ANNOTATED REVISED CODE OF WASHINGTON
TITLE 4. CIVIL PROCEDURE
CHAPTER 4.24. SPECIAL RIGHTS OF ACTION AND SPECIAL IMMUNITIES
§ 4.24.530. Limitations on liability for equine activities - - Definitions
Unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the definitions in this section apply to RCW 4.24.500, 4.24.510, and section 3, chapter 292, Laws of 1989.
(1) "Equine" means a horse, pony, mule, donkey, or hinny.
(2) "Equine activity" means: (a) Equine shows, fairs, competitions, performances, or parades that involve any or all breeds of equines and any of the equine disciplines, including, but not limited to, dressage, hunter and jumper horse shows, grand prix jumping, three-day events, combined training, rodeos, driving, pulling, cutting, polo, steeplechasing, endurance trail riding and western games, and hunting; (b) equine training and/or teaching activities; (c) boarding equines; (d) riding, inspecting, or evaluating an equine belonging to another whether or not the owner has received some monetary consideration or other thing of value for the use of the equine or is permitting a prospective purchaser of the equine to ride, inspect, or evaluate the equine; and (e) rides, trips, hunts, or other equine activities of any type however informal or impromptu that are sponsored by an equine activity sponsor.
(3) "Equine activity sponsor" means an individual, group or club, partnership, or corporation, whether or not the sponsor is operating for profit or nonprofit, which sponsors, organizes, or provides the facilities for, an equine activity including but not limited to: Pony clubs, 4- H clubs, hunt clubs, riding clubs, school and college sponsored classes and programs, therapeutic riding programs, and, operators, instructors, and promoters of equine facilities, including but not limited to stables, clubhouses, ponyride strings, fairs, and arenas at which the activity is held.
(4) "Participant" means any person, whether amateur or professional, who directly engages in an equine activity, whether or not a fee is paid to participate in the equine activity.
(5) "Engages in an equine activity" means a person who rides, trains, drives, or is a passenger upon an equine, whether mounted or unmounted, and does not mean a spectator at an equine activity or a person who participates in the equine activity but does not ride, train, drive, or ride as a passenger upon an equine.
(6) "Equine professional" means a person engaged for compensation (a) in instructing a participant or renting to a participant an equine for the purpose of riding, driving, or being a passenger upon the equine, or, (b) in renting equipment or tack to a participant.
§ 4.24.540. Limitations on liability for equine activities - - Exceptions
(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, an equine activity sponsor or an equine professional shall not be liable for an injury to or the death of a participant engaged in an equine activity, and, except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, no participant nor participant's representative may maintain an action against or recover from an equine activity sponsor or an equine professional for an injury to or the death of a participant engaged in an equine activity.
(2) (a) RCW 4.24.530 and 4.24.540 do not apply to the horse racing industry as regulated in chapter 67.16 RCW.
(b) Nothing in subsection (1) of this section shall prevent or limit the liability of an equine activity sponsor or an equine professional:
(i) If the equine activity sponsor or the equine professional:
(A) Provided the equipment or tack and the equipment or tack caused the injury; or
(B) Provided the equine and failed to make reasonable and prudent efforts to determine the ability of the participant to engage safely in the equine activity, determine the ability of the equine to behave safely with the participant, and determine the ability of the participant to safely manage the particular equine;
(ii) If the equine activity sponsor or the equine professional owns, leases, rents, or otherwise is in lawful possession and control of the land or facilities upon which the participant sustained injuries because of a dangerous latent condition which was known or should have been known to the equine activity sponsor or the equine professional and for which warning signs have not been conspicuously posted;
(iii) If the equine activity sponsor or the equine professional commits an act or omission that constitutes willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the participant and that act or omission caused the injury;
(iv) If the equine activity sponsor or the equine professional intentionally injures the participant;
(v) Under liability provisions as set forth in the products liability laws; or
(vi) Under liability provisions in chapter 16.04, 16.13, or 16.16 RCW.
Enacted in 1989.
Reviewed by AAHS in May 2001.
Return to Top of Page