Oregon Equine Industry Letter in Support of SB754

This morning, a coalition of equine organizations, businesses, and individuals submitted a letter in support of SB754.  Our goal is to get this bill into committee by end of day Friday so it continues to have a chance to move forward in this session.  If so, we will need additional support to push it forward and get enough


March 15, 2023

Senate Committee on Judiciary

900 Court Street NE

Salem, Oregon 97301

Re: SB 754 Recreational Liability Reform

Chair Prozanski and Members of the Committee:

Collectively, we represent the broader Oregon equestrian community, and we write to emphasize our strong support for Senate bill 754, which would allow recreational businesses and organizations to enforce releases of liability.

Our coalition of equestrian groups provide a wide variety of safe recreational activities, from volunteer trail building groups, horse riding and training centers, and local and regional fairs, to legacy rodeo events, outfitter guides, and competitive jumping and show horse competitions. The breadth of our organizations underscores the deep economic impacts and tax revenues we generate in Oregon, especially from smaller, independently owned equestrian businesses in rural communities. Importantly, our we provide affordable recreational access for Oregonians, and we are suffering from steep increases in insurance premiums, in part due to the fact that Oregon, unlike other western states, does not enforce releases of liability.

Oregonians want affordable, safe, and reliable access to recreation, and this bill would allow our equestrian groups to provide such opportunities. We are aware of other recreational businesses closing or cutting back opportunities due to the lack of affordable insurance.

Also, we write to stress that while Oregon’s equine laws passed in the 1990s seemingly allow our organizations to use releases—see, e.g., ORS 30.687 through 30.697—that statute has instead created significant uncertainty about the viability of enforceable releases, in turn limiting expansion and growth opportunities for such recreation. Since that legislation passed in the 1990s, we are not aware of a single court case where a judge has enforced a liability release under these equine laws.

Senate bill 754 would provide far better liability protection from unmeritorious lawsuits, ensure affordable insurance, and expand recreational opportunities for Oregonians. We urge your support.


Back Country Horsemen of Oregon

Deschutes County Sheriffs Posse

Dragonfly Farms

Equine Legal Solutions

Kathryn A. Hall, PC

Morgan Horse Association of Oregon

Oregon Dressage Society

Oregon Equestrian Trails

Oregon Horse Council

Oregon Hunter Jumper Association

Pendleton Cattle Barons

Pendleton Roundup and Happy Canyon Co.

Pendleton Convention Center

Scott Creek Miniature Horse Farm

Sunstone Morgan Farm

St. Paul Rodeo

Individual Supporters: Leanne Roth, Jori Sullivan, Karol A. Dietrich, Linda Corcoran

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