A rider who says a vet gave her negligent advice on the medical history of a dressage horse is awaiting the outcome of her High Court damages claim.

Amersham-based Dr Eddie Blass paid £45,000 in June 2005 for Dutch warmblood Active Panther, with the hope of competing him at top level. She instructed Sarah Randall MRCVS of Chiltern Equine Clinic to do a full five-stage vetting.

When Active Panther went lame 10 weeks later, Dr Blass consulted Ms Randall. But the lameness continued, so she sent him to the Royal Veterinary College for a second opinion, and found he had undergone a “bilateral neurectomy” to cut nerves in both forelegs.

Dr Blass’s lawyer said if she had known, she would not have bought him. He said horses that have had a neurectomy are not allowed to compete at prix st georges and above.

Dr Blass says the horse is worth £3,000. She is suing Ms Randall for £65,000, the cost she claims of keeping, insuring, transporting and treating him.

But Ms Randall denies all liability. She says she told Dr Blass of Active Panther’s history and warned her that it would be unwise to buy him outright.

Ms Randall told the judge she advised Dr Blass to be “very cautious” and instead try to lease him for six months.

On 17 April, after a three-day High Court hearing, Judge Seymour reserved his decision until a later, unspecified date.

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (24 April, ’08)