Pre-Purchase Examinations (Vettings) - FAQs

SHOULD I BOOK A 2 OR A 5 STAGE VETTING?

Our advice would always be to have a 5 stage vetting as it gives more information about your potential purchase. There are circumstances where a 2 stage may be more appropriate (eg. buying a broodmare or an unbroken youngster), however, it is always worth checking with your insurance company that they do not require a 5 stage.

SHOULD I HAVE A BLOOD SAMPLE?

The normal protocol for a pre-purchase examination is to take a blood sample at the end of the vetting.  This blood sample is usually stored at at an independent laboratory for 6 months and is only run if required. If, however, the purchaser wishes it can be analysed prior to purchase. It is highly inadvisable to opt out of taking a blood sample as it helps both parties in the event of a dispute.

Many purchasers are also now requesting a blood sample to be taken for Strangles at the time of a vetting before moving the horse onto their own yard.  This is definitely a worthwhile exercise and some yard owner’s insist on it.

ADDITIONAL TESTS/X-RAYS

Depending on insurance company requirements or sometimes personal preference (especially if buying a more expensive horse), x-rays and less commonly, ultrasound scans or endoscopes are performed.  Usually insurance companies have a specific set of x-rays they require if the purchase price of a horse is in excess of £10,000.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE PRE-PURCHASE EXAMINATION?

Following the completion of a pre-purchase examination, the examining vet will take you through any significant findings of the examination.  The vet will be happy to answer any questions you may have at this time.

An electronic pre-purchase examination certificate (ePPE) will be completed and will conclude with the final statement “In my opinion, on the balance of probabilities, the conditions reported above DO/DO NOT prejudice this horse’s suitability for purchase to be used for….”. This is where the vet would record their opinion and state the type of work the horse was being purchased for eg., Showing or Dressage.