All you need to know...

What is it?

A pre-purchase examination or "vetting" is a thorough clinical examination carried out on behalf of a potential purchaser to identify and assess factors which may affect a horse's suitability for it's 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 purchaser's individual needs and intended use of the horse. Examinations performed on behalf of a seller are not advised except in the case of a few specified auction sales.

A pre-purchase examination follows a standardised protocol that is the same across the UK and following the examination you will be issued with a certificate detailing any relevant findings.

Types of examination?

Pre-purchase exams are referred to as 2 Stage or 5 Stage. A 2 Stage PPE involves exactly the same first two stages as a 5 Stage and they are performed just as thoroughly as in the 5 Stage examination.

However, the omission of the final three stages does carry the risk of not detecting some problems so in most cases we would suggest performing the full 5 Stage examination.

What do we need?

It is ideal to see the horse in its normal environment, however occasionally this is not suitable.

We require a stable that can be darkened in order to perform the eye examination. A flat, firm area is needed to perform the trot ups as well as an area for lunging the horse, preferably on a firm level surface.

Additionally for 5 Stage exams we need a suitable place to perform the ridden phase in walk, trot and canter - preferably an arena - and also rider for this phase.

We will also need to see the horse's passport.

What is the difference between a 2 stage and a 5 stage vetting?

There are two types of pre-purchase examinations, 2 Stage and 5 Stage.

A detailed description of what is involved in each can be accessed below.

vetting guidance notes
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2 Stage vetting disclaimer

If you decide to proceed with a 2 stage vetting, you must sign and return the attached document showing that you understand the limitations of a 2 stage vetting.

This must be done prior to the vetting taking place.

2 stage vetting disclaimer

Pre-purchase examination booking form

Please ensure you have read the detailed information above regarding 2 Stage and 5 Stage pre-purchase examinations. It is important that you understand the limitations of a 2 Stage examination.

Upon completion of the below form a member of our office team will contact you arrange a suitable time for your vetting.

(If different from vendor's address)

Discipline & age of rider
Vets' fees, loss of use etc
(Radiography / Endoscopy)

Vetting Procedure

- The horse needs to be stabled overnight or at least 3 hours before examination
- Please ensure horse is presented clean and free of mud, feet must be clean and picked out.
- A blood sample will be taken
- The history of the horse will be revealed if the a current client of the practice.
- Relevant passport / vaccination card must be made available to the vet.
- Exact height measurement is not part of the examination. If an exact height is needed, a Joint Measurement Board (JMB) height certificate is needed.