Personal passion for horses
Karen Thompson-Harry has a passion for horses and practices equine law. She believes
the horse world is a very small world, full of interconnections. It is also very
emotional, as we have strong attachments to our equine friends, and sometimes the parties
lose their perspective. Karen believes the collaborative model or the mediation model can
successfully settle equine disputes. The lawyers assist the parties to identify their
respective interests and goals, to acknowledge and listen to the interests and goals of
the other side, and to be prepared to compromise.
Karen owns two dressage horses, one of which she competes on (Whisper Champion) and the other (Corrigan) she sponsors Tom Dvorak riding and competing on. Karen is a member of the "Officials Committee" of Dressage Canada.
Karens equine practice has included multifaceted types of cases. They range from
as simple as preparing a Bill of Sale, or Offers to Purchase, Purchase and Sale
Agreements, to litigation over a "purchase or sale gone wrong".
Anyone who has ever owned a horse can appreciate the numerous issues that come along
with horse ownership. There are relationships with veterinarians, coaches, boarders,
property owners, insurers etc. Equine law may involve "contracts"
(boarding/leasing/breeding/purchase and sale etc.), liabilities (negligence, nuisance,
personal injuries), insurance questions, or employment law.
For example, should you have insurance? What is the purpose of the insurance policy? It
is basically a contract between yourself and the insurance company. It could involve
liability insurance (if someone gets injured on your property while riding a horse, or if
a horse gets loose and causes an accident, for example) or equine mortality insurance
(life insurance for your horse!)
What is negligence? What is the standard of care? Someone can be negligent without ever
intending to be. Intention is not the key factor. The conduct must fall below the legal
standard that has been established to protect others. That is sufficient to qualify as
It makes sense to have a lawyer as part of your "team" when issues arise, but
it helps to involve your lawyer early on, even before issues arise. As a result of
Karens experience as a horse owner, boarder, competitor, and property owner, ensure
she is able to offer a level of expertise many other civil litigators cannot.