Last night’s “All Things Equine” event, held at the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, was a great success. Approximately 60 attendees from across the North Texas and beyond were in attendance. Guests were greeted by the women of the TCU Womens Equestrian Team, who handed out awesome LL Bean-style totes loaded with goodies and materials. 

Pat Riley, Executive Director of the Cowgirl Museum, was in attendance at the event and graciously opened the entire museum and gift shop to attendees after normal business hours.

The evening commenced with an elegant cocktail hour, catered by Reata, put on by hosts US Trust and Marsh.  Afterwards, the panel of experts held their equine business and risk management forum in the Cowgirl Museum’s theater, which was equipped with an excellent PA system manned by Cowgirl Museum staff. 

Here are some highlights from the presentation, in order of speaker appearance:

  • I (Alison Rowe) covered the main sources of business-related disputes involving horses and how to avoid them. The sources of equine litigation I spoke on included 1) transfer of title disputes; 2) fraud and negligence claims involving lameness issues discovered soon after a sales transaction; and 3) partnership / possessory disputes. Some take-aways from my portion include 1) especially for expensive horses, always insist on a thorough pre-purchase exam that includes radiographs of all limbs and a blood sample; 2) never provide a bill of sale or turn over possession of a horse until all pre-sale conditions have been met; 3) put all long-term agreements such as partnerships and training agreements in writing and include all important terms.
  • Gina Teresi of Chartis Insurance flew in all the way from Rochester, New York to discuss the risk transfer features of equine, farm and ranch insurance. Gina’s presentation centered on how important it is for equine and ranch owners to 1) discuss with their agent the specifics of how their horse operations work; and 2) choose an insurance agent who specializes in equine, farm and ranch insurance and has industry experience. Gina discussed ways in which these safeguards help owners ensure that all areas of risk are identified, considered, and covered “in black and white” in the insurance policy.
  • John L. Taylor of US Trust discussed the wide array of corporate fiduciary (trust) assistance that he and his colleagues use to protect the assets of affluent individuals who own horses and ranches. John, a native of rural West Texas, and his team do everything from finding, buying, selling and financing the ranch land, to finding tenants, managing crops or livestock, risk management, enhancing ROI on investments, and working with wealth strategists to make sure that horse and ranch owners’ estate plans are in line with their goals.
  • Logan Fiorentino, hunt seat head coach of the TCU Womens Equestrian Team, explained the process of how horses are donated to her program and answered audience questions concerning things such as eligibility and the scouting process.

After the panel concluded, there was an engaging Q&A session during which attendees posed questions to the speakers. 

The open bar stayed open after the event, and many attendees hung out for a while to chat, exchange business cards, and tour the museum. 

If you missed the event and have questions or would like contact information for the panelists, please let me know.  US Trust and Marsh are planning a similar event for next year, and I will be sure to post information about it when it becomes available.