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TITLE 6. CIVIL PRACTICE
CHAPTER 5. ACTIONS
ARTICLE 18. EXEMPTIONS FROM LIABILITY
Code of Ala. § 6-5-337 (1994)
§ 6-5-337. Immunity of those involved in equine activities.
(a) The legislature recognizes that persons who participate
in equine activities may incur injuries as a result of the
risks involved in those activities. The legislature also
finds that the state and its citizens derive numerous economic
and personal benefits from equine activities. The legislature
finds, determines, and declares that for the immediate preservation
of the public peace, health, and safety, and to encourage
equine activities, this legislation is to limit the civil
liability of those involved in equine activities.
(b) As used in this section, the following words shall mean
the following unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(1) Engages in an equine activity. Riding, training, providing,
or assisting in providing medical treatment of, driving,
or being a passenger upon an equine, whether mounted or
unmounted, or any person assisting a participant or show
management in equine activities. The term does not include
being a spectator at an equine activity, except in cases
where the spectator places himself or herself in an unauthorized
area and in immediate proximity to the equine activity.
(2) Equine. A horse, pony, mule, donkey, or hinny.
(3) Equine activity. Any of the following:
a. Equine shows, fairs, competitions, performances, or parades
that involve any or all breeds of equines and any of the
equine disciplines, including, but not limited to: dressage,
hunter and jumper horse shows, grand prix jumping, three-day
events, combined training, rodeos, driving, pulling, cutting,
polo, steeplechasing, English and western performance riding,
endurance trail riding and western games, and hunting.
b. Equine training or teaching activities, or both.
c. Boarding equines.
d. 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.
e. Rides, trips, hunts, or other equine activities of any
type, however informal or impromptu, that are sponsored
by an equine-activity sponsor.
f. Placing or replacing horseshoes on an equine.
g. Examining or administering medical treatment to an equine
by a veterinarian.
(4) Equine activity sponsor. An individual, group, 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,
but not limited to: pony clubs, 4-H clubs, hunt clubs, riding
clubs, school and college sponsored classes, programs, and
activities, therapeutic riding programs, and operators,
instructors, and promoters of equine facilities, including,
but not limited to, stables, clubhouses, ponyride strings,
fairs, and arenas at which the activity is held.
(5) Equine professional. A person engaged for compensation
a. Instructing a participant or renting to a participant
an equine for the purpose of riding, driving, or being a
passenger upon the equine.
b. Renting equipment or tack to a participant.
c. Examining or administering medical treatment to an equine
as a veterinarian.
(6) Inherent risks of equine activities. Those dangers or
conditions which are an integral part of equine activities,
including, but not limited to:
a. The propensity of an equine to behave in ways that may
result in injury, harm, or death to persons on or around
b. The unpredictability of the reaction of an equine to
sounds, sudden movement, and unfamiliar objects, persons,
or other animals.
c. Certain hazards such as surface and subsurface conditions.
d. Collisions with other equines or objects.
e. 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 his or her ability.
(7) Participant. 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.
(c) (1) Except as provided in subdivisions (c)(2) and (c)(3),
an equine activity sponsor, an equine professional, or any
other person, which shall include a corporation or partnership,
shall not be liable for an injury to or the death of a participant
resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities and,
except as provided in subdivisions (c)(2) and (c)(3), no
participant or representative of a participant shall make
any claim against, maintain an action against, or recover
from an equine-activity sponsor, an equine professional,
or any other person for injury, loss, damage, or death of
the participant resulting from any of the inherent risks
of equine activities.
(2) Nothing in subdivision (c)(1) shall prevent or limit
the liability of an equine-activity sponsor, an equine professional,
or any other person if the equine-activity sponsor, equine
professional, or person:
a. Provided the equipment or tack, and knew or should have
known that the equipment or tack was faulty, and the equipment
or tack was faulty to the extent that it did cause the injury.
b. Provided the equine and failed to make reasonable and
prudent efforts to determine the ability of the participant
to engage safely in the equine activity and to safely manage
the particular equine based on the participant's representations
of his or her ability.
c. Owns, leases, rents, or otherwise is in lawful possession
and control of the land or facilities upon which the participant
sustained injuries because of a dangerous latent condition
which was known or should have been known to the equine-activity
sponsor, equine professional, or person and for which warning
signs have not been conspicuously posted.
d. Commits an act or omission that constitutes willful or
wanton disregard for the safety of the participant, and
that act or omission caused the injury.
e. Intentionally injures the participant.
(3) Nothing in subdivision (c)(1), shall prevent or limit
the liability of an equine activity sponsor or an equine
professional under liability provisions as set forth in
the products liability laws.
(d) (1) Every equine professional and every equine- activity
sponsor shall post and maintain signs which contain the
warning notice specified in subdivision (d)(2). Signs shall
be placed in a clearly visible location on or near stables,
corrals, or areas where the equine professional or the equine-activity
sponsor conducts equine activities. The warning notice specified
in subdivision (d)(2) shall appear on the sign in black
letters, with each letter to be a minimum of one inch in
height. Every written contract entered into by an equine
professional or 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 or the
equine-activity sponsor's business, shall contain in clearly
readable print the warning notice specified in subdivision
(2) The signs and contracts described in subdivision (d)(1)
shall contain the following warning notice:
Under Alabama law, an equine activity sponsor or 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, pursuant to the Equine
Activities Liability Protection Act.
(3) Failure to comply with the requirements concerning warning
signs and notices provided in this section shall prevent
an equine-activity sponsor or equine professional from invoking
the privileges of immunity provided by this section.
HISTORY: Acts 1993, No. 93-601, § 1-4.
EFFECTIVE DATE. --The act which added this section became
effective May 13, 1993.
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