Do I Need A Pre-Purchase Examination When I buy A Horse

by Sarah Macey

A Pre-Purchase Examination
When you have found the horse that you feel is the most suitable for you and that he has met your criteria; I strongly recommended that you arrange for a vet to carry out a pre-purchase veterinary examination.
This may seem costly it’s not. It may save you a lot of money and heartache in the future.

A pre-purchase examination reduces the chance of buying a horse that may have health problems or become unsound in the future.

If you decide to insure the horse the insurance company will probably request a copy of the pre-purchase examination certificate which your vet will issue if the horse passes the examination.

Prior to the pre-purchase examination you will need to explain to your vet for what purpose you are purchasing the horse, for example hacking, eventing, dressage etc.

The vet will then assess the horse with the above in mind and determine whether the horse is physically suitable for the purpose stated. Although a pre-purchase vetting certificate may identify possible concerns for the future, it is never a guarantee. It is advisable to obtain a receipt for your money and you may also want to consider a sale contract. The sale contract should state the terms and conditions that the horse was bought under. You may choose to include the following:
• The sale date and cost of the horse.
• The name and signature of both parties i.e. the buyer and the seller.
• The name of the horse, age, colour, sex and a brief description.
• A list of any additional equipment sold with the horse including the registration documents, flu vaccination certificate, passport, tack, rugs etc.
• The start date, termination date and conditions of the trial period. Trial periods can be fraught with problems for both the buyer and seller, it is therefore advisable to ensure that all aspects of this trial period are covered in writing, including whose responsibility it is if the horse is ill, injured etc, who pays the insurance etc.
• Conditions of sale.
• A statement of any known ‘stereotypes’, injuries or problems the horse may have.
• A description of the horse’s abilities and a “fit for use” statement.
• A statement acknowledging that the horse will need a settling in period to adjust to its new environment.

This is purely for guidance only. Legal Advice should be sought on any documents to ensure that they are legally binding.

The Stable Doctor
Advice is given without legal responsibility

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