New waiver for equestrian activities in the SCA

Meg Baron, President of the SCA, announces a new liability waiver for equestrian activities in the SCA.

Unto the good people of the Society, greetings:

Over the last decade, the horse industry has heavily lobbied the legislatures of the various states to provide lawsuit protection to equine professionals, meaning those who rent or supply horses, tack, and other equipment, and equine activity sponsors, like the typical equestrian activities found at SCA events.

The legislatures of 44 states responded to the lobbying efforts by passing laws that offer some lawsuit protection to equine activity sponsors and equine professionals. In order to protect the SCA, the Board of Directors asked for legal research to develop waivers that would sufficiently invoke the new statutes to provide more protection for the SCA from lawsuits arising out of injuries or death in equine activities.

Thanks to the incredible work of the Legal Committee, especially Mr. Mike Watkins, a roster-style waiver has been created for each of the 44 states requiring specific language. A "generic" waiver has been created for use in the remaining six states (Alaska, California, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland), and in locations outside the United States. The equestrian marshal in charge (EMIC) should sign each roster as acknowledgement of rider authorization and waiver submission.

Note: at this time equestrian waivers are only available for adult participants. Waivers for minors will be forthcoming as soon as possible. In the meantime, please continue current procedures for minors engaged in equestrian activities.

Many states require a conspicuous sign with certain size letters and specific language in areas where equestrian activities are taking place. These signs can be easily made, and only a few need to be posted at the required areas. Once the signs are made, with the addition of a weatherproof covering, these signs can be re-used many times through the years.

The law requires that participants in equestrian activities be fully informed of the inherent risks of equine activities before they can knowingly and intelligently surrender their right to sue for an injury or death resulting from an equine activity. These forms and signage language inform the potential participant of the inherent risks of equine activities and releases the activity sponsor from liability for harm, placing the risk upon the participant for accidents and other inherent risks of equine activity.

The waivers and related sign information are available on the http://www.sca.org/ website along with all other waivers. All Kingdom Seneschals have thesewaivers in hand as well. All equestrian officers, marshals, seneschals, autocrats, and participants in equestrian activities should be aware of these legal requirements. Please begin using these waivers for adults participating in equestrian activities immediately.

If you have any questions, please direct them to the Society Seneschal or to me.

In service,

Meg Baron
President, SCA Inc.

Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:

SCA Inc.
Box 360789
Milpitas, CA 95036 You may also email comments@sca.org.