Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue Volunteer Release
Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue, INC Volunteer, Visitor and Adopter Waiver
WAIVER, RELEASE, INDEMNIFICATION & HOLD HARMLESS AGREEMENT WARNING Under the West Virginia Equine Activity Liability Act, W. Va. Code, § 20-4-1 to 7
This Waiver and Release Agreement (this “Agreement”) is dated below and is made, between Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue, INC (collectively, “HOP”) and (“Participant”):
Address Line 2
State / Province / Region
Postal / Zip Code
Antigua and Barbuda
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
Bosnia and Herzegovina
United Arab Emirates
Papua New Guinea
Central African Republic
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Republic of the Congo
Sao Tome and Principe
United Republic of Tanzania
Country / Region
1. Nature of the Activity. Participant understands that various equine activities may take place at HOP, including, but not limited to: a. Riding, jumping, showing, competitions, fairs, trade shows and trail riding; b. Teaching, instructing, and evaluations of both the rider and the equine; c. Routine care and feeding of the equine, including veterinary and farrier care; d. Traveling, loading and unloading equines; e. Horse and pony rides; f. Activities involved in riding instruction, both on the ground and while riding; and g. Volunteers performing various duties at HOP; h. Involving rescued horses of unknown background.
2. Nature of Risk. Participant understands the intrinsic dangers of equine activities, including but not limited to: a. The tendency of an equine to behave in ways that may result in injury, death, or loss of persons on or around the equine. b. The unpredictability of an equine’s reaction to sounds, sudden movements, unfamiliar objects, persons, or other animals. c. The hazards in the terrain, including, but not limited to, surface or subsurface conditions. d. The possibility of a collision with another equine or an object. e. The potential negligence of a Participant that includes, but is not limited to, failing to maintain control over an equine, failing to act within the Participant’s ability, and failing to comply with instructions. f. The inability to know the past of any of the horses within the rescue given the nature in which they come into this organization. Participant acknowledges and fully understands that he/she will be engaging in activities that involve risk of serious injury, including disability and death, as well as severe economic and social losses which may result not only from the Participant’s actions but also the actions of the equines or third parties, the condition of the premises and any of the equipment being used. Further, the Participant acknowledges that there may be risks not known to the Participant or not reasonably foreseeable at the time of signing this Agreement.
3. Participant Responsibility. Participant understands that upon mounting a horse and taking up the reins, the Participant is in primary control of the equine. The Participant’s safety largely depends upon his/her ability to carry out simple instructions, to represent his/her skill level accurately and his/her ability to remain balanced aboard the moving animal and aware of his/her surroundings at all times. The Participant agrees to be responsible for his/her own safety, the safety of his/her minor children, as well as the safety of an unborn child if the Participant is pregnant. HOP advises pregnant women not to ride equines.
4. Conditions of Nature and Inspection of Premises. Participant understands that HOP is not responsible for total or partial acts, occurrences or elements of nature that can scare an equine, cause it to fall or react in some other unsafe way. Some examples of such acts, occurrences, or elements are: thunder, lightning, rain, wind, wild and domestic animals, insects, reptiles and irregular footing on out-of-door groomed or wild land which is subject to constant change in condition according to weather, temperature and natural and manmade changes in landscape.
5. Equipment. Participant understands that saddle girths may loosen during a ride. If the Participant notices this loosening, he/she must alert an HOP employee as quickly as possible so action can be taken to avoid a potential fall from the equine. Participant further understands that wearing protective headgear while mounting, riding, dismounting and otherwise being near an equine may prevent or reduce the severity of some head injuries and may prevent death related to head injuries.
6. Release and Waiver of Liability. With full understanding of the risks and responsibilities above, in consideration for being allowed to ride horses at HOP, the Participant, for himself/herself or for any minor child for whom the Participant is a legal guardian or otherwise responsible, and for the Participant’s or such minor child’s heirs, personal representatives, and assigns, agrees to waive, release, and hold harmless HOP, its administrators, directors, officers, and volunteers, as well as any other individual who may be participating in activities at HOP against any and all claims, lawsuits, damages, costs, losses or expenses arising out of or relating to any injury or damage to property or person. This waiver and release includes all property and personal damage that is caused or alleged to be caused, in whole or in part, by the negligence of HOP, its volunteers, agents and independent contractors, whether they are veterinary personnel, farriers, equine care providers or maintenance personnel. If any third party makes a claim against HOP or any of its administrators, directors, officers, and employees or any other individual who may be participating in activities at HOP, the Participant agrees to indemnify and
hold such parties harmless from any such claim arising out of the Participant’s participation in activities at HOP, including costs and attorney’s fees. Except as provided in W. Va. Code, § 20-4-1 to 7 , as amended and recodified from time to time, limiting the liability of equine activity sponsors and professionals, no Participant or parent or guardian of a Participant who has knowingly executed this waiver and release may maintain an action against or recover from HOP for an injury to or the death of a Participant engaged in an equine activity. This waiver shall give notice to the Participant of the natural damage of equine activities. This waiver shall remain valid unless expressly revoked in writing by the Participant or parent or guardian of a minor, and at such time, the participant or/and parent or guardian of a minor will no long be allowed to take part of activities at or through HOP.
7. Acknowledgment of Understanding. Participant agrees that Participant has been given sufficient time to read, understand, and ask questions, if any, concerning the nature and scope of this Agreement.
