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Co-ownership of horses – can you be forced to sell?

Q. I bought a competition horse several years ago with a friend.  We agreed I would be responsible for the horse’s care and schooling etc.  

We had no written agreement.  My friend now wants to sell the horse but I don’t want to.  Can my friend force me to sell?  


A. It depends whether the ownership is a partnership controlled by the Partnership Act or is it a co-ownership agreement?  In this case it is more likely that a co-ownership agreement exists.   If so, your friend can probably not force you to sell the horse.

However, you cannot stop your friend selling their share of the horse to someone else.  A buyer will be in the same position as your friend: the co-ownership agreement will continue on the same basis.

Because it was agreed that you would look after the horse, the buyer would probably not be able to insist that the care arrangements for the horse are changed.

Your friend may struggle to find a buyer willing to buy a share of the horse without any rights to ride it or control it.

Now might be a sensible time for you to make an offer to buy your friend’s share from him, however, you can’t insist that your friend sells his share to you, any more than he can insist that you sell your share to him.

For information on this or any other equine legal issue, please contact Caroline Bowler on 0115 9 100 237 or send her an email.

Posted on February 25, 2016

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