Talk to Sophie Murgatroyd or contact us at one of our offices if you have any questions about equine law. Equine Law services for individuals are also provided by Sophie.
Equine related businesses operate in a niche area and therefore require specialist legal knowledge to ensure that you are protected and prepared for any eventuality. We offer support for your business with both claims made as well as offering advice on how to protect your business from claims whilst riders and horses are on your property or in your care.
Also, if you are looking to start a new livery stable, riding school or another horse-related business we can help to guide you through this process with our experience in a range of services including:
When buying or selling horses disputes can arise easily and can result in costly or time-consuming resolutions.It is important that the contractual terms are clear and correct to avoid misrepresentation which could result in claims for damages or rescission of the contract.
There may be complex legal arguments on these issues which mean that the advice of a specialist solicitor at an early stage in the dispute is necessary. Our expert team can assist you both with drafting agreements and advising you through settling a dispute over misinterpretation or breach of contract.
Whether you are a livery business, a riding school or a horse sanctuary, you should have written agreements and policies in place for dealing with customers, employees and suppliers to make obligations clear and try to avoid disputes. We can advise on appropriate documentation and assist in drafting as required.
If a professional fails to perform their duties with the required skill and care, failing to act in a way that other reasonably skilled professionals would do, resulting in harm or damage to the horse you may be entitled to claim compensation to cover actual losses suffered through either breach of contract or professional negligence.
By way of example, this could include mistreatment, a failure to shoe appropriately or use of outdated techniques. Compensation could for example cover the market value of the horse if it were to die or could cover a loss of profit if you could not raise the usual income from the horse for example through racing.
Businesses can be held liable for any damage caused by their horse or a horse in their livery. This could occur for example through a riding school allowing their horses to wander on to the highway causing traffic accidents or allowing dangerous animals in a field where there is a public right of way without warning.
There may also be liability under the Animals Act 1971 where owners can be liable even if they have taken all reasonable precautions. Advice may be needed to help minimise risks or advice on rights and liabilities if something has gone wrong.
Horses are often grazed on land belonging to others, however many of these arrangements are organised casually and without the input of legal advice.
It can often be more appropriate to consider a more formal arrangement, in which case an agreement needs to be drawn. A clear written agreement setting out both parties’ intentions and expectations, such as rights of way, can help to avoid disputes or resolve disputes quicker if they arise.
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