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Law Conference Emphasizes Transparency
Friday, May 6, 2016 RSS Feeds

Several presenters during the afternoon session of the National Conference on Equine Law May 5 at Keeneland in Lexington emphasized the importance of transparency in various horse dealings.

In a presentation on legal and professional liability issues in veterinary pre-purchase examinations, veterinarian Jeffrey Berk of Equine Medical Associates said sales vets need to offer full transparency of their work at public auctions.

"It's important because we have clients that are buying and selling," Berk said. "If I'm asked to examine a horse who happens to be consigned by a client, it's all right to examine that horse but it's important I let everyone involved know of those relationships."

Berk said vets working at sales provide important information to potential buyers but the vets have to let those potential buyers know that ultimately it's the buyers' decision to purchase or pass on a given horse.

Attorney Dorothy Bass Burch, of Ragsdale Liggett in Raleigh, N.C., outlined various disclosure laws for public horse auctions in states like Kentucky, Florida, and California. She also outlined issues that can come up in private sales. She encouraged participants to get agreements in writing that are made with any agent as a good way of protection.

In a presentation on accounting fraud, Elizabeth Woodward, director of forensic accounting and litigation support with Dean Dorton Allen Ford, encouraged farm owners to divide up accounting and banking tasks to allow two or more people to have an idea of what is going on with the finances. She said in these roles, the employees involved could provide checks and balances on one another.

Woodward said she realizes some farm operations may be too small to justify multiple people in these roles. She encouraged those farms to review their books once a month.

Courtesy of the Bloodhorse

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The CBA works democratically on behalf of every consignor and commercial breeder, large and small, to provide representation and a constructive, unified voice related to sales issues, policies, and procedures. The Association’s initiatives are designed to encourage a fair and expanding market place for all who breed, buy, or sell thoroughbreds.