Thursday 22 February 2018

Parents sue after €67k pony bought for show-jumping daughter 'refused to jump' - court

Martin Carway with an address in Kilkenny pictured leaving the Four Courts today after giving evidence in the opening day of his High Court action for damages .Pic: Courts Collins
Martin Carway with an address in Kilkenny pictured leaving the Four Courts today after giving evidence in the opening day of his High Court action for damages .Pic: Courts Collins
Martin Carway with an address in Kilkenny pictured leaving the Four Courts today after giving evidence in the opening day of his High Court action for damages .Pic: Courtpix
Martin Carway with an address in Kilkenny pictured leaving the Four Courts today after giving evidence in the opening day of his High Court action for damages .Pic: Courts Collins
Martin Carway with an address in Kilkenny pictured leaving the Four Courts today after giving evidence in the opening day of his High Court action for damages .Pic: Courts Collins

Tim Healy

A pony bought for €67,000 by parents for their teenage daughter to take part in show-jumping competitions refused to jump and was not safe, it was claimed in the High Court.

Martin and Helen Carway, from Bleach Road, Kilkenny, are suing father and son, Walter and Jonathan Reape, and a company called Northerly Ltd, claiming that under the purchase agreement for the pony the defendants would take it back if it did not work out as a show jumper.

The defendants deny their claims and say they only agreed to replace the pony if it did not work out which they say they tried to do.

The pony, the court heard, turned out to be a "stopper", that is it would not jump when first brought to events in January/February 2012.   Since then, it has not been ridden by the Carway's daughter Anna and remains to this day in a stables in Wales.

Opening the case for the Carways, Jeremy Maher SC said they bought it  in 2011 for then 14-year-old Anna, with the intention of allowing her compete in showjumping competitions.

It was claimed that it was represented to them that the pony, Castle Hill Clover, would be safe and capable of performing at a top level for two years.

At their first meeting to look at the animal in the Reape equestrian centre at Ard Chuain in Sligo, Walter Reape told Mr Carway he did not "do trials" (to see the pony in action) but said "if it does not work out, I will take it back", counsel said.

The Carways paid the €67,000 by bank transfer to a company called Northerly whose co-principal is Walter Reape.

When it was discovered the pony was a stopper, counsel said, Mr Reape senior was initially conciliatory and said they would work something out, counsel said.   But by the next day, he was a little hostile and said he had never agreed to take the pony back.

Mr Reape later said he may have originally said he would take it back but never said he would give the Carways their money back and insisted he only said he would replace it.

There were also other claims including that the company was the vendor and that there was no written contract for sale, counsel said.

The Carways participated in efforts to find a replacement but this was unsuccessful and they then consulted their solicitors.

Counsel said the defendants also refused to consent to an agreement in March 2013 to sell the pony for st£25,000 and it was not sold.

The Carways were now seeking an order for specific performance of the agreement that the defendants would take the animal back, along with costs of stabling the animal since 2012 and damages,  counsel said.

The case continues before Mr Justice David Keane.

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