Pre-purchase examinations

Pre-purchase examination – (horse vetting)

I am available to perform pre-purchase examinations throughout the UK and abroad. My knowledge of the equine industry in the UK and abroad, as well as my specialisation in lameness and poor performance, gives me an exceptional insight when assessing competition horses.

A pre-purchase examination (or vetting as they are commonly known) involves examining the horse to determine its suitability for its intended use by way of clinical observations at rest, in-hand and after strenuous exercise, depending on the stages required. I follow the pre-purchase protocol guidelines as set out by the BEVA.

There are usually 2 types of pre-purchase examination: a 2 stage vetting or a 5 stage vetting (also known as a 5 star examination). A 2 stage pre-purchase examination is a limited examination; I would encourage you to perform a 5 stage exam for a complete assessment. However, there may be situations where a 5 stage examination is not possible (i.e. unbroken horses, foals, etc.) therefore we can discuss the merits of different examinations depending on your circumstances.

It is important that there are adequate facilities to perform the examination. Ideally a stable dark enough to allow eye examination, a level firm trot up area (at least 20metres), a safe riding area, firm surface for lungeing, electricity and a cup of tea!

The pre-purchase examination involves 5 stages and two additional “optional” procedures that can be performed in either a 2 or 5 stage vetting: flexion test and lungeing on a hard surface. Also a blood sample may be taken for storage (up to 6 months) for possible analysis for substances that may have influenced the examination.

Additional procedures such as x-ray, ultrasound, endoscopy, etc can also be performed depending on the requirements.

If you would like to see what pre-purchase examinations involve in more detail, please follow these links:

Pre-purchase examination explained, click here.

Sample pre-purchase certificate, click here.

At the end of the examination, I can then discuss the results with the buyer, and give an assessment on the horse’s suitability for its intended use and any factors that may impact this. If there is a problem that can compromise the welfare of the horse, this can also be discussed with the vendor at my discretion. Please note that I can only base my opinion on how the horse presents that day, and vettings are non-transferable (i.e. the vendor cannot use the results of your vetting as proof that the horse will pass a future vetting with another potential purchaser).