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Wendover Park Equine Vets, Halton 01296 621840
Wendover Park Equine Vets, Watford 01296 621840

Pre-Purchase Examinations

5 Stage Examinations prior to purchase of a horse

Information currently being updated.

These are carried out prior to purchasing or insuring your horse and are procedures that follow guidelines recommended by BEVA (The British Equine Veterinary Association). This would normally involve a 5-stage examination or in case of ‘mortality only’ insurance 2-stage.

Vetting For Purchase/Insurance

5 Stage Examination

Nowadays, the majority of equine purchasers will request a 5-stage ‘Vetting’ examination which is still most commonly carried out at the vendor’s premises. In order that this examination can be carried out correctly and efficiently certain preconditions are necessary:

  • Stabling or at the very least small barn/field shelter, preferably with good lighting. Associated with this there should also be an area that is dark enough, particularly in the summer months, for a proper ophthalmic examination of the eyes to be carried out.
  • ‘Trotting up’ area – a level straight concrete/tarmaced surface of at least 20-30 metres is required. A hard level field in the summer months may be acceptable (providing the grass is short)!
  • A similar area to the 'Trotting up' area, but wide enough for the horse to be ‘turned’ by the handler or even lunged on a small circle.
  • A suitable area for strenuous exercise. A normal sized ménage providing a ‘rideable’ surface is ideal enabling a 20-30 metre circle to be ridden with ease. A field or paddock can be used providing this is suitable (reasonable surface, not on a slope etc) and it is possible that even if a suitable ménage is used initially, a field will be required in order to gallop the horse (particularly if a respiratory noise is heard at trot/canter).
  • A rider – somebody of suitable size and ability will be required to ride the horse at examination.

When the examination is booked with the Practice it is likely that the owner/purchaser/agent will be reminded of the need for these facilities and hopefully everyone concerned will also be aware of certain ‘time of day’ limitations depending upon the time of year.

Please keep the horse stabled before the vetting (or overnight if vetting taking place first thing in the morning). The horse should be clean and dry when presented to the vet for the examination. Please also make sure that shoes (if shod) are in good condition (not falling off!) and please do not apply hoof oil.

The average length of time that the complete procedure takes is between 1 and 2 hours. An examination on behalf of an insurance company will have similar requirements.

It is advisable that all 5-stage vettings prior to purchase of an equine includes taking a blood sample which may be tested for drug detection of medication given prior to examination. Storage and then possible analysis of the sample will incur additional charges.

It is advisable that any insurance of the horse be arranged prior to completing purchase of the horse.

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