Regardless of the value of a horse, it's important to always have a pre-purchase vet exam done no matter the surrounding circumstances. Whether a horse is $500 or $50,000, your vet bills could cost you even more if the horse has pre-existing issues concerning soundness or illness. A pre-purchase exam takes place prior to purchasing the horse and should be performed by an experienced veterinarian. There are various degrees to which they exam, which is based on your decision and what you're using the horse for. Below are some tips to follow when getting a pre-purchase exam, according to Santa Barbara horse lawyer.
Always Use Your Own Veterinarian
It's important to always use your own vet as opposed to a vet recommended by the seller. If you are unfamiliar with the area or are even importing from another country, find a vet that is unassociated with the seller who you can trust to give an honest, unbiased pre-purchase exam to reveal any underlying issues. Unfortunately, there are many horsemen out there who aren't exactly honest sellers and it takes an honest pre-purchase exam to ensure you are getting what you pay for.
Don't Be Afraid to Ask Questions
Ask the seller questions about the horse's previous history, as well as any existing vet records, including xrays and immunization records. If the horse is an off-the-track Thoroughbred, ask for racing records or look them up online – this way, you can see how many starts the horse actually had. The less starts means the cleaner the horse's legs are. Make sure you are present for the exam to ask any questions and voice any concerns you might have.
Don't Accept a Bill of Sale Until the Exam
Again, this exam needs to be done prior to receiving the bill of sale and paying for the horse. While you may make payments, it's advisable to hold the final payment until the exam is completed. This needs to be done also before you as the buyer takes possession of the horse.
If you believe you have a legal issue regarding your pre-purchase exam as a buyer or seller, be sure to contact Catanese & Wells, an experienced Santa Barbara horse lawyer, today at 818-707-0407.