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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Rhonda Aimee Gamble contends material issues of fact preclude the summary judgment granted on her premises liability claim against Larry Peyton and Barbara Peyton. Gamble and her future husband, Jay, purchased Gabe, a green-broke two-and-one-half-year-old palomino quarter horse, from the Peytons at their Montgomery ranch. The day after the Gambles paid the Peytons for the horse, the group walked to a small movable metal pen located in the pasture behind the barn. While they were standing outside the pen, Larry Peyton mentioned to Rhonda Gamble that he had been battling fire ants all summer and that the ants had been bad that year. He did not mention any particular location on the property or warn Gamble to be careful of ants in the pen. Neither Rhonda nor Jay Gamble observed any visible fire ant mounds inside the pen. Gabe’s trainer provided a mounted demonstration of the horse’s training, then asked Gamble if she wanted to ride. An experienced rider, Rhonda Gamble mounted the horse and rode around the perimeter of the pen for what Jay Gamble estimated to be 10 to 15 minutes. As Rhonda Gamble removed her right foot from the stirrup to dismount, Gabe began to crow hop. Gamble testified that as she bounced in the saddle, she felt “an explosion of electrical activity from my waist to my toes,” lost control of her lower body and fell to the ground. The trainer took the horse to the barn while Jay Gamble and the Peytons tended to Rhonda Gamble. When the trainer returned to the pen, she mentioned that Gabe had fire ants all over his back legs. Gamble sustained a back injury requiring surgery. HOLDING:Affirmed. A person cannot be held liable for personal injuries sustained by a participant in an equine activity if the injury results from dangers or conditions that are an inherent risk of the activity. Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code �87.003. The Legislature has enacted a nonexclusive list of inherent risks of equine activity. Included in this list are the propensity for a horse to behave in ways that may result in personal injury to a person on the horse and the unpredictability of a horse’s reaction to an unfamiliar animal. Citing Steeg v. Baskin Family Camps Inc., 124 S.W.3d 633 (Tex. App. – Austin 2003, pet. dism’d), Gamble contends a fact issue exists regarding whether her injuries resulted from an inherent risk of equine activity. Appellant’s reliance on Steeg is misplaced. The injury in Steeg occurred as a result of a saddle slipping and there was some evidence supporting the claim that negligent saddling contributed to the injury. Gamble’s injury occurred as a result of the horse’s violent reaction to being stung by ants. The injury-causing event here clearly falls within the statutorily defined inherent risks; therefore, the Peytons are not liable for Gamble’s injuries unless one of the statutory exceptions of �87.004 applies. Gamble argues a fact issue exists regarding whether a dangerous latent condition of land caused her injury. A bed of ants, she argues, is as much a condition of land as a plant, a man-made object or a concealed hole. A structure built by ants is not at issue in this case, as it might be if, say, a horse stumbled on a crawfish tower or tripped in a mole hole and threw its rider. In this case, the horse unexpectedly reacted to wild animals. The Peytons argue that the ants themselves cannot be a dangerous latent condition of land because ownership and control of land does not convey ownership and control over wild animals on the land. None of the cases cited by Gamble stand for the proposition that an owner is responsible for the actions of insects outdoors in a place where the particular animal is normally found. The court holds that the presence of fire ants inside an outdoor riding pen is not an unreasonably dangerous condition of land. Gamble contends the Peytons knew they had a fire ant problem but kept the danger a secret. Her claim is based entirely upon Larry Peyton’s conversation, as they stood at the pen before the demonstration commenced, that he had been battling fire ants and they were bad that year. This statement reveals a general awareness of the possible presence of fire ants, but it also demonstrates that he disclosed that possibility to Gamble before she mounted the horse. Gamble contends this warning was inadequate under the equine activity statute and that a fact issue exists as to whether the Peytons posted the statutory warning. Section 87.005 requires that a warning regarding inherent risks be posted by an “equine professional” if the professional “manages or controls a stable, corral, or arena where the professional conducts an equine activity.” Gamble bought this horse from the Peytons; she did not rent the horse or any tack, and she received no riding instruction for which she paid compensation. Section 87.005 does not apply. Furthermore, because the presence of fire ants inside an outdoor riding pen is not an unreasonably dangerous condition of land, the warning provisions contained in �87.004(3) also do not apply. OPINION:Steve McKeithen, CJ; McKeithen, CJ, Gaultney and Kreger, JJ.

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