- Holland & Knight's Equine Industry Team is a full-service law practice dedicated to serving clients in all disciplines of competitive equestrian sport.
- Our multidisciplinary team spans Holland & Knight offices near major U.S. geographic equine centers in Florida, California, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and the Northeast (New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut).
- We counsel clients throughout the full equine business and sport life cycle, including company formation and financing; constructing stables, show facilities and other equine facilities; negotiating purchase and sale agreements, lease agreements, brokerage agreements, boarding contracts, training agreements and other related contractual agreements; assessing optimal insurance coverages; ensuring regulatory compliance; and resolving disputes.
Holland & Knight's Equine Industry Team is a full-service law practice dedicated to serving clients in the equine arena.
Our lawyers advise a broad range of equine industry players on the complete spectrum of corporate, finance, regulatory and litigation matters they face – providing a one-stop shop for clients.
With attorneys located near major U.S. geographic equine centers and active on the top show circuits, our team possesses diverse industry experience and a deep knowledge of the hunter/jumper, dressage, eventing, racing and breed-specific show circuits and disciplines.
Our team roster includes members of the U.S. Equestrian Federation, the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association, the Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association and other national and regional organizations; a member of the Equestrian Committee for the City of Rolling Hills Estates, a California community known for its dedication to the equestrian lifestyle; a former commissioner of the U.S. Pony Clubs; a judge for the Special Olympics trials in Wellington, Florida; former riding instructors; breeding farm employees; and competing members of the U.S. Eventing Association (USEA).
Our clients own, train and show some of the world's highest-ranked horses, breed (and syndicate) world-class stallions, and own/operate prestigious horse betting and gaming enterprises. In addition, we represent colleges and universities with premier equestrian teams.
- horse owners, trainers and riders
- boarding, training and breeding operations
- equine farms and facilities
- sports and stable complexes
- high-net-worth individuals, families and family offices who own and breed horses
- horse betting and gaming companies
- college and university equestrians
- equine real estate developers
- private equity funds and investors
- hotels and other hospitality businesses
- equine sponsors
Corporate Transactions, Finance and Private Equity
As a full-service firm, we have the ability to call on our corporate attorneys across a wide range of practices to advise on all aspects of equine business operations, from corporate and fund formation to the sale of farm properties. We offer an integrated approach to help our equestrian-owning clients navigate the full range of corporate transactions and financing needs.
In leading a broad range of transactions, Holland & Knight lawyers have particularly deep experience advising equestrian-owning clients on:
- formation and structure of corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies
- equine lease, purchase/sale and syndication agreements
- boarding and training contracts
- facility management contracts
- liability waivers
- stallion shares
Our attorneys also counsel asset owners, buyers, sellers, syndicators, investors, lenders and borrowers on advantageous capital structures for their equine businesses. After evaluating funding opportunities and strategies, we can help locate and screen potential investors, and will work with clients to develop relationships with angel investors, private equity funds, strategic investors, partners and others.
Real Estate and Land Use
With one of the largest real estate practices in the country, we represent developers, managers and owners in the full life cycle of developing equine show and boarding facilities, resort and hospitality properties, and planned equine communities. Our real estate lawyers work closely with our nationally recognized land use attorneys to ensure seamless transition from initial permitting and site analysis to financing, property acquisition, construction and occupancy.
Our industry experience includes negotiating the purchase, sale and financing of all types of commercial and equine real estate. Our land use attorneys also assist clients with securing rezonings, variances, conditional uses, special exceptions, site plan approvals and other entitlements for racetracks and other properties.
Estate Planning and Tax Law
Holland & Knight's multidisciplinary team has a comprehensive understanding of the complexities of owning and transferring horses and equine properties. We take a 360-degree approach to structuring, preserving and transferring clients' wealth and estates, including horses and equine properties.
Our attorneys guide clients in navigating state tax and estate laws to effectively draft wills, trusts and wealth transfer agreements, including the transfer of horse-ownership and breeding rights. We work closely with clients to design and implement sophisticated strategies to achieve tax-efficient structures that account for horse depreciation, and also advise on compliance, business succession and charitable planning.
Regulatory and Policy Counsel
As equine industry stakeholders acclimate to new rules and regulations set forth by the recently enacted Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, Holland & Knight is well positioned to help clients navigate the regulatory process.
Backed by Holland & Knight's Public Policy & Regulation Group, our Equine Industry Team can advocate on clients' behalf to influence developing legislation and policy in this historically unregulated sector. Our bipartisan team has the ability to leverage its long-standing relationships with Congress and policymakers at government agencies.
Our attorneys have extensive state agency experience and have been instrumental in drafting the current rules regulating the safety and integrity of horses and horse racing in Florida. We also advise clients on state disclosures to ensure compliance during the sale and/or purchase of horses.
Litigation and Dispute Resolution
Our attorneys take a proactive approach to help equine clients minimize risk and liability through litigation prevention strategies. When disputes arise, we advise on a range of cost-effective alternative dispute resolution methods. When clients decide to assert or defend against claims in court, we can call on our firm's deep bench of litigators with extensive experience in a wide range of matters to help represent clients at trial and in appellate proceedings.
We have capabilities to assist in the following areas and more:
- contract disputes with trainers, stables and other related parties
- sponsorship disputes
- construction, real estate and land use disputes
- employment claims
- personal injury and professional liability
- intellectual property
- deceptive or unfair competition practices
Because equine businesses and horse owners are subject to varying degrees of risk, we help clients protect their assets by reviewing and navigating insurance policies and coverages.
Our attorneys have particular strength in reviewing and drafting equine insurance policy language to hedge risk, including prepurchase examinations. When coverage disputes arise, we represent our clients in negotiations or litigation as necessary.
- Represented a client in the acquisition, planning, financing and development of a 110-acre equestrian center in New York state
- Represented clients in the purchase, sale and lease of top show hunters, jumpers and ponies; assisted clients with equine due diligence, drafted and negotiated agreements and assisted with transportation coordination and brokerage commission matters.
- Serve as outside counsel for the first national daily fantasy sports operator exclusive to equine show jumping, overseeing an equine app beta-testing, seed round fundraising and Series A offering documents, corporate formation, regulatory compliance across all 50 states, horse show sponsorship negotiations, trademark disputes, co-existence agreements and other legal matters