Buying horses can be a tricky business. Whether they are yearlings or horses that have already raced, it’s important to have a vet assessment. With tried horses, we think its essential to get a second opinion. With x-rays or scans, it can be easy to miss a significant potential problem.
This was emphasized very clearly recently when we became nervous about proceeding with a purchase following a vet report from overseas (no names or locations mentioned). It was a report that could have left us buying the horse.
On obtaining a second opinion in Australia, the local vet commented… “Yes, let this one go. There is a chip in the right front fetlock, OCD in the left hock, sesamoiditis both front fetlocks, tendon changes. It bled at track work and it was lame before and after exercise.” Needless to say, we were stunned by the severity of the assessment and facetiously asked, “is he okay otherwise?”
Putting aside the humour of the situation, it reinforced how easy it would be to buy a horse that would be highly unlikely to get to a racetrack in Australia.
Naturally, we wished the existing owner all the best to try to win those races that could have been ours!