Category: Equine Law

Riding Stable’s Immunity From Lawsuit

Probst LogoRecent decision affirming riding stable’s immunity from lawsuit for injury sustained while riding horse.

In this case (Brown v. COUNTRY VIEW EQUESTRIAN CENTER, INC., Dist. Court, WD Wisconsin 2017) the Plaintiff sought to recover for injures she sustained while riding her own horse at the facility. Plaintiff had informed the facility riding instructor that her horse was not well trained. Plaintiff temporarily relinquished control of the reins and direction of the horse to an instructor of the facility and the horse eventually collided with one of the stable horses after attempting a maneuver it was not prepared for. The equine immunity statute recognizes an exception for liability where a plaintiff can prove the facility was the “provider” of a horse for use in that the facility is the owner or controller of the horse.

Wisconsin Equine Immunity Statute

The plaintiff argued that the facility had “control” over the horse and was therefore a “provider.” The Court disagreed and found the facility not-liable stating that despite the fact that the plaintiff had relinquished control over her horse to the instructor, that the plaintiff had provided the horse for use, was the primary provider of the horse, and, therefore, was the “provider” for the purposes of the immunity statute (Wis.
Stat. § 895.481).