Brief Fact Summary. Plaintiff and Defendants are both horse breeders. Plaintiff and Defendant entered in an agreement to breed Plaintiff’s mares with Defendant’s Stallion. Defendant then sold the stallion and shipped it to Kentucky. Plaintiff and Defendant made several attempts to breed the mares with the stallion but the breeding never came to pass.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. For there to be anticipatory breach as a matter of law, one party must state, clearly, that they will not perform the contract or make such performance impossible, not, merely, difficult.
When a promisor repudiates a contract, the injured party faces an election of remedies: he can treat the repudiation as an anticipatory breach and immediately seek damages for breach of contract, thereby terminating the contractual relation between the parties, or he can treat the repudiation as an empty threat, wait until the time for performance arrives and exercise his remedies for actual breach if a breach does in fact occur at such time.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Did Defendants breach the contract by selling Fleet Nasrullah and then the new owners acting as Defendant’s agent breach the contract by not breeding Fleet Nasrullah with the two mares?
Held. No. There was not express or implied repudiation as a matter of law.
In their letter Plaintiff, telling them they sold Fleet Nashrullah, Defendant expressly repudiated their contract, but then, took back the repudiation when Plaintiffs demanded they do so.
Selling Fleet Nashrullah did not make breeding impossible. Nor did the new owners’ selling shares. It made breeding the mares more difficult. In the end, however, it was Plaintiff’s decision to cease.
Discussion. This case sets a high bar to establish repudiation. One must cross the line between making performance difficult to making it impossible.