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Handling Boarded Horse Emergencies

A boarded horse colics and is in need of surgery, but the owner cannot be reached to find out what, if anything, can be done. What can the stable do?

Boarding Stable Duties

When a stable accepts a horse belonging to another for care and keeping, the law generally imposes a duty on the stable to use "reasonable care."  In the eyes of the law, this means that the stable and its workers must act as a reasonably prudent and careful stable would exercise in similar circumstances.  If a horse owner believed that a stable fell short of this standard, and the horse owner was damaged in some way (such as by being handed a massive veterinary bill or by learning that a horse was euthanized against the owner’s wishes), the stable might find itself faced with a lawsuit.

Damage Control

Boarding stables have every incentive to prevent disputes through contracts that are well drafted and include, for example:

  • Contact Information.  Horse boarders can give stables the most current contact information, such home and office phone numbers, and cell phone numbers. The horse owner might also want to designate someone as a contact person who is authorized to make decisions regarding the horse in the owner's absence.
  • Emergencies.  The boarding contract presents an excellent opportunity to address how the facility can handle veterinary emergencies, especially if the owner is unavailable and cannot advise the stable on how to handle them.  Also, especially before a vacation or period of absence, the horse owner can contact the attending veterinarian to authorize attention and provide payment information.

Equine Insurance

The boarding stable has every reason to know whether boarded horses are insured with a policy of mortality or major medical insurance.  Equine insurance policies typically provide emergency telephone numbers and require that the company receive immediate notice of the insured horse’s illness or injury.  The boarding stable, in the owner’s absence, can provide this notification.  Owners have every incentive to share insurance information.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Categories: Boarding, Insurance

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is considered to be one of the nation's leading attorneys in the field of equine law. A frequent author and speaker on legal issues, she has written over 400 published articles, three books, and has lectured at seminars, conventions, and conferences in 29 states on issues involving law, liability, risk management, and insurance. For more information, please also visit www.fershtmanlaw.com and www.equinelaw.net, and www.equinelaw.info.

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Our Equine law blog (and its author) in the news!

Julie Fershtman, author of our popular and prolific Equine Law Blog, was interviewed by the State Bar of Michigan. The interview, which called Fershtman "Lawyer-Blogger," discussed our Equine Law Blog. We truly believe that this blog is the nation's most active blog serving the equine industry on equine law topics, and we thank you for visiting it. Read more here.

Julie Fershtman’s Recent and Upcoming Equine Law Speaking Engagements Include:

National Conference on Equine Law in Louisville, Kentucky on April 29, 2020. Topic will be on Waivers/Releases of Liability Involving Minor Participants. 

U.S. Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) Annual Convention in Denver, Colorado on December 10, 2019. Topic will be on Equine Liability. 

IRMI Emmett J. Vaughan Agribusiness Conference (“AgriCon”) in Sacramento, CA (April 2019), and Richmond, VA (June 2019) and in Des Moines, IA (September 2019), on topics of “Equine Activity Liability Acts” and “Equine Mortality Insurance Disputes.”

National Conference on Equine Law in May 2019 in Lexington, KY, on the topic of “Equine Activity Liability Act Updates” and liabilities involving hosting of equine clinics. 

Agricultural Claims Conference in Kansas City, MO, in March 2019 on topics of “Loose Livestock Liabilities.”

2018 American Bar Association Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL, on “Equine Mortality Coverage and Disputes.”

November 2018, American Horse Council webinar on “Equine Liability.”

Honors & Recognitions

Equine lawyer, Julie Fershtman, has received these prestigious equine industry awards from respected equine organizations:

"Excellence in the Advancement of Animal Law Award" - American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Law Section Animal Law Committee

"Distinguished Service Award" - American Youth Horse Council

"Industry Service Award" - Michigan Equine Partnership

"Catalyst Award"- Michigan Horse Council

"Outstanding Achievement Award" - American Riding Instructors Association 

"Partner in Safety Award" - American Riding Instructors Association 

"Associate Service Award" - United Professional Horseman's Association

"National Partnership in Safety" Award" - Certified Horsemanship Association 

What our Equine Law Services can Provide

Handling breach of contract, fraud/ misrepresentation, commercial code, and other claims involving equine-related transactions including purchases/sales, leases, mare leases/foal transfers, and partnerships.

Litigating disputes in court or through alternative dispute resolution (arbitration, mediation, facilitation).

Defending equine/farm/equestrian industry professionals,  businesses, and associations in personal injury claims and lawsuits.

Drafting and negotiating contracts for boarding, training, sales, waivers/releases, leases, and numerous other equine-related transactions.

Representing and advising insurers on  coverage and policy language as well as litigation;

Advising equine industry clubs and associations regarding management, rules, bylaws, disputes, and regulations.

Representing some of the equine industry's top trainers, competitors, stables, and associations.

Counseling industry professionals, stable managers, and individual horse owners. 

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.

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