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Buy Rodeo Liability Insurance so you don’t get the buck

The most notable rodeo in Canada is of course the Calgary Stampede. No matter the size of your Ontario rodeo, whether it’s a professional competition or just an informal competition for local ranch hands, there’s a risk of bodily injury, property damage and of being sued.

What you’ll discover in this report:

  • How a rodeo differs from other horse events
  • The level of risk of exposure
  • Common claims that people make against rodeos
  • How you can plan ahead
  • The coverage offered by a Commercial General Liability Policy

How is a rodeo different than other events involving horses?

Like other horse shows and events, if you sponsor, hold and manage rodeos you’re exposed to risk, and that means you need insurance. Like other events, a rodeo is short-term, they generally don’t last longer than 10 days. As far as insurance is concerned, the activities that define a rodeo: include contests, games, competitions or exhibitions where participants:

  • Handle animals
  • Demonstrate controlling skills
  • Try to ride, rope, wrestle or contain an untrained animal
  • Try to ride, rope, wrestle or contain an animal trained to perform
  • Race animals or other participants
  • Chase animals

Generally rodeos include trick riding, clown shows, drills, wagon races and an opening and closing flag ceremony. Often there will be other activities to keep the children entertained like pony rides and petting zoos, and for the “big children” there are barbeques, beer gardens and dances.

A rodeo also requires special facilities to not only handle all the people, but the individual activities, as well as large livestock pens and holding areas, unloading areas and a series of chutes and gates.

What’s the risk of exposure?

Because some of the activities at a rodeo involve large untrained animals, your risk is slightly higher. Talk to your broker at Henry Equestrian Insurance Brokers Ltd. to see if bodily injury to participants is covered in the Rodeo Liability policy.

Other exposures include:

  • Service Vendors
  • Souvenir Sales
  • Food services
  • Availability of alcohol
  • Transportation to and from parking lots
  • Contractors including those responsible for temporary stall and pen and livestock
  • Presence of emergency services
  • Advertising

What are the most common claim incidents?

At any event with the general public there are always potential risks. When you add large animals to the mix, your risk increases. Here are some common liability claims:

  • While on the grounds of the show, a spectator trips and gets hurt.
  • While watching the event, a flying object hits a spectator and causes an injury, or the stands give way causing spectators to fall.
  • Before handlers can contain a rodeo animal that got loose in a public area it hurts several people.
  • The handler loses control of the horse and a passing car on a roadway hits it.
  • People contract food poisoning from food at the event.

How can I plan ahead?

We know that you care about the horses and the people that come to your farm. There are steps to take to make sure that an accident never happens in the first place.

1. Enforce barn rules.
Look around and develop rules for your environment for both horses and people. Also write procedures. Then train every staff member to make sure they understand your rules and procedures. 

2. Plan for emergencies.
Emergencies happen, but the better prepared you are, the better chance you have of providing the proper care to all the horses. If you’re prepared you can minimize the severity of any accident.

3. Develop semi-annual inspections of your property.
By inspecting your premises for potential hazards, you can take care of them before an incident occurs.

4. Prepare a written waiver and review Ontario’s Occupiers’ Liability Act.
Anyone who participates in any horse activities on your premises needs to complete and sign the waiver. Make sure that you keep the signed forms on file and safely stored. The Occupiers’ Liability Act states that the stable owner/operator owes a duty of care to the people who enter their premises. This assures that any property they bring on your premises with them is also reasonably safe. You are free to restrict, modify or exclude this duty of care through your written waiver.

5. Follow Ontario’s Horse Riding Safety Act.
This legislation states that it’s mandatory that anyone under the age of 18 years of age must wear a helmet that meets ASTM, BSI or European Safety Standards and hard-soled footwear with a heel of no less than 1.5 cm.

6. Purchase an Equine Liability Insurance Policy.
Protect you and your business with an insurance company that knows horses and your business. You want to make sure that any legal feels are covered, claim costs and settlements to ensure that in the case of an accident, your business doesn’t suffer a financial loss.

What’s included in the Commercial General Liability Policy?

The policy gives you maximum limits or amounts of liability insurance for:

  • Medical expenses:  You can be sure a claimant’s low cost medical expenses are covered without a lot of questions about liability or responsibility. 
  • Legal defense costs: You can save your business the financial burden of court costs if you’re sued, whether the case has merit or not.
  • Claims or settlement costs: Without this policy you could be held responsible for bodily injury and property damage claims. 

There’s so much to plan when you’re responsible for a rodeo. Make sure you have one less thing to worry about by purchasing Rodeo Liability. 
Contact Henry Equestrian Insurance Brokers Ltd. Today so that we can make sure that you and your team are protected. Click on the Free Quote request button and we’ll get started on your quote right away.