CHAPTER 99E EQUINE ACTIVITY LIABILITY.
SECTION 99E - 1. DEFINITIONS.
As used in this chapter, the term:
(1) ‘engage in an equine activity’ means participate in an
equine activity, assist a participate in an equine activity, or assist an equine
activity sponsor or equine professional. The term ‘engage in an equine
activity’ does not include being a spectator at an equine activity, except in
cases in which the spectator places himself in an unauthorized area and in
immediate proximity to the equine activity.
(2) ‘equine’ means a horse, pony, mule, donkey, or hinny.
(3) ‘equine activity’ means any activity involving an
(4) ‘equine activity sponsor’ means an individual, group,
club, partnership, or corporation, whether the sponsor is operating for profit
or nonprofit, which sponsors, organizes, or provides the facilities for an
equine activity. The term includes operators and promoters of equine facilities.
(5) ‘equine professional’ means a person engaged for
compensation in any one or more of the following:
A. Instructing a participant.
B. Renting an equine to a participant for the purpose of
riding, driving, or being a passenger upon the equine.
C. Renting equipment or track to a participant.
D. Examining or administrating medical treatment to an equine.
E. Hooftrimming or placing or replacing horseshoes on an
(6) ‘inherent risks of equine activities’ means those
dangers or conditions that are an integral part of engaging in an equine
activity, including any of the following:
A. The possibility of an equine behaving in ways that may
result in injury, harm, or death to persons on or around them.
B. The unpredictability of an equine’s reaction to such
things as sounds, sudden movement, unfamiliar objects, persons, or other
Inherent risks of equine activities does not include a
collision or accident involving a motor vehicle.
(7) ‘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.
SECTION 99E - 2. LIABILITY.
(a) except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, an
equine activity sponsor, an equine professional, or any other person engaged in
an equine activity, including a proportion 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 subsection (b) of this section,
no participant or participants representative shall maintain an action against
or recover from an equine activity sponsor, an equine professional, or any other
person engaged in an equine activity for injury, loss, damage, or death of the
participant resulting exclusively from any of the inherent risks of equine
(b) nothing in subsection (a) of this section shall prevent ot
limit the liability of an equine activity sponsor, an equine activity if the
equine activity sponsor, equine professional, or person engaged in an equine
activity does any one or more of the following:
(1) provides the equipment or track, and knew or should have
known that the equipment that the equipment or track was faulty, and such faulty
equipment or track proximately caused the injury, damage, or death.
(2) provides the equine and failed to make responsible and
prudent efforts to determine the ability of the participant to engage safely in
the equine activity or to safely manage the particular equine .
(3) commits an act or omission that constitutes willful or
wanton disregard for the safety of the participant, and that act or omission
proximately caused the injury, damage, or death.
(4) commits ant other act of negligence or omission that
proximately caused the injury, damage, or death.
(c) nothing in subsection (a) of this section shall prevent or
limit the liability of an equine activity sponsor, an equine professional, or
any other person engaged in an equine activity under liability provisions as set
forth in the products liability laws.
SECTION 99E - 3. WARNING REQUIRED.
(a) every equine professional and every equine activity
sponsor shall post an maintain signs which contain the warning notice specified
in subsection (b) of this section. The signs required by this section shall be
placed in clearly visible location on or near stables, corrals, or arenas where
the equine professionals or the equine sponsor conducts equine activities. The
warning notice specified in subsection (b) of this section shall be designed by
the department of agriculture and customer service and shall consist of a sign
in black letters, which each letter to be a minimum od one inch 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 track or an equine to a participant, whether or not the contract
involves equine activities on or off the location or site of the equine
professionals or the equine activities sponsor’s business, shall contain in
clearly readable print the warning notice specified in subsection (b) of this
(b) the signs and contracts described in subsection (a) of
this section shall contain the following warning notice:
|Under North Carolina law, an equine activity sponsor or
equine professional is not liable for an injury or to the death of a
participant in equine activities resulting exclusively from the inherent
risks of equine activities. Chapter 99e of the North Carolina General
(c) failure to comply with the requirements concerning warning
signs and notices provided in this chapter shall prevent an equine activity
sponsor or equine professional from invoking the privileges of immunity provided
by this chapter.