Buying a horse is an exciting time for any potential owner. To ensure that there are no hidden surprises once you get your new horse home, we recommend you have a pre-purchase examination (PPE), commonly known as a vetting. Pre-purchase requirements are frequently required by insurance companies, to allow you to take out an insurance policy. Each company will have different requirements, so contacting your chosen company in advance is important to ensure you know what information you need to take out an insurance policy. In turn, this will help in choosing the appropriate pre-purchase examination.
The are two pre-purchase examination options: a two stage or a five stage vetting. Pre-purchase examinations are a detailed assessment of your chosen horse, initially at rest; then an appraisal of the gait, in hand. This completes a two stage vetting. Complete five stage vettings include a period of strenuous exercise, subsequent rest and a further gait assessment. Two stage examinations are formerly known as a limited pre-purchase examination. If you opt to request a limited PPE you will be asked to complete a letter stating you have had the restrictions of this examination explained to you.
At the end of any pre-purchase examination a blood sample may be taken from the horse. This sample is used should there be any concerns in the future that the horse or pony may have been given medication that was not declared at the time of the PPE. The vendor or vendor's agent will be asked to sign a declaration stating whether the horse has been administered any medications in the four weeks prior to the PPE, along with the reasons for the treatment given. Receiving medication does not preclude the horse or pony from being examined, but enables the purchaser and veterinarian to make a fully informed decision and interpretation of the findings from the PPE. It is also worth noting that any party involved in the sale of the animal can request that the sample is tested: the purchaser, vendor or veterinary surgeon who undertakes the PPE. Thankfully, as non-disclosed medicating of horse prior to sale is rare most samples will be discarded. Samples are kept stored at the Horse Forensics Laboratories, Newmarket for six months from the date of the PPE and whilst a nominal fee may apply to obtaining the blood initially; no further fees apply unless the sample is tested. Fees vary depending on the drug being tested for but start from around £300.
Further details about the PPE process and the PPE types is available, as well as the facility for you to book a vetting online. However, should you have any further queries or questions regarding the process, facilities or the actual animal itself, just contact us.