Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 3.2. Agriculture, Animal Care, and Food
Chapter 62. Equine Activity Liability

§ 3.2-6200. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Engages in an equine activity" means: (i) any person, whether mounted or unmounted, who rides, handles, trains, drives, assists in providing medical or therapeutic treatment of, or is a passenger upon an equine; (ii) any person who participates in an equine activity but does not necessarily ride, handle, train, drive, or ride as a passenger upon an equine; (iii) any person visiting, touring or utilizing an equine facility as part of an event or activity; or (iv) any person who assists a participant or equine activity sponsor or management in an equine activity. The term "engages in an equine activity" does not include being a spectator at an equine activity, except in cases where the spectator places himself in an unauthorized area and in immediate proximity to an equine or equine activity.

"Equine" means a horse, pony, mule, donkey, or hinny.

"Equine activity" means: (i) equine shows, fairs, competitions, performances, or parades that involve any or all breeds of equines and any of the equine disciplines, including dressage, hunter and jumper horse shows, grand prix jumping, three-day events, combined training, rodeos, driving, pulling, cutting, polo, steeple chasing, endurance trail riding and western games, and hunting; (ii) equine training or teaching activities; (iii) boarding equines; (iv) 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; (v) rides, trips, hunts, or other equine activities of any type however informal or impromptu that are sponsored by an equine activity sponsor; (vi) conducting general hoofcare, including placing or replacing horseshoes or hoof trimming of an equine; and (vii) providing or assisting in breeding or therapeutic veterinary treatment.

"Equine activity sponsor" means any person or his agent who, for profit or not for profit, sponsors, organizes, or provides the facilities for an equine activity, including 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 stables, clubhouses, ponyride strings, fairs, and arenas where the activity is held.

"Equine professional" means a person or his agent engaged for compensation in: (i) instructing a participant or renting to a participant an equine for the purpose of riding, driving, or being a passenger upon an equine; or (ii) renting equipment or tack to a participant.

"Intrinsic dangers of equine activities" means those dangers or conditions that are an integral part of equine activities, including: (i) the propensity of equines to behave in ways that may result in injury, harm, or death to persons on or around them; (ii) the unpredictability of an equine's reaction to such things as sounds, sudden movement, and unfamiliar objects, persons, or other animals; (iii) certain hazards such as surface and subsurface conditions; (iv) collisions with other animals or objects; and (v) the potential of a participant acting in a negligent manner that may contribute to injury to the participant or others, such as failing to maintain control over the equine or not acting within the participant's ability.

"Participant" means any person, whether amateur or professional, who engages in an equine activity, whether or not a fee is paid to participate in the equine activity.

1991, c. 358, § 3.1-796.130; 2003, c. 876; 2008, c. 860.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.