I tested the Noble Outfitters Muds Stay Cool High boots in size 7. These boots are true to their name…
If you just love this colour, take a look at our selection of black horses for sale on the Horse & Hound website this week.
1. ‘Grassroots superstar’
Selling points: “This horse is a beautiful, flashy mover with a seriously scopey jump. Only started jumping in the past six months and has taken straight to it. Jumped double clear around two out of three BE90s and also showed serious scope round his first couple of BE100s. He is great across country, being incredibly honest and brave. Totally straight to skinnies and never looks at water, ditches or steps. He is a very natural cross-country horse and will jump whatever you put in front of him. He has more than enough ability to progress through the grades.”
2. ‘Would suit the whole family’
Selling points: “‘Milly’ is very sensible and has a laid back attitude towards her work. She has been on hound exercise with a 14-year-old girl and is fantastic with hounds. She has been autumn hunting with the York and Ainsty South, she stands quietly and is a lovely armchair ride. Milly has been to a show, jumping a double clear around a course of showjumps with fillers. She is very straightforward and loves to jump, showing great technique over a fence including hunt jumps, small hedges and has been cross-country schooled. She hacks out alone or in company, is snaffle-mouthed and doesn’t need to be ridden every day. She is a very easy, kind and gentle horse who is never mareish.”
3. ‘Horse of a lifetime’
Selling points: “This two-star eventing schoolmaster has an outstanding BE record. He is a stunning looking horse and is extremely flashy on the flat. He is 100% to do in every way and is a true gentleman at home and at events. He is ready to give someone some fun and would be a fantastic junior team horse.”
4. ‘Very mannerly hunter’
Selling points: “‘Benny’ is a lovely, genuine horse that has hunted the past two seasons with the Berkeley. He has been hunted by both a man and woman, jumping hedges, ditches and rails, proving to be very bold across the country. This summer he has been doing a bit of everything and taking everything in his stride. He scored 68%+ in his first ever dressage test and also completed his first 90cm event, proving mature and keen. He has been cross-country schooling and showjumping proving not to be spooky jumping ditches, steps, fillers and water. Has a lovely powerful jump over a fence and is easy to hack alone or in company .”
5. ‘Star of the future’
Selling points: “‘Darna’ has been carefully and professionally produced, starting her eventing career at BE90 level, progressing to five-year-old BE and BYEH classes successfully. Bramham BYEH was her first show where she scored very high marks in conformation and suitability. She regularly leads her dressage section, scoring 19 at Cholomendy Castle. She is snaffle-mouthed and incredibly straightforward. Her movement is exceptional, with a scopey and bold jump both showjumping and cross-country. She will suit an amateur or professional looking to take a horse up the levels and be truly competitive.”
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Selling points: “This stunning Stedinger KWPN mare produced a BEF elite foal. Her grand sire is Sandro Hit and her dam had Jazz and Cocktail lines. Now in foal to Franklyn Sugar.”
NB: Horse & Hound has not checked the accuracy of the claims made in these adverts and cannot be held liable if the information included above is inaccurate in any way
A race was stopped and voided during a meeting at Fontwell Park today (30 September) when a horse collapsed mid-run after suffering a heart attack.
Clerk of the course Edward Arkell was forced to deploy the yellow flag after nine-year-old gelding Indiana Bay got into difficulties seven fences in.
The David Dennis-trained horse was pulled up by jockey Kieron Edgar just after passing the winning post on the first circuit of the 3m 1f James Todd & Co Accountants conditional jockeys handicap chase.
He collapsed on the track, and horse and jockey were attended by veterinary and medical staff.
Mr Arkell said he had to put a stop to the race for health and safety reasons, as the horse was lying on a section of the course where there was compromised visibility.
“We had a horse who had a problem and he came down on the racing line on a bend just coming away from the stands,” he said.
“The race had another two circuits to run, so we had no option but to stop the race with the horse prone on the track. With the vet and medical staff there also we couldn’t take the risk.
“In 11 years and however many hundred meetings, I’ve never had to stop a race before. It was one of those things.
