I recall summer days spent at my aunt’s house, her two horses galloping the rolling hills of her small Appalachian farm, the breeze through my hair and the blue sky shining with possibility…until Scout nipped me on the hand while trying to feed him an apple…
Okay, so they’re big animals with appropriately big teeth but a Connecticut court has gone one step further and declared that horses are “a species naturally inclined to do mischief and be vicious.”
Do mischief? Really? What is this, the 1700s?
Whether we’re also now declaring today to actually be 300 years ago or not, this all started in 2006 at a petting zoo where a horse bit a boy who tried to pet him. Granted, that’s what you do at petting zoos, pet things that you might otherwise be scared to touch since you’re barely 3 feet tall.
The animal reportedly bit the child on his right cheek, inflicting a serious injury.
The boy’s father, Anthony Vendrella, sued the farm’s owners, but lost in 2010 at a New Haven court.
That court ruled there was no evidence the farm’s owner knew of any previous incidents of aggression involving Scuppy.
But a Connecticut Appellate Court later overturned this ruling, finding that testimony suggested Scuppy’s species was “vicious” and that the boy’s injury had been foreseeable.
Oof. If you can’t win by showing that the horse had ever bitten anyone before then what better way to stack the deck in favor of the plaintiff than by declaring all horses to be inherently dangerous?
What’s next? Cats? I’ve been clawed by them. Dogs? Yep, been bitten. Hamster? AbsoLUTely I’ve been bitten by them.
Better just fence off the whole world and declare it inherently hostile but we’ll see if that’s what happens. The State Supreme Court has yet to rule on the lower court’s ruling.