Equine Law

The equine and racing industry continues to grow not only in public popularity but also as an asset to local economies. Frost Brown Todd's Equine Law Group offers diverse legal experience and skill sets to meet the challenges facing the industry. With practitioners who are true horsemen themselves, we understand the range of industry issues. From major equine litigation to the day-to-day corporate and transactional work in the equine industry, we can offer sound business advice and counsel that helps breed success in any horseman's operation.

Equine Litigation

Like any other industry, the equine business is no stranger to litigation. We offer substantial trial and resolution experience in cases involving fraud, third party liability, contracts, negligence and veterinary malpractice. Whether a major national case or a smaller, less complex case involving local day-to-day activities, our lawyers look at each case with the same intensity and zeal for client success.

State Racing Commission Administrative Hearings

We defend major clients at state stewards' hearings as well as before state racing commissions throughout the United States and Canada. These hearings can cover issues from drug/medication charges to eligibility and licensing issues to riding infractions. Over the years, our lawyers have established strong relationships with expert witnesses in the field of pharmacological properties of substances used in treating horses. Likewise, they confer with experts in the areas of chemical analysis of blood and urine samples, laboratory procedures and chain of custody. Those relationships are critical to obtaining accurate and appropriate data to use in a client's defense. We also monitor the progress of the quality assurance program of the Association of Racing Commissioners International and The Racetrack Medication Testing Consortium and maintain a substantial library of information to assist with administrative matters related to the regulation of the use of medication in horse activities. Likewise, we represent various trade associations, owners and trainers. We closely monitor legislation affecting medication requirements and actively monitor developments in new medication policy.

Equine Partnerships/Limited Liability Companies

In the past two decades, the Equine Law Group has molded numerous partnerships and limited liability companies for racing, breeding, and investing in the thoroughbred business. Clients receive advice on how to arrange such partnerships and limited liability companies to enhance profitability and to ensure the smooth operation and management of their investments. There are numerous opportunities for pre-planning and developing new forms of equine investments from asset holding companies to syndication, and our lawyers have been on the cutting edge of each one.

Negotiating and Drafting Equine Contracts

When an investor decides to buy or lease a horse or horses, knowledge of equine contracts and the ability to tailor contracts to individual circumstances are essential. Regardless of the type of transaction, from lease agreements to purchases to indemnification or service contracts, we take great care to address individual needs before negotiating and drafting equine contracts.

Securities/Private Placements/Public Offerings

Working in tandem with our securities lawyers, we are able to oversee the drafting of all private placements memoranda, public offering circulars and other documents related to securities offerings in the industry. Over the years, our equine and securities lawyers have participated in offerings of up to $50 million in limited liability company and limited partnership interests as well as smaller, but no less important, securities offerings. With capacity to complete all required Blue Sky filings and SEC filings, we advise clients with equine interests on structuring their transactions to ensure qualification for exemptions and/or registration of private or public offerings of securities.

Corporate Advice for Equine Operations

We regularly advise clients on the appropriate organizational structure for their equine operations. We work in tandem with tax lawyers to counsel clients in the equine industry and utilize numerous innovative methods to structure transactions that maximize tax benefits.

Equine Tax Planning/Litigation

As with any business venture, the equine industry has its own set of Federal and State tax challenges. Our Equine Law Group advises clients on the overall tax implications of their businesses and, along with our tax lawyers, carefully review those tax issues to utilize the many available methods of structuring transactions to minimize tax consequences. In the event a client has a problem with the IRS or the Revenue Cabinet, we are prepared to develop and implement a litigation strategy. Over the years, we have successfully handled numerous equine tax audits, "hobby loss" challenges and other tax disputes for clients.

Estate Planning

In analyzing tour clients' equine businesses, we often consider estate-planning issues by reviewing the entire estate plan to determine the appropriate structure for a transaction or to make a choice of entity decision for a client's business. Our equine lawyers, along with our Personal Planning/Family Business team, are highly skilled in dealing with estate planning tools from the simple will to the most complex trust.

Frost Brown Todd Horsemen: Active in a Growing Industry

As active owners, breeders and trainers, many of our lawyers have written articles and drafted racing statutes and rules for various states around the country. They are active in drafting substantive and procedural rules for many national equine trade associations and sales companies including, but not limited to, the NSHA, AHSA, KTA, USPA, HBPA and Fasig-Tipton. They also make presentations and teach for the many trade associations and universities in North America.  They have participated in matters related to or represented all of the following:

  • American Association of Equine Practitioners
  • United States Equestrian Association
  • American Veterinary Medicine Association
  • The Association of Racing Commissioners International
  • Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association
  • The Jockey Club
  • Kentucky Thoroughbred Association
  • Kentucky Veterinary Medicine Association
  • National Steeplechase and Hunt Association
  • Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association
  • National Thoroughbred Racing Association
  • University of Louisville Equine Industry Program (Stewards Accreditation Program); Adjunct Faculty, School of Business
  • Oak Tree Association Stewards Accreditation Program (at Santa Anita)
  • University of Kentucky National Conference on Equine Law
  • Saratoga Institute on Racing & Wagering Law
  • Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders New and Prospective Owners Seminars
  • University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program (Annual Racing Symposium)
  • Our equine lawyers are active participants in forming and advising numerous equine business activities and trade organizations:
  • United States Equestrian Federation (Drugs and Medications Committee)
  • Greyhound Benevolent and Protective Association
  • Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (National and State Divisions)
  • Kentucky Racing Health and Welfare Fund
  • Kentucky Thoroughbred Association
  • Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners Club
  • National Steeplechase and Hunt Association
  • Thoroughbred Addiction Council of Kentucky
  • American Horse Council
  • Leadership in the American College of Equine Law