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Pre-Purchase Examination


Buying a horse, whether a racing prospect, future Olympic champion or next best friend, is an exciting yet nerve wracking time. Our vets are certified by the New Zealand Equine Veterinary Association to allow them to carry out full or partial pre-purchase examinations. Which one you decide on is up to you! Many people decide to also add in various other diagnostic tests such as endoscopy, x-rays or ECG. This can be pre-arranged or decided upon after the vet has examined the horse and raised any concerns. For further information, please phone our office. Our vets travel throughout the Canterbury area (and sometimes beyond) to offer this service.

Basic Examination

The more basic examination includes:

STAGE 1: Examination at rest

STAGE 2: Examination during walking, trotting, turning and backing


Your vet will perform a detailed physical examination and identification of your potential purchase, and then observe the horse's movement at walk and trot. It will be turned in a circle in both directions (ideally on a hard level surface) and both passive and dynamic flexion tests performed.


You will receive a verbal report from the vet at the time of examination, allowing you to proceed with further diagnostics if necessary, and a full written report will follow within 48 hours of examination.

Advanced Examination

The advanced pre-purchase examination includes:

STAGE 1: Examination at rest

STAGE 2: During walking, trotting, turning and backing

STAGE 3: During and immediately after strenuous exercise

STAGE 4: During recovery from strenuous exercise

STAGE 5: During walking, trotting, turning and backing after the cool-down period


Your vet will perform the same examinations as for the partial examination, then observe it worked at the intended discipline (track work for racehorses, examination over jumps for jumping horses etc) and note any abnormalities including unusual respiratory noise. It will be further examined in the recovery period, and observed in a repeated movement phase following appropriate cool-down.

Ancillary Examinations

Select from a number of additional examinations for a more in-depth report on your potential new horse.


Ancillary Examinations include:

  • Endoscopy

  • Blood test for anti-inflammatory agents

  • Electrocardiography (ECG)

  • Ultrasound tendon scans

  • Reproductive examination

  • Radiography (x-rays)

  • Other examinations may be performed at the buyer's request.

Complete medical and/or treatment histories are available, on request, if the horse being examined is a client of Rangiora Equine Services.

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