Florida Mediator: Lay Consignment Sale Out in Contract, Not With Handshake

As a litigator, Chuck Mancuso was a longtime practitioner in the area of equine law. He now brings that experience to his role as a mediator. To schedule a mediation with Chuck, please visit our online scheduling page or call his case manager, Cathy McCleary, at 800-863-1462.

Florida mediator Chuck Mancuso Mediation Counsel Chuck Mancuso


Consignment sales are fairly common when a horse owner decides to sell a horse and entrust the sale to either a trainer or owner of a farm, stable or barn. This simple transaction usually falls apart when a problem arises and everybody realizes they were not a friend just helping out a friend but specific legal entities with certain rights and responsibilities.

Clients must understand terms such as “agent”, “principal”, “fiduciary”, “buyer” and “seller” have extensive legal ramifications. Contractual disputes regarding sales gone bad are more readily resolved if the parties have been provided with the appropriate consignment sale contract for execution. A properly drafted consignment agreement will enable the agent and principal to work towards a quick and efficient sale of the horse without any questions as to the assignment of responsibility.

For routine recreational transactions most attorneys provide gratis these contracts as a service to their regular clients. Obviously, six figure show horses, polo and pari-mutuel transactions must be tailored to the individual transaction.

The standard elements include:
  1. Legal identification descriptions of all parties and horses.
  2. Consideration for wet and/or dry stall expenses prior to sale.
  3. Exercise and care instructions prior to sale.
  4. Clear lien affirmations.
  5. Termination clause and dated period of contract.
  6. Limited power of attorney to agent to assign ownership paperwork.
  7. Any specific vet check costs or expenses

Although a well executed consignment sale agreement will not eliminate all the possibilities that may occur after the sale of the horse, it will greatly limit the scope of any litigation that may subsequently occur. In a proper consignment contract there should be no dispute as to everyone’s intentions and expectations.

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