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Illinois Compiled Statutes
Equine Activity Liability Act
745 ILCS 47/
(745 ILCS 47/)
(745 ILCS 47/1) Sec. 1. Short title. This Act may be cited
as the Equine Activity Liability Act. (Source: P.A. 89-111,
(745 ILCS 47/5) Sec. 5. Purposes.
The General Assembly recognizes that persons who participate
in equine activities may incur injuries as a result of the
risks involved in those activities. The General Assembly
also finds that the State and its citizens derive numerous
economic and personal benefits from equine activities. Therefore,
it is the intent of the General Assembly to encourage equine
activities by delineating the responsibilities of those
involved in equine activities. (Source: P.A. 89-111, eff.
7-7-95.) (745 ILCS 47/10) Sec. 10.
Definitions. As used in this Act:
(a) "Engages in an equine activity" means riding,
training, assisting in medical treatment of, driving, or
being a passenger upon an equine, whether mounted or unmounted,
or assisting a participant. 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 the equine activity.
(b) "Equine" means a horse, pony, mule, donkey,
(c) "Equine activity" means:
(1) 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,
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 activities, teaching activities, or
(3) Boarding equines.
(4) 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.
(5) Rides, trips, hunts, or other equine activities of any
type however informal or impromptu that are sponsored by
an equine activity sponsor.
(6) Placing or replacing horseshoes on an equine.
(d) "Equine activity sponsor" means an individual,
group, club, partnership, or corporation, whether or not
the sponsor is operating for profit or nonprofit, that 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, pony
ride strings, fairs, and arenas at which the activity is
(e) "Equine professional" means a person engaged
for compensation (i) in instructing a participant or renting
to a participant an equine for the purpose of riding, driving,
or being a passenger upon the equine, or (ii) in renting
equipment or tack to a participant.
(f) "Risks of engaging in equine activities" means
those dangers of conditions that are an integral part of
equine activities, including, but not limited to:
(1) The propensity of an equine to behave in ways that may
result in injury, harm, or death to persons on or around
(2) The unpredictability of an equine's reaction to sounds,
sudden movement, and unfamiliar objects, persons, other
animals, or other things.
(3) Certain 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 his or her ability. (g) "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. (Source: P.A. 89-111, eff. 7-7-95.)
(745 ILCS 47/15) Sec. 15. Participant's responsibility.
It is recognized that equine activities are hazardous to
participants, regardless of all feasible safety measures
that can be taken. Each participant who engages in an equine
activity expressly assumes the risk of and legal responsibility
for injury, loss, or damage to the participant or the participant's
property that results from participating in an equine activity,
except in specific situations as set forth in Section 20,
when the equine activity sponsor or equine professional
may be held responsible. Each participant shall have sole
individual responsibility for knowing the range of his or
her own ability to manage, care for, and control a particular
horse or perform a particular equine activity, and it shall
be the duty of each participant to act within the limits
of the participant's own ability, to maintain reasonable
control of the particular horse or horses at all times while
participating in an equine activity, to heed all posted
warnings, to perform equine activities only in an area or
in facilities designated by the horseman, and to refrain
from acting in a manner that may cause or contribute to
the injury of anyone. Each participant, or parent or guardian
of a minor participant, may execute a release assuming responsibility
for the risks of engaging in equine activities. The release
shall give notice to the participant, or parent or guardian,
of the risks of engaging in equine activities, including
(i) the propensity of an equine to behave in dangerous ways
that may result in injury to the participant, (ii) the inability
to predict an equine's reaction to sound, movements, objects,
persons, or animals, and (iii) the hazards of surface or
subsurface conditions. A release shall remain valid until
expressly revoked by the participant or, if a minor, the
parent or guardian. (Source: P.A. 89-111, eff. 7-7-95.)
(745 ILCS 47/20) Sec. 20. Exceptions. (a) This Act shall
not apply to the horse racing industry as regulated in the
Illinois Horse Racing Act of 1975. (b) Except as provided
in Section 15, nothing in this Act 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: (1) 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 caused the injury. (2) 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 determine the ability of the participant to
manage safely the particular equine based on the participant's
representations of his or her ability. (3) 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 that was
known to the equine activity sponsor, equine professional,
or person and for which warning signs were not conspicuously
posted. (4) 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. (5) Intentionally
injures the participant. (c) Nothing in this Act shall prevent
or limit the liability of an equine activity sponsor or
an equine professional: (1) Under liability provisions as
set forth in the products liability laws. (2) Under liability
provisions in the Fence Act. (Source: P.A. 89-111, eff.
(745 ILCS 47/25) Sec. 25. Warning. (a) Every equine professional
shall post and maintain signs that contain the warning notice
specified in subsection (b) of this Section. Signs shall
be placed in a clearly visible location on or near stables,
corrals, or arenas where the equine professional conducts
equine activities if the stables, corrals, or arenas are
owned, managed, or controlled by the equine professional.
The warning notice specified in subsection (b) 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 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, shall contain in
clearly readable print the warning notice specified in subsection
(b). (b) The signs and contracts described in subsection
(a) shall contain the following warning notice:
"WARNING Under the Equine Activity Liability Act, each
participant who engages in an equine activity expressly
assumes the risks of engaging in and legal responsibility
for injury, loss, or damage to person or property resulting
from the risk of equine activities." (Source: P.A.
89-111, eff. 7-7-95.) (745 ILCS 47/905) Sec. 905. (Amendatory
provisions; text omitted). (Source: P.A. 89-111, eff. 7-7-95.)
(745 ILCS 47/999) Sec. 999. Effective date. This Act takes
effect upon becoming law. (Source: P.A. 89-111, eff. 7-7-95.)
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