This act stipulates that an equine sponsor or an equine professional is immune from liability for the death or injury of a participant, arising out of riding, training, driving, grooming or riding as a passenger upon an equine. However, there are exceptions to this rule: an equine sponsor or professional will be held liable for injuries of an equine activity participant if he or she displays a willful and wanton or intentional disregard for the safety of the participant.
For the purposes of ORS 30.687 to 30.697 :
(1) "Equine" means a horse, pony, mule, donkey or hinny.
(2) "Equine activity" means:
(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, endurance trail riding and western games and hunting;
(b) Equine training, grooming, breeding and teaching activities;
(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; and
(e) Rides, trips, hunts or other equine activities of any type however informal or impromptu that are sponsored by an equine activity sponsor.
(3) "Equine activity sponsor" means an individual, group or 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 and programs, 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 held.
(4) "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, training, driving, grooming or being a passenger upon the equine; or
(b) In renting equipment or tack to a participant.
(5) "Participant" means any 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. "Participant" does not include a spectator at an equine activity or a person who participates in the equine activity but does not ride, train, drive, groom or ride as a passenger upon an equine.
Laws 1991, c. 864, § 2; Laws 1995, c. 211, § 2.
30.689. Purpose and policy
(1) It is the purpose of ORS 30.687 to 30.697 to assist courts and juries to define the circumstances under which those persons responsible for equines may and may not be liable for damages to other persons harmed in the course of equine activities.
(2) It is the policy of the State of Oregon that no person shall be liable for damages sustained by another solely as a result of risks inherent in equine activity, insofar as those risks are, or should be, reasonably obvious, expected or necessary to the person injured.
(3) It is the policy of the State of Oregon that persons responsible for equines, or responsible for the safety of those persons engaged in equine activities, who are negligent and cause foreseeable injury to a person engaged in those activities, bear responsibility for that injury in accordance with other applicable law.
Laws 1991, c. 864, § 1.
30.691. Limitations on liability; exceptions.
(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section and in ORS 30.693, an equine activity sponsor or an equine professional shall not be liable for an injury to or the death of a participant arising out of riding, training, driving, grooming or riding as a passenger upon an equine and, except as provided in subsection (2) of this section and ORS 30.693, no participant or participant's representative may maintain an action against or recover from an equine activity sponsor or an equine professional for an injury to or the death of a participant arising out of riding, training, driving, grooming or riding as a passenger upon an equine.
(2)(a) The provisions of ORS 30.687 to 30.697 do not apply to any injury or death arising out of a race as defined in ORS 462.010.
(b) Nothing in subsection (1) of this section shall limit the liability of an equine activity sponsor or an equine professional:
(A) If the equine activity sponsor or the equine professional 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;
(B) If the equine activity sponsor or the equine professional intentionally injures the participant;
(C) Under the products liability provisions of ORS 30.900 to 30.920; or
(D) Under ORS 30.820 or 608.015.
Laws 1991, c. 864, § 3.
30.693. Additional exceptions to limitations on liability; written release.
(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, nothing in ORS 30.691 shall limit the liability of an equine activity sponsor or an equine professional if the equine activity sponsor or the equine professional:
(a) Provided the equipment or tack, failed to make reasonable and prudent inspection of the equipment or tack, and that failure was a cause of the injury to the participant;
(b) Provided the equine and failed to make reasonable and prudent efforts to determine the ability of the participant to safely ride, train, drive, groom or ride as a passenger upon an equine, to determine the ability of the equine to behave safely with the participant and to determine the ability of the participant to safely manage the particular equine; or
(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 to or should have been known to the equine activity sponsor or the equine professional and for which warning signs have not been conspicuously posted.
(2) The limitations on liability provided in ORS 30.691 shall apply to an adult participant in the circumstances listed in subsection (1)(b) of this section if the participant, prior to riding, training, driving, grooming or riding as a passenger upon an equine, knowingly executes a release stating that as a condition of participation, the participant waives the right to bring an action against the equine professional or equine activity sponsor for any injury or death arising out of riding, training, driving, grooming or riding as a passenger upon the equine. A release so executed shall be binding upon the adult participant, and no equine professional or equine activity sponsor shall be liable in the circumstances described in subsection (1)(b) of this section except as provided in ORS 30.691 (2).
Laws 1991, c. 864, § 4.
30.695. Written release; liability of veterinarian or farrier.
(1) No veterinarian or farrier shall be liable to any person who assists the veterinarian or farrier in rendering veterinarian or farrier services to an equine if the person, prior to assisting the veterinarian or farrier, executes a release stating that the person rendering assistance waives the right to bring an action against the veterinarian or farrier for any injury or death arising out of assisting in the provision of veterinarian or farrier services. A release so executed shall be enforceable regardless of lack of consideration.
(2) A release executed pursuant to this section shall not limit the liability of a veterinarian or farrier for gross negligence or intentional misconduct.
Laws 1991, c. 864, § 5.
30.697. Workers' compensation benefits.
Nothing in ORS 30.687 to 30.695 shall affect the right of any person to any workers' compensation benefits that may be payable by reason of death, injury or other loss.
Laws 1991, c. 864, § 6.