“You’d have had jockeys coming round the corner with their heads down, not having seen what happened and it could have caused another incident.
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“If it was on the straight we could have deployed a hazard flag but on a bend, especially like our sharp top bend, you don’t want to be taking that kind of chance.”
Indiana Bay was second favourite in the six-runner race with odds of 10-3. In May this year he won a men’s open point-to-point and had headed a hunter chase 18 months previously.
If you’re thinking about getting a new pair of yard boots, but aren’t quite sure what type would best suit your needs, allow Andrea Oakes to explain all you need to know about materials, fittings and fastenings
A decent pair of yard boots can make all the difference to your time spent at the stables, keeping your feet dry, safe and comfortable. But which should you choose from the vast array available? Take a step in the right direction with our buyer’s guide to help you find the best yard boots to suit your requirements, which outlines all you need to know.
Yard boots: functional test
Think first about the function of your boots – what do you plan to do in them? Light yard duties and a little indoor schooling will place very different demands on your footwear than a long day spent pushing wheelbarrows and wading through muddy gateways.
With this prospective workload in mind, your biggest decision is likely to be whether or not you intend to ride in your boots. Safety should take precedence here, of course. A chunkier boot poses a real risk of wedging in a stirrup iron, while an inadequate heel could allow a foot to slip right through.
With so many stirrup-friendly options now on the market, it’s not difficult to find boots that have the requisite sole and heel construction for both yard work and riding. If you’re undertaking heavier work and don’t plan to ride in your boots, however, you can go for a durable, all-terrain model built for the toughest jobs.
The next consideration is what height would be ideal when you’re looking for your best yard boots ever: long, short or mid-calf? Long yard boots that are also riding-safe mean that you won’t need to wear half-chaps when you’re in the saddle, as they’ll offer calf protection and stability at the ankle. Shorter boots are easier to pull on and more comfortable to wear with jeans, but you can expect some painful pinching if you do hop on board without chaps.
Buy your next pair of yard boots
Your third consideration is the weather you’ll be out in – a crucial factor in boot choice. Stable duties can be muggy in the summer and relentlessly wet and muddy in the long winter months, when numb toes and chilblains can make for a miserable time. Investment in weatherproof footwear will be money well spent.
If feet are to stay warm, they need to be dry. Waterproof boots are the obvious way to go, but there are different ways in which manufacturers achieve this.
Traditional rubber is the most basic means of keeping water out, so the bargain basement option is the traditional wellie. Cheap wellingtons will offer little else in terms of comfort and style, however, and any sweat will leave your feet unpleasantly damp and most probably cold as well – far from ideal.
But wellies have moved on massively since the days of the Dunlop as the only option, so you’d be missing out on a whole host of exciting features if you dismissed the more innovative end of the market. Shaped and zipped wellies have the advantage of being maintenance-free and in some cases suitable for riding, often with breathable linings.
Other man-made materials, such as propylene, are another option. Many leathers, including nubuck and suede, are specially treated or lined with a membrane to repel water, also providing robust defence against the elements. They’ll need regular conditioning and maybe re-treating, however, to retain their waterproof properties.
Yard boots reviews from Horse & Hound
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These boots are warm, waterproof and multi-purpose making them ideal for a busy rider/groom/owner during the cold winter months. The…
Flower print base with pink leg, my first impressions were a bright winter boot which stands out from other winter…
My first impressions of these boots was excellent. A good, tough-looking, solid boot with thick sole and deep treads. These…
These Chatham Duchess brown country boots are the perfect hybrid between yard and riding boots. They are waterproof and feature…
Ideally, your feet should stay toasty without the need for multiple sock layers, as this will restrict toe movement and encourage moisture and rubbing. A little extra space also creates a pocket of warming air around your feet.
Look for insulating materials such as neoprene linings or natural wool or sheepskin footbeds, which can enable feet to endure freezing temperatures without complaining. Climate control inners are another option, keeping feel cool in summer and warm in winter.
