Through time we have advanced from walking to running, from running to horses, and from horses we’ve progressed to cars. However, horses are still part of everyday life for people who board them, race them, ride them, as well as breed and raise them. As a result, Equine Law has developed over the years to protect people and horses.
Pennsylvania’s response to the growing need for laws was the development of The Equine Activity Immunity Act, which became effective in 2006. The EAI Act provides certain legal immunity for negligence to individuals, groups, clubs and business entities that sponsor, organize, conduct or provide facilities for defined equine activities. The act covers daily equine activities that include, but are not limited to, boarding, breeding, riding or driving, and giving lessons on how to ride. While other activities are included, the act is designed to protect adults, not children, against negligence claims asserted by persons who suffer injuries resulting from equine activities.
It is important to note that if the people who include themselves in these activities are not notified of the potential risks inherent in equine activities, then the act will not protect the individual, group, club or business that is providing either the facility or horse involved in one of the defined equine activities. While posting specific warning signs are required under the act, it is also imperative to have a signed liability waiver or contract, or a similar type of document or notice, as you must establish the injured person knowingly and voluntarily assumed the risk.
Even though adults and collective organizations can be protected under this act, children and defective equipment, as well as intentional actions by the provider of the facility, activity or horse are not covered by the Equine Activity Immunity Act.
No matter how far we have advanced, horses still remain in our daily lives, as people continue to make a living with these beautiful creatures, as well as ride recreationally. As horses are large animals, the activities involved with them are risky and the animal themselves can be unpredictable at times, we continue to need Equine laws and notices in place to protect citizens.
If you have a boarding facility, a farm with horses, give lessons or are involved in the equestrian community providing an equine service, call us to set up an appointment to ensure you are protected to the extent you can be.
Disclaimer: This is a simple overview of the subject matter. Please consult an attorney for legal advice on the Equine Activity Immunity Act.
Sher & Associates, P.C. is a law firm located in Kutztown PA that can assist you in any of the following areas: business law, real estate law, family law, equine law and estate planning. We assist many individuals, businesses and families in and around Fleetwood PA, Blandon PA, Topton PA, Hamburg PA and Oley PA.