Equine Law

Spinella Owings and Shaia is pleased to announce the recent addition of its Equine Law practice area.

The equine industry is booming in Virginia as it continues to grow in leaps and bounds. As of the 2006 USDA Census, our Commonwealth is home to 215,000 horses, ponies and mules, worth a total of $1.65 billion. There are approximately 41,000 equine business operations in Virginia. In 2006 total sales for horses was over $107 million, placing equine transactions as the 6th largest commodity in Virginia, based on cash receipts.

Despite this strong economic effect, the equine industry in our state has only a handful of Virginia attorneys specializing and focusing on Equine Law. Spinella Owings and Shaia is excited to be able to offer these services to horse owners, equine-related businesses, professional riders and trainers, horse associations, horse show organizers, and breeders in the greater Richmond region and all other areas of Virginia.

Megan Holt has been involved with horses for over twenty years. With her experience in showing, eventing, galloping race horses, and fox hunting along with training sales horses and being employed as a working student for two upper level riders, Ms. Holt has knowledge of the breadth of Virginia's horse industry.

Ms. Holt understands the issues and complexities that can arise in relation to and are unique to equine matters. Areas in which an equine lawyer can help include:

  • Purchase, sale, and lease agreements
  • Sale commission agreements
  • Syndication agreements
  • Stallion service agreements
  • Breeding agreements
  • Training agreements
  • Boarding agreements
  • Equine Activity Liability waivers and releases
  • Exposure to liability assessments
  • Business entity formation
  • Management and business planning of equine businesses
  • Employment contracts
  • Contractor contracts
  • Zoning and land use matters
  • Tax matters, including hobby-loss
  • Insurance matters
  • Litigation-including personal injury and veterinary malpractice
  • Administrative hearing matters

Ms. Holt's equine expertise, coupled with her legal knowledge and the immense, combined experience of the firm's other attorneys will put any equine client in good stead. The equine industry is notorious for completing deals "on a hand-shake." Legal advice is not often sought by equine industry participants, as it is considered too costly, complex, and time consuming. However, there is much truth to the adage "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

Contact us today to schedule a consultation at our Richmond office. Extended and weekend hours are available. On-site appointments may be available upon request. Now offering a FREE initial 30 minute phone consultation.