EQUINE ACTIVITIES (HEADING: PL 1991, c. 779, §41 (new))

7 § 4101. Definitions

As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings. [1991, c. 779, §41 (new); §60 (aff).]

1. Boarding stable. “Boarding stable” means a place, building or tract of land in or on which privately owned equines are kept for their owners in return for a fee.

[1991, c. 779, §41 (new); §60 (aff).]

2. Commercial riding facility. “Commercial riding facility” means a place, building or tract of land in or on which equines are kept for the purpose of offering to the public recreational riding or instruction in riding or driving.

[1991, c. 779, §41 (new); §60 (aff).]

3. Engage in an equine activity. “Engage in an equine activity” means to ride, train, drive or be a passenger on an equine, whether mounted or unmounted. “Engage in an equine activity” does not mean to observe an equine activity or participate in an equine activity in a capacity other than riding, training, driving or riding as a passenger on an equine.

[1991, c. 779, §41 (new); §60 (aff).]

4. Equine. “Equine” means a horse, pony, mule, donkey or hinny. “Equine” does not mean a standardbred horse owned or kept for harness racing in accordance with Title 8, chapter 11.

[1991, c. 779, §41 (new); §60 (aff).]

5. Equine activity. “Equine activity” means one or more of the following:

A. Equine shows, fairs, competitions, performances or parades that involve any 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, endurance trail riding, western games and hunting; [1991, c. 779, §41 (new); §60 (aff).]

B. Equine training or teaching activities; [1991, c. 779, §41 (new); §60 (aff).]

C. Boarding equines; [1991, c. 779, §41 (new); §60 (aff).]

D. Riding, inspecting or evaluating an equine belonging to another person, 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; and [1991, c. 779, §41 (new); §60 (aff).]

E. Rides, trips, hunts or other equine activities of any type, however informal or impromptu, that are sponsored by an equine activity sponsor. [1991, c. 779, §41 (new); §60 (aff).]

“Equine activity” does not include harness racing.

[1991, c. 779, §41 (new); §60 (aff).]

6. Equine activity sponsor. “Equine activity sponsor” means an individual, group, club, partnership or corporation, whether 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; classes or programs sponsored by a school or college; therapeutic riding programs; and operators, instructors and promoters of equine facilities at which equine activities are held, including, but not limited to, stables, clubhouses, ponyride strings, fairs and arenas.

[1991, c. 779, §41 (new); §60 (aff).]

7. Equine professional. “Equine professional” means a person engaged for compensation:

A. In instructing a participant or renting to a participant an equine for the purpose of riding, driving or being a passenger on the equine; or [1991, c. 779, §41 (new); §60 (aff).]

B. In renting equipment or tack to a participant. [1991, c. 779, §41 (new); §60 (aff).]

[1991, c. 779, §41 (new); §60 (aff).]

8. Participant. “Participant” means a person, whether amateur or professional, who directly engages in an equine activity, whether or not a fee is paid to participate in the equine activity.

[1991, c. 779, §41 (new); §60 (aff).]

Section History:

1991, c. 779, § 41 (NEW). 1991, c. 779, § 60 (AFF).

7 § 4102. Boarding stables and commercial riding facilities; equine activities

1. Certification. A person who boards more than 2 equines for payment or operates a commercial riding facility with more than 2 equines may apply for certification from the department and receive a certificate upon completion of the certification process. The certificate expires December 31st annually.

[1993, c. 650, §1 (amd).]

2. Equine activity permits.

[1993, c. 650, §1 (rp).]

3. Certification; criteria. The department, in consultation with an advisory committee representing the equine industry, shall establish criteria for certification. The criteria must include promotion of the safety of a participant engaged in an equine activity. The department shall submit the criteria to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over agriculture matters at least 6 months before they become effective for review and comment. The criteria may not become effective before January 1, 1996.

[1993, c. 650, §1 (amd).]

4. Inspection. The commissioner, a state humane agent or a veterinarian employed by the State, at any reasonable time, may enter a boarding stable or commercial riding facility and make examination and conduct any recognized test for the existence of any contagious or infectious disease or condition. The department may inspect boarding stables or commercial riding facilities to determine compliance with the department’s sanitation, health and other rules.

A veterinarian employed by the State or any licensed veterinarian may quarantine a boarding stable or commercial riding facility in person or by registered mail and the quarantine is maintained as long as the department determines necessary. The decision and order for this quarantine is not considered licensing or an adjudicatory proceeding under the Maine Administrative Procedure Act.

[1991, c. 779, §41 (new); §60 (aff).]

5. Equine activity. The department shall assist the equine industry to develop a plan to organize and promote equine activity throughout the State.

[1993, c. 650, §2 (new).]

Section History:

1991, c. 779, § 41 (NEW). 1991, c. 779, § 60 (AFF). 1993, c. 650, § 1,2 (AMD).

7 § 4103. Liability for equine activities

1. Adherence to standards of care. Adherence by an equine activity sponsor or an equine professional with a valid certificate issued under section 4102 to the standards of care within the profession creates a rebuttable presumption that the conduct of the equine activity sponsor or equine professional was not negligent.

[1993, c. 650, §3 (amd).]

2. Exceptions. Nothing in this section applies to the horse racing industry or prevents or limits the liability of an equine activity sponsor or an equine professional:

A. If the equine activity sponsor or the equine professional:

(1) Provides equipment or tack to a participant and the equipment or tack causes an injury; or

(2) Provides an equine to a participant and fails to make reasonable and prudent efforts to determine the ability of the participant to engage safely in the equine activity, the ability of the equine to behave safely with the participant and the ability of the participant to safely manage the particular equine and an injury occurs; [1991, c. 779, §41 (new); §60 (aff).]

B. If the equine activity sponsor or the equine professional owns, leases, rents or otherwise is in lawful possession and control of the land or facilities upon which a participant sustains injuries because of a dangerous latent condition that was known or should have been known to the equine activity sponsor or the equine professional and for which warning signs were not conspicuously posted; [1991, c. 779, §41 (new); §60 (aff).]

C. If the equine activity sponsor or equine professional commits an act or omission that constitutes negligent disregard for the safety of the participant and that act or omission causes an injury; [1991, c. 779, §41 (new); §60 (aff).]

D. If the equine activity sponsor or the equine professional intentionally injures the participant; or [1991, c. 779, §41 (new); §60 (aff).]

E. Under liability provisions as provided in Title 14, section 221. [1991, c. 779, §41 (new); §60 (aff).]

[1991, c. 779, §41 (new); §60 (aff).]

Section History:

1991, c. 779, § 41 (NEW). 1991, c. 779, § 60 (AFF). 1993, c. 650, § 3 (AMD).

7 § 4104-A. Equine professional; contracts

1. Statement of inherent risks. A written contract entered into by an equine professional for the provision of professional services, instruction or the rental of equipment, 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, must include a statement of the inherent risks 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 the equine; [1993, c. 650, §5 (new).]

B. The unpredictability of an equine’s reaction to such things as sounds, sudden movement and unfamiliar objects, persons or other animals; [1993, c. 650, §5 (new).]

C. Certain hazards, such as surface or subsurface conditions; [1993, c. 650, §5 (new).]

D. Collisions with other equines or objects; and [1993, c. 650, §5 (new).]

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 equine or not acting within the participant’s ability. [1993, c. 650, §5 (new).]

[1993, c. 650, §5 (new).]

2. Effective date. This section takes effect January 1, 1996.

[1993, c. 650, §5 (new).]

Section History:

1993, c. 650, § 5 (NEW).