University of Cambridge

Equine Law in the UK – Equine issues and the 2012 Olympics

Equine Law has such diverse issues.

The Olympics in 2012 are looming and there is much to do to make sure they run as smoothly as possible.

One of the area that will throw-up contentious scenarios is that of Equine Law.

So who will those teams turn too for advice.

They are sure to have their own legal team but it would make sound sense to have a UK Legal representative too.

It would seem logical, so having looked through the internet for some equine advice myself I found an Equine law firm who seem to cater for a whole range of Equine legal matters.

The person who heads up the site is called Jane Bennett, let’s take a look at her pedigree.

Jane Bennet:

Jane has ridden all her life and has a particular passion for eventing. She won her first one day event at the age of 9! Jane was a Master of the Cambridge University Drag Hounds for the 1998-99 season and has also competed in the National Open Team Chasing Finals. Jane is a member of BE, the BSJA and BD. She is married to a professional event rider and former men’s open point-to-point winner. They have two daughters.

Career History:

MA(Hons) (Cantab) – Barrister-at-Law. Jane was called to the Bar by the Middle Temple in 2000. She completed pupillage and accepted tenancy at 12 Kings Bench Walk (Chambers of Richard Methuen QC) in London. Subsequently she moved to Nottingham and was a tenant at Ropewalk Chambers for 5 years. Thereafter Jane started a family and decided to move in-house. She was appointed Head of Equine Law at Bridge McFarland in October 2008.

Jane successfully acted as Counsel for the Claimant in Spencer v Hance (reported in Horse and Hound on 2 November 2006). The case involved the sale of a horse which had been administered with phenlybutazone (‘bute’) by the seller prior to a 5-stage veterinary pre-purchase examination. During the 3-day trial before HHJ Harris QC in the Oxford County Court conflicting veterinary evidence was heard as to the possible effects of the drug on the horse at the time of the examination. The circumstances surrounding the administration of the drug were also hotly disputed. The learned judge found that the drug had been administered dishonestly and that its presence had masked the horse’s conditions of bone spavin and shivering which were otherwise likely to have been detected at the time of the veterinary examination.

Jane is a member of the following professional associations:

  • Equine and Animal Lawyers Association
  • Professional Negligence Bar Association
  • Personal Injury Bar Association

Landmark Cases:

Amongst her landmark cases, Jane Bennett successfully acted as Counsel for Mrs Spencer in the case of Spencer v Hance reported in the Horse & Hound in November 2006. The case involved the sale of a horse which had been administered with phenylbutazone (bute) by the seller prior to a 5-stage veterinary pre-purchase examination. During the 2-day trial in the Oxford County Court, conflicting veterinary evidence was heard as to the possible effects of the drug on the horse at the time of the examination. The circumstances surrounding the administration of the drug were also hotly disputed. The Court found that the drug had been administered dishonestly and that its presence had masked the horse pre-existing conditions of bone spavin and shivering which were otherwise likely to have been detected at the time of the veterinary examination. The Defendant was ordered to pay damages to Mrs Spencer in addition to paying both parties legal costs.

Jane contributes monthly articles on issues arising in her specialist field to Equestrian Life Magazine. She has also been invited to speak at the National Equine Law Conference in February 2009.

Seems pretty impressive, but what does the company details say?

Having many years experience within the sector positions us perfectly to take on a complete range of Equine law issues and handle them quickly and with professionalism.

We talk a clients talk. Issues are understood first time and this is of paramount importance to make the right choices with the minimum amount of fuss.

It will be interesting to see what legal issues raise their heads in the course of the London 2012 Olympics but I think there a many law firms ready to take the challenge – just as the competitors are already working towards

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