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Equine Law

Whether you are involved with horses professionally or as a hobby, you can rely on Lodders’ specialist team of equine lawyers.

Lasting powers of attorney – advice for equestrians

Owning and riding horses can be a risky (not to mention expensive and time-consuming) endeavour. Whilst many equestrian types would disagree with at least part of this quote, we have to accept that our love of riding and caring for horses comes with a level of inherent risk, as dispute resolution solicitor and equine law expert Mike Wakeling explains:

“Animals are by their nature unpredictable. As responsible horse owners, we should make sure that we have made suitable provision in case anything happens to us. Many horse lovers will have specific views about what they would want to happen to them should they be seriously injured in a riding accident. Without the express authority of a  ‘Lasting Power of Attorney’ (LPA) your family may not have the power to action these wishes, and decisions may be taken by a distant family member, or the local authority or official solicitor.”

Planning permission for stable blocks and manèges

If you are considering building a stable, stable block or ménage for either personal or business use, you will need to get planning permission from your local planning authority. Victoria Longmore, a planning law expert at Lodders, looks at the issues and gives some useful tips for securing this type of planning permission.

“Planning permission is required for any permanent equestrian construction including stables, a permanent field shelter, or an arena, and it may even be required to simply keep horses in a field. Stables are not covered by the same permitted development rights as those that apply to agricultural holdings, so planning permission is highly likely to be necessary for any new permanent structures, including wooden field shelters.”

Top tips for buying or selling a horse

Whether you’ve got your eye on a new horse or are selling one of your own, it can be a nerve-wracking – albeit exciting – process.  Mike Wakeling, one of Lodders’ equine solicitors and dispute specialist, outlines some top tips for both buyers and sellers.

“If you are buying or selling a horse privately then it is very much a case of ‘caveat emptor’ – otherwise known as buyer beware: it is up to the buyer to ensure that the horse is fit for their needs. As the seller, you do not have to disclose any known problems but you must not mislead the buyer in any way – and any advertisement must be an honest representation of the horse’s character and ability.

“The main thing to consider is to make sure you have a written contract in place that clearly states the terms of the sale or purchase. If something goes wrong down the line then it can be very hard to prove what was said if you are just relying on a verbal agreement. I’ve talked to my (many!) equine-owning colleagues in the Lodders office and combined their practical tips with my lawyerly ones. If you’ve any more suggestions then we’d love to hear them.”

Read Mike’s tips here.

Dispute Resolution

Disputes can often arise as a result of owning a horse. Our expert Dispute Resolution team can offer advice on disputes relating to:

  • Ownership
  • Purchase and loan agreements
  • Nuisance claims in relation to an escaping horse
  • Livery
  • Veterinary negligence
  • Trainer negligence

We will work with you to understand the problem to enable us to provide you with advice tailored to your needs.

For help or advice on any matter relating to equine law, please fill in the enquiry form below or contact Lodders’ Equine Law specialist, Mike Wakeling on 01789 206102 or by email.

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    Drawing on our renowned strengths in agricultural law, private client matters, dispute resolution and planning, Lodders' equine law team can advise you on:

    • Sale, purchase, loan, and leasing agreements
    • Contractual disputes
    • Private client advice – wills, probate, and powers of attorney
    • Employment and HR advice
    • Equestrian business sales
    • Sponsorship advice
    • Dispute resolution
    • Planning for equestrian properties
    • Residential and commercial conveyancing for equestrian properties
    • Advice for breed societies and equine charities
    • Advice for membership organisations

    Meet the Team


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    Reviews & Testimonials

    "Your swift action, expertise, and knowledge helped me secure my horse's future health, wellbeing, and happiness. I am very grateful to you."
    Sarah Anderson, client