Passed PPE arrived deathly ill

Did you see the horse before purchasing? What date was the initial PPE done? What date was the 2nd exam done and what day did she ship? Was the initial PPE done by a vet recommended by the seller?

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How long was the trip? Just wondering how the horse became thin unless it already was, same for the horse going from just a weepy eye to deathly ill. Seems this horse was in trouble before it was shipped and likely when it was checked by the second Vet. While I wouldn’t necessarily expect a vet to find a massive tumor without radiographs of the head, which aren’t usually done for PPE’s as they mostly (I use that loosely) are checking lameness etc. Did you have recent pictures of the horse from just before the PPE’s or shipping? Was this horse sold by a trainer or reputable barn or was it a private sale?

Jingles you horse makes a full recovery.

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I’m a little confused on the timeline and how much info was passed on to you.

If no one told you about the oddly shaped head then I would say you had a case.
If you knew about that, even if you thought it was cosmetic, then I don’t think you’d have any recourse.

If you knew the horse was having difficulty breathing and still agreed to purchase/ship, than again, I don’t think you have any recourse.


I agree with others that the story is not abundantly clear. Writing it out in clear, logical fashion and collecting al documents/communications is a good idea. That will help any lawyer you talk to evaluate the situation


I use The EMO Agency for insurance. Policies are usually good starting the day I send them in. Call/email your insurance company until you get a response!

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Who was there for the vettings? Are you sure another horse wasn’t substituted? I am not trying to accuse the seller but I am having a hard time with a horse with these issues not being noted by a vet. And the vet communicating them to the person that was paying for the vetting.


My best advice for the OP is to focus (1) on the health of your horse right now, and (2) on getting confirmation of insurance and providing sufficient notice to your insurer.

Once that has been resolved, you can consider things like legal recourse. If I were in your shoes my stress level would be through the roof and that is never a good time to be considering things like whether you can sue the PPE vet. I also would suggest no longer posting things on the internet and/or in emails to friends, etc. If you do decide to take legal action, you can be certain that everything you write will be picked apart and any admissions or discrepancies will be used against you.

I wish you the best of luck in getting her healthy again. And hang in there.


How old were the photos and video in her ad? Did you not notice the malformation of her head in the ad? Or difficultly catching her breath in the video?

I’m confused.

I also am not sure why a vet wouldn’t note this in the PPE. Seems totally bizarre.

I don’t know how insurance works in your country, but in mine I cannot buy a horse, insure it, then make a claim in the next days. There is a waiting period to prevent fraud and whatnot.


If I am following correctly, the original health papers expired so a second veterinarian examined this mare. Do states have a variance re: how long health papers are good for? Is it possible the second veterinarian didn’t really examine the mare (see the thread on doping/veterinarian involvement on the racing forum) and just filled out the papers? An awful lot can go wrong in 30 days. Lucky mare to have fallen into such good, caring hands.


I remember oh about 10 years ago or so, a horse at young riders (KY) won a gold medal. I guess the rider for about 2 months before kept saying her head “looked weird” and the trainers were like, her head looks fine. They had vets out who looked at her head/ teeth, and all agreed her head looked normal. So she gets back from YR and the head trainer, who hadn’t seen her in a week, was like HER HEAD!! Long story short, x-rays showed a mass like yours. MASSIVE. They took it out (LONG recovery) and she returned to YR the next year. They had to take basically the whole front of her face off to remove it, but scars were minimal. (dark bay mare with jagged edge blaze). I think the story was in practical horseman or something. Very cool.


We retained an attorney and I have been advised about posting anything further.

Once things are remedied I will post again. Sorry for leaving everyone hanging!!


Good luck with all this, hope mare recovers properly. Please come back when you can update us. I totally understand, but I HATE not knowing how things turn out in the end!


You received excellent legal advice and better yet, you are following it! Jingles of you and your mare.


I’m an equine insurance specialist and Ironwood Farm gave you the correct advice. Upon completion of the paperwork, your horse should be considered “bound.” Also, insurance carriers, offices, claims and brokerages are considered essential during this COVID19 crisis. The brokerage and/or carrier should respond to you.

You can call the claims hotline for your carrier and explain the situation. Best of luck to your mare!

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OP, I hope this ultimately resolves in your mare’s favor and yours also.

My BO purchased a stallion about 10 years ago from out west. She had video to review and had a PPE done, which did not indicate any issues. She insured him and he was shipped. He looked good when he arrived. She isolated him in a paddock away from other horses, and within view of the house.

Within a couple of days she said there was something not quite right about his hind end and he didn’t know where his feet were, She has an eye for subtle signs of lameness and movement issues that is better than a lot of vets. She sent him to an equine hospital and when the dust settled he had wobbler syndrome. It affected several vertebrae and repair was not an option. He was euthanized and the insurance paid.

AndNirina, I’m curious if the buyer’s insurance can go after the seller or seller’s vet.

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Most likely No as if there was coverage that coverage terminates at the time of completion of the sell as the policy is written for the insured only

New owner requires new policy

This is confusing. So the ppe vet is not liable because the exam was done while the previous coverage was in effect?

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I think clanter was saying the owner’s INSURANCE is not liable once the new buyer’s insurance goes into effect.

I’m not sure that’s true (I think it depends on the policies) but that is what clanter appears to be saying.

Whether or not anyone is liable, what happened with the vet, and if the sellers or OP missed something, everything happens for a reason. Maybe it’s my hormones but like the OP said, glad you have the finances to take care of her. Maybe she came into your care for a reason and once this is all cleared up she will be an amazing mare for you and down the road you will end up breeding her and having great foals. Maybe this was a growing issue and if her sellers had kept her, she would be dead already due to lack of finances or care… maybe she will pass anyway but at least free of pain and suffering… no matter what happens, thank you from all us horsey mamas for going out of your way for a mare you just purchased. She is lucky to have you and we are lucky to have ppl like you in our community. Hugs from East Tn!!!

I think the question is whether the insurance company would pursue subrogation against another party. Common for auto accidents. Not sure I’ve heard of that in the world of horse insurance. I suppose it’s possible if there is liability.