If this isn't overturned, horse owners won't be able to get insurance and children will have to be kept away from them in CT.
Court Concludes Horses Are Innately Vicious; Farmers Appeal
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) After a horse named Scuppy bit a boy in the face, a Connecticut court came to a conclusion that threw animal lovers: Horses are a naturally vicious species.
Horse owners and farmers are mobilizing as the state Supreme Court hears an appeal in the case Tuesday. Such a classification the nation's first, if it stands would make owning horses uninsurable and jeopardize the state's sizable horse industry, farmers and horse owners say.
"You could not pair children and horses, the core equestrian business nationwide that it's all about,'' said Doug Dubitsky, a lawyer who represents farmers and horse businesses.
When the boy tried to pet the horse at Glendale Farms in Milford in 2006, according to court papers, the animal stuck his neck out from behind a fence and bit the child on his right cheek, "removing a large chunk of it.''
In February 2012, the mid-level Appellate Court overturned a lower court ruling and said that testimony by Timothy Astriab, whose family owns the farm, demonstrated that Scuppy belongs to "a species naturally inclined to do mischief or be vicious.''
Although he had no knowledge of Scuppy biting anyone before, Astriab testified that Scuppy was no different than other horses that would bite if a finger was put in front of him. "Significantly, Astriab acknowledged his concern that if someone made contact with Scuppy, whether to pet or feed him, they could get bit,'' the justices said.
The injury suffered by the boy was foreseeable and the owners of the farm had a duty to use reasonable care to restrain the animal to prevent injury, the Appellate Court ruled.
Astriab did not return a call on Monday seeking comment.
If allowed to stand, Connecticut would be the first state to consider horses as inherently dangerous, said Dubitsky.
Horse farmers and equine enthusiasts, who cite 2005 statistics saying that the horse industry contributes about $221 million a year to the state's economy in boarding, training, lessons and breeding businesses, are asking the state Supreme Court to overturn the Appellate Court's decision. The Connecticut Farm Bureau and Connecticut Horse Council filed a friend of the court brief saying that under common law viciousness generally is judged individually according to age, breed and gender, not as an entire species.
Fred Mastele, acting president of the state's horse council, said it is encouraging horse owners to attend the hearing Tuesday and support the Astriab family.
"In our opinion, horses are not vicious animals,'' he said. "They are certainly not attack animals.''
Astriab had won at a lower court in 2010, when a New Haven judge sided with the horse's owner and ruled that the child's father, Anthony Vendrella Sr., failed to prove the owner knew of previous incidents of aggression by Scuppy.
The Superior Court judge said Astriab testified that neither he nor anyone else had ever seen Scuppy bite a person before and that in 28 years, none of the horses at the farm bit or injured anyone.
"Cats have a tendency to scratch and horses have a tendency to bite, but the plaintiffs have failed to show, as they must, that the defendants were on notice that Scuppy specifically, and not horses generally, had a tendency to bite people or other horses,'' Judge Robin Wilson ruled.
If you work for a living, why kill yourself working? Tuco
LMAO... Now THERE'S a judge who's never seen, heard or rode a horse in his life..no doubt never got his his sorry azz no further than the local grocery store where he might have seen some pic of a horse on some rag magazine at the checkout..
Stick a hot poker to my ass and that's the least you can expect!
When I was six my dad had a a tour in Korea. Mom and I lived with my grandparents in northern Wisconsin for a year. Uncle Frank had a team of Belgians for hauling pulp but mostly local competition. Grampa took care of them, he had a great affinity for horses.
He taught me about horses, how to approach them, how to read them and essentially how to communicate with them. After he saw that I had learned the lessons this little six year old was allowed to approach great big Belgiums. Jerry was particularly friendly. Nary a problem or a threat of one. (Though Momma about crapped every time but Grampa mediated.)
As always, it's properly conditioned animals and people understanding them. Now cows, they're crazy!
Its like my neighbor she foster cares dogs and right now she as one that is itching to take a piece out of me, I told her that if it should occur and there is blood, its going to be bad for me, getting a rabies treatment, bad for the dog because I will shoot him, and worst for you when I file a 10 million dollar suit against you. I was real polite about it, I have ever right to take a walk when I want, my taxes pays for the road too. As for this judge, what a fool, all that was needed was to pay for the medical and leave it at that, or shoot the horse. He didn't have the stones for either. How the hell to the function when a horse will have more common sense!
"Any idiot can face a crisis,it's the day-to-day living that wears you out."
My grandfather used to say, "A horse is 1000 pounds of stupid, with mean at both ends". Pretty much my experience as well, not all that bright and ALWAYS looking for a chance to hurt you. The secret is to not give them that chance and always be aware of the possibility.
I hate change, it's never for the better.... Grumpy Old Men The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know