Kentucky Bill Would Require Ownership, Medical Disclosure at Sales

Kentucky Bill Would Require Ownership, Medical Disclosure at Sales
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
Thoroughbred owner Jess Jackson, supports two bills in Kentucky House.

Legislation that would require disclosure of ownership and veterinary records of horses sold at public auction was filed in the Kentucky House on Thursday, along with a bill amending dual agency legislation that was passed into law in 2006.

Both bills have the backing of California winemaker and Thoroughbred horseman Jess Jackson, whose high-profile lawsuit against former advisers led to his personal crusade for transparency in bloodstock transactions.

House Bill 388, co-sponsored by Speaker Pro Tem Larry Clark and Licensing and Occupations co-chair Joni L. Jenkins (both Democrats representing Jefferson County), calls for disclosure of the owner or owners of a horse and the date ownership began. If ownership of a horse was for less than 12 months, the names of prior owners also must be disclosed. The disclosure is required of the owner and seller of a horse.

Information regarding ownership of horses offered at public auction would reside in the medical records repository and be made available to "bona fide potential purchasers." Any horse sold following entry in a public auction would be required to be withdrawn from the sale.

Provisions do not apply to ownership transfers resulting from claiming races.

HB 388 also requires disclosure of a horse’s present medical condition, including whether or not it is currently under the care of a veterinarian or has been administered therapeutic medication. Any medical conditions that arose during ownership of the horse would have to be disclosed, as would any administration of anabolic steroids.

The disclosure carries a certification that the horse does not have the presence of anabolic steroids or "any drug, medication, substance, or metabolic derivative of any substance identified in the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority’s classification schedule for drugs a and medications" or "any other substance which may potentially alter the condition or performance" of the horse.

Any substance administered would have to be disclosed, along with a veterinarian’s statement certifying that it was given for "legitimate therapeutic reasons."

The disclosures are required of all horses entered in a public auction or if requested by the purchaser in a private transaction. Failure to provide disclosure would nullify any statements or conditions of sale "disclaiming express and implied warranties" and give a buyer 60 days within discovery of any misrepresentation to demand a full refund. Any party injured by misrepresentation would be entitled to triple damages and attorneys’ fees.

The amendments to the 2006 dual agency bill (HB367) are sponsored by Jenkins, whose Licensing and Occupations Committee has jurisdiction over horse sales. One proposed change requires agents representing buyer or seller in a transaction to furnish copies of relevant financial records to either principal upon request. The other amendment states that no contract for payment of commissions is enforceable unless it is in writing.

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