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Selling a Horse? Look Out for Scammers

I confess to being amazed at the change in the horse market over the past several years. It used to be that you posted a print ad and produced a video and folks would call you to ask lots of questions about your beautiful horse and if you felt them to be a serious prospective buyer ( or even if you didn't) you'd send them a copy of the video.

Gambol's Georgy Girl is for sale..Proven broodmare, great dressage or eventing prospect.

After receipt of same the buyer would generally either call or return the video with a note saying whether or not they were interested.

With the arrival of the internet, website and social media the market has certainly changed. I believe the availability of free information on a horse you have for sale to a massive audience is helpful overall. But unfortunately with it comes a lot more than just tire kickers.

Video of Gambol's Genevieve: For Sale Currently $5000.00
Price will increase once under saddle.

A few experiences from the past two months:

A named Young Rider located in Texas contacts me online through Facebook and asks for information on the 3 Dutch warmblood mares that I have for sale ( we are dispersing our breeding herd and retiring from horse breeding after 25+ years). She reviews the videos and tells me she is interested in making an offer for a package deal for 2 of the 3. 

Tellingly she doesn't ask many questions, but just so happens to have a truck leaving New York on which she would like to load the horses and bring them down t Texas. She does not seem interested in a pre-purchase?? She tells me she will pay via Paypal ONLY. I explain we don't take credit cards or Paypal payments and she'll need to pay cash at time of pick up or make an ACH payment. Her reply is that all her funds are in her Paypal account and that they will charge her expensive fees to transfer funds to her bank account so Paypal is  all she can do. 

For a moment I thought she must have been hacked. Why would a 'name' rider starting out her career that has been given press coverage for her successes as a Young Rider be making some attempt at fraud?? So I looked up her number ( thank-you Google), found her cell number easily and called her. I fully expected the gal that answered to her name to be flummoxed at being notified she had been hacked.

Big surprise. She acknowledged she had made the contact and the offer and terms. However now she claimed it was for a client. Not herself. That this was how her client did horse buying. How convenient.

I politely told her none of my mares would not be headed to Texas to someone I didn't know and I pointed out that obviously I was aware that her Paypal story was a complete fabrication.

I'd like to say this was an anomaly and that the rest of my marketing experiences on these mares has been positive. Afraid not! I've had multiple strange issues. A lady from CA emailing with fictional email tags for university positions I don't think she held, suggesting she will buy one of the mares sight unseen and ship across the country. Other trainers telling me they don't want to see the horses themselves, even though they are within driving distance, but have a client they'll 'send' and if it works out and I pay them a commission they'll tell the client to buy the horse anyway. WHAT! The list goes on.

So. If you have a horse to sell my advice is vet them thoroughly. Never ship your horse to anyone you have not met in person and vetted thoroughly. Do your due diligence. Check their vet and barn references. Never accept anything but cash payment at time of pick up. And if your gut feeling says something is 'up' or just too good to be true, take heed!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Omg.....the saddest thing is that people actually think someone would AGREE to anything like those offers...
    Kudos to you and Paul for continuing your ethics...
    (Btw Nikki -that filly is gorgeous- I love her movement!)


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