If you don’t plan to ride in your boots, your weather-beating options are wide open. Quilted legs and faux fur inners are a tempting way to keep draughts at bay.
Soles should offer good traction, especially in wet or icy conditions. Materials that won’t harden or become slippery in freezing weather are a must for winter.
Yard boots: fit and fastenings
If you spend a lot of time on your feet at the yard, good sole design should be high on your list of priorities. Standing up for hours to teach, or walking long distances to catch unruly horses, can soon take its toll on various parts of your body, so consider spending a little more cash for added comfort.
Sole-saving features include gel heel cushions and moulded footbeds that follow the contours of your feet. A sturdy midsole with a shank will create a more supportive platform, while shock-absorbing materials will take the strain as you walk or dismount.
An added bonus is a sole material that sheds dirt and won’t rot when it comes in contact with manure. The sole itself and the surrounding stitching are potential weak points with extended wear, so pay particular attention to these areas if you’ll be doing a lot of mucking out or crossing rough or boggy ground.
A further consideration is how the boots fasten. Pull-on, pull-off varieties are the simplest, but could be a nuisance to remove in muddy conditions if there’s no boot pull to hand. Some wellies have handles at the sides to make hauling them on that bit easier.
Zips offer a closer fit but do create potential for water leaks, while laces look good but can be a faff unless they’re designed with modern ‘speed lace’ fittings. Velcro fastenings might be easier with cold or gloved hands.
The width and shape of your legs may be a deciding factor here. Adjustable fastenings offer a more bespoke fit for slender calves, while elastic inserts and panels offer wider pins a little more freedom.
If you plan to spend more time in the saddle, rather than just a quick hack around the fields, opt for fastenings that create necessary support and allow close contact. Look for spur rests if you need them and check that any zips and buckles won’t rub or catch as you ride. This is another point worth thinking about for the yard, as you’ll curse protruding fastenings if they keep snagging in haynets as you fill them.
Those who’ve felt the full weight of a horse on their extremities will see the worth in steel or composite material toecaps, while anti-bacterial or odour-control inserts might benefit a tendency towards damp toes. Reflective strips are a sensible measure as dark evenings draw in.
Other added extras such as tassles, ties and trims are largely for fashion rather than function, but do prove that you don’t have to sacrifice your sense of style at the yard.
Sue Carson, founder and managing director of Sue Carson Saddles explains why autumn is an important time to check the fit of your saddle — and what you should expect from your chosen saddle fitter
Horses change shape all the time, dependent on weight, fitness and musculature, so at this time of year when management changes mean more stable time, fewer competitions and training schedules interrupted by the weather, checking saddle fit is important, as it has long term impact on both soundness and performance.
1. A correctly fitting saddle is essential to ensure that your horse has maximum comfort, freedom to move and also the opportunity to develop the correct muscles. You need the saddle to suit your style of riding and your body shape and size (long or short legs etc) to ensure you are in true balance and not sitting ‘in the horse’s way’, so enabling your horse to perform to the best of his ability.
2. You should get your saddle checked every three to six months depending on how the horse changes shape and his work schedule. In my experience, horses keep changing shape at all ages. At one point, my then 18-year-old grand prix dressage horse changed shape 1.5 fits in the space of eight weeks.
3. I recommend you measure your horse every month with a flexi rule, which should be positioned two fingers behind the shoulder blade, then again where the middle of the saddle would be and finally just before the back of the saddle, so you have three measurements. I would also take a weigh tape measurement, then you will know if your horse has changed and hence when to call the saddle fitter.
4. In simple terms, if your saddle has been wrongly fitted, your horse will not move very well and you do not get a very good performance. It is easy to imagine how uncomfortable a saddle that doesn’t fit is likely to be; just think how you would feel trying to go for a run, or during an active gym session, if your footwear didn’t fit you properly. You would be very likely to experience soreness, bruising, stiffness and even secondary muscle or other soft tissue injury due to moving awkwardly because you were trying to somehow avoid the worst of the discomfort. Not what you want to inflict on your horse.
