24 September 2013, 09:30

US court may rule horses ‘vicious’

Kentucky Derby hopeful Brother Derek tries to take a bite out of assistant trainer Francisco Alvarado

Kentucky Derby hopeful Brother Derek tries to take a bite out of assistant trainer Francisco Alvarado

Kentucky Derby hopeful Brother Derek tries to take a bite out of assistant trainer Francisco Alvarado

A US court is to hear a case that may classify horses as a “vicious” species, after a boy’s parents sued a farm owner over a horse bite.

The family of a boy in the state of Connecticut went to court after he was bitten by a horse named Scuppy in 2006. A lower court then said the bity horse belonged "to a species naturally inclined to do mischief and be vicious".

Now, the state’s Supreme Court is to look into the matter, which may make horse ownership uninsurable, equine industry representatives say.

The case was brought to court in 2006 when Scuppy the horse bit a boy, who tried to pet it, on the cheek at Glendale Farms in Milford, causing a serious injury.

The boy's father, Anthony Vendrella, sued the horse farm's owners but lost the case in 2010 at a New Haven court, which ruled there was no evidence that the horse owner had known of any previous incidents of aggression involving Scuppy.

The Connecticut Appellate Court later overturned this ruling, claiming that testimony suggested the species was "vicious" and the attack had been foreseeable.

The equine industry says that, if upheld, the ruling on the horses’ "viciousness" could make it harder to organize horse rides for children.

Voice of Russia, BBC

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