We operate a 24 hour emergency service
Woodbridge: 01394 380083 Felixstowe: 01394 284554 Rendlesham: 01394 420964 Ipswich: 01473 274040
We operate a 24 hour emergency service
Woodbridge: 01394 380083
Felixstowe: 01394 284554
Rendlesham: 01394 420964
Ipswich: 01473 274040

Pre-Purchase Examination

The pre-purchase examination (PPE or vetting) provides an assessment of the horse at the time of examination, to help determine if the horse is ‘suitable for purchase’. Before buying a new horse, we advise that a PPE is carried out to identify any medical or lameness issues which may prevent the horse from performing its intended use. We advise the purchaser to be present at the examination, so any findings can be discussed at the time. 

To book a PPE we require information about you, the horse and the current owner (and the agent if one is being used). It is helpful to ask the current owner to check the passport for evidence that the practice has seen the horse before, as we are obliged to disclose all previous veterinary history we have on the horse – but for that we require permission, and that may be difficult to obtain from previous ownerships. As such, we usually will not vet a horse that has previously been seen by the practice.


Stage 1: Both a well-lit area and a stable that can be darkened sufficiently to allow examination of the eye. 

Stage 2: A hard, flat surface where the horse can be seen walking and trotting in hand. We will also need a safe space to lunge on both a hard and soft surface. 

Stage 3: This is usually done ridden, but can be done lunged. An arena or flat grass area will be required. 

Stage 4: A stable where the horse can be left untied for 10-20 minutes. 

Stage 5: As per stage 2. 

The examination can either be a five stage or a ‘limited’ two stage process – where stages three-five are omitted. It is for the purchaser to decide which they would prefer, but please be aware that many insurance companies require a certain PPE depending on the value of the horse. Please read the PPE advice sheet for more information on what’s involved in each stage. 

Blood Sampling:

A blood sample is taken as standard at the end of the examination. This is only taken for storage in case doping is suspected in future. Please discuss with the vet if you would like other testing performed. 


X-rays are not part of a standard PPE, but can be added if required by the purchaser or insurance company. Your insurance company should provide you with a list of required views prior to the examination, so we can obtain the correct x-rays. This will also help us to estimate the full cost of the PPE. 

Further Investigation:

Occasionally an issue is found during the examination that requires further investigation, such as ultrasonography or endoscopy. This would usually be arranged as a separate visit, and the current owner and purchaser should discuss the potential costs incurred before proceeding. 

Booking in:

Please phone the Equine Department on 01394 380083 to organise the visit.