Does anyone in Canada know just how far a trainer's responsibility goes when accepting money for training? I'm interested in injury or death of the animal while in his/her care. thanks
No responsibility. A friend sued a trainer when her mare stuck her foot throw a pipe corral and hurt her leg. Big vet bill, horse is still lame after a few years, she sued and got nothing.
In this case trainer tied horse up, a youngster, left it unattended, colt spooked, broke it's neck. Owner paid for a month's training in advance and this was only two weeks into the month.
Assuming Canadian law is anything like US law, cases like that can be very hard to prove in court because it's not immediately obvious that the trainer did anything negligent. I've heard of people leaving horses (especially young horses) tied up for increasing lengths of time to teach them patience, so it could be argued that it's a common practice.
Did the colt have a history of not tying well? What was he tied to? Did he have a breakaway halter, or safety tie ring that failed? How much rope was he given while tied? What spooked him?
Unless you have an impartial witness who could answer all those (and more) questions, you're unlikely to get kind of settlement due to the death of the horse.
You might be able to get a refund on the half month of training that was prepaid, though, depending on how the contract was written. (I would expect a reputable trainer to have refunded that money without being asked, even if the contract said it was non-refundable considering the outcome, but that's not really relevant in court...)
I suspect you folks are right. An amenable outcome would be great.
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