This statute represents Vermont's equine activity liability law. Under the Act, no person shall be liable for an injury to, or the death of, a participant resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities, insofar as those risks are necessary to the equine activity and obvious to the person injured. An equine activity sponsor may (it does not say "shall") post and maintain signs which contain the warning notice specified in this subsection.
(a) As used in this section:
(1) "Equine" means a horse, pony, mule or donkey.
(2) "Equine activity" includes but is not limited to:
(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, riding, driving, pulling, cutting, polo, steeplechasing, English and western performance riding, endurance trail riding, gymkhana games and hunting;
(B) Equine training or teaching activities, or both;
(C) Rides, trips, or hunts.
(3) "Equine activity sponsor" means an individual, group, club, organized camp, 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, stable and farm owners and operators, instructors and promoters or equine facilities, including but not limited to farms, stables, clubhouses, pony ride strings, fairs and arenas at which the activity is held.
(4) "Participant" means any person, whether amateur or professional, who engages in an equine activity, whether or not a fee or other consideration is paid to participate in the equine activity.
(b) No person shall be liable for an injury to, or the death of, a participant resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities, insofar as those risks are necessary to the equine activity and obvious to the person injured.
(1) An equine activity sponsor may post and maintain signs which contain the warning notice specified in this subsection. Such signs shall be placed in a clearly visible location in the proximity of the equine activity. The warning notice shall appear on the sign in black letters, with each letter to be a minimum of one inch in height.
(2) Every written contract entered into 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 business, may contain in clearly readable print the warning notice.
(3) The signs and contracts described in this subsection shall contain the following warning notice:
Under Vermont Law, an equine activity sponsor is not liable for an injury to, or the death of, a participant in equine activities resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities that are obvious and necessary, pursuant to 12 V.S.A. § 1039.
-- Added 1995, No. 136 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.