Purchase Exam Notes

Equine Purchase Exam Notes for Buyers and Sellers

What it is a purchase exam?
-Extensive examination that takes 1-6 hours to perform, for the purpose of determining suitability of a horse for the intended purpose.
-A internationally recognized and organized process that generates legal documents often used by attorneys, insurance companies and breed registries.
-Goal of the purchase emamination is for the veterinarian to discover all possble physical, physiological, psychological and historical information on the subject horse and present those findings to the prospective buyer or agent to make an informed decsion.

What a purchase exam is not?
-An exam to establish and provide warranty.
-A pass/fail test.

Core Components of Purchase Exam at Rogue Equine Hospital.
-Clear identification/description of the horse, including of brands, tattoos, markings and color, sex and breed.
-Current diet and specific components
-Current housing and variations
-Medication history
-Medical history
-Preventative health care history
-Eyes and glands and skin/coat
-Mouth and teeth
-Heart and lungs
-Brain and spinal cord
-Neck, back and hips
-Upper and Lower limbs, including joints
-Objective data – heart and respiratory rate and temperature

Moving Evaluation
-Walk, trot and canter
-Passive flexion stress tests
-Physical response to work/exercise (heart rate and respiratory rate + quality)

Occasionally Added Componenets
-Uphill/Downhill walk/trot
-Walking side pull
-Limb placement/obstacle course
-Under saddle work

Exam May Include/Optional
-Blood work – complete scan – chemistry, complete blood count and fibrinogen
-Drug test – blood or urine
-Reproductive evaluation – if indicated
-Diagnostic procedures – radiography and ultrasound
-Gait Analysis – Equinosis System
-Genetic testing – see below:
–Parentage/Genetic Marker Report
–Cerebellar Abiotrophy Screening Test (CA) Lavender Foal Syndrome
–Coat Color:  Red Factor + Agouti Package –  Appaloosa Spotting- Red Factor – Agouti – Camarillo White W4 – Champagne – Cream – Dun – Pearl Silver – Lethal White Overo – Sabino1 Splashed White – Tobiano – Dominant White W10 Gray
–Glycogen Branching Enzyme Deficiency (GBED)
–Hereditary Equine Regional Dermal Asthenia (HERDA)
–Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis (HYPP)
–Horse Embryo Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis
–SynchroGait TM
–Horse Embryo Clone Validation – DNA + Mitochondrial
–Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa (JEB)

Important points for the buyer
-If possible, and an under-saddle prospect, ride or have appointed agent ride more than once.
-Consulting an equine professional with experience in the discipline for which a horse is being considered is highly recommended.  This fact will increase the probability of a successful outcome.
-Engage Vet who is familiar with intended use of the horse
-It is okay to use the regularly attending veterinarian for the horse, however it is legally and ethically a standard for the veterinarian to do a complete record search on the horse and fully disclose that record in its entirety.  Partial disclosures should not be requested and so disclosed.
-Ask cost of procedure and additional tests.  Request estimates.
-Discuss experience and knowledge of the horse, with veterinarian,  in private prior to exam.
-Know shoeing schedule, vaccination schedule so exam is not influenced negatively by timing
-Discuss findings in private after the exam
-Enter into the process expecting findings that may surprise you and the seller.  Carefully handle the situation considering the seller, trainer or representative is possibly embarrassed to unknowingly present under the conditions.  Diplomacy is important for the sake of everyone present.
-If owner or direct person responsible is not present,  explore why?  Be careful with questions.
-Remain opened minded through the exam and wait for open discussion with veterinarian regarding findings.
-All working horses will require a degree of management.  The question will be:  Is the the potential cost of maintenance acceptable in the big picture.

**Study:  Top level jumping horses pulled aside and  radiographed as they left show ring from successful showing.  Nearly all horses had significant findings. 
-Lame horses should not be summarily rejected without knowing adequate information as to why the horse is lame.
-Buyer should respect the reputation of the horse, seller or representative by not discussing the findings of the exam, whether accepted or rejected, with third parties.  Seller could claim defamation if false statements made.

Important notes for the seller
-It is okay to use the regularly attending veterinarian for the horse, however it is legally and ethically a standard for the veterinarian to do a record search on the horse and fully disclose that record in its entirety.  Partial disclosures should not be requested and so disclosed.  This is an extreme legal risk for the veterinarian and seller if not done correctly.
-Present well groomed animal.  Good impression, well cared for.
-Consider shoeing and vaccination schedule.  Optimum is 2 weeks out for best presentation (hooves/shoeing)
-Have written vaccination and de-worming schedule.  Not only convenient but gives buyer a degree if confidence in health care. 
-Disclose health care history.  Understood that possible negative response, however, injured reputation or at worst – lawsuit may be avoided.
-Practice and establish in hand trot and lunge as it makes for good presentation.  Poor presentation leaves many holes in data collection.  Lack of information prevents ability to offer opinion on suitability.  Lack of information often leads to poor suitability or many questions that cannot be answered.
-Give space to the veterinarian and buyer to have a frank discussion in private.  The conversation needs to be private to allow full disclosure.  Legally this is required (disclosure). 
-It is better that a horse be rejected based on a through exam and complete process.  There is an end.
-Even though Seller owns or has legal interest in the horse, information collected on the horse is owned and controlled by the buyer.  The buyer may release a portion or all documents (example – radiographs, but no written report).  Until that time, the veterinarian cannot discuss findings with anyone other than the buyer or the appointed agent.


This document in no way is to be used or construed as legal advice or acted upon solely.  For current and accurate legal advice, you must consult an attorney who is specifically trained in contract  and equine law.