Indiana Equine Activity Statute

BURNS INDIANA STATUTES ANNOTATED

Title 34 Civil Law and Procedure

Article 6 Definitions

Chapter 2 Definitions

Go to the Indiana Code Archive Directory

Burns Ind. Code Ann. § 34-6-2-40 (2013)

34-6-2-40. Equine.

“Equine”, for purposes of IC 34-31-5, means a horse, pony, mule, donkey, or hinny.

HISTORY: P.L.1-1998, § 1.

34-6-2-41. Equine activity.

(a) “Equine activity”, for purposes of IC 34-31-5, includes the following:

(1) Equine shows, fairs, competitions, performances, or parades that involve equines and any of the equine disciplines, including dressage, hunter and jumper horse shows, grand prix jumping, three (3) day events, combined training, rodeos, driving, pulling, cutting, polo, steeplechasing, English and western performance riding, endurance trail riding and western games, and hunting.

(2) Equine training or teaching activities.

(3) Boarding equines.

(4) Riding, driving, inspecting, or evaluating an equine, whether or not monetary consideration or anything of value is exchanged.

(5) Rides, trips, hunts, or other equine activities of any type (even if informal or impromptu) that are sponsored by an equine activity sponsor.

(6) Placing or replacing horseshoes on an equine.

(b) The term does not include being a spectator at an equine activity.

HISTORY: P.L.1-1998, § 1.

34-6-2-42. Equine activity sponsor.

“Equine activity sponsor”, for purposes of IC 34-31-5, means a person who sponsors, organizes, or provides facilities for an equine activity.

HISTORY: P.L.1-1998, § 1.

34-6-2-43. Equine professional.

“Equine professional”, for purposes of IC 34-31-5, means a person who, for compensation:

(1) instructs a participant on riding, driving, or being a passenger upon an equine;

(2) rents to a participant an equine for the purpose of riding, driving, or being a passenger upon the equine; or

(3) rents equipment or tack to a participant.

HISTORY: P.L.1-1998, § 1.

34-6-2-69. Inherent risks of equine activities.

“Inherent risks of equine activities”, for purposes of IC 34-31-5, means the dangers or conditions that are an integral part of equine activities, including the following:

(1) The propensity of an equine to behave in ways that may result in injury, harm, or death to persons on or around the equine.

(2) The unpredictability of an equine’s reaction to such things as sound, sudden movement, unfamiliar objects, people, or other animals.

(3) Hazards such as surface and subsurface conditions.

(4) Collisions with other equines or objects.

(5) The potential of a participant to act in a negligent manner that may contribute to injury to the participant or others, such as failing to maintain control over the animal or not acting within the participant’s ability.

HISTORY: P.L.1-1998, § 1.

NOTES:

NOTES TO DECISIONS

Go to Summary Judgment Proper. Summary Judgment Proper.

Go to Topic List Summary Judgment Proper.

In a negligence complaint brought by an equine event participant against an equine event sponsor for personal injuries suffered during a horse competition, the court properly granted summary judgment to the sponsor because the facts viewed most favorably to the participant showed that her injury, occurring when she was unexpectedly kicked by a horse that became agitated during the sponsor’s competition because another horse was standing too close and began sniffing its rear, resulted from the inherent risks of equine activities in IC 34-6-2-69. Clubs, Inc., 931 N.E.2d 933, 2010 Ind. App. LEXIS 1501 (2010).

34-6-2-95. Participant.

(a) “Participant”, for purposes of IC 34-31-5, means a person, whether an amateur or a professional, who engages in an equine activity, whether or not a fee is paid to participate in the equine activity.

(b) “Participant”, for purposes of IC 34-31-9, has the meaning set forth in 34-31-9-7.

HISTORY: P.L.1-1998, § 1; P.L.6-2012, § 219, emergency eff. February 22, 2012.

NOTES: Amendments.

The 2012 amendment added the (a) designation and added (b).

34-31-5-1. Limitation on liability—Claims prohibited.

(a) Subject to section 2 [IC 34-31-5-2] of this chapter, an equine activity sponsor or equine professional is not liable for:

(1) an injury to a participant; or

(2) the death of a participant;

resulting from an inherent risk of equine activities.

(b) Subject to section 2 of this chapter, a participant or participant’s representative may not:

(1) make a claim against;

(2) maintain an action against; or

(3) recover from;

an equine activity sponsor or equine professional for injury, loss, damage, or death of the participant resulting from an inherent risk of equine activities.

HISTORY: P.L.1-1998, § 27.

NOTES:

NOTES TO DECISIONS

Go to Appellate Review. Appellate Review.Go to Summary Judgment Proper. Summary Judgment Proper.

Go to Topic List Appellate Review.

