The Importance of an Equine Pre-Purchase Exam

It's incredibly important to have a pre-purchase exam performed when buying a horse, regardless of your familiarity with the horse or seller. A pre-purchase exam will provide you with a complete understanding of the health of the horse before you put money into the animal. Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for horses to be drugged or for other frauds to be committed within the horse industry. Choose a vet that does not have a relationship with the seller and be wary of a seller who discourages you from having a pre-purchase exam or using a veterinarian of your choice. Below are more tips for a pre-purchase exam and can help prevent litigation in the long run.

  • If you are buying a horse out of area, try to avoid asking the seller for a recommendation, as the veterinarian may have a biased opinion if they have a business relationship. Instead, ask for a list of veterinarians and choose one from the list.
  • If you're selling a horse, you should not allow a buyer to take a horse off your property for a pre-purchase exam. Instead, the seller should be the one to bring the vet to the exam if the vet will not make a barn call.
  • Pre-purchase exams should always be done prior to the purchase. The exam should be done before the byer takes possession of the horse, the buyer pays for the horse, and before the buyer receives a bill of sale from the seller.
  • Sellers should encourage buyers to get a complete pre-purchase exam and to inspect horses before the purchase or delivery of the horse, as it protects both parties: buyer and seller.
  • If the horse has had a pre-purchase exam prior to the seller's purchase, the buyer should ask for a copy of the result from the exam.

If you're unsure of the specific aspects regarding equine law and pre-purchase exam, contact an equine lawyer to ensure that you are aware of all of the horse's health problems, if any.

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