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U.S. Hunter Jumper Association Questions the Need for a Bill of Sale

At the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association convention, which took place earlier this month in Atlanta, the bill of sale rule change proposal was discussed in further detail. While the proposal was withdrawn at the USHJA Board of Directors meeting on Dec. 12, there were still questions and concerns surrounding the proposal. “Our messaging is in trouble,” said USHJA Joint Owners Task Force co-chair and general Joan of Arc of the bill, Debbie Bass in a recent article by Chronicle of the Horse. “One of the major concerns turned into the perception that the bill of sale for a horse sale or lease needs to be filed with the USEF, and that is not the case.

Debbie Bass continued, “This concept is so fundamentally simple; it’s a little confounding how you can further explain it. You just need bill of sale with four pieces of information.” These four pieces of information includes the sale or lease price, the names and addresses of all parties involved, and the names of anyone other than the agents who will be compensated more than $500. The rule does not require sales documents to be filed or shown to anyone at USEF unless there is a complaint filed.

However, other committees believe the rule is impractical, an invasion of privacy, and do not want any knowledge of commissions to become public in anyway. They believe the transactions are not the business of the Federation and don’t want the Federation overstepping their boundaries. Such committees include USHJA Young Professionals Committee, USHJA Amateurs Task Force, USHJA Children’s/Adult Jumper Task Force, USHJA Jumper Working Group, USHJA Pony Hunter Task Force, and the USHJA Professionals Task Force.

Many owners fail to recognize the importance of a bill of sale and full disclosure. Bass, among others involved in the sport, believes that the USEF isn’t just charged with regulating competitions but is responsible for the overall health of the sport as well. Without a bill of sale and full disclosure, horse owners can face grave consequences later on in proving ownership. Even if the USEF doesn’t require a bill of sale, if you sell or buy a horse in a state that requires it, there is no choice in the matter. States such as California, Colorado, and Florida require written bills of sale according to equine law and must contain very specific information, or else the seller may be table for treble damages and attorney fees; therefore, it’s in the best interest for both buyers and sellers to have a bill of sale in any transaction.