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.