Court Rules in Favour of Bartels' Family in Voice Lawsuit

Sat, 11/12/2011 - 15:10
Dutch Dressage News

The Dutch court in Arnheim ruled in favour of the Bartels family' in the lawsuit between Bartels and Isabel van Gisbergen-Sponselee, the owner of the Dutch warmblood stallion Voice (by De Niro x Rohdiamant).

In the summer of 2010, Isabel van Gisbergen decided to pull her black stallion Voice out of training with Imke Schellekens-Bartels to move him to the stables of Edward Gal in Harskamp, The Netherlands, where his FEI career would be continued.

For four years Imke Schellekens-Bartels trained Voice from young horse to FEI level. She competed the black at the 2007 World Young Horse Championships and placed fifth in the small tour at the 2010 Dutch Dressage Championships.

The Bartels' family, who had a training contract with the owner, sued Van Gisbergen for breaching it. Due to this contract the Bartels' family  claimed damages as well as a percentage in a possible sale of the horse. The owner of the stallion believed that she had plenty of arguments to support her decision to switch trainers. At the court hearing in Arnheim the judge ruled in favour of Bartels.

"We are very disappointed in the court," owner Van Gisbergen told Eurodressage exclusively. "After all those years we didn't leave for no reason."  Isabel added that "Voice first came home to us and only went to Edward later on. He was not aware of the situation and only helped us to move forward."

"The past year and a half we have been reticent about this matter and are happy that the counter party was as well," the Bartels family explained. "We've had a great time together but now there was a conflict which we couldn't solve together. The judge did that for us."

Bartels' lawyer provided additional information on the matter. "There was the agreement between Academy Bartels and the Van Gisbergen family that Voice would remain in training at Bartels' Academy if there was continued sportive success. For this reason Bartels Academy charged a reduced fee for the livery. There was also an agreement that in case Voice would get sold, Academy Bartels would get a 10% commission fee on the sales price."

Academy Bartels requested in court that the remaining amount of full training and boarding costs would be paid because the contract was breached. The judge rewarded them (almost) the full amount of the claimed money. The court also confirmed that Academy Bartels retains the right for a 10% commission fee on the horse on its sales value up til 23 June 2010.

Photo © Astrid Appels - Dirk Caremans

Related Links
Eurodressage Photo Database: Voice
Edward Gal and Voice Victorious in 2011 CDI Zwolle Prix St Georges
Bartels Family's Zan Tropez Passed Away