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Be cautious, horse buyers advised

05 June 2014

Islanders considering buying a horse are being urged to choose a reputable dealer and avoid rushing into a sale.
The States vet and a local representative of the British Horse Society are urging people considering horse ownership to seek advice and be aware of the common pitfalls before they embark on their search.
Their concern has been prompted by cases where Islanders have been misled when they bought a horse from a UK dealer.
They are advising people to carry out checks to ensure the seller is reputable and to make sure they get all the necessary and relevant documentation before the sale is finalised. These include vet certificates (including an assessment the animal is fit for the purpose the buyer wants), vaccination records, and a horse passport.

Avoid costly problems

States Veterinary Officer Linda Lowseck said “With a financial and emotional commitment as considerable as this, I can’t stress enough how crucial it is that people fully research and assess the vendor and the horse, and ensure they have all the documentation they need. This way they’re more likely to avoid upsetting and costly problems further down the line.”
The chairman of the British Horse Society Channel Islands Committee, Cilla Perchard said “Horse riding is a growing sport and it’s wonderful to see so many people interested in taking it up, but finding the right horse for you and your capabilities and circumstances, and ensuring your vendor is reputable takes time and effort and it’s common to see a number of horses before finding the right one.”
She added “Whatever you do, resist the trap of being pressurised by the seller, take it slowly, and be confident that you have made the right decision and have all the right papers and checks in place before going ahead with the sale.”

British Horse Society advice

Suggestions from the British Horse Society (BHS) include:
  • Don’t rush – take your time, ask around and try and find out some history of the dealer and what their reputation is before you visit the establishment.
  • Never buy a horse unseen and without a thorough trial.
  • Ask questions. Reputable vendors will want the prospective purchaser to know as much as possible.
  • If you have any uncertainties about the prospective purchase, do not make a decision immediately.
  • When you find a suitable horse, the BHS strongly recommends that you get a vet to carry out a pre-purchase examination to identify any underlying conditions or health problems.
  • If you decide to buy the horse, get a receipt for your money and consider a sale contract to state the terms and conditions that the horse was purchased under.

Download Buying and owning a horse leaflet (size 296kb)

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