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Legal/Ethical question RE: horse show facility owner

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  • Legal/Ethical question RE: horse show facility owner

    The question:

    Person A: is the owner of an equestrian facility. The facility is available to rent for a modest fee by local organizations to hold horse shows and clinics.

    Person B: is the competitor from hell. Has caused a major accident on other showgrounds in the past due to their own negligence and they have lawsuits pending against other groups, companies and individuals in the equestrian community for various things (some legitimate and some frivilous). It is well known that this person is a major PITA to deal with on many levels.

    My question is if Person B is a member in good standing of an association that is holding a show on the property of Person A, can Person A as a private land owner tell Person B that they are not welcome on the property? Has anyone ever done this? Thanks!

  • #2
    I'm not sure if the show association is following USEF rules, but I do believe that would be illegal under USEF rules. Would pull up the exact rule if I could, but I'm on my iPhone.

    Comment


    • #3
      Talk to a lawyer. I don't see why you cannot issue a ban on a person (as long as it's not related to one particular show) but I am not a lawyer. And it would be state law trumping USEF rules.
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      • #4
        It seems like a land owner should be able to tell someone they are not allowed on their land.

        Note, I am not a lawyer and do not play one on TV and I have not stayed at a hotel in ages, let alone a holiday in express.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hmmm.

          OK, legally can the owner/manager of a private property have someone trespassed from their property? My answer is going to be yes, legally they can.

          However, I cannot comment if this would get the property owner/manager in trouble with an association by violating a "rule" in the association's rule book.

          Second part, is it ethical? Well. Why wouldn't it be ethical? Perhaps this part of the question harkens back to the legalities of the association the show is held under, because I find it an odd question.
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          • #6
            From USEF...
            "GR914 Refusal of Entries
            1. In addition to entries of persons suspended or expelled from the Federation, a
            Licensed Competition may refuse any entry of an exhibitor or the participation of
            any agent, trainer, rider, driver or handler who has shown an objectionable attitude
            or behavior at a Licensed Competition or towards its management, which management
            is able to substantiate, or previous unsportsmanlike behavior at a Licensed
            Competition which management is able to substantiate."

            If the show is not USEF licensed, you may want to ask them to include something like this in the prize list, as a written statement of their own policy. That way, they're covered if they have to refuse an entry.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Mardi View Post
              From USEF...
              "GR914 Refusal of Entries
              1. In addition to entries of persons suspended or expelled from the Federation, a
              Licensed Competition may refuse any entry of an exhibitor or the participation of
              any agent, trainer, rider, driver or handler who has shown an objectionable attitude
              or behavior at a Licensed Competition or towards its management, which management
              is able to substantiate, or previous unsportsmanlike behavior at a Licensed
              Competition which management is able to substantiate."

              If the show is not USEF licensed, you may want to ask them to include something like this in the prize list, as a written statement of their own policy. That way, they're covered if they have to refuse an entry.
              But it doesn't sound like the association/management wants to exclude Person B, only the land owner from whom the association is leasing the facility.

              In other words, can the landowner not allow someone on their property that the association/management would allow to show with them.
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              • #8
                I would think that the best the landowner could do in that case is refuse to allow the association to lease their facility, or make the lease conditional on the exclusion of person B.

                But this is not legal advice; best to consult an attorney licensed to practice law in the particular jurisdiction.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by RugBug View Post
                  But it doesn't sound like the association/management wants to exclude Person B, only the land owner from whom the association is leasing the facility.
                  That could be.
                  However if Person B is so notorious, what show management would want the risk of having him/her at their event ? It's their job to create a safe environment to show.

                  Of course they're concerned about being sued if Person B is not allowed to show, but if the "right to refuse entries" is printed in the prize list as a statement of policy, it strengthens their position.

                  Just a side bar: a clinic with a BNT was being held at a high-end training barn. A boarder who had her horse in training planned to ride in the clinic. The organizers (who also rode at the barn, and were in training) wouldn't allow her to enter the clinic, and accepted riders from other barns.

                  No real reason was given for refusing her, but it was assumed that it was pay-back for the boarder having sued a popular vet over a pre-purchase exam.
                  The boarder complained to the barn owner, since the policy about clinics was that riders in residence had first priority. The barn owner deferred to the ladies organizing the clinic.
                  Last edited by Mardi; May. 21, 2013, 10:15 PM.

