This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
In jurisdictions in which the right of a third person to enforce a contract made for his benefit is not regarded with favor, it is held that a third person can not enforce a contract for his benefit unless he is specifically named.1 In other jurisdictions which regard this right with greater favor, it is held that one who is indicated in a sufficiently definite way may enforce a contract intended for his benefit, though he is not specifically named.2 Since an offer may ordinarily be made to a person to be ascertained in the future,3 a promise by A to B for the benefit of a third person is not invalid, because such third person is not ascertained when the promise is made.4 Thus where A, the owner of a stallion, agreed with B, the owner of a mare, that A would pay to any person who should own the first of the foals of such mare by such stallion, which should trot a mile in two minutes and thirty seconds or less, the sum of seven hundred and fifty dollars, and C bought one of the foals, knowing of such promise, it was held that if the foal owned by C trotted a mile in the prescribed time, C would recover from A.5
10 Texas, etc, Ry. v. Watson, 190 U. S. 287, 47 L. ed. 1037 [affirming, 112 Fed. 402, 50 C. C. A. 230].
11 Durlacher v. Frazer, 8 Wyom. 58, 60 Am. St. Rep. 918, 55 Pac. 306.
12 Durlacher v. Frazer, 8 Wyom. 58, 80 Am. St. Rep. 918, 55 Pac. 306.
13 Title Guarantee & Trust Co. v. Haven, 214 N. Y. 468, 108 N. E. 819.
14 Blake v. Atlantic National Bank, 33 R. I. 464, 82 Atl. 225.
15 Stevens v. Flannagan, 131 Ind. 122, 30 N. B. 696; Copeland v. Summers,
138 Ind. 219, 35 N. E. 514, 37 N. E. 971.
1 Harvey v. Milk Co., 92 Me. 115, 42 Atl. 342; Can- v. Bank, 107 Mass. 45 9 Am. Rep. 6; Dow v. Clark, 73 Mass. (7 Gray) 198.
2Searles v. Flora, 225 111. 167, 80 N. E. 98; State v. Gaslight Co., 102 Mo. 472, 22 Am. St. Rep. 789, 14 S. W. 974, 15 S. W. 383; Beattie Mfg. Co. v. Clark, 208 Mo. 89, 14 L. R. A. (N.S.) 822. 106 S. W. 29.
3 See Sec. 195.