Legal advice from Jennifer McGuinness, equine and animal law specialist, FDR Law, Palmyra Square, Warrington
Don’t gallop into horse ownership without advice
Q: We’re visiting Warrington Horse Show on Bank Holiday Monday in the hope of finding a pony for our daughter. What are the legal liabilities of horse ownership we need to think about?
A: What a lucky daughter! However always make sure you go into equine ownership with your eyes wide open.
Traditionally deals in the horse world have been done with a handshake but increasingly people are entering into formal legal agreements, particularly for higher value animals. It’s always important to get a horse checked out by an expert to ensure you are getting a good deal. You need to satisfy yourself that the animal’s condition and temperament are consistent with the vendor’s claims. Make sure your equine transport and stabling is fit for purpose and always take out insurance. It is particularly important to protect yourself from third party claims if you intend to ride the pony on the public highway or if your pony escapes and causes a road accident or injury to another person or animal.
I would definitely advise taking the legal cover option too as you never know when you may need to defend yourself against a claim. It also covers you if you need to take legal advice about other problems, such as a vet who has failed to spot an obvious medical issue or a professional who has given you bad advice.
If the purchase of your animal, equipment, veterinary care or farriery services rings alarm bells or you or your pony is suffering due to another’s negligence, then always seek professional legal advice.
For more information, contact me at FDR Law on 01925 230000 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org