South Carolina General Assembly
110th Session, 1993-1994

Bill 599

                    Current Status
Introducing Body:               Senate
Bill Number:                    599
Ratification Number:            273
Act Number:                     182
Primary Sponsor:                Holland
Type of Legislation:            GB
Subject:                        Equine liability immunity
Companion Bill Number:          3867
Date Bill Passed both Bodies:   19930614
Computer Document Number:       NO5/7075BD.93
Governor's Action:              S
Date of Governor's Action:      19930621
Introduced Date:                19930325
Date of Last Amendment:         19930603
Last History Body:              ------
Last History Date:              19930621
Last History Type:              Act No. 182
Scope of Legislation:           Statewide
All Sponsors:                   Holland
Type of Legislation:            General Bill


 Bill  Body    Date          Action Description              CMN  Leg Involved
 ----  ------  ------------  ------------------------------  ---  ------------
599    ------  19930621      Act No. 182
599    ------  19930621      Signed by Governor
599    ------  19930615      Ratified R 273
599    Senate  19930614      Concurred in House amendment,
                             enrolled for ratification
599    Senate  19930603      The Senate receded from its
599    House   19930603      Non-concurrence in Senate
599    Senate  19930603      House amendments amended,
                             returned to House
599    House   19930603      Read third time, returned to
                             Senate with amendment
599    House   19930602      Amended, read second time
599    House   19930601      Debate adjourned until
                             Wednesday, June 2, 1993
599    House   19930526      Recalled from Committee         25
599    House   19930414      Introduced, read first time,    25
                             referred to Committee
599    Senate  19930413      Read third time, sent to House
599    Senate  19930408      Read second time, notice of
                             general amendments
599    Senate  19930407      Committee Report: Favorable     11
599    Senate  19930325      Introduced, read first time,    11
                             referred to Committee
View additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.

(Text matches printed bills. Document has been reformatted to meet World Wide Web specifications.)

(A182, R273, S599)


Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

Equine liability immunity

SECTION 1. Chapter 9, Title 47 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Article 7

Equine Liability Immunity

Section 47-9-710. As used in this chapter:

(1) `Engages in an equine activity' means riding, training, providing, or assisting in providing medical treatment of, driving, or being a passenger upon an equine, mounted or unmounted, or a person assisting a participant or show management. It does not include being a spectator at an equine activity, except in cases where the spectator places himself in an unauthorized area and in immediate proximity to the equine activity.

(2) `Equine' means a horse, pony, mule, donkey, or hinny.

(3) `Equine activity' means:

(a) an equine show, fair, competition, performance, or parade that involves a breed of equine and an equine discipline, including, but not limited to, dressage, hunter and jumper horse shows, grand prix jumping, three-day events, combined training, rodeos, driving, pulling, cutting, polo, steeplechasing, English and western performance riding, endurance trail riding and western games, and hunting;

(b) equine training or teaching activities, or both;

(c) boarding equines;

(d) riding, inspecting, or evaluating an equine belonging to another, whether the owner has received monetary consideration or another thing of value for the use of the equine or is permitting a prospective purchaser of the equine to ride, inspect, or evaluate the equine;

(e) a ride, trip, hunt, or other equine activity, however informal or impromptu, that is sponsored by an equine activity sponsor;

(f) placing or replacing a horseshoe on an equine;

(g) examining or administering medical treatment to an equine by a veterinarian.

(4) `Equine activity sponsor' means an individual, a group, a club, a partnership, or a corporation, whether the sponsor is operating for profit or nonprofit, which sponsors, organizes, or provides the facilities for an equine activity, including, but not limited to, a pony club, 4-H club, hunt club, riding club, school and college-sponsored class, program, and activity, therapeutic riding program, and an operator, instructor, and promoter of an equine facility, including, but not limited to, a stable, clubhouse, ponyride string, fair, and an arena at which the activity is held.

(5) `Equine professional' means a person engaged for compensation in:

(a) instructing a participant or renting to a participant an equine for the purpose of riding, driving, or being a passenger upon the equine;

(b) renting equipment or tack to a participant; or

(c) examining or administering medical treatment to an equine as a veterinarian.

(6) `Inherent risk of equine activity' means those dangers or conditions which are an integral part of equine activities, including, but not limited to:

(a) the propensity of an equine to behave in ways that may result in injury, harm, or death to a person on or around the equine;

(b) the unpredictability of an equine's reaction to sound, sudden movement, an unfamiliar object, a person, or another animal;

(c) certain hazards such as surface and subsurface conditions;

(d) collisions with other equines or objects; and

(e) the potential of a participant to act in a negligent manner that may contribute to injury to the participant or others, as failing to maintain control over the animal or not acting within the participant's ability.

(7) `Participant' means a person, amateur or professional, who engages in an equine activity, whether or not a fee is paid to participate in the equine activity.

Section 47-9-720. (A) Except as provided in subsection (B), an equine activity sponsor or an equine professional is not liable for an injury to or the death of a participant resulting from an inherent risk of equine activity, and no participant or participant's representative may make a claim against, maintain an action against, or recover from an equine activity sponsor, or an equine professional, for injury, loss, damage, or death of the participant resulting from an inherent risk of equine activity.

(B) Nothing in subsection (A) prevents or limits the liability of an equine activity sponsor, or an equine professional, if the equine activity sponsor, or equine professional:

(1) (a) provided the equipment or tack and knew or should have known that the equipment or tack was faulty, and the equipment or tack was faulty to the extent that it caused the injury; or

(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 and to manage safely the particular equine based on the participant's representations of his ability;

(2) owns, leases, rents, or otherwise is in lawful possession and control of the land or facilities upon which the participant sustained injuries because of a dangerous latent condition which was known or should have been known to the equine activity sponsor, equine professional, or person and for which warning signs have not been conspicuously posted;

(3) committed an act or omission that constitutes wilful or wanton disregard for the safety of the participant and that act or omission caused the injury; or

(4) intentionally injured the participant.

(C) Nothing in subsection (A) prevents or limits the liability of an equine activity sponsor or an equine professional under liability provisions as set forth in the products liability laws.

(D) The provisions of this article shall not cover or apply to any liability arising from the ownership, maintenance, or use of any motor vehicle.

Section 47-9-730. (A) An equine professional and an equine activity sponsor shall post and maintain signs which contain the warning notice specified in subsection (B). These signs must be placed in a clearly visible location on or near stables, corrals, or arenas where the equine professional or the equine activity sponsor conducts equine activities. The warning notice specified in subsection (B) must appear on the sign in black letters with each letter a minimum of one inch in height. A written contract entered into by an equine professional or by an equine activity sponsor to provide professional services, instruction, or rental of equipment, tack, or an equine to a participant, whether or not the contract involves equine activities on or off the location or site of the business of the equine professional or the equine activity sponsor, must contain in clearly readable print the warning notice specified in subsection (B). (B) A sign and contract described in subsection (A) must contain the following warning notice:


Under South Carolina law, an equine activity sponsor or equine professional is not liable for an injury to or the death of a participant in an equine activity resulting from an inherent risk of equine activity, pursuant to Article 7, Chapter 9 of Title 47, Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976.

(C) Failure to comply with the requirements concerning warning signs and notices provided in this section prevents an equine activity sponsor or equine professional from invoking the privileges of immunity provided by this article."

Time effective

SECTION 2. This act takes effect July 1, 1993, and applies only to causes of action arising on or after this act's effective date.

Approved the 21st day of June, 1993.