. But is doesn’t indicate that they are listed now as a defendant? Would like to see the entire filing plus amendments.

            As for my own amateur opinion, I don’t see them as culpable at all. Not a lot of ambiguity when they clearly state that bute is allowed, and does not have to be disclosed. To claim that as invasive is nonsense when it is clearly spelled out elsewhere as allowable. (But that is why any buyer should vet a horse and ask questions directly of the consignor not the gal or guy showing them the horse. They were also claiming that they were told the filly caught on first cover and it was actually second cover on a pregnancy she carried to term so I hope they named the Sea The Stars colt Splitting The Hair.) And the criteria of a private sales company that any attempt to rescind a sale must come within 24 hours and before horse leaves the grounds is pretty certain as well.

            It does beg the question – which would be a separate effort to change the conditions of sale – as to whether it is fair to allow non disclosure of meds at sale, and/or to possibly administer bute (or more) again just before the horse changes hands.

        • Bad Agent

          Also, in my amateur opinion, it seems like the ambiguity of their own Conditions of Sale directly led to this problem. Thus they might be held liable to both the sellers and buyers.

    • helen bach

      Finally someone on this blog has said something that makes addresses the real issue and makes some sense. The question is not whether the condition had to be disclosed (it did not), but whether is should be. The court will apparently have a say in the latter issue.

  • Nayrod

    @ Knowitall. 1)She’s a half sister to Giant Causeway, 2) unraced(possibly due to an injury), 3) being shipped to be sold. Giant Causeway is a stallion that has tons of offspring’s, some of them breeding and standing as stallions. The availability for breeding stock related to this stallion is large. Racing is a tough sport and many young horse’s never make it to the track. It could be due to an injury occurring during training or in the pasture. Very seldom do you see horse’s being shipped from foreign land to be sold in the USA. Now I said SELDOM see horse’s being sold from over seas. Most of the horse’s in Europe were bred in America and shipped over seas. I’m only referencing thoroughbred race horse’s! The amount of bute given and the severity of her laminitis and sinking. This didn’t just happen and has been going on for some time. I’ve seen horse perform in shows and having laminitis/founder. One in particular won a world show and a month later died coming out of a pool. Necropsy showed complete damage to the laminae, sinking, liver destroyed and kidneys failing. This is a horse that was showing and won, one month prior. This was my point and I hope that answers your question.

    • Knowitall

      Nayrod, #3 is irrelevant and yes valuable horses are shipped to other countries for sale, #2 with a winning or black type race record she would have been worth even more.

      #1 was primary reason for her price. Also irrelevant to her value is the number of offspring that GC has standing at stud, as there are only so many young half SISTERS to him out there by a legendary sire and in foal to a young superstar.

    • betterthannothing

      “Necropsy showed complete damage to the laminae, sinking, liver destroyed
      and kidneys failing. This is a horse that was showing and won, one
      month prior.”

      Did you and anyone aware of the gross abuse suffered by that horse as confirmed by necropsy result went to the police and filed a complaint against owner and trainer and all who killed that horse?

  • Knowitall

    They were allowed to have Redden vet the mare AFTER she was sold as part of the back and forth of this lawsuit, which was initially filed in early 2012.

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