Stallion Breeding Contracts 101, Part 2

Continuing on, what mare owners should look for in a typical horse-breeding contract.

A horse-breeding contract can specify many details, from refunds to services like testing and mare care.Journal photo

Note: In Part 1 of this two-part breeding contracts series, we learned about getting in contact with the right people, stallion availability, disclosure of diseases and hereditary conditions and much more. Now, we will cover the remaining important details to consider when breeding your horses.

Authorized Services

When a broodmare is stabled at the stallion owner’s facility, disputes sometimes arise when management arranges for the mare to receive professional services such as veterinary or farrier attention.

Mare owners can request a contract that stipulates advance notice and an opportunity for the mare owner to consent to such services (except, possibly, in emergency situations when the mare owner can’t be reached). Or, if the mare owner does not approve certain procedures, such as invasive testing, he or she can insist that the contract specify that no permission is granted for specified services.

By comparison, stallion managers handling visiting mares often prefer language within the breeding contract giving broad authorization to arrange for routine or emergency professional services at their discretion, such as inoculations, reproductive examinations, hoof trimming or others.

Breeding your horse is not something to take lightly, so it's important to be prepared. Be sure to check out our FREE e-book, Mare Care: Breeding Tips. 

Entitlement to Refunds

The breeding contract can specify whether or not and when the mare owner is entitled to receive a partial or full refund.

For example, the mare owner might only have one mare to breed. If something happens to the mare before the breeding takes place, a refund would be far more important than an option to breed with a substitute mare.

Conversely, if the mare owner is interested in the genetic match between the mare and a specific stallion, should that stallion die or become infertile before the breeding can take place, a refund would be far more important than the stallion owner’s right to select a substitute stallion to fulfill the contract.

Mare owners who seek to fulfill re-breed rights under the breeding contract are sometimes surprised to learn that they are expected to pay additional booking fees. To avoid misunderstandings on the issue, mare owners should look for how the contract defines re-breed rights.

If you're breeding your horse, and want a book that tells you everything you need to know, check out Mare Care: Breeding Tips, our FREE e-book. 

About the Author

Julie I. Fershtman is one of the nation’s most experienced equine law practitioners and is also author of three books on horse-related law. Her website is