Monday, March 10, 2014

Crisco: Legislation protecting horse owners clears hurdle

HARTFORD – In response to a court ruling that could have a chilling effect on equestrians in Connecticut, the General Assembly’s Environment Committee has voted unanimously to approve legislation clarifying in law that domesticated horses are not inherently dangerous.

State Sen. Joseph J. Crisco, Jr., D-Woodbridge, has been advocating for the legislation and spoke in its favor during a public hearing on the bill last month.

“This bill is particularly important for my constituents in the Town of Bethany,” said Crisco.
“Bethany is home to many equestrians and at least four equestrian centers and riding stables. My constituents are members of local horse clubs and are passionate equine enthusiasts. I fear the chilling effect that it will have on my constituent’s passions if horses are deemed to be vicious and inclined to mischief. Horses will become immensely difficult to insure, as premiums will likely skyrocket.”

The legislation comes in response to a 2012 Appellate Court decision, currently being appealed to the Connecticut Supreme Court, deeming all horses to be wild and inherently dangerous. If upheld by the Supreme Court, the ruling could lead to an extreme increase in insurance premiums, potentially making horses uninsurable.

This would be devastating news for horse owners and enthusiasts, putting into question the insurability of Connecticut’s horses, including farm horses, privately owned horses for riding and therapeutic horses.

H.B. 5044, proposed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, would remedy this prospective problem by ensuring that civil cases involving horses are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, without the presumption that the horse is inherently vicious.

“This bill will be welcome news for my constituents,” Crisco said. “I hope the General Assembly will join the Environment Committee in adding its full support to the measure.”

This is a press release from Crisco's office.

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