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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.

NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.

Title 12 : Court Procedure

Chapter 027 : Pleading and Practice

Subchapter 002 : Pleadings Generally

(Cite as: 12 V.S.A. § 1039)
  • § 1039. Equine activities; acceptance of inherent risks

    (a) As used in this section:

    (1) “Equine” means a horse, pony, mule, or donkey.

    (2) “Equine activity” includes:

    (A) 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, riding, driving, pulling, cutting, polo, steeplechasing, English and western performance riding, endurance trail riding, gymkhana games, and hunting;

    (B) Equine training or teaching activities, or both;

    (C) Rides, trips, or hunts.

    (3) “Equine activity sponsor” means an individual, group, club, organized camp, club, partnership, or corporation, whether or not the sponsor is operating for profit or nonprofit, which 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, programs, and activities; therapeutic riding programs; stable and farm owners and operators, instructors, and promoters; or equine facilities, including farms, stables, clubhouses, pony ride strings, fairs, and arenas at which the activity is held.

    (4) “Participant” means any person, whether amateur or professional, who engages in an equine activity, whether or not a fee or other consideration is paid to participate in the equine activity.

    (b) No person shall be liable for an injury to, or the death of, a participant resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities, insofar as those risks are necessary to the equine activity and obvious to the person injured.

    (c)(1) An equine activity sponsor may post and maintain signs which contain the warning notice specified in this subsection. Such signs shall be placed in a clearly visible location in the proximity of the equine activity. The warning notice shall appear on the sign in black letters, with each letter to be a minimum of one inch in height.

    (2) Every written contract entered into by an equine activity sponsor for the providing of professional services, instruction, or the rental of equipment or tack or an equine to a participant, whether or not the contract involves equine activities on or off the location or site of the equine professional’s business, may contain in clearly readable print the warning notice.

    (3) The signs and contracts described in this subsection shall contain the following warning notice:


    Under Vermont Law, an equine activity sponsor is not liable for an injury to, or the death of, a participant in equine activities resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities that are obvious and necessary, pursuant to 12 V.S.A. § 1039. (Added 1995, No. 136 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)