On Demand

Equine Law Contracts: Get it in Writing


Created on October 02, 2017




Many equine industry activities, ranging from offering trail rides to entering into co-ownership agreements, are notoriously done on a "handshake" deal. Verbal agreements in the equine industry, however, may create unnecessary liability exposure, detrimentally affect the relationship between parties, render contract terms virtually unenforceable between parties, and ultimately result in many other foreseeable and unforeseeable negative consequences.

Written agreements in equine activities and transactions are legally enforceable if properly drafted and executed. There are liability protections afforded under various states' Equine Activity Liability Acts to encourage the availability of equine activities. Many of these Equine Acts explicitly enforce written liability releases signed by participants, and most state contract laws enforce these waivers if properly drafted. Certain activities have additional liability exposures not covered by most Equine Acts, but may also be released in an enforceable liability release agreement. Syndicates and other forms of horse partnership agreements reduced to writing are also enforceable if properly drafted under applicable contract law.

Yvonne C. Ocrant, a Chicago based equine transaction and litigation attorney, discusses these liability protections, demonstrates how properly drafted contracts improve equine industry business relationships, explains how a written contract in specific equine activity transactions improves the enforceability of the intended agreement terms, and emphasizes how properly executed contracts are legally enforceable and worth more than the paper they are written on!

Learning Objectives:

  1. Recognize various types of Equine industry contracts
  2. Address the Equine Activity Liability Act, including what protections it does and does not provide
  3. Demonstrate how written contracts can provide liability protection where the Equine Activity Liability Act does not
  4. Identify the manner in which the drafting process improves the relationship between the parties
  5. Discuss examples of additional terms in various equine industry written agreement and how they minimize the risk of contract disputes and further the enforceability of the agreement itself

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