In a case in which a rider sued an equestrian center and its owner after the rider was injured while mounting her horse, because the trial court properly granted summary judgment for defendants based upon the fact the rider had waived any claim against defendants by signing a waiver agreement, the propriety of the trial court’s decision concerning defendants’ immunity under the equine activities statute, IC 34-31-5-1, was not addressed on appeal. Anderson v. Four Seasons Equestrian Ctr., Inc., 852 N.E.2d 576, 2006 Ind. App. LEXIS 1588 (2006).

Go to Topic List Summary Judgment Proper.

In a negligence complaint brought by an equine event participant against an equine event sponsor for personal injuries suffered during a horse competition, the court properly granted summary judgment to the sponsor under IC 34-31-5-5 because the undisputed evidence was that the sponsor, on the day of the incident, maintained “Equine Activity warning signs” on all entrances to the horse barn, the signs were clearly visible, and the participant acknowledged seeing the signs on the horse barn. Clubs, Inc., 931 N.E.2d 933, 2010 Ind. App. LEXIS 1501 (2010).

34-31-5-2. Limitations on applicability of chapter.

(a) This section does not apply to the horse racing industry.

(b) Section 1 [IC 34-31-5-1] of this chapter does not prevent or limit the liability of an equine activity sponsor or an equine professional:

(1) who:

(A) provided equipment or tack that was faulty and that caused the injury; and

(B) knew or should have known that the equipment or tack was faulty;

(2) who provided the equine and failed to make reasonable and prudent efforts based on the participant’s representations of the participant’s ability to:

(A) determine the ability of the participant to engage safely in the equine activity; and

(B) determine the ability of the participant to safely manage the particular equine;

(3) who:

(A) was in lawful possession and control of the land or facilities on which the participant sustained injuries; and

(B) knew or should have known of the dangerous latent condition that caused the injuries;

if warning signs concerning the dangerous latent condition were not conspicuously posted on the land or in the facilities;

(4) who committed an act or omission that:

(A) constitutes reckless disregard for the safety of the participant; and

(B) caused the injury; or

(5) who intentionally injured the participant.

(c) Section 1 of this chapter does not prevent or limit the liability of an equine activity sponsor or an equine professional under the product liability laws.

HISTORY: P.L.1-1998, § 27.

34-31-5-3. Warning notices required.

(a) This chapter does not apply unless an equine activity sponsor or an equine professional posts and maintains in at least one (1) location on the grounds or in the building that is the site of an equine activity a sign on which is printed the warning notice set forth in section 5 [IC 34-31-5-5] of this chapter.

(b) A sign referred to in subsection (a) must be placed in a clearly visible location in proximity to the equine activity.

(c) The warning notice on a sign referred to in subsection (a) must be printed in black letters, and each letter must be at least one (1) inch in height.

HISTORY: P.L.1-1998, § 27.

NOTES:

NOTES TO DECISIONS

Go to Warning in Compliance. Warning in Compliance.

Go to Topic List Warning in Compliance.

In a negligence complaint brought by an equine event participant against an equine event sponsor for personal injuries suffered during a horse competition, the court properly granted summary judgment to the sponsor under IC 34-31-5-5 because the undisputed evidence was that the sponsor, on the day of the incident, maintained “Equine Activity warning signs” on all entrances to the horse barn, the signs were clearly visible, and the participant acknowledged seeing the signs on the horse barn. Clubs, Inc., 931 N.E.2d 933, 2010 Ind. App. LEXIS 1501 (2010).

34-31-5-4. Written contracts.

(a) If there is a written contract, this chapter does not apply unless the written contract entered into by an equine professional for:

(1) the providing of professional services;

(2) the providing of instruction; or

(3) the rental of:

(A) equipment or tack; or

(B) an equine;

to a participant contains in clearly readable print the warning notice set forth in section 5 [IC 34-31-5-5] of this chapter.

(b) The warning notice required by subsection (a) must be included in a written contract described in subsection (a) whether or not the contract involves equine activities on or off the location or site of the equine professional’s business.

HISTORY: P.L.1-1998, § 27.

34-31-5-5. Contents of warning notice.

The warning notice that must be printed on a sign under section 3 [IC 34-31-5-3] of this chapter and included in a written contract under section 4 [IC 34-31-5-4] of this chapter is as follows:

WARNING

Under Indiana law, an equine professional is not liable for an injury to, or the death of, a participant in equine activities resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities.

HISTORY: P.L.1-1998, § 27.

NOTES:

NOTES TO DECISIONS

Go to Warning in Compliance. Warning in Compliance.

Go to Topic List Warning in Compliance.

In a negligence complaint brought by an equine event participant against an equine event sponsor for personal injuries suffered during a horse competition, the court properly granted summary judgment to the sponsor under IC 34-31-5-5 because the undisputed evidence was that the sponsor, on the day of the incident, maintained “Equine Activity warning signs” on all entrances to the horse barn, the signs were clearly visible, and the participant acknowledged seeing the signs on the horse barn. Clubs, Inc., 931 N.E.2d 933, 2010 Ind. App. LEXIS 1501 (2010).

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