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This segment contains law cases that address liability questions for injuries sustained in horse accidents while mounted.

(scroll down to view cases)



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Georgia Court of Appeals (1993) Liabilities for wreck at a show
Washington Court of Appeals (1993) Always look a gift horse named duke in the mouth
California Court of Appeals (1993) Riding instructor's duty of care
New York Appellate Division (1993) Riding student assumed risk of muddy conditions
U.S. District Court, Maryland (1993) No assumption of risk in riding borrowed horse
California Court of Appeals (1993) Rent-a-horse rider assumed risk

New York Appellate Division (1994) No liability when horse trainer applicant falls off
Indiana Court of Appeals (1994) YMCA camp may be liable for accident
U.S. District Court, Louisiana (1994) Instructor liability for not checking tack
Illinois Court of Appeals (1994) Waiver not valid as to child; animal control act

U.S. Court of Appeals (1995) No negligence in permitting guest to ride

Wyoming Supreme Court (1995) Rent-a-horse provider may be liable for mounting accident
California Court of Appeals (1995) State park not liable for accident
Louisiana Court of Appeals (1995) Horse owner not strictly liable for rider's injury
South Dakota Supreme Court (1995) Dangerous propensities; assumption of risk
New Hampshire Supreme Court (1995) Release form not clear enough to be enforced

Illinois Court of Appeals (1996) Dangerous propensities and instructor negligence
Louisiana Court of Appeals (1996) Equine activity act applied to show participant
Oklahoma Supreme Court (1996) Release form valid in Oklahoma
Louisiana Court of Appeals (1996) Track liable for injury to exercise jockey
Georgia Court of Appeals (1996) Georgia equine activity act interpreted

Nebraska Court of Appeals (1996) Wrangler not negligent; trail rider with an attitude

Florida Court of Appeals (1997) Complaint stated claim for instructor negligence
Indiana Court of Appeals (1997) Release form upheld -- rent-a-horse company wins
Ohio Court of Appeals (1997) Release form upheld -- rent-a-horse company wins
Georgia Court of Appeals (1997) Experienced equestrian assumed risk of being thrown off
California Supreme Court (1997) No liability when garbage truck spooked nearby horse
Louisiana Court of Appeals (1997) $127,500 awarded for injuries Mardi Gras parade
New York Appellate Division (1997) Outfitter's release form void under New York statute
Arizona Court of Appeals (1997) Release form with trail rider operator invalid
New York Appellate Division (1997) Equestrian assumed risk of horse slipping on pavement

Wisconsin Court of Appeals (1998) Release form protected person but not corporation
California Court of Appeals (1998) Exercise jockey assumed risk of collision on track
Delaware Superior Court (1998)  Liability for runaway race horse
New Mexico Supreme Court (1998)  Prosecution for death of mounted child
Virginia Circuit Court (1998)  Experienced equestrian should have checked her saddle girth

Ohio Court of Appeals (1999) No warranty of gentleness in sale of horse
Ohio Court of Appeals (1999) Owner not liable when mare races to barn to reunite with foal

Minnesota Court of Appeals (2000) Owner of mare being ridden with unweaned foal not liable for injury
Washington Court of Appeals (2000) No evidence reins were defective or caused accident

New York Appellate Division (2001) No liability for kicking injury while on fox hunt
U.S. Court of Appeals (2001) Rider did not prove injury resulted from broken billet
Louisiana Court of Appeals (2001) Seller liable for injury to horse test rider
New York Appellate Division (2001) Experienced rider assumed risk of rearing horse
U.S. District Court, Puerto Rico (2001) Horse provider may be liable for trail ride accident

Washington Court of Appeals (2002) No proof of trial guide negligence in fall from mule
Massachusetts Court of Appeals (2002) Riding without a helmet is such an obvious risk that warning is not needed
Minnesota Court of Appeals (2002) Owner of saddle may be liable for injury that may have been caused by defective saddle
North Carolina Court of Appeals (2002) Father of horse owner not liable for injury during attempted test ride by purchaser

California Court of Appeals (2003) No liability when horse is spooked by backhoe
Minnesota Court of Appeals (2003). Liability when trail ride leader runs her horse, causing injured person's horse to bolt
California Court of Appeals (2003) Primary assumption of risk bars lawsuit for injuries from horse rearing up
Massachusetts Superior Court (2003) No proof race horse had vicious temperament
California Court of Appeals (2003) Instructor's advice not to wear helmet in reining competition not negligent

Kansas Court of Appeals (2004) Whether a horse had a dangerous propensity is a question of fact
New York Appellate Term (2004) 13-year-old may not have had enough knowledge to assume risk of injury in lesson
Nebraska Supreme Court (2004) Rodeo bareback rider assumed risk of flip-over injury because he knew of horse's history
Michigan Court of Appeals (2004) No duty to warn that horse might buck--an inherent risk

Iowa Court of Appeals (2005) Actions causing fatality not within scope of employment
Wisconsin Court of Appeals (2005) Statute protects colt breaking instructor and landowner
New York Appellate division (2005) Plaintiff did not assume the risk of negligent guides
Michigan Court of Appeals (2005) Court rules photo inadequate to prove equipment failure

Connecticut Court of Appeals (2006)  Experienced instructor not allowed to testify regarding instruction of novice riders.
U.S. District court, W.D. Louisiana (2006)  Contractor had no trucks on the premises and could not have spooked the horse.
New York Supreme Court (2006)  Defendant knowingly supplied dangerous horse to mounted officer
U.S. Dist. Court- Michigan (2006)  Horse owner has duty to warn of horse’s dangerous history

New York Supreme Court (2006)  Lack of helmet not proximate cause of accident
California Court of Apeals (2006) Rider assumed risk after being led
U.S. Court of Appeals (2006)  Deputy sheriff in a volunteer mounted posse is not an officer for purpose of federal death benefits.
New York Supreme Court (2006)  Groom thrown from horse with bad history does not collect for emotional distress but may still recover.

Ohio Court of Appeals (2007)  Clap of thunder is the type of risk that the statue is designed to immunize.
Colorado Supreme Court (2007)  Instruction regarding interpretation of statute reversible error.
New York Supreme Court (2007)  Primary assumption of risk bars recovery from mounting accident.
U.S. Dist. Court - Michican (2007)  Coast Guard helicopter alleged to be cause of fall during lesson.
Minnesota Court of Appeals (2007)  Kicking horse not reasonably forseeable so owner not liable.
New York Supreme Court (2007)  Running horse an inherent risk not a behavior defect.
Colorado Court of Appeals (2007)  Dogs running loose in violation of ordinance not negligence per se.