Pre-Purchase Exams


A prepurchase examination is a detailed examination requested by a potential buyer of a horse. The objective is to reduce the buyer’s risks in relationship to the general health and athletic soundness of the horse at the time of sale. The examination is not meant to guarantee soundness of the horse but is an attempt, on the part of the examining veterinarian, to ascertain any preexisting problems or any potential problems that may affect future soundness.  There is no pass or fail mark given to the horse, but a report of its health status, and an assessment of the problems that may be encountered in context with the purchasers needs and the management that may be required.

Prepurchase examinations are custom tailored depending on the intended use of the horse and the wishes of the buyer. For example a broodmare might have an ultrasound and a potential racehorse will likely have upper airway endoscopy as well as X-rays.

We are equipped with a digital xray system, this system takes the delay out of waiting for xray results in making a purchase decision, as the xrays may be viewed immediately on site.  Our veterinarians are experienced in prepurchase exams, they have a consistent approach and will provide a detailed report of their exam on that day.   If radiographs are requested during the prepurchase examination a copy of the images will be provided to the purchaser on a CD.   If there are any particular concerns about the Radiograph or Ultrasound findings we have the ability to send the images to a board-certified veterinary specialists for a second opinion.

Traditionally, it is recommended that the veterinarian have had no contact with the horse or seller in a previous medical or personal role. However, this is often not possible when the horse is being sold within a small community or within the same barn.  In these situations, we may ask that a conflict of interest form to be signed by both buyer and seller, agreeing to prepurchase examination.

If the potential purchaser is from out of town and unable to attend the prepurchase examination we can arrange to have the purchaser on the phone with the Veterinarian or Veterinary Assistant during the course of the exam.  We can also provide video footage of the prepurchase exam when requested.