5. To do a thorough job, your saddle fitter needs both a stable and a good quality surface to see you ride in order to be able to do a good job. Be sure you are correctly dressed in riding clothes.
6. You should expect your saddle fitter to measure your horse and then watch him move in hand. Make sure you have a full medical history for both you and your horse, so that if there are any issues that need to be taken into account, they can be discussed.
7. If you are buying a new saddle, you need to sit you on eight, maybe 10 saddles on a saddle stand to come down to a short list of two or three for you to ride on. You will need to ride the horse to the level at which he is training/competing so that both you and your saddle fitter are happy that the saddle you like is right for both of you. If you have a trainer, chiropractor, physiotherapist and/or vet involved with your horse at the time, it is better if they can be there.
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8. If you are buying a second hand saddle, the first thing you need to ensure is that the tree is not broken. To test the tree you need to try to bend the saddle from front to back; you should expect just a small amount of ‘give’. You also need to check the head of the tree by running your fingers round the inside of the head and also try to flex the front of the saddle in and out; there should be no give when you do that. You also need to look at the stitching on the whole saddle, but especially on the girth straps.
9. Next you need to be certain that the tree is the correct width for the horse — if it is, the tree points should run parallel to the horse’s shoulders.
10. When on the horse with the girth done up , a dressage saddle should sit level on the horse’s back when it is in trot and a jump saddle should sit level when the horse is in canter.
Find out more at www.suecarsonsaddles.co.uk
Seyfarth Synopsis: The number of federal lawsuits alleging inaccessible websites continues to increase, along with the number of law firms filing them. Businesses need advice now on how to manage risk in this chaotic environment.
As we predicted, website accessibility lawsuits and threatened claims have become big business for some aspects of the plaintiffs’ bar. More law firms are filing lawsuits or sending demand letters alleging individuals with disabilities are denied access to a business’s goods and services due to inaccessible websites than ever. The number of lawsuits filed in federal court since the beginning of 2015 has surged to 106 as of September 21, 2016. Retailers have been the most popular targets, followed by restaurant and hospitality companies.
We analyzed the data to find that five firms dominate the space, but we have seen more and more attempting to get in on the action as well.
Pennsylvania, New York, and California federal courts have more than 85% of the lawsuits at this point, but, with three months left in the year, that could change.
We have previously reported that several law firms representing unnamed clients with disabilities had sent out hundreds of demand letters to various types of businesses concerning their allegedly inaccessible websites. From what we can tell, very few of those demand letters went to financial services institutions. We have learned that the most recent batch of demand letters is focused on the websites of community banks around the country.
Meanwhile, we still have no proposed regulations for public accommodations websites from the DOJ and a change in administration could derail or delay the rulemaking process further. Thus, the need is no less urgent for businesses to come up with a plan to mitigate their litigation exposure in this tumultuous environment.
Edited by Kristina M. Launey.
Chris has proven his skill and talent for the job as national coach for the German eventing team alongside Hans Melzer, most recently overseeing the nation’s team silver and individual gold at the Rio Olympics. He was also behind Germany’s team and individual Olympic gold medals in 2012 and 2008, plus other notable successes at various World and European championships, having first taken up his post in 2001.
British-born Bartle is understood to be one of several candidates applying for the position, with interviews due to take place in October.
A statement by Dr Dennis Sounder of the DOKR (the German equestrian federation) says: “We are very surprised and sad about the decision of Chris Bartle.
“We were hoping Chris Bartle and Hans Melzer would continue until the Tokyo Games in 2020 as trainers. But we respect his decision. Soon we will sit together and reflect on alternatives for the future.”
Chris told St Georg: “That was a very difficult decision for me. I feel a tremendous bond with the team, the riders, the support team in Warendorf and especially with Hans Melzer, with whom I worked for 16 years successfully.
“I would like to apply for this interesting and challenging role that might keep me closer to my home for the next four years and is also in the interest of my family.”
In addition to his German team training role, Chris runs a highly successful training hub in Britain, the Yorkshire Riding Centre, with his sister Jane Bartle-Wilson. From here he assists top horses and riders from around the world.
