If you seek to buy a horse from a professional, ethical seller, do not even consider Berktold dresssage operated by Bianca Berktold.
We purchased a horse from this trainer and were assured that the horse had vetted with no problems a few months prior at the time they purchased him. We elected to have xrays of the horse reviewed that were provided by the seller and waived doing a prepurchase on the horse as Bianca Berktold assured us the horse was sound, I had ridden the horses on a couple occassions and had bought several horses form Bianca in past. (all to be honest had \”issues\” but I was aware of those!) She seems to specialize in broken down horses, horses with medical issues or rehab.
We elected to not do the remainder of the prepurchase exam because the horse was obviously sound to work with little radiographic findings, and the trainer and owner assured us that he had never had any issues and vetted without a problem when they purchased him. In addition, Bianca was extremely pushy trying to finalize the sale, and even promised me my ultimate goal..\”to ride in my tails by end of year\” if I bought this horse. Playing on ones passions is here key to success.
I had the horse for about to months being very lightly ridden and definately not at the level that he had been sold to me as. I even took him to a show and was sucessful in it. I took him down to have a lesson with Bianca and after just one stride he was off. She was very quick to say \” of did you break him?) and we ended the lesson right there. It should be noted also that I had another horse in training with her and before I brought this new horse home, had intended to leave him down with her so I could come and have lessons on him instead of bringing him back and forth. She usually very greedy…was quick to get me to take him home, thus turning down much income.
It also should be noted that this horse was what she called a \”wall pooper\”, new to me but I didnt think much of it. After having him at my home and observing this behavior it was believed that he was relieving himself of pain and shifiting weight off his front. His stall down at her barn was completely covered in this \”wall poop\” so it was something he did since she had him. Another thing that should have been a flag to me but wasn\’t at time…when he was cross tied to be tacked up he would bow down strentching down on his front and crossing over his front feet. She made it seem a quirky thing that he just did and made light of it.
He was clearing exhibiting all this behavior while in her care and this wasnt something that I brought on after bringing him home. Hindsight sucks but hey…its hard to see the siigns sometimes when its right in front of your face and you also dont know the horse. I had the horse rexrayed at home at this point feeling that perhaps I was givine faulty xrays or something. I also took the horse into the clinic and had him ultrasounded and had a full lameness exam. With blocks done after the ultrasounds…he clearly proved he was lame and in fact the final result was that he had front suspensionary issues in BOTH fronts. I was told the horse should have at minimum, 6 months off to a year.
And that the horse could only then come back at very basic work and even then may not fully recover and could easliy reinjure. NOT what I had bought into as this horse was my horse to get my tails in and ride upper level. Thats what he was sold as an Intermediare horse…I immediately let Bianca know of my concerns and after her fighting with my husband and denying/changing story on phone, texted that she had spoken with the previous owner ( whom she had invest in the horse and import for sale thru her) and they loved the horse soooo much that they would offer me $10,000 and take him back. I paid $60,000.
We offered them the opportunity to take the horse back and refund our money, sparing their reputation, however they are choosing to remain unethical and we are currently working with an attorney. In the mean time the horse is being well looked after and minded as he should have been in the first place instea dof obviously being imported, njected and passed off on someone ust to make a quick buck.
While the bill of sale states the horse is sold \’as is\’, and we are aware of our mistake in not doing a complete prepurchase, this situation is clearly fraud as we have written evidence from the owner that she had knowledge of his condition and intentionally did not disclose it. We did not see symptoms while we were test riding him, however upon daily observation is it extremely obvious and there is no possible way that Bianca Berktold did not have knowledge of this condition.
Additonally, it should be noted that Ive had dealing with her several times over past few years. Each time I\’ve been to her personal barn, its been dirty, full of flies and in serious need of a pressure clean. The vet is ALWAYS there injecting something and in fact when I met her husband he cracked a joke that the vet practically lives there. She didnt find this amusing.
She lists horses and changes names of them…not uncommon except that she does it with the same horse she has had in her barn in order to decieve! I have the copies of ads and videos of this particular horse along with texts and recordings of her speaking of deals, people and vet issues. I cant post those but I have them in my arsenal and happy to provide to anyone wanting proof.
Long story short, if you intend to buy a horse from a professional, ethical seller, do not for one moment even consider Berktold Dressage or Bianca Berktold.