Showing posts from September, 2008

Thoroughbred Auction Legalese

I'm just back from Keeneland, where I spent too many days looking at way too many horses at the annual yearling sale. A couple of stories coming out of the sale sparked my lawyerly interest in those obscure terms called "Conditions of Sale" that govern the relationships among the auction houses, consignors, agents the people who actually buy and sell horses.The first story was the embarrassment of Keeneland's selling a horse for $1.1 million to someone who apparently didn't have the money to pay for it. The successful, if underfunded, bidder, Karen Sanderson, a dentist from London, outlasted Sheikh Mohammed's agent John Ferguson to get the Medaglia d'Oro filly out of Amizette (Hip No. 1084) on the first Saturday of the marathon sale. Then, after the auctioneer’s hammer fell, Keeneland discovered – surprise – that Dr. Sanderson didn’t exactly have approved credit. Embarrassed Keeneland officials scrambled to clean up the mess.First, after Ferguson and his …