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Equine

Our knowledge of equine law is unbridled.

With attorneys who are avid horsemen themselves — including an attorney with an ownership stake in a Triple Crown winner — our team understands the challenges unique to the equine and gaming industry. We represent owners, trainers, trade associations and racing venues across a broad range of equine-related matters. From major equine litigation to day-to-day corporate and transactional work, we provide sound business advice that helps breed success in any horseman's operation.

Service Area Contacts

  • Paul E. Sullivan Profile Image
    Paul E. Sullivan

    Member

    Lexington, KY

  • Joel B. Turner Profile Image
    Joel B. Turner

    Member

    Louisville, KY

Core Capabilities

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, we 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.

Equine Partnerships & Limited Liability Companies

In the past two decades, we have 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. Our team has been, and continues to be, at the cutting edge when it comes to developing new forms of equine investments, from asset holding companies to syndication.

 

Negotiating & 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 the capacity to complete all required Blue Sky 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 to maximize tax benefits.

Equine Tax & Estate Planning

As with any business venture, the equine industry has its own set of state and federal tax challenges. Our team advises clients on the overall tax implications of their businesses and carefully review those tax issues to utilize the many available methods for curbing their tax exposure.

Tax Controversies & 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.

In the event a client has a problem with the IRS or state department of revenue, we are prepared to develop and implement a litigation strategy grounded in decades of experience successfully handling equine tax audits, “hobby loss” challenges, and other tax disputes for clients.

Active in a Growing Industry

Industry Activity

As active owners, breeders and trainers, we don’t just close deals and resolve disputes. We write articles and draft procedural rules for some of the industry’s best-known trade associations. We 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.

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