Enclosed Horses Escape From Improperly Installed Fence


Equine ExpertThis case involves a horse and foal that escaped from a fenced enclosure on a ranch in Nebraska. The ranch had just installed the fence in question less than a year before the incident and had utilized an outside service to handle the installation process. The horse and foal escaped around 2 pm and traveled 3 miles before attempting to cross a major highway. As they were crossing, they collided with a pickup truck. Both the driver and the foal were killed in the accident. It was alleged that the fencing company improperly installed the fence.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. What is your experience in the fencing industry?
  • 2. Please explain your knowledge of the proper fencing for horses and how to properly install such a fence.

Expert Witness Response E-033253

Equine fencing is a topic I consider very dear. In my current position, I am responsible for assessing equine rescue and sanctuary facilities across the county to determine the extent to which these groups comply with equine standards and best practices. I have evaluated over 100 organizations to date, and I’ve also worked with my local county agriculture extension agent to develop a tool that allows individual horse owners to assess the safety of their own fencing. Many of the standards I assess refer to the safe containment of horses. There are many materials that can be used in fencing to contain horses in a pasture or paddock provided they are able to withstand equine strength and safely contain the animals. Proper and regular maintenance is crucial. The supporting posts for fences must be fixed firmly in the ground. Metal T-posts used as supporting posts must have safety caps. Fence material must be sufficiently secured to supporting posts in such a way that the weight of the horses could not detach it from the support nor dislodge the supporting posts.

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