Your Guide to Equine Health Care

Lessons in Prepurchase Exams


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Four years ago, before putting pen to paper and signing a bill of sale indicating I’d waived my right to have a prepurchase exam performed on a 5-year-old gelding, I hesitated briefly. It wasn’t too late to call the vet out to give Helios a once-over. But impulse got the best of me. I had “vetted” many horses over the years before buying, and none had ever presented with a significant issue. The cost of a full veterinary work-up on this young “failed” dressage horse would nearly equal his purchase price, so I passed. Besides, I had been riding him for six months and he had yet to take a bad step.

Bypassing a prepurchase exam on a jumper prospect led to some unwelcome surprises a few years down the road.

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Written by:

Alexandra Beckstett, Managing Editor of The Horse and a native of Houston, Texas, is a lifelong horse owner who has shown successfully on the national hunter/jumper circuit and dabbled in hunter breeding. After graduating from Duke University, she joined Blood-Horse Publications as Assistant Editor of its book division, Eclipse Press, before joining The Horse.

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