Dual agency without disclosure is fraud and it is against the law! We would like to make it clear that the signers of this document do not tolerate this, and that we never have and never will participate in these activities.
Dual agency refers to the practice of an agent accepting a commission from the buyer for purchasing/bidding on the horse on the buyer's behalf and also accepting a commission or other consideration from any party involved with the selling/consigning of the same animal, without disclosing this to both parties.
Whether these payments, or "kickbacks," are called a commission, a tip, a consulting fee, or a rebate, if the client buying the horse has no prior knowledge of the payment by the seller/consignor upon the sale of the horse, it is fraud. These practices should not be tolerated on any level, whether it is a $500 horse or a $5-million horse.
Following are examples that define some of these fraudulent practices and that are in direct conflict with the Conditions of Sale for all major sales companies' auctions:
* Offering a commission to a consignor or owner of a horse involved in a sale/transaction without the consent or knowledge of the purchaser is fraud.
* Pre-sale of a horse prior to the horse going through the sales ring when not disclosed or announced is in conflict with the Conditions of Sale.
* For any agent, trainer, or consignor to agree on the price for a horse prior to the horse going through the ring to allow the consignor to pay a commission to an agent or trainer without the buyer's prior knowledge is fraud.
* If a buyer's agent fails to disclose full or partial ownership in a horse or other conflicts of interest to the buyer, it is in conflict with the Conditions of Sale and fraud.
The Conditions of Sale of the auction companies are in place to protect buyers and sellers in the sales arena. These conditions, as stated in the sales catalogue and as governed by the laws of each state, should be enforced by the sale companies. Sales companies should enforce these standards and there should be penalties for those who break these conditions and laws. If there is knowledge of these transactions, they should be reported and not tolerated. When the Conditions of Sale are not met, the consumer loses time and money by looking at these horses, having them vetted and ultimately by bidding on them without the knowledge that these kinds of fraudulent activities are taking place, and that they do not have a chance to purchase the horses at a fair market price.
We support legislation in Kentucky which is specific to the Thoroughbred industry and the issues above.
When we hear people say, "Everyone is doing it," we want to make clear there are many others like us who don't do it. We never have, and we never will.Josephine Abercrombie - Pin Oak Stud
Helen Alexander - Middlebrook Farm
Mike Barnett - Blackburn Farm
Reynolds Bell Jr. - RBTS
Greg Goodman - Mt. Brilliant Farm
Seth Hancock - Claiborne Farm
Longfield Farm & Lavin Bloodstock
Don Robinson - Winter Quarter Farm
(Time constraints prevented the authors from seeking additional signatures.)