Horses and the Law

May 2010 - Posts

Still Property After All These Years

Horses and other animals are the personal property of their owners. This is a basic tenet of the law in all 50 states and it means that the owner of a horse, or a dog, or a cat that is harmed by someone else can win only the economic value of the animal in a successful lawsuit. Monetary recovery for emotional distress, pain and suffering, and loss of companionship generally are not available for the... Read More

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Getting It Right

The United States Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Stevens a few weeks ago generated responses on two different fronts. Many animal welfare advocates decried the ruling, which found unconstitutional a federal law supposedly aimed at "crush videos." The 10-year-old law never was used for its stated purpose, however. It had been applied only once, to convict Robert Stevens for the sale of dog fighting... Read More

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Access Denied

Question: When is an equestrian trail not really a trail? Answer: When access for horses and riders is prohibited or restricted. A viable network of equestrian trails requires on-going access to public land and the cooperation of private landowners willing to allow horseback riding on their property. Although the evidence is sketchy and largely anecdotal, equestrian access to both public and private... Read More

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Making Waivers Work

For a quarter-century the University of Kentucky College of Law and the Office of Continuing Legal Education have brought together experts in equine law for a conference in the heart of horse country. While the timing of the conference is undeniably attractive, sandwiched between the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event and the Kentucky Derby-Oaks weekends, the real draw is the expertise of the presenters... Read More

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About This Blog

Equine lawyers don’t sue horses—but what, exactly, do they do? And why does it matter? Horses and the Law brings you an in-depth look at the important legal issues affecting horse owners and exhibitors today, including liability, sales and bloodstock agents, contracts and other business concerns, taxes, the animal rights vs. animal welfare debate, and legislation. If you agree with something, or even if you don’t, feel free to comment. Just keep it tasteful. And remember that Horses and the Law does not—and cannot—address your specific legal problems, and is not a source of legal advice. For that, you should contact your own attorney.