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                  • #10
                    I agree that the property owner should be able to ban people, especially someone who sues over everything. Maybe a sign publicly posted about "Management Has the Right to Refuse Service to Individuals" or however the legal version of this is. It would seem to me that it is very much like a grocery store banning a person, or a restaurant refusing to serve an individual. However, I bet it would put the management in the crosshairs of the banned party and their lawyer-not that I'm a lawyer, but someone who sues frequently, is probably going to keep suing frequently.
                    You can't fix stupid-Ron White

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                    • #11
                      Yes it is legal for a horse show to deny anyone access to a horse show. This wording in some shape or form is in every USEF prize list. As the property owner you would have to have it written in your contract with the association/entity that is renting the property.

                      "The management reserves the right to refuse, accept conditionally, or to cancel any entries, disqualify any riders or exhibitors, prohibit entries and cancel award
                      prizes without claims for damages; to cancel or combine unfilled classes, or to reschedule classes after due notice to exhibitors; to change rings or rotate judges.
                      Exhibitors are notified that any act of discourtesy or disobedience to the judges or officials, on the part of the owner, manager, rider, or groom shall disqualify the horse,
                      and the owner shall forfeit his entry fee and other fees.
                      Show management reserves to itself the power to prohibit any person from attending or showing a horse in the ring and to remove any groom or horse from the
                      show without being liable for compensation."
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by LTLFLDF View Post
                        Yes it is legal for a horse show to deny anyone access to a horse show. This wording in some shape or form is in every USEF prize list.
                        Again, it is NOT the show management that wishes to ban the person. It's the owner of the property leasing it out for a show. This person has nothing to do with show entries or classes, they simply own the land the event's held on. The person apparently would like to rent the facility to show management, but only if the person in question does not come on the property.
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                        • #13
                          People will protest anything and USEF will listen to anything and move it on to a hearing... in KY? I would not rent the facility to someone who is going to have idiots at their shows, or I would have the best insurance in the word and a release and held harmless from both the lessee and the obnoxious Person B

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If the show is not a rated or USEF sanctioned show you cannot use USEF to enforce their rules. Has the landowner researched their level of liability in renting out the facility for horse shows? Does the landowner require that the association have/maintain competition liability insurance? Does the landowner have competition liability insurance (my old barn was allowed to have 3 competitions without having to upgrade their stable insurance). I'm not a lawyer either but I would think that by renting the facility, the landowner is giving up certain rights - similar to a landlord not being able to tell a tenant that a particular person was not allowed on the property.

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                            • #15
                              If you ban the person won't they just sue for that?
                              As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.

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                              • #16
                                Here is an actual USEF hearing about this exact thing... It gets pretty interesting. http://gigistetler.com/USEF-Hearing.pdf

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                                • #17
                                  Hopefully the land owners name is Jesus,,,"I am Jesus, you can't sue me!"

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                                  • #18
                                    I wonder if owner could require the association to pay liability insurance or up the amount that particular association pays.....

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                                    • #19
                                      I would think that the Landowner would have (should have) written into the rental agreement that it is renting the grounds where is/as is and that it cannot be held liable for injury, etc., etc. to ANYONE who comes onto the grounds, in whatever capacity, on the day(s) of the show. And I would have an attorney look at the lease agreement to make sure that it is iron clad, and will absolve the Landowner of any liability.

                                      As far as I know, though, the Landowner's insurance will require a special "comepetition insurance". Ususally the cost is passed on to the lesse. I would not let the Lessee get their own competition insurance, because then you might have 2 insurance companies fighting over which is responsible to pay on a claim.

                                      NB: A party (Landowner) cannot disclaim liability for gross negligence or willful misconduct. But, short of doing something like turning their horses out loose in the warm up area, it is hard to prove gross negligence.
                                      "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

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                                      • #20
                                        If the property is leased or rented to an association for the day or the weekend, then to all intents and purposes, the association is the 'owner' for that time period.
                                        If Person B is a member in good standing with that association, banning them would be an invitation to a lawsuit. If it is an open show, run by an individual, you face the same dilemma. If anyone can show or attend, banning one person is asking for a discrimination suit . We all know there are a few individuals in our horsey world that love to sue. Our justice system makes it an easy option for them.

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