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Pre Purchase Examinations

At Market Hall Vets we carry out both 2 stage and 5 stage vettings depending on client needs. Pre-purchase examinations are basically a test to see if the horse will be ‘fit for purpose’, i.e. physically able to cope with the work the prospective owner asks of it.

2 Stage Vetting

Clinical Examination

This consists of a clinical examination of the standing horse, including examination of the heart, lungs, eyes, mouth, limbs and evaluation of conformation.

Trotting up

The horse is walked and trotted in-hand, and the vet will view the movements from different angles. The vet can assess whether the gait is normal and whether the horse shows any signs of lameness.

5 Stage Vetting

This consists of both of the above stages, PLUS:

Strenuous exercise

The horse is ridden/lunged in order to evaluate how well it copes with exercise. The heart and lungs are examined directly after strenuous exercise to see if any abnormalities can be found.


The horse is allowed to cool down after exercise. During this time a blood sample will be taken and stored. If there are any queries regarding possible doping these blood samples can be analysed.

Second trot-up

The horse is walked and trotted again, to ensure that it has not stiffened up after cooling down from strenuous exercise.

At this point the examination is complete and the prospective purchaser is usually contacted immediately to discuss the findings. A written report is then completed.

For more information or to book one of our equine vets for a pre-purchase exam, please contact the practice.