Breeding Contracts


You’ve found the perfect stallion for your mare and have high hopes for the foal that will result from their union. But before you send your mare for breeding, you need to take a good look at one more important aspect of the arrangement: the breeding contract.

The owner of the stallion you have chosen for hire should present you with a contract to sign. (If he or she doesn’t, you need to contact an equine attorney and have one drafted.) It’s important to read this document thoroughly and know what you are agreeing to before you put your signature at the bottom.

In her book, “Equine Law & Horse Sense,” Julie I. Fershtman, an attorney in Farmington Hills, Mich., points to areas she has seen disputed in breeding situations:

  • When can the mare owner get a refund and how much?
  • When can a substitute mare or stallion be used instead of the horses specified in the contract?
  • What medical procedures will the stallion owner be authorized to arrange for the mare (such as routine palpation)?
  • What does the contract really mean by “live foal guarantee”?
  • If the contract requires live breeding (also called “live cover”), what happens if the stallion is sold or moves a great distance away before the breeding takes place?

Before you sign a breeding contract, be sure these areas are covered to avoid potential problems. 

A good contract will also cover points such as a foal guarantee (whether a foal is guaranteed to result out of the union, and if so, how long it must live to be considered a live foal), a clear description of the parties and horses involved, boarding and mare care issues, and insurance requirements.

If you are unsure of the language or stipulations of a breeding contract, consult an attorney experienced in equine law before you sign. 


  1. Thankyou for info. Is it possible to provide a little more information for the stallion owner to make a simple contract?What do stallion owners require for a health check up etc.This will be my first time allowing my stallion to be used by an outside mare.


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