News Flash: Horses Can Bite

Dec 8, 2004
49,323
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Maine
#1
Court to decide whether horses are 'vicious'



One of the several signs along the fence at Glendale Farms in Wheelers Farms Road in Milford urging visitors to steer clear of the horses. The Supreme Court will hear arguments on a lower court ruling defining all horses as "vicious." An accident at the farm in 2006 prompted the case. Photo: John Burgeson

The owner of a horse farm on Wheelers Farms Road in Milford said he will be in Hartford on Tuesday when the state Supreme Court hears arguments about whether his horses -- and all horses in Connecticut -- should be classified as a "naturally vicious species."

The court case dates to 2006, when one of Timothy Astriab's horses at his Glendale Farms operation bit a toddler on the cheek. Astriab says he is not sure which of his half-dozen horses bit the child.

"The horse is still here," Astriab said Monday afternoon at the farm. "The parents couldn't identify which horse did it."

As Astriab describes it, the incident happened when a father, visiting the farm to buy plants, held his 1½-year-old son up to the horse, which was on the other side of a fence. The boy, at the urging of his parents, might have been attempting to feed the animal some grass, Astriab suggested.

"I wasn't here at the time," said Astriab, but the signs are clearly visible on his property: "Do not feed or pet the horses."

When the boy tried to pet the horse, according to court papers, the animal stuck its neck out from behind a fence and bit the child on his right cheek, "removing a large chunk of it."

Astriab said he posted the warning signs before the boy was bitten. But he said none of his horses could be considered vicious, adding that a ruling by the state Supreme Court that all horses are vicious "would open up a whole new ball game" of increased insurance costs for horse owners.

"We would be the only state in the nation that would define horses as vicious," Astriab said, noting that horses have been working alongside humans for more than 5,000 years.

Horse owners and farmers have indicated they plan to mobilize Tuesday to get the state Supreme Court to overrule a lower court ruling that defined National Velvet, Flicka, Trigger and their ilk as vicious creatures.

The Connecticut Farm Bureau and Connecticut Horse Council filed a friend of the court brief saying that under common law, viciousness generally is judged individually, according to a horse's age, breed and gender -- not as an entire species.

Fred Mastele, acting president of the state's horse council, said his organization is encouraging horse owners to attend Tuesday's hearing and support the Astriab family.

"In our opinion, horses are not vicious animals," Mastele said. "They are certainly not attack animals."

If the state Supreme Court rules horses are a "naturally vicious species," the precedent-setting classification would make owning horses uninsurable and jeopardize the state's sizable horse industry, farmers and horse owners maintain.

These equine advocates, who cite 2005 statistics saying the horse industry contributes about $221 million a year to the state's economy in boarding, training, lessons and breeding businesses, want the state Supreme Court to overturn an Appellate Court decision.

Anything less would have far-reaching consequences, according to Doug Dubitsky, a lawyer who represents farmers and horse businesses.

"You could not pair children and horses, the core equestrian business nationwide that it's all about," Dubitsky said.

In February 2012, the mid-level Appellate Court overturned a lower court ruling and said that testimony by Astriab demonstrated his horse belongs to "a species naturally inclined to do mischief or be vicious."

Although Astriab had no knowledge of any of his horses biting anyone before, he testified that any horse would bite if a finger was put in front of it.

In its decision, the Appellate Court ruled the injury suffered by the little boy was foreseeable and the owners of the farm had a duty to use reasonable care to restrain the animal to prevent injury.

Astriab won the initial case at a lower court in 2010, when a New Haven judge ruled the child's father, Anthony Vendrella Sr., failed to prove the owner knew of previous incidents of aggression by any of the horses at the farm.

The state Superior Court judge said Astriab testified that in 28 years, none of the horses at the farm bit or injured anyone.

"Cats have a tendency to scratch and horses have a tendency to bite, but the plaintiffs have failed to show, as they must, that the defendants were on notice that (the horse) specifically, and not horses generally, had a tendency to bite people or other horses," Judge Robin Wilson ruled.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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When I sell trees I basically lock the barn now due to people just walking in and trying to pet them... and feed them stuff. We used to give candy canes away 1/2 of them got fed to the horses.
 

