Pre Purchase Vettings

Pre Purchase Vettings

Pre-purchase examinations and insurance proposal examinations are not, as many people think a pass or fail examination, but a thorough evaluation of a horse or pony for it's suitability for a specific role or use.

Whether you're buying a Shetland or a performance horse, a pre-purchase examination by Stables Equine Practice, will help you enter into it with your eyes open.

All our vets are horsemen and women and understand what will be demanded of a horse in its intended job, be that hacking out at the weekend or competing at international level. We can not only advise you whether the horse is currently sound in wind and limb, but offer an insight into any issues you might expect, with advice as to how to avoid or mitigate those issue, through management, shoeing etc.

We perform most pre-purchase examinations, at the vendor’s property, provided there are suitable facilities to allow us to properly evaluate the horse, (eg a dark area to examine eyes, and suitable surfaces to observe the horse’s gait), and are prepared to travel any distance for our clients. As with lameness exams, the Conkerfield Clinic does represent the ideal environment to carry out vettings.

Tim assesses hindlimb

BEVA Five Stage Examination

The “Five stage vetting” is the standard Pre-purchase examination, and includes an examination in the stable, trot up, strenuous exercise, a period of rest, second trot up, limb flexion, trotting on a small circle on a hard surface.

A blood sample is taken and stored for 6 months, which can subsequently be tested for anti-inflammatories or behaviour altering drugs.

We will discuss the findings with you, and issue a standard certificate, which your insurance company may require before giving you cover. It is sensible to discuss our findings with a potential insurer, as some findings which in our opinion would not prejudice the purchase but might render the horse uninsurable!

Two Stage Examination/Mortality Examination

This is general examination of a horse, to asses it’s general health, and basic soundness. It doesn’t include exercise and when performed on behalf of an insurance company, is to reassure the insurer that the horse is unlikely to die or fall prey to anything obvious in the near future.

We will perform a two stage examination on behalf of a prospective purchaser, but our advice is that you view the examination in the same light as the insurance companies do. If you already have knowledge to the horse, you may regard this as an acceptable level of risk.

Additional Examinations Prior to Purchase

In addition to the standard examinations, we can perform any further specific diagnostic tests/imaging, that might give deeper insight into the horse’s suitability for it’s intended role. Commonly we may take X-rays, endoscope the airways, or scan legs.


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