Damage Caused by Boarded Horses -- Who Pays for It?
Broken pasture fences, broken gates, stall dividers kicked through, wash rack hoses and nozzles broken, stall walls bitten through, stall doors broken off of their hinges.
For many boarding stables, breaks and damages to the property like these are to be expected. The question is, who should pay for them? How should a boarding contract address this issue?
Certainly, boarding stable owners and managers have their own preferences about the cost of repairs. This article discusses options for boarding contracts involving repair costs for damage to the property caused by boarded horses.
Option One: Boarding Stable Pays for Everything
For some boarding stable owners, repairing damage around the stable is simply the cost of doing business, and the stable will pay for all damages when they occur, regardless of amount. Possibly, the stable may have planned ahead for these expenses by including an extra amount in its monthly boarding fee for anticipated repair costs. This option also takes into account the possibility that the stable might be unable to identify which horse caused the damage at issue.
Option Two: Shared Expense
Boarding stable owners might view damage as a shared expense between the stable and horse owner, depending on the size of the repair bill. A boarding contract could state, for example, that the boarding stable pays for all damage repairs, including materials and labor, up to $150, and thereafter the owner must reimburse the stable for repair costs exceeding this amount. Certainly, the stable’s maximum amount in the contract will depend on its preferences.
Option Three: Owner Pays for All Damages
For some stable owners, the horse owner must pay for (or even arrange) all repairs. In their contracts, these stables can specify that the stable will bill the horse owner for reimbursement for all damage the boarded horse does to the facilities (except for reasonable wear and tear). Provisions like this are more commonly found in boarding arrangements where the owner, not the stable, provides care to the horse on the stable’s property.
Horse owners and stable owners benefit from carefully written boarding contracts. The issue of damages on the property is one of many fine points that a thorough boarding contract can address.
This article does not constitute legal advice. When questions arise based on specific situations, direct them to a knowledgeable attorney.
Julie Fershtman 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.View All Posts by Author ›
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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
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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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