Legal Questions and Answers for the Horse Community

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Rachel Kosmal McCart
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Can Children Handle Stallions?

Q: What are the California laws governing children handling stallions? Does it make a difference whether it's at a show?

A: There are no California laws specifically governing the handling of stallions, by children or otherwise. However, if you allow a child to handle your stallion and it results in injury or property damage, you could very well be held liable.

Most breed and discipline associations have specific rules governing the exhibition of stallions, and the rules differ from organization to organization. For example, Appaloosa Horse Club Rule 801(D) provides that "No stallions, regardless of age, will be permitted in any youth class," but Rule 607(L) provides that "Stallions may be shown by anyone in all classes in other divisions [other than youth]." The American Quarter Horse Association Rule 406(d) provides that "Stallions may not be exhibited in novice amateur, youth or novice youth classes." The United States Equestrian Federation rules for Arabian and Half-Arabian competition AR 112(12) provides that "Stallions may be shown in Ladies' or Junior Exhibitors' classes unless prohibited in the prize list (Exception: Stallions are prohibited in Walk-Trot/Jog classes)." If you are planning to have a stallion shown by a youth exhibitor, be sure to check the rules of the discipline or breed association approving the show as well as the rules listed in the premium for the show.

About the Author: Rachel Kosmal McCart, the founder of Equine Legal Solutions, is a lifelong horsewoman and experienced lawyer. Equine Legal Solutions, the Legal Counsel with Horse Sense TM , offers a full range of legal services for the horse community, including dispute resolution, customized contracts and risk management assessment.
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