A pony lease allegedly goes awry.
A larceny charge has been dismissed against a Tennessee hunter/jumper trainer. The Loudoun County Commonwealth Attorney’s office disposed of the charge against Tresie Wallace through a nolle prosequi, meaning the office decided not to prosecute.
In May 2015, Wallace, of Eads, was charged with felony larceny after bailment in Virginia. A Loudoun County magistrate found probable cause based on the investigation of a Loudoun County Sheriff Department detective. The Showcase Equestrian Center owner was accused of not returning a show pony she was leasing. Authorities returned the pony to its owner.
Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Ryan Perry tells Rate My Horse PRO his office could not prosecute the case because it “is a breach of contract issue — making it civil, not criminal.” Virginia law does address the lease and return of animal and other property, although the law was not applicable in this case, according to Perry.
Anyone that comes into the possession of a horse as a bailee and fails to return it to the bailor, in accordance with the bailment agreement, is deemed guilty of larceny, according to the state’s law.
Perry recommends having an attorney draft or review your contracts. In the case of horse leases specifically, he says, include a clause stating the “lessor has first right of refusal,” when it comes to any options, including extensions.