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Drafting and discussing breeding and stallion agreements

The main reproduction method used for sports horses in France, as for the rest of Europe, is artificial insemination. This is one of the most distinctive differences with thoroughbreds and horseracing in which artificial insemination is strictly forbidden.

Stallion ownership and commercialisation disputes are currently developing in France regarding the commercialisation of frozen straws in France and the rest of the world.

Under French contract law, frozen straws are distributed via stud fee agreements which contain information related to payment terms and conditions, ownership of unused straws and livery conditions when necessary. In addition, stud agreements generally contain live foal guarantees (48 hours) meaning that complete payment is made upon birth of a live foal (viable at 48 hours).

Stallions can be owned in France by individual professionals, co-ownerships or companies. The main aim of stallion ownership set-up is to promote sportive capacities and commercialise breeding opportunities.

One contractual technic to reach this aim is the sale of the stallion all the while remaining the sole owner of straws withdraw from the stallion before the sale. Parties can negotiate exclusive contractual distribution rights of the straws in France and throughout the world.

The practical performance of this type of agreement varies and depends on the different modalities agreed upon by parties (stallion returned to stud once a year, prohibition to for the sport career owner to use the stallion for stud, exclusive commercial rights etc.).

Another variation of this type of agreement consists in separating the stallion’s sportive capacities from the breeding capacities.

In this way, it is not uncommon contractual practice for stallion owners to sell separately the sport career and the reproductive career of a stallion.

French courts recognise the validity of sales agreements by which a stallion owner sells the stallion’s sport capacities to one person all the while keeping its breeding capacities (or selling breeding capacities to a third party).

French breeding and stallion related professional activities are secured by contracts.

French law provides little guidelines for these types of contracts meaning that parties can be inventive and draft tailor made agreements to suit each parties requirements.

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Stallion ownership and distribution in French and EU equestrian sport law