Pre-purchase examinations

At Beningbrough Equine we are able to perform pre-purchase examinations at the client’s request to assess the horse’s suitability for the intended purpose.

We can carry out either a two or five stage vetting.

For both 5 and 2 stage vetting’s please read the requirements for carrying out a PPE and complete and return the vetting request form.

Should you decide that you only require a 2-stage vetting, please be aware of the limitations. We will require you to read, sign and return the limited PPE request form before we are able to carry out the examination.

We recommend that all purchasers are present at the time of the vetting, if this is not possible, we endeavour to keep you informed of any concerns found at each stage of the vetting.  Extra mileage charges may be incurred if the vendors yard is outside our practice area.

The standard examination is conducted in five stages, although the exact sequence of the examination may vary. The stages are:

Stage 1

A thorough clinical examination of the horse at rest. This includes auscultation of the heart and lungs, an ophthalmic examination, inspection of the skin, palpation and manipulation of the limbs and joints and an estimate of the horse’s age. At this stage an appraisal of conformation and any signs of abnormal temperament will be noted.

Stage 2

Examination of the horse at walk and trot in hand on a flat, hard surface. Flexion tests and where possible lunging of the horse on a hard surface are also performed.

Stage 3

Strenuous exercise to assess the heart and ‘wind’ and further evaluation of the horse’s movement. The horse will be required to walk, trot, canter and gallop. In most cases the horse is ridden, however if the horse is unbroken then exercise can be carried out on the lunge. This allows for the detection of abnormal respiratory sounds and abnormal heart rhythms and sounds.

Stage 4

The horse will be rested for a period of time to allow the heart rate to return to normal. At this stage the heart and lungs will be examined again, and a blood sample taken. The passport is also checked. At this time any signs of abnormal behaviour will be noted.

Stage 5

Further examination of the horse at walk and trot in hand to ensure the horse continues to move soundly after completion of stage 3.

Once the pre purchase examination is completed, the vet will assess the significance of any findings alongside the use of the horse for which it is being purchased. In some cases, further tests may be recommended. For example, endoscopy to investigate a respiratory noise, and some insurance companies will require radiographs to be taken if the horse is to be insured over a certain value.

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