The 64-year-old has previously coached the British eventing team as dressage trainer for both the Atlanta and Sydney Olympics.
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Chris has also enjoyed great success riding on British teams. He was sixth at the Los Angeles Olympics as a member of the British dressage team and was fourth at the 1985 European dressage championships. He also won Badminton on Word Perfect in 1998, was placed at Burghley on more than one occasion, won team gold at the 1997 European eventing championships and was reserve for the 2000 Olympics.
This is the first time the position with the British Equestrian Federation has become available since Yogi Breisner took up the role in 1999. Neither the British Equestrian Federation nor Chris were available to comment on the news when contacted by Horse & Hound.
Irish eventer Clare Abbott’s Olympic ride is set to be sold at auction in November.
Euro Prince (“Sparky”), who is owned by his breeders Cormac McKay and his father John, is in the line-up for the Goresbridge “Go For Gold” sale in Co. Wexford on 14-16 November.
“The owners feel the time is right now to sell him on,” Clare told H&H today (26 September).
“The horse is absolutely in great form.”
The pair finished 37th individually at this year’s Olympics and helped Ireland to eighth place in the team competition.
“I would love to keep the ride on him, we have built up a great partnership over the years,” she added.
Clare has been riding the striking chestnut since his first season of eventing as a five-year-old in 2008.
The part-time maths teacher, who made her Olympic debut at Rio, has enjoyed a string of success at top-level competition with Sparky.
The combination won Ballindenisk CCI3* on their dressage score in 2014 and finished ninth at Pau CCI4* last October.
They also jumped clear across country round Badminton in both 2014 and 2015; and their record together is full of top-10 placings at national and international events.
In a statement on Clare’s Facebook page, the 29-year-old said the sale is due to “no fault” of Sparky’s.
“My team and I are devastated about this as we have formed a fantastic partnership over the last seven years and I would most certainly like to keep the ride,” she said.
“I had planned on contesting Badminton 2017 and future championships.”
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In an interview with H&H ahead of the Olympics, Clare said the call-up to the squad was “a lifetime ambition achieved”.
“I feel a great sense of satisfaction that it’s possible to do it with a small team of horses — all you need is one great horse with supportive owners and the right team at home,” she said.
“You don’t need a big yard or fancy facilities. I have a professional approach, get the best training I can and do the best job I can with the horses. I hope that inspires people that you can do it.”
The specialist equine insurance provider is sponsoring British Dressage’s Area Festivals 2016/17 for an 18th year.
A total of 17 Petplan Area Festivals will be held across the UK this season, with the final at Hartpury College, Glos, in April.
“Qualifying for an Area Festival is an incredible achievement for any rider and a true celebration of their consistent performance. Petplan Equine aims to ensure all riders have the opportunity to take part, accomplish their dreams and hopefully flourish within British Dressage ranks,” said Kate Hopkins, marketing executive at Petplan Equine.
Back on Track
The technical human, equine and dog clothing manufacturer has signed a sponsorship deal with grand prix dressage rider Gemma Appleton.
The products are made from a “ceramic textile” which reflects body heat to support muscles and joints.
“I started with one rug and two sets of wraps which I used to swap over between the horses so that they could all have a good session wearing them”, said Gemma.
“I have always worked my horses in bandages, and when I came across the Back on Track ceramic fleece bandages I was every interested in the product. After the first time using them, I was really excited about them.”
Blue Chip Feed has welcomed dressage rider Nathalie Kayal to its team of sponsored equestrians.
Buckinghamshire-based Nathalie has trained and competed her string of horses up to small tour level and hopes to be selected for more internationals this year.
All her horses are fed Blue Chip Pro feed balancer.
A spokesman for the company said they are “honoured” to have her representing the Blue Chip brand.
The online betting operator has revealed that it will be sponsoring the Newmarket Open Weekend on 17-18 September 2016.
It has committed to a three-year deal as the title sponsore of the event, which gives visitors a chance to see behind the scenes of the heart of British horseracing.
