Horse Traitor? Noted Florida Equestrian Sued for Fraud in Wellington Horse Deal

In dressage, it's hard to prance with bum hoof.
In dressage, it's hard to prance with bum hoof.
Flickr: Martina V.

Jodie Kelly, a horse dressage rider from a well-known family in Destin, has been sued by a woman who says she relied upon Kelly's opinion in buying a $38,000 horse that proved to be lame.

The plaintiff is also from Destin -- Victoria Guennewig, who in 2007 was shopping for a horse with which to train for the sport of dressage. After Guennewig became interested in a horse kept in a farm near Wellington, she hired Kelly, a decorated rider who trains horses in Destin, as well as in Loxahatchee, at Checkered Flag Farms.

Since the sport requires a horse to have perfect form and make precise movements, its physical health was a crucial factor. Kelly was to perform a pre-purchase examination

of the horse. She gave Gunnewig's horse prospect a passing grade, and Guennewig bought it. But Guennewig's Fort Lauderdale attorney, Mitchell Adler, told me this afternoon that following the purchase, his client learned the horse had bone spurs in its hoof that would ruin it for dressage.

"The heart of the case is that Ms. Geunnewig was not provided all information known to Ms. Kelly regarding the horse's condition, prior to finalizing the transaction," says Adler, in a press release circulated this week.

Recently, the case was transferred to Okaloosa County, based on a request by Kelly's attorney, who told a local paper he was "baffled" by Adler's publicizing of the case. Currently, the case is in the discovery phase.

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