Neckbeard

I'm Team Piggy!
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Oct 26, 2011
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#4
Hasn't this species been domesticated thoroughly for hundreds of years now?
How could they be termed naturally vicious? They've been selectively bred to be pacified.
 

d0uche_n0zzle

**Negative_Creep**
Sep 15, 2004
46,798
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#5
Hasn't this species been domesticated thoroughly for hundreds of years now?
How could they be termed naturally vicious? They've been selectively bred to be pacified.
Some shyster looking for a huge payday.
 

mascan42

Registered User
Aug 26, 2002
18,951
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Ronkonkoma, Long Island
#7
If one horse nibbles on a kid, and all horses are now considered vicious, what do we do about all those bloodthirsty dogs and cats?
 

Haeder

South Dakota
Mar 30, 2005
5,896
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#12
Replace "horse" with "retard" and enjoy the lulz.
 

Floyd1977

Registered User
Nov 1, 2004
12,596
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#13
If the state Supreme Court rules horses are a "naturally vicious species," the precedent-setting classification would make owning horses uninsurable and jeopardize the state's sizable horse industry, farmers and horse owners maintain.

These equine advocates, who cite 2005 statistics saying the horse industry contributes about $221 million a year to the state's economy in boarding, training, lessons and breeding businesses, want the state Supreme Court to overturn anAppellate Court decision.
I wonder who would have to make up for that 221m hit.
 
Dec 8, 2004
49,323
21,219
693
Maine
#16
All the horse owners would do is sell their RE and move to friendlier states. A vacuum would be created.
Well only downside there is only a finite amount of equine properties available out there... prob a lot of horses would be sold for slaughter etc...
 

d0uche_n0zzle

**Negative_Creep**
Sep 15, 2004
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#17
Well only downside there is only a finite amount of equine properties available out there... prob a lot of horses would be sold for slaughter etc...
Poppycock. On, LI, you need an acre and a special carter to remove your horse shit. Plus, the money for all the rest of the horse things (vets, shoes, feed...)
 
Dec 8, 2004
49,323
21,219
693
Maine
#18
Poppycock. On, LI, you need an acre and a special carter to remove your horse shit. Plus, the money for all the rest of the horse things (vets, shoes, feed...)
This town you need about 2 acres... last town 3 acres... and Glen Dandy told me about that carting away the horse shit... well in NJ.

Guess you could get away with a small paddock and say a run in then a full fledged barn...
 

d0uche_n0zzle

**Negative_Creep**
Sep 15, 2004
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#19
This town you need about 2 acres... last town 3 acres... and Glen Dandy told me about that carting away the horse shit... well in NJ.

Seems the waste management types got together and had that one passed in these parts.

Have a buddy that turned his property into a horse property. All sweat equity, too.

He is one of the few blue collar polo players that plays all the time.
 
Dec 8, 2004
49,323
21,219
693
Maine
#20
Really a waste as the stuff cooks down so fast and you basically get perfect compost. I have some local that will come by and fill up a couple of 1 tonnes with dump beds for their tomato gardens.

And again as shit goes horse shit ain't that bad. Next door they have sheep and mini cows and when the wind is right... ooof.

Oh and prob not waste management... prob some busy bodies. Like last election they wanted people to pull a permit to move 5 yards or more material... yeeesh.
 

d0uche_n0zzle

**Negative_Creep**
Sep 15, 2004
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#21
They should be mixing the horse shite into a manure composting heap. But, those Eye-talians gots to get their piece.
 
Dec 8, 2004
49,323
21,219
693
Maine
#22
They should be mixing the horse shite into a manure composting heap. But, those Eye-talians gots to get their piece.
Well more then likely it is getting composted then sold as clean compost... also just hauling the non composted stuff away is stupid... as it shrinks down by two thirds after it has been cooking for 3 months... assuming you turn the pile of course.
 

Creasy Bear

gorgeousness and gorgeousity made flesh
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Mar 10, 2006
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In a porn tree
#23
Horses shit their own weight every 15 minutes.

That's a scientific fact verified by NASA.
 
Dec 8, 2004
49,323
21,219
693
Maine
#24
Horses shit their own weight every 15 minutes.

That's a scientific fact verified by NASA.
And don't forget horse women are pretty much nuts... case in point...



They all go why don't you ride... I have enough shit to do... plus I'd rather watch...



Almost to build an indoor so I am "entertained" all year...