Horses and the Law

Horse Rescue: Are You Part of the Solution, or Part of the Problem?

It's an all-too-common issue these days: you take good care of your horses, providing food, water, shelter, attention, veterinary care, a farrier, the works, but your neighbor does not. What do you do? An old adage (are there any new adages?) says that if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. That sounds like an unequivocal call to action, and some individuals and organizations... Read More

Negligence or Not? You Be the Judge

A farm owner in Northern Kentucky hired a tree removal service to clean up some fallen tree limbs on his property. There's nothing peculiar about this; it happens all the time. The result, though, was unexpected and tragic and led to lawsuits filed against both the farm owner and the tree removal company by the owner of a neighboring farm. As part of the clean-up process, employees of the tree removal... Read More

Too Good To Be True

When something sounds too good to be true, it usually is, especially if the promised benefits include a substantial tax break. On October 26, in federal district court in Utah, David Plummer, Spencer Plummer, and Terry Green entered guilty pleas on a charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States. The charge arose from a fraudulent tax shelter scheme called the "Mare Lease Program" that... Read More

A Horse Is A Horse, Of Course, Of Course

A recent letter to the Lexington Herald-Leader offered a novel way to reduce the number of breakdowns at the race track. The writer, a self-styled "horse communicator," suggested that he can detect a horse’s injuries up to two weeks before the nature and site of the injury become apparent to a veterinarian. Utilization of this skill, the writer said, would allow sore or injured horses to... Read More

Setting A Good Example

States should not be in the business of subsidizing owners, breeders, and exhibitors who abuse or neglect their horses. That should go without saying, but it still happens. Steps are being taken in New York and Kentucky to link incentive program payments to animal welfare, and other states should follow those examples. Attracting businesses to a state by sweetening the pot with tax breaks or other... Read More

"No Match" Rule Rescinded

The so called "no match" rule has died a long overdue death. Good riddance! Introduced two years ago by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the "no match" rule was intended to up the ante for employers who intentionally, or sometimes inadvertently, hire people who are not eligible to work in the United States. The rule required verification that information provided by every... Read More

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Animal Cruelty or Free Speech?

On Tuesday, October 6, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in United States v. Stevens . Although not an equine law case specifically, Stevens raises an important question that affects everyone concerned about animals: what should happen when animal welfare concerns come into direct conflict with the United States Constitution? The issue presented in Stevens is a simple one: Dog fighting... Read More

Legislative Update: Slaughter

What’s been happening with efforts to ban horse slaughter since June 2008, when the United States Supreme Court refused to consider the appeal of Cavel International? The Cavel appeal challenged the legal authority of Illinois to ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption. Opponents of slaughter hailed the Supreme Court decision to do nothing as a victory, and in a very narrow sense it was.... Read More

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He Said, She Said

After leading midway through the $125,000 Maurello Championship for Illinois-bred pacers at Balmoral Park on Sept. 19, Martha Maxine lost a little ground in the stretch and finished a neck behind longshot Mucho Sleazy. The result was something of a surprise because Martha Maxine had paced a mile in 1:49.2, one of the best times in Chicago this year, to win an elimination race by five lengths. "So... Read More

Unintended Consequences

See the doctor and you expect everything about the visit—test results, medical records, diagnosis, the conversation itself—to be confidential. The same is true when you consult an attorney for legal advice, seek spiritual guidance from a priest or minister, or share confidences with a spouse. You have a reasonable expectation of privacy in all of these communications, and they are generally accorded... Read More

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.