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Changes in the FEI Veterinary Regulations

This article summarizes the changes have been made to the FEI Veterinary Regulations for 2019. It's important as riders to keep informed of all the changes to the FEI rules and regulations.

The FEI Clean Sport – Athlete’s Guide

The FEI produced this Athlete's Guide to help athletes understand the key provisions of the Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations. Since legal rules can be technical and confusing for non-lawyers, this Guide explains in plain English and without any legal jargon what athletes really

Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) Tribunal

It’s official! I was elected on November 21, 2017 as the first Canadian to sit on the FEI Tribunal. The Tribunal decides on all cases related to sport rules, statutes, and general regulations. Congratulations also to Mark Samuels of Mississauga, Ontario who was unanimously elected as the

Ionophore Toxicosis in Horses

Do you know what an ionophore is? Do you know that it is poison to a horse? Monensin is an ionophore that is routinely used in poultry and cattle feed, but if a very small amount happens to contaminate your horse feed, your horse will

Misrepresentation Revisited – A Case Commentary

The decision of Sutton v. Burch and Knies, 2011 BCPC 408 (CanLII) is a case about misrepresentations that a seller and her agent made to a buyer in a horse transaction. A misrepresentation is a false statement of fact made from one party to another

FEI President Pushes Clean Sport Message

On September 1, 2015, the FEI issued the following press release from the FEI's President about the importance of the FEI Clean Sport campaign and the coming into force of the FEI's global Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Programme on January 1, 2016. FEI President Ingmar

R.I.P. Cecil

I promise to do my part to put an end to trophy hunting for good!

Progress in Equine Pain Recognition by Jackie Bellamy-Zions

In the first sentence of her article entitled, "Progress in Equine Pain Recognition", Jackie Bellamy-Zions writes: "Hiding pain is one of the top survival skills of the horse." This article discusses learning to recognize when your horse may be in pain rather than displaying bad

FEI cancels endurance events in UAE

Horse & Country posted this article called "FEI cancels endurance events in UAE" by Charlotte Ricca-Smith on February 27, 2015. It discusses the FEI's withdrawal from endurance races in the United Arab Emirates from its 2015 calendar. I am personally very pleased with the FEI's decision.

An Infograph that Every Barn Should Have: Concussion Protocol

Horse Nation published this article written by Lorraine Jackson that has a concussion protocol in an infograph, which sets out six crucial steps to help you determine whether a fallen rider may have a concussion. Ms. Jackson rightly points out that every barn should have a concussion protocol.

Where’s My Board!

What happens if a horse owner stops paying for her horse's board and cannot be found? What recourse does a stable owner have? I was recently asked this question by a stable owner who had this happen to her and was suddenly responsible for two horses that

The Animal Advocate by Kim Covert

Kim Covert writes about how animal law is moving from the fringes to the mainstream practice of law. Her article, "The Animal Advocate" discusses how animal law, which includes everything from custody disputes to veterinary malpractice to criminal cases of cruelty, is creating new challenges for

Till Death Do Us Part by Kimberly Taylor

Kimberly Taylor is a student in Equine Studies at the University of Guelph. In her Equine Journalism course, Kimberly prepared this comprehensive article about planning for our animals in the case of our untimely death or inability to care for them. As Kimberly states in her

The Tale of the Pony Sale Cover-Up

A New York mother commenced a lawsuit in May 2013 against a stable, the stable’s trainer, and a veterinarian. The mother bought a 6 year old gelding named Sport’s Talk for USD$175,000 for her daughter. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants failed to tell her

Complex Horse Transactions Lead to Lawsuit over Secret Profits

Ben Maher, London 2012 Olympic show jumping gold medalist is currently being sued by his former long-term backers, Mike and Emma Phillips. This article indicates that the Phillipses are alleging that Maher took £700,000 in secret profits from sales of their horses during their 8

What Are You Saying About Me!?!

I often receive calls from people in the horse industry wanting to know if they can bring a lawsuit against someone else for allegedly making a false statement about them. In most cases, the answer is usually no. Gossip is unfortunately rampant in the horse industry.

What About Referral Fees?

In my last article, I discussed the commission system when there are two agents – a buyer’s agent and a seller’s agent. For their time and expertise in assisting a client to buy or sell a horse, each agent receives a commission as compensation from

Agents and the Commission System

When a client hires an agent to assist in buying or selling a horse, what is that agent’s role? How does the commission system work? What are fair commission rates? Do both the buyer and seller pay commissions? Buying and selling practices, including the commission

Cruelty to Animals is the 8th Deadly Sin!

I will never understand how anyone can inflict pain and suffering or commit deliberate violence on a defenceless animal. Lately there has been several high profile dog abuse cases reported in the news, which got me thinking about and then researching cases involving horses. I

BC Provincial Sales Tax and Horses

A qualifying farmer is an owner or lessee of land classified as a farm under the Assessment Act of BC. A qualifying farmer may purchase or lease horses exempt from Provincial Sales Tax provided those horses are used for a farm purpose. Race horses or

Waivers Continued

On July 3, 2013, I wrote about the importance of legal Waivers and how a stable owner or instructor can effectively minimize their risk by using them. In this article, I’ll cover some actual court cases that illustrate when the courts have and have not

An Excerpt about Sales Agents from the “Headless Horseman”

I recently read Jim Squires’ book about the horseracing industry called, “Headless Horsemen: A Tale of Chemical Colts, Subprime Sales Agents, and the Last Kentucky Derby on Steroids”. He provides a fascinating account of performance enhancing drugs, corrupt business practices, and the general lack of

Causes of Horse Injuries in a Trailer and the Consequences

In the wrong circumstances, horses can become injured in a horse trailer. Causes of horse injuries include: Improper loading: If a horse is not properly secured in a trailer or the trailer’s weight distribution is not taken into consideration, a horse may become injured. If

Securities Law and Equine Law – There is a Connection!