Chosen charities for this year’s event are Racing Welfare’s Newmarket housing project and the Newmarket Day Centre.
“Their committed support for the next three years means that even more money can be raised for charity,” said Sara Cumani, event chairman.
“We are currently busily preparing for the big weekend next month, which is set to be jam-packed full of action.”
Leading wholesaler Battles is sponsoring BETA International’s visitor goody bags under its equestrian products brand Hy.
“We are extremely pleased to back BETA International once again,” said Battles commercial manager Anna Clarke.
“Hy is always very well received by retailers and we want to ensure that this fantastic collection of equestrian essentials remains in the spotlight. Sponsoring the show’s visitor bags is a fantastic way to do this.”
A sponsorship agreement has been signed between Kate Negus Saddlery and Summerhouse Equestrian Centre in Gloucestershire.
The saddlers will be sponsoring the Prestige training schoolmasters at the centre, who are used by riders wanting to develop their riding at a more advanced level.
It will also sponsor the centre’s 1.30m class of its showjumping league.
“It’s lovely to see our schoolmasters sporting their made to measure bridles,” said Summerhouse’s Sara Gallop.
“Not only do these support their comfort, but they’re excellent quality and project the professionalism that goes through everything we do.”
Four-star eventer Izzy Taylor has been confirmed as a brand ambassador for the British countryside accessories company.
Izzy modelled the Beauchamp Blazer, a flagship product for the brand, at the trot-up at Blenheim International (8-11 September).
“We are thrilled to be adding Izzy to our roster of brand ambassadors,” said Marc Brown of Sporting Hares.
“Her talent and commitment to performance in the equestrian field fuses perfectly with our commitment to producing performance products in the equestrian market.”
British hopes were dashed at the Young Rider European Eventing Championships in Montelibretti, Italy today (24 September).
Will Furlong, who was the dressage leader riding Livingstone, retired at fence eight on the cross-country course, Guiseppe’s Lake, after he felt that his horse wasn’t quite right.
Chef D’equipe of the British young rider team, Alex Colquhoun said: “Sadly we found that Livingstone was lame this morning with a foot abscess. Our team worked hard to get him right and so Will started the cross-country, but unfortunately he pulled him up at fence eight after he felt he wasn’t quite right.”
This is a blow to the British team who have now slipped from third to fourth in the team standings, less than four penalties behind third placed Italy.
Sam Ecroyd rode a class round on Opera House, finishing three seconds inside the optimum time to now sit in fifth place individually.
“My horse has never run in this heat — he’s used to competing in Wales!” said Sam, referring to temperatures of 27 degrees at the time he tackled the tough track.
“Opera House really tried for me but we had to fight for the clear round. I felt him starting to tire at the second water at fence 18 which is only a little over halfway round so I had to nurse him a little bit.”
The next best placed Brit is India Wishart riding The Masters Harry who jumped a clear round but incurred 11.6 time-faults — they lie in 19th place.
Fellow team member Ella Hitchman is in 27th place after a classy clear across country on Rocky Rockstar. They incurred 7.6 time-faults.
British individual rider Katie Bleloch said she had a “foot-perfect round” on Bulano. They picked up eight time-faults and sit in 28th place.
The Germans continue to dominate, holding all top three individual spots following the cross country.
Marie-Sophie Arnold jumped clear inside the time (one of only seven to do so) to move up from silver to gold medal position riding Remember Me 74. Individual German rider Rebecca-Juana Gerken is in silver medal position riding Scipio S and Hanna Knuppel (team rider) is in bronze riding Carismo 22. Just 7.5 penalties separate the top seven individual spots.
Best of the Irish riders is Elizabeth Hayden riding Loughnatousa Joey who is in 12th place. The Irish team sit in fifth place after Susie Berry and Kelley Hutchinson incurred 20 penalties each.
Junior European Eventing Championships
Britain’s junior riders enjoyed an almost perfect cross-country day with five out of their six riders jumping clear inside the time, to hold onto their team bronze medal going into the showjumping tomorrow. They are less than one showjump (four penalties) behind the second placed team, France.
