Court Dismisses Horse Injury Case

In Quintanilla v. Thomas School of Horsemanship, Inc., 129 A.D.3d 815 (2nd Dept. 2015), the appellate court affirmed the lower court’s dismissal of a personal injury action to recover damages from a horseback riding academy.

The court stated that the doctrine of “primary assumption of the risk” provides that by engaging in a sport or recreational activity, a participant consents to those commonly appreciated risks which are inherent in and arise out of the nature of the sport generally and flow from such participation. The risks of falling from a horse or a horse acting in an unintended manner are risks inherent in the sport of horseback riding.

The court found that the defendant in this case established its prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law by demonstrating that the infant plaintiff assumed the risks inherent in riding a horse, including falling when the horse acted in an unintended manner when spooked by a noise caused by another horse.

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