Claims for damages upon return of the horse - replacement of use

Cologne Higher Regional Court judgment of 23.08.2017 - 1 U 141/08u.a. on the risk of the claim for use after withdrawal of the purchase contract


In 2017 the Higher Regional Court in Cologne had to decide in a case in which the buyer wanted to return the horse. The horse had a tendon damage to the flexor tendon, which was treated surgically one year after delivery. The horse was trained as a jumper and was also used in tournaments.


At the surgery, the vet ascertained that the horse must have had the same surgery at least three months earlier. According to the Court’s appointed expert, the horse was not suitable for use as a sport horse in tournament sports due to tendon damage. The horse was euthanized for animal welfare reasons three and a half years after the purchase because of other diseases that were not represented by the buyer.


The buyer demanded with his lawsuit the repayment of the purchase price in the amount of 8,100.00 € and furthermore the replacement of the costs for the accommodation, the blacksmith as well as the medical expenses in the amount another 18,861.66 €. The higher regional court in Cologne has awarded the buyer the repayment of the purchase price and beyond the reimbursement of all horse keeping costs.


Stable rent and veterinary costs as substitutable "damage" - usage and replacement


The court has therefore considered all usages that the buyer has made on the horse as recoverable financial loss. Only in the time in which the horse was ridable, the buyer has received no replacement. However, this results solely from the fact that the buyer has not requested compensation for this period.


Basically the obligation of RÜCKGEWÄHR in case of returning the horse after the purchase is such that the buyer has to surrender all uses and the seller has to replace the buyer all uses as vet costs and costs of housing (stable costs) but also the cost of transport, Cf. §§ 346, 347 BGB. The time is not determined after the date of withdrawal from the purchase contract.


In principle, in the case of reverse transaction of the purchase contract, the time of delivery is relevant and decisive.


This case clearly shows how high the risk of selling a horse is without proper documentation in the contract. We therefore urge you to use the forms provided on our website. Therefore, go to the download page for the purchase contract on the one hand and for the delivery protocol on the other hand. In case of doubt you can receive advice from us when selling your horse. We are glad to be available for you by phone.

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