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Foster Swift: Equine Law

Honors & Recognitions

Congratulations, Julie! We're proud to share that Julie Fershtman has received two prestigious awards.

On April 13, 2013, she received the American Youth Horse Council's 2013 "Distinguished Service" Award. As the award itself states, she received it "[i]n recognition of years of dedicated service to the American Youth Horse Council and tireless efforts to touch the lives of youth involved with horses." For more information about the American Youth Horse Council, please visit www.ayhc.com/.

On May 7, 2013, Julie received the 2013 "Industry Award" from the Michigan Equine Partnership for her work over the years supporting legislation to promote and protect the Michigan equine industry. For more information about the Michigan Equine Partnership, please visit www.miequine.com/.

RECENT EQUINE LAW COURTROOM VICTORY

We're pleased to share that Julie just won a case in Michigan where she defended a boarding and training stable that was sued by a visitor who was injured in the barn aisle. Julie cautions that this case might have been avoided altogether if the stable required every visitor to sign its waiver/release of liability. (Julie, interestingly, drafted that stable's release document years ago but the stable only presented it to customers.) Make sure that your release is well-worded and complies with the laws of your state.

Other Articles

"The Seller's Contract Includes an "As Is" Disclaimer – Now What?" - Desert Mirage Magazine, August 2013

"What Mare Owners Should Look for in a Typical Horse-Breeding Contracts." - America's Horse Daily, September 14, 2012

Should Exculpatory Agreements Relieve Liabilities Founded on an Equine Activity Liability Act? American Bar Association - TIPS Animal Law Committee Newsletter, Fall 2012

Win Equine law Books!

We're always on the lookout for good article and update ideas for the Equine Law Blog. Please share yours! We'll give the sender of best tip of the month a free copy of Julie Fershtman's books, EQUINE LAW & HORSE SENSE and MORE EQUINE LAW & HORSE SENSE. Click here to send your ideas. [For more info on these and other publications written by Julie Fershtman, please visit www.equinelaw.net and www.equinelaw.info or call her directly at (248) 785-4731.]

Large Step Forward for the Horse Industry

We applaud the American Horse Council (www.horsecouncil.org) for its national marketing initiative for the horse industry. The AHC joined together ten national associations and large corporate industry stakeholders to make this happen. We await its marketing plan, which will propose ways to help people become more interested in horses and equine activities, either as participants or spectators.

THE NATION'S MOST SOUGHT-AFTER EQUINE LAW SPEAKER

Did you know Julie Fershtman has spoken at the American Horse Council Annual Meeting, Equine Affaire, Midwest Horse Fair, Equitana USA, US Dressage Federation Annual Meeting, North American Riding for the Handicapped (now PATH International) Annual Meeting, American Morgan Horse Association Annual Meeting, American Paint Horse Association Annual Meeting, US Pony Clubs, Inc.'s Annual Meeting, All-American Quarter Horse Congress, American Youth Horse Council Annual Meeting, American Riding Instructors Association Annual Meeting, CHA Annual Meeting, and numerous others? Consider signing her up for your convention. Contact Julie.

Showing 23 posts in Boarding.

Is a Horse Really "Abandoned"?

When a horse facility takes in a horse for care and keeping, but the horse's owner fails to pay boarding fees and is nowhere to be found, is the horse "abandoned"? Surprisingly, many stables simply draw their own conclusions and then take drastic action, such as give away horses, lease them out, use them in lessons, or sell them off. Is that legal? Probably not. Read More ›

Categories: Boarding

“Free Leases” Are Not Free

In these challenging financial times, more and more horse owners have entered into arrangements they call “free leases.” No legal dictionary, to our knowledge, recognizes the term “free lease,” but in the horse industry it has come to mean a horse that is leased to another with no lease payment to the owner (the lessor) as long as the lessee provides the horse care and attention.

In our experience, lessors (horse owners) usually enter into these arrangements to avoid costly horse care. In an effort to save money, lessors rarely insist on contracts. Not surprisingly, disputes arise. For example: Read More ›

Categories: Boarding, Contracts

Should a Boarding Contract Stipulate to a Horse’s Value?

Some boarding contracts specify that the boarded horse has a stated value. For example, the contract might state: “The parties agree that the horse boarded under this agreement is worth $15,000.” Is this a good idea? ›

Categories: Boarding, Contracts

Can the Government be Held Responsible for a Breeding Farm’s CEM Outbreak?

A few years ago, some valuable breeding stallions contracted Contagious Equine Metritis (“CEM”), an equine venereal disease, while boarded at a breeding farm in Kentucky. The stallion owners sued the breeding farm, alleging that it was negligent in allowing the CEM to spread to their stallions from an incoming stallion, who had been brought to the farm from a Wisconsin quarantine facility where it contracted the CEM. [CEM is regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”), in part through its importation guidelines for horses that arrive from foreign countries and are quarantined. These guidelines also prohibit horses with CEM from being imported into the United States.] Read more about the case ›

Categories: Boarding, Breeding, Liability, Regulatory

Should the Boarding Stable Require Owners to Disclose Behavioral Problems?

In January 2013, I was the speaker at a national teleconference on Equine Law and also spoke at continuing legal education programs on Equine Law for the Washington State Bar Association and New York State Bar Association.  Attendees raised several questions, and some of them are shared on this blog.

Question:

Should the boarding stable specifically ask the owner to disclose a horse’s known “aggressive behavior” (which may, of course, be manifested in biting and kicking)? Read More ›

Categories: Boarding

How Can a Contract Authorize the Trainer or Boarding Stable Owner to Handle Veterinary Emergencies in the Owner’s Absence?

In January 2013, Julie was the speaker at a national teleconference on Equine Law and also spoke at continuing legal education programs on Equine Law for the Washington State Bar Association and New York State Bar Association. Attendees raised several questions, and some of them are shared on this blog.

Question

Some boarding contracts in the equine industry ask owners to give their consent for veterinary services. What is your opinion of these kinds of clauses? Read More ›

Categories: Boarding, Contracts, Veterinary Malpractice

Stablemen’s Lien Laws – Part 2: How They Differ

Stables looking to collect past-due board by invoking a stablemen’s lien law should take caution.

Almost all states have laws on the books that are specifically designed to give lien rights to horse boarding stables.  State laws differ significantly as to stables’ rights when board has not been paid.  Here are some examples of how the laws differ: Read More ›

Categories: Boarding, Regulatory, Sales/Disputes

Stablemen’s Lien Laws – Part 1: What They Are

Almost all states have laws on the books that are specifically designed to give lien rights to horse boarding stables.  Some of these laws also give special lien rights to people who provide services to horses, such as veterinarians or farriers.  These laws are often referred to as “stablemen’s lien laws” or “agisters lien laws.”  They differ widely across the country and usually explain: Read More ›

Categories: Boarding, Regulatory, Sales/Disputes, Veterinary Malpractice

Collecting Past-Due Board – The Stable’s Perspective

Stables with non-paying boarders have several options to consider.  Proceed with caution as some options are mutually exclusive, meaning that state law might prevent the stable from pursuing two or more of them at the same time.  The stable’s options, depending on the applicable state law, could include: Read More ›

Categories: Boarding, Contracts

Collecting Past-Due Board – The Boarder’s Perspective

Horse boarding stables nationwide have been encountering the problem of non-paying or slow paying boarders.  At the same time, expenses continue to rise.  What are the boarder’s options when they owe the stable board money? Read More ›

Categories: Boarding