Florida Horse Activity Statutes
Actual Florida Equine Activity Statute
TITLE XLV TORTS
CHAPTER 773 EQUINE ACTIVITIES
As used in §§ 773.01-773.05:
(1) "Engages in an equine activity" means riding,
training, assisting in veterinary treatment of,
driving, or being a passenger upon an equine,
whether mounted or unmounted, visiting or touring or
utilizing an equine facility as part of an organized
event or activity, or any person assisting a
participant or show management. The term "engages in
an equine activity" does not include being a
spectator at an equine activity, except in cases
where a spectator places himself in an unauthorized
(2) "Equine" means a horse, pony, mule, or
(3) "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, 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
(c) Boarding, including normal daily care of an
(d) Riding, inspecting, or evaluating an equine
belonging to another by a purchaser or an agent,
whether or not the owner has received monetary
consideration or other thing of value for the use of
the equine or is permitting a prospective purchaser
to ride, inspect, or evaluate it.
(e) Rides, trips, hunts, or other equine
activities of any type, no matter how informal or
impromptu, that are sponsored by an equine activity
(f) Placing or replacing horseshoes or hoof
trimming on an equine.
(g) Providing or assisting in veterinary
(4) "Equine activity sponsor" means an
individual, group, 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 of equine
facilities, including, but not limited to, farms,
stables, clubhouses, pony ride strings, fairs, and
arenas at which the activity is held.
(5) "Equine professional" means a person engaged
(a) In instructing a participant or renting to a
participant an equine for the purpose of riding,
driving, or being a passenger upon the equine;
(b) In renting equipment or tack to a
(c) To provide daily care of horses boarded at an
equine facility; or
(d) To train an equine.
(6) "Inherent risks of equine activities" means
those dangers or conditions which are an integral
part of equine activities, including, but not
(a) The propensity of equines to behave 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, and
unfamiliar objects, persons, or other animals.
(c) Certain hazards such as surface and
(d) Collisions with other equines or objects.
(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 animal or not acting
within his or her ability.
(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.
773.02 General provisions.
Except as provided in § 773.03, an equine
activity sponsor, an equine professional, or any
other person, which shall include a corporation 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 § 773.03, no participant nor any
participant's representative shall have any claim
against or recover from any equine activity sponsor,
equine professional, or any other person for injury,
loss, damage, or death of the participant resulting
from any of the inherent risks of equine activities.
773.03 Limitation on liability for equine
(1) This section applies to the horseracing
industry as defined in chapter 550.
(2) Nothing in § 773.02 shall prevent or limit
the liability of an equine activity sponsor, an
equine professional, or any other person if the
equine activity sponsor, equine professional, or
(a) Provided the equipment or tack, and knew or
should have known that the equipment or tack was
faulty, and it was so faulty as to be totally or
partially responsible for the injury;
(b) Provided the equine and failed to make
reasonable and prudent efforts to determine the
ability of the participant to engage safely in the
equine activity, or to determine the ability of the
participant to safely manage the particular equine
based on the participant's representation of his or
(c) Owns, leases, rents, has authorized use of,
or is otherwise in lawful possession and control of
the land or facilities upon which the participant
was injured, and the injury was due totally or in
part, to a dangerous latent condition which was
known to the equine activity sponsor, equine
professional, or person and failed to post warning
(d) Commits an act or omission that a reasonably
prudent person would not have done or omitted under
the same or similar circumstances or that
constitutes willful or wanton disregard for the
safety of the participant, which act or omission was
a proximate cause of the injury; or
(e) Intentionally injures the participant.
773.04 Posting and notification.
(1) Every equine activity sponsor and equine
(a) Post and maintain one or more signs which
contain the warning notice specified in subsection
(2). These signs shall be placed in a clearly
visible location near to where the equine activity
begins. The warning notice specified in subsection
(2) shall appear on the sign in black letters, with
each letter to be a minimum of 1 inch in height,
with sufficient color contrast to be clearly
(b) Give the participant a written document which
the participant shall sign with the warning notice
specified in subsection (2) clearly printed on it.
Said written document may be used in lieu of posting
the warning on the site of the equine activity
sponsor's or equine professional's facility, and
shall be given to any participant in an equine event
not on the location of the equine activity sponsor's
or equine professional's facility.
(2) The signs and document described in
subsection (1) shall contain the following warning
Under Florida law, an equine activity sponsor or
equine professional is not liable for an injury to,
or the death of, a participant in equine activities
resulting from the inherent risks of equine
773.05 Limitation on liability of persons making
land available to public for recreational purposes.
Nothing in §§ 773.01-773.05 shall be construed to
limit in any way the limitation of liability granted
to private citizens who allow the public to use
their land for recreational purposes, as provided in
Amended in 1997, 1999, 2001.
Reviewed and updated by AAHS in December 2001.
Reviewed and updated by AAHS in May 2003.
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