As a result of legislative efforts by the Virginia Horse Council the current Virginia Equine Liability Law was passed to protect equine activity sponsors. Virginia was one of the first states in the U. S. to pass an equine liability law of this kind. During the fall of 2017 it was brought to the Council’s attention a situation that warranted making a change to the current law. It has become common practice for equine professionals and other adults to transport minors to horse shows without parents being in attendance. Once at the show the equine professionals or adults were executing the show’s liability waivers on behalf of the minors. This led to the situation which constituted an invalid waiver under the law since only a parent or legal guardian could execute such a waiver. To correct this situation the Virginia Horse Council participated in the drafting of HB 1479 during the past legislative session. The bill passed the legislature and the governor has signed the bill into law. The current amendment rectifies the situation in that an equine professional or a designated adult can have the parent or legal guardian grant him/her the authority in writing to execute a waiver on behalf of the parent or legal guardian for the minor. Equine professionals or designated adults should ensure that they have written authorization that grants them permission from the parent or legal guardian to sign the show/activity waiver in the absence of the parent or legal guardian of the minor.  To view the new law in it’s entirety, please CLICK HERE.

If you have questions about this change in the law please e-mail or contact the council.


The Virginia Horse Council is your voice for the expanding equine industry in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Council is a not-for-profit organization formed by horsemen for Virginia horsemen. The membership and Board of Directors represent all breeds. The purpose of the Virginia Horse Council is to promote and improve the horse industry in Virginia.

Our mission is to serve as the umbrella organization of the Virginia equine community and to monitor legislative issues affecting horsemen and horses in the Commonwealth.  The vision of the Virginia Horse Council (VHC) is to be recognized as a leader in providing broad representation to all facets of the equine industry before the Virginia General Assembly and Congress.  The VHC collaborates with other areas of the agricultural community and helps facilitate communications between members of the equine industry and state and federal agencies.  The VHC aspires to keeps Virginia horsemen informed of regulations and pending legislation they may impact them, and to provide educational opportunities that further enhance the industry.

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Please consider Joining The Virginia Horse Council!

Join now and get membership benefits for 2018!  After we receive your membership application, you will receive a Welcome Packet which will include:

*Membership Card*
*VHC Scholarship information*
*Info on exciting Member Benefits*
*In-Excess policy (if purchased)*

Business Members are also eligible to have their business listed on our Business Members page!  If you purchase a business membership and wish to have your business listed, please send your business name, address, contact info, website link, and logo to Laura

If you would like to have your Business added to the Business Members Links on our Home Page (see below) for an additional fee or listed on our newsletter, please go to This Page and choose an option!


Recently there have been reports of alleged “horse tripping” in the Charlottesville area and northern parts of Virginia during specific equine events.  This activity is illegal in the state of Virginia and has consequences.  If you know of or have information regarding an instance of “tripping,”  please contact the local authorities immediately and make sure they are aware this is against the law and needs to be investigated.


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