Best placed Brit is Phoebe Locke who sits in seventh place riding Union Fortunus.
“My horse found the track very easy and I wasn’t worried at all as he’s jumped double clear pretty much all season,” said Phoebe.
Fellow team member Richard Coney is just behind Phoebe in eighth place on his lovely little bay horse Kananaskis. Standing at just 15.1hh he ate up the track to finish 11 seconds inside the optimum time.
Individual rider Chelsea Pearce is in 11th place on Albert. Unfortunately fellow individual rider Chelsea Round fell off when her horse, Fleetwood Mac, ground to a halt at fence 16a — a log into water. Both her and her horse were fine.
Remaining two team members Felicity Collins (RSH Contend Or) and Bubby Upton (Eros DHI) are in 13th and 17th place respectively.
Again Germany dominate proceedings with a commanding 17.5 penalty lead in the team standings over second placed France.
Individually Germany hold gold and silver medal positions with Jerome Robine (Guccimo R) and Anais Neumann (Pumuckel E) maintaining their dressage places respectively. France’s Victor Levecque is in bronze.
The Irish team are in fifth place.
Seyfarth Synopsis: In yet another effort to reduce ADA lawsuits, California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law – effective immediately – legislation to encourage tenants and landlords to acknowledge and address any accessibility issues during lease negotiations.
On September 16, 2016, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 2093 – the second new disability access reform law of the year – in the state’s continuing effort to address the huge number of accessibility lawsuits. This bill, which became effective immediately, seeks to ensure that prospective commercial real estate tenants are notified of known construction-related accessibility violations during the course of lease negotiations so that owners and tenants have the opportunity to decide how any violations will be addressed and avoid future ADA lawsuits. AB 2093 is similar to a piece of California’s last large-scale attempt at disability access reform, SB 1186 of 2012, which required a commercial property owner to state on a lease form or rental agreement executed on or after July 1, 2013, whether the property being leased or rented has undergone inspection by a certified access specialist.
AB 2093 takes the 2012 legislation one step further and requires commercial property owners to state on every lease or rental agreement executed after January 1, 2017, whether the property being leased or rented has been inspected by a California Certified Access Specialist (CASp) for compliance with construction-related accessibility standards. If it has, and there have been no alterations affecting accessibility since, the owner must provide the prospective tenant a copy of the CASp report at least 48 hours prior to the execution of the lease or rental agreement. Any necessary repairs are deemed the responsibility of the owner unless the landlord and tenant contractually agree otherwise. If the CASp report indicates the property meets applicable accessibility standards, the owner must provide the report and CASp certificate to the tenant within seven days of the execution of the lease or rental agreement.
If the property has not been CASp-inspected, the owner must include specific language in the lease or rental agreement notifying the prospective tenant that: (a) a CASp can inspect the property and determine whether the property complies with construction-related accessibility standards; (b) a CASp inspection is not required by law; (c) the owner may not prohibit the tenant from obtaining a CASp inspection of the property; and (d) the owner and tenant shall mutually agree on the terms of the CASp inspection, including time, payment of fees, and allocation of responsibility for making any required corrections to accessibility violations identified in the CASp report.
Earlier this year, the Governor signed into law SB 269, which largely sought provide small business owners with some relief and protect businesses against liability for certain “technical” violations. Both bills come on the heels of 2015’s AB 1521, which imposed procedural and substantive prerequisites to a “high-frequency litigant” filing a lawsuit in California state courts.
AB 2093 is intended to raise the issue of the existence of possible violations of the ADA and California accessibility laws during the course of commercial property lease negotiations to encourage business owners to make any necessary repairs in a proactive manner, rather than making repairs as a reaction to a future ADA lawsuit from a plaintiff seeking the $4,000 per violation bounty offered by California’s disability access laws. Only time will tell if this latest effort at reform will make any difference in mitigating the huge, and growing number of disability access lawsuits in California (and across the country). For those of you closely following state government attempts to intervene and quell the proliferation of disability access lawsuits, read about the Arizona Attorney General’s recent action here.