Type Full Name Below:
Acknowledgment of the WV CODE OF EQUINE ACTIVITIES AND RISK
§ 20-4-1. Legislative purpose
The Legislature finds that equestrian activities are engaged in by a large number of citizens of West Virginia and that such activities also attract to West Virginia a large number of nonresidents, significantly contributing to the economy of West Virginia. Since it is recognized that there are inherent risks in equestrian activities which should be understood by participants therein and which are essentially impossible for the operators of equestrian businesses to eliminate, it is the purpose of this article to define those areas of responsibility and those affirmative acts for which the operators of equestrian businesses shall be liable for loss, damage or injury suffered by participants, and to further define those risks which the participants expressly assume and for which there can be no recovery.
Acts 1990, c. 145.
§ 20-4-2. Definitions
In this article, unless a different meaning plainly is required:
(1) "Equestrian activity" means any sporting event or other activity involving a horse or horses, including, but not limited to:
(A) Shows, fairs, competitions, performances or parades;
(B) Any of the equine disciplines such as dressage, hunter and jumper shows, grand prix jumping, three day events, combined training, rodeos, driving, western games and hunting;
(C) Rides, trips or hunts;
(D) Riding classes, therapeutic riding programs, school and college sponsored classes and programs, or other classes in horsemanship;
(E) The boarding or keeping of horses; and
(F) Providing equipment or tack.
(2) "Horseman" or "operator of a horseman's business" means any individual, sole proprietorship, partnership, association, public or private corporation, the United States or any federal agency, this state or any political subdivision of this state, and any other legal entity which engages, with or without compensation, in organizing, promoting, presenting or providing equestrian activities or in providing facilities for equestrian activities.
(3) "Horse" means each animal of the horse kind, in every class or breed of horses, and, without limitation or exception, all members of the genus Equus and family Equidae.
(4) "Participant" means any person using the services or facilities of a horseman so as to be directly involved in an equestrian activity.
Acts 1990, c. 145.
§ 20-4-3. Duties of horsemen
Every horseman shall:
(1) Make reasonable and prudent efforts to determine the ability of a participant to safely engage in the equestrian activity, to determine the ability of the horse to behave safely with the participant, and to determine the ability of the participant to safely manage, care for and control the particular horse involved;
(2) Make known to any participant any dangerous traits or characteristics or any physical impairments or conditions related to a particular horse which is involved in the equestrian activity of which the horseman knows or through the exercise of due diligence could know;
(3) Make known to any participant any dangerous condition as to land or facilities under the lawful possession and control of the horseman of which the horseman knows or through the exercise of due diligence could know, by advising the participant in writing or by conspicuously posting warning signs upon the premises;
(4) In providing equipment or tack to a participant, make reasonable and prudent efforts to inspect such equipment or tack to assure that it is in proper working condition and safe for use in the equestrian activity;
(5) Prepare and present to each participant or prospective participant, for his or her inspection and signature, a statement which clearly and concisely explains the liability limitations, restrictions and responsibilities set forth in this article.
Acts 1990, c. 145.
§ 20-4-4. Duties of participants
It is recognized that equestrian activities are hazardous to participants, regardless of all feasible safety measures which can be taken.
Each participant in an equestrian activity expressly assumes the risk of and legal responsibility for any injury, loss or damage to person or property which results from participation in an equestrian activity. Each participant shall have the sole individual responsibility for knowing the range of his or her own ability to manage, care for, and control a particular horse or perform a particular equestrian activity, and it shall be the duty of each participant to act within the limits of the participant's own ability, to maintain reasonable control of the particular horse or horses at all times while participating in an equestrian activity, to heed all posted warnings, to perform equestrian activities only in an area or in facilities designated by the horseman and to refrain from acting in a manner which may cause or contribute to the injury of anyone. If while actually riding in an equestrian event, any participant collides with any object or
person, except an obviously intoxicated person of whom the horseman is aware, or if the participant falls from the horse or from a horse-drawn conveyance, the responsibility for such collision or fall shall be solely that of the participant or participants involved and not that of the horseman.
A participant involved in an accident shall not depart from the area or facility where the equestrian activity took place without leaving personal identification, including name and address, or without notifying the proper authorities, or without obtaining assistance when that person knows or reasonably should know that any other person involved in the accident is in need of medical or other assistance.
Acts 1990, c. 145.
§ 20-4-5. Liability of horsemen
(a) A horseman shall be liable for injury, loss or damage caused by failure to follow the duties set forth in section three of this article where the violation of duty is causally related to the injury, loss or damage suffered. A horseman shall not be liable for any injury, loss or damage caused by the negligence of any person who is not an agent or employee of such horseman.
(b) A horseman shall be liable for acts or omissions which constitute gross negligence or willful and wanton conduct which is the proximate cause of injury to a participant.
(c) A horseman shall be liable for an intentional injury which he or she inflicts upon a participant.
(d) Every horseman shall carry public liability insurance in limits of no less than one hundred thousand dollars per person, three hundred thousand dollars per occurrence and ten thousand dollars for property damage.
Acts 1990, c. 145.
§ 20-4-6. Liability of participants
Any participant shall be liable for injury, loss or damage resulting from violations of the duties set forth in section four of this article.
Acts 1990, c. 145.
PARTICIPANT acknowledges she/he has read and understands § 20-4-1-6
Type Name Confirming you have read the WV CODE 20-4-1