Vettings / Pre-purchase Examinations

What is a vetting?

The aim of the pre-purchase examination is to carry out a thorough clinical examination on behalf of the prospective purchaser to identify and assess factors of a veterinary nature that could prejudice the horses suitability for its intended use. Each pre-purchase examination is carried out on behalf of a specific prospective purchaser so that the opinion can be based on that purchasers individual needs and intended use of the horse.

What type of vetting may I require?

There are 2 basic forms of vetting procedure – a 2 or a 5 stage vetting. The five stage vetting has evolved over the decades and it is intended to provide a cost effective, professional evaluation and assessment of a horses suitability to perform a certain job. It is an examination carried out on a given day and the opinion relates to that day, no long term guarantee of future health can be expected although the vet will obviously advise you about the long term implications of any abnormality detected. We recommend that a blood sample is taken, this is normally stored for 6 months. This is for possible future analysis to detect substances present in the horses system at the time of examination that might have masked factors affecting the horses suitability for the purchasers intended use. In some circumstances further diagnostics eg. radiographs, might be advised by the examining vet or might be required by the purchasers insurance company.


In some circumstances our vets are asked to carry out a limited 2 stage examination. However, the prospective purchaser must understand that this examination is limited in its scope and may not detect important clinical factors that could otherwise influence their decision to purchase the horse.


Insurance examinations can also be carried out for an existing owner of a horse. These normally follow the same format as either the 5 stage or 2 stage vetting. These examinations do not include an opinion and should not be interpreted as a pre purchase examination.

Our vets are happy to carry out any of the above examinations on behalf of our registered or non-registered clients.

If the animal to be vetted belongs to one of our clients or is known to the practice, the examining vet will request permission from the vendor to disclose the veterinary history to the purchaser. If permission is not granted then the vet will decline to carry out the examination as he/she will not be able to act wholly in the best interests of the purchaser.

Vettings may also be carried out at the practice using the school and facilities available.

Register your horse and book an appointment