The Golf Cart: Friend or Foe at a show?

Golf carts: an equine competitor's best friend
{Photo from Sonoma Charity show: view the rest of my photos here}

Horse shows are typically held on very large facilities, and many competitors and trainers bring bicycles, vespas, and golf carts to make it easier to get from arena to arena to schooling ring to barn to show office to bathrooms to car to trailer to RV and back to the arena over the course of 2 days to 2 weeks of showing.

A not-so fun fact: there are a growing number of lawsuits filed against golf cart owners for injuries sustained at a horse show!

One suit in particular resulted because a minor driver took the cart and was goofing around, struck another minor who was on foot, and seriously injured him.  The parents of the injured child brought suit.

Another example is when a horse backed into a golf cart and the horse owner alleged the golf cart driver was to blame for the horse's injuries.

Golf carts and vespas do at times perilously weave around horses, can get too close, get in the way, or cause a spook.  And while it should not be permitted, at times minors and un-licensed drivers get behind the golf cart wheel.  Just because you are on private property you are not relieved of vehicle owner or driver responsibility.  If you loan your golf cart to someone who then causes injury, you could be liable for negligent entrustment of your cart, and for the damages arising from the injury.

One horse show mom that I know purchased liability insurance on her golf cart as a part of her other insurance policy.  It costs her just $75 per year and provides protection in case her minor daughter takes the cart without permission and causes damage, or if a horse owner alleges the cart caused injury to his or her horse.  Even if you follow a strict policy of responsible golf cart ownership, the low cost of insurance seems it would be well worth the peace of mind just in case your cart wheels into the center of legal controversy.

Can you spot them all? One, two, three, four, five, six!
Without even intending, I captured the dominating presence of golf carts at a show!
{Photo from Menlo Charity show: view the rest of my photos here}

my word, this is post #100!