The purchase of a new horse is a big investment and having a horse vetted can help to reduce the risk of buying a horse with a problem that may reduce its ability to perform. As a practice we encourage potential buyers to seek a vetting prior to purchase, whereby we can offer an informed, professional opinion as to the suitability of a horse.
The purpose of a vetting is to assess the suitability of a horse to perform a certain task. There are two types of vetting commonly performed- 2 stage and 5 stage.
A 5 stage vetting is the most thorough examination and takes approximately 2 hours to complete.
- Stage 1- Examination at rest
- Stage 2 - Trot up and flexion tests
- Stage 3 - Exercise phase
- Stage 4 - Rest phase
- Stage 5 - Final examination and trot up
A 2 stage vetting involves only the first 2 stages and takes approximately 45 minutes to perform. We ask that all clients requesting a limited 2- Stage Vetting complete a Disclaimer before the Examination stating that they are aware of its limitations.
A blood sample may be taken and stored (usually for six months) for possible laboratory testing to detect substances that might have masked any factors affecting the horse’s suitability for purchase. Although this is not mandatory, we strongly recommend it for peace of mind. If a blood sample is not taken, then the reason is noted on the Vetting Certificate.
Additional tests and further examinations
Occasionally during the Pre Purchase Examination , the veterinary surgeon may recommend further diagnostic tests be performed before an opinion can be given regarding the suitability of a horse for purchase.
Examples of this would be blood testing, echocardiography, endoscopy, radiography.
Following the examination
Once the examination is complete, the veterinary surgeon will report their findings to the purchaser, and will come to an opinion, on the balance of probabilities, as to whether these findings do or do not prejudice the horse’s suitability for purchase for the intended purpose.
The purchaser is then presented with a ‘Certificate of Veterinary Examination of a Horse on behalf of a Prospective Purchaser’. This Certificate is usually a mandatory requirement if the horse is to be insured. Depending on the findings of the examination, the terms of any insurance policy may be altered accordingly.