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Amy G. RiceAttorney Amy Rice is the only Rhode Island attorney to attend the National Equine Law Conference in Kentucky, which precedes the Kentucky Derby, for which she stays to attend. Attorney Rice receives 15 continuing legal education credits at the Equine Law Seminar, where she meets with equine law attorneys from across the country. Attorney Rice subscribes to the Equine Law & Business letter, as well as several monthly horse publications, and several horse organizations. Attorney Rice is proud to represent a number of farms and horse owners and businesses including Newport Polo, Inc., and The Aquidneck Island Horseman’s Association, Inc.. From simple boarding, leasing or breeding contracts, incorporations to complex litigation, Attorney Rice has handed many equine law cases/clients and has assisted horse owners in several states.

Attorney Amy G. Rice makes divots, and she has horses for clients – via their owners of course. One of Amy’s favorite activities is playing polo1 with her horses. She and her fellow polo players, including her husband Paul, play at The Glen Farm in Portsmouth, RI, where Amy resides, and serves as a Town Councilor. From May through September, you will find Amy at The Glen galloping down the fields, using her mallet to hit or defend against a little white ball, or umpiring eight players each mounted on thousand pound horses.

Amy finds polo exciting and challenging. Although polo has dangers, many of its rules focus on the safety of the horses and players. According to Amy, “While very athletic, polo is more cerebrally comparable to chess than other goal oriented sports.” Amy notes that polo, like most sports, involves assessing your opponents, but polo adds the assessment of other players’ mounts and the umpire (similar to assessing your judges). And, polo requires reassessments every chukker2 when players switch mounts.

Polo has been dubbed the sport of kings but Amy says you don’t have to be Prince Charles to play or dress like Julia Roberts to be a spectator. Watching a polo match is as casual as a tailgate party on the sidelines where you may drink and dine while enjoying the spectacle to the sound of thundering hooves galloping past in hot competition.

Attorney Amy Rice practices in Portsmouth, RI, a polo player and, as she appears here, a polo umpire.Amy’s love for horses led her into equine law. “I never took an equine law class, but it is basically law relating to horses. Naturally, it can involve personal injury law, but it is more often contract and agency law.” An attorney does not have to have knowledge of horses per se to take a horse-related case, but Amy contends it helps her understand and assess her client’s needs. Like the sport of sailing, some equine law language is unique, e.g. knowing a stifle from a hock. Knowledge of various horse associations’ rules is also helpful in pursuing alternative dispute methods. Additionally, Amy explains, an attorney is often needed at a client’s barn where owning paddock boots helps.

Reprinted with permission from the May/June 2003 issue of The Rhode Island Bar Journal.

[1] Polo is the world’s oldest team sport that has been since 600 years B.C. See John Lloyd, The Pimm’s Book of Polo by at p.13 (Trafaglar 1989). In fact, the first polo tournament in the United States took place in Newport, R.I. in 1876.↩
[2] A chukker is a period, similar to an inning. There are 6 chukkas lasting 7 minutes each↩