5 lessons for Australia from Kentucky

5 lessons for Australia from Kentucky

In May 2015, Daniel and Annette were fortunate enough to attend the Kentucky Equine Law Conference. Here are 5 key features the US thoroughbred industry that they noticed also applied to Australia.

  1.  The thoroughbred industry is small and personal. Whenever you deal with someone, and especially when you have a disagreement, thoroughbred industry business owners need to always remember that you’re bound to meet again. That means it usually pays to resolve things out of court. Reputation is everything.
  2.  Time is of the essence. In thoroughbred racing time really is money. And that doesn’t just go for the race itself. Keeping a horse is an expensive business and those expenses don’t stop when there’s a dispute. So a quick resolution is almost always in everyone’s interests.
  3.  Stud farms have unique real estate issues. These need to be considered by someone that understands the legal issues that go with running and maintenance of horses. For this reasons, the US has a history of established specialist racing industry law firms. We now offer the same expertise for the Australian thoroughbred industry.
  4. Absence control is always an issue. This is a global complication, not just an Australian one. It particularly applies to the retrospective drug testing of yearlings, broodmares and racehorses after they’ve sold and changed owners.
  5. The importance of limiting liability. The United States has comprehensive equine exemption laws which limit the the liability of thoroughbred industry participants to encourage business. In Australia, the Civil Liabilities Act covers some of the same ground but not all of it. Instead, limited liability clauses should be expressly included in all agistment and stallion service contracts.

We believe that understanding the commonalities between the US and Australian industries, and the challenges we both face, can give thoroughbred owners some insight into where the local thoroughbred industry is headed.

If you’d like to learn more please contact us.

Equine Law Conference Australia lessons

The 2015 Equine Law Conference was held at Keeneland racecourse to coincide with the Kentucky Derby

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