An avid racetrack fan decides that she would like to own her own race horses, but the problem is she doesn’t have enough money to pay for their training and boarding as well as all of the entrance fees. As she contemplates how to fulfill

Are Waivers Really Necessary?

There seems to be a general misunderstanding in the equine industry about the importance of legal Waivers and how they can protect you from costly liability claims. In my experience, most are poorly written and not enforceable in court, so even if you have a

Misrepresentations Reviewed and the Sale of Goods Act

In my article of May 2, 2013, I talked about misrepresentations, which are untrue statements of material facts or the failure to state material facts. A material fact is something that would reasonably be expected to have an influence on the buyer’s decision to make the

Is Your Farm Worker Really an Independent Contractor?

There is a big difference between whether your stable’s farm worker is an employee or an independent contractor.  If the farm worker is an employee, the stable is considered the employer and is responsible for deducting CPP contributions, EI premiums and income tax from the

Prepurchase Examination of Horses

Before buying a horse, I highly recommend that you have a veterinarian conduct a prepurchase examination of the horse before you commit to the purchase. The purpose of a prepurchase examination is for the vet to determine if the horse has any pre-existing condition or

Nancy Southern – A True Patriot and a Proud Canadian

On May 25, 2013, the Globe and Mail published an article about Nancy Southern entitled, “A firm grip on the reins of the family firm.” Below is the link to this article. Anyone involved in the equestrian industry knows that Ms. Southern and her family own

Where’s Your Boarding Agreement?

Most stables that I’ve visited don’t enter into boarding agreements with their boarders. I’m not sure why because I think the stable should make clear what services are offered to its boarders and their horses, indicate the monthly board fee and the repercussions for non-payment

What is the Occupiers Liability Act?

The Occupiers Liability Act provides that stable owners or the lessor of the stables’ premises owe a duty to those who come onto the premises to take care of the premises as is reasonable in the circumstances to ensure that everyone will be reasonably safe

Agreements and Preventing Misrepresentations

You’ve decided that it’s time to sell your horse, but you wonder if you really have to disclose all of his flaws to a potential buyer. If a buyer doesn’t ask, do you have to tell? I believe in and recommend full disclosure, but we

Interesting Quote from the Eighty-Dollar Champion

I thought that I would take a “blog break” from writing about the law and share an interesting quote that I read in “The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse That Inspired a Nation”, a novel written by Elizabeth Letts. This novel tells the true story

Does Your Horse Trailer Require a Commercial Licence?

Horse Council of British Columbia ("HCBC") posted an announcement on its website on December 20, 2012 called "Horse Trailers & Commercial Vehicle Licensing". The HCBC announcement includes a link to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s compliance circular. In brief, horse trailers over 1,400 kg

Trailering a Friend’s Horse (Non-Commercial Scenario)

It’s finally a beautiful day in the Lower Mainland, so you ask your friend if she wants to join you for a trail ride in Campbell Valley Park. You own a 2 horse trailer, so transporting your horse and your friend’s is not a problem.

Is the Stable Liable for My Horse Injury?

In my last blog, I told you about an injury that I suffered while I was riding a school horse. The stable where I took the lesson required that I sign a “Waiver” releasing the stable and its owners from liability in the event I became

What Happens if a Horse Injures You and You Cannot Work?

We never wish this to happen, but serious horse accidents can happen in the “blink of an eye” causing injuries so serious that you cannot work for weeks and maybe even months. Unfortunately, most riders have experienced, witnessed or heard of accidents of this nature. A few

The Importance of Purchase and Sales Agreements

Hardly a week goes by when I don’t hear about a dissatisfied horse purchase. In some cases, I think the purchaser is simply feeling some buyer’s remorse, but I've also heard some “horror stories” where the seller clearly misrepresented the horse’s physical condition, behaviour or abilities to the

Seeking Professional Advice and Sales Agreements

Last month you read about Sally’s purchase of Teko, an 11-year-old Quarter Horse gelding that loved to jump. Unfortunately, Sally didn't ask the vet enough detailed questions during the pre- purchase examination, so she didn't understand the risk she was taking when she allowed more experienced riders to

Asking the Right Questions

Hardly a week goes by when I don’t hear about someone facing unforeseen issues and expenses with their beloved horse. What started out as a well-intended and heartfelt decision has led to unexpected situations and challenging decisions because they didn't make a properly informed purchase in the first

Who Can Sign a Lease Agreement?

You've decided to lease your horse to a rider who is 15 years old and you've prepared a lease agreement, but can this 15 year old sign it? The simple answer is no. A minor cannot enter into a contract and a contract signed by a minor