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The most common question we are asked is whether to have a two stage or a five stage pre-purchase examination (PPE) and what the difference is. Whilst we would always encourage a five stage vetting for any ridden horse, as this is the only way in which we can completely assess the horse's soundness, wind, heart in response to exercise and behaviour under saddle. 

Both examinations following strict guidelines in format and it well worth reading more about the pre-purchase examination to help you know what to expect in each case and which suits your needs best. On average a two stage vetting takes roughly 45 mins to an hour; whereas a five stage vetting without further tests will usually take an hour and a half.

Facilities required for a successful PPE


The environment in which we examine any horse prior to purchase will influence the quality of the examination and in turn affects the ability to interpret findings on the day. The decision on whether to 'pass' or 'fail' a horse at a PPE is based on these findings, so to give your horse the fairest vetting possible it is important to provide us with the most suitable facilities you can. If you have concerns having reviewed the requirements, please ring our of our vets and we will try to answer any questions you may have. Additionally, if the facilities in which the horse is currently kept are not adequate, we are more than happy to perform vetting at our clinic.

Insuring your horse?


In many cases clients are intending to insure their horse following purchase. Different companies will have different requirements which may influence both the type of vetting you select and the requirement for further tests, e.g. x-rays, scans or endoscopy. Please make sure you know exactly what is required by your chosen insurer prior to booking and we will book the appropriate vet, equipment and time to undertake the examination. 

Insurance companies will usually require a valid PPE certificate to be sent to them. We will discuss the implications of all findings from the PPE with you at the time; however, please be aware that exclusions may be placed on your policy as a result. If you have any concerns regarding insurance exclusions on a new policy, please ring your vet and we will try to help. 

Suitability for purchase


It is possibly inappropriate to consider the successful outcome of any pre-purchase examination in terms of 'passing' or 'failing'. Any findings identified during the vetting process are documented and interpreted directly in light of the proposed use for each individual horse. 

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 .....

It is therefore, perhaps fairer to think of the vetting in terms of a bespoke risk assessment. Considering the case of an Arab whose proposed use is for endurance. A large scar has been identified on its shoulder from a previous field injury. No pain or lameness was noted, so this particular finding is deemed very low risk for endurance performance and therefore, does not prejudice the horse's suitability for this purpose. 

Imagine now the same horse is presented for the proposed use of international showing. Exactly the same finding carries significant cosmetic concerns and is highly likely to preclude the horse from being successful at showing at this level. In this case this condition does prejudice the horse's suitability for international showing. This horse has both 'passed' and 'failed' the same examination.  

Considered and careful communication between the purchaser and vet performing the examination is crucially important, and this is why we encourage any purchaser to be present at the examination where possible. The more information you can give us about concerns you may have regarding any condition you may have reservations about, e.g. sarcoids or melanomas; concerns specifically relating to the horse to be examined, the intended use and the experience of the carer(s) and rider(s); the more successful this process is likely to be.

Our Location

Lingfield Equine Vets is situated in the beautiful Surrey Hills area. We are located just north of Felbridge on the A22 with easy access for all equine transport vehicles.

Contact Us Today
Lingfield Equine Vets
Chester Lodge, Woodcock Hill,
Felbridge, Surrey,
RH19 2RD
(01342) 300008