John O'Shea (by Jenny Evans)

Court ruling spells change ahead for those who deal in bloodstock

After a court judgment that has trainer John O’Shea considering his future in the racing industry, John Schreck felt compelled to weigh in.

Cross-posted from the Sydney Morning Herald

Written by CRAIG YOUNG

John O'Shea (by Jenny Evans)
John O'Shea (by Jenny Evans)

The former Australian Jockey Club and Hong Kong Jockey Club chief steward has warned “there could be great changes ahead for those who deal in racehorses”. Schreck knows racing like few others.

Last Monday, the Court of Appeal ordered O’Shea to pay $500,000 in court costs and damages in addition to his legal fees after owner Humberto Vieira had taken O’Shea to court. The case centred on Vieira’s 70 per cent stake in O’Shea’s $330,000 Magic Millions buy Dashere. X-rays and a clinical inspection carried out by the Randwick Equine Centre classed the colt as “low risk with time” due to a cystic lucency in his near stifle.

The court found that O’Shea’s recommendation to buy the horse constituted a breach of contract.

“No one would ever or should ever argue that it’s wrong to ‘doll’ up a horse cosmetically for sale,” Schreck wrote to the Herald. “Likewise no one would argue that emphasising a horse’s strong points is a legitimate tool in the selling process. To conceal a latent defect is, I reckon, fraudulent. So is, say, sedating a horse to make him more appealing.”

Read more:

Wow, imagine if the Courts got a look at what goes on in the US. Throwing the book would not be enough. In some cases, they may have to throw an entire library! But it is all done in good faith, right? Buyer beware, and all that.

On being “dolled up”, there is more than meets the eye there too.

If you would like to learn more, please visit the link below:

Horse Racing: Breeding by the Numbers — In the Ring (by Jane Allin)

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