The Equine Expert

Why Use A Certified Equine Appraiser?
By Bridget Brandon

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What is an equine appraiser?  An equine appraiser determines the value of horses for owners, insurance companies, law firms, legal entities, IRS, and a host of other entities needing a value on a horse or a group of horses.  It is best to hire a certified equine appraiser who has been certified in the methodology of appraisal practices.  

The ASEA (American Society of Equine Appraisers) offers two main designations which are accredited member and senior appraiser.  The accredited member has taken the level one course, passed the exam and has prior and current experience with horses and meets the minimum qualification criteria as set by the Appraiser Qualifications Board.  The senior appraiser has over 700 hours of appraising experience, has taken the level two course, has meet a 120 hour additional classroom experience, has passed the AQB (American Qualifications Board) required exam called the USPAP (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices) and must fulfill continuing education hours every five years to maintain senior appraiser status.

Additional respected designations and memberships are with the American Society of Appraisers and the International Society of Appraisers.  The American Society of Appraisers is a world renowned and respected international organization devoted to the appraisal profession.  ASA is the oldest and only major appraisal organization designating members in all appraisal specialties.  The International Society of Appraisers, ISA, is the leading professional personal property appraisal association, representing the most highly trained and rigorously tested independent appraisers in the United States and Canada.  Both the ASA and ISA offer USPAP classes and continuing education classes to appraisers.  They also keep appraisers up to date with new rules and laws regarding appraising.

The criteria used to assess the value of horses may vary from breed to breed and by each discipline.  The two most common methods used are the sales comparison approach and the income approach.  What one breed performing in a discipline may consider very important, that breed performing in another discipline may not consider of high value.  For instance, speed and money earned in thoroughbred racing may be of high value for a thoroughbred being sold as a race horse, but a thoroughbred being sold has a hunter, the speed index and money earned by his sire and dam may be of no consequence other than provenance. This is why it is important to hire an appraiser familiar with the breed and discipline and will know the appropriate methodology to use and recognize the particular nuances in each breed and discipline.

Some basic criteria used in the methodology to establish value would be health, age, pedigree, performance record, conformation, purchase price, condition, eye appeal, training, breeding history, breeding fees, winnings and comparables of sold horses similar to the subject horse.  Additionally, it’s always a good idea to consider market value and research similar horses asking price.  Market conditions can change the value of a horse from season to season, economic conditions, political unrest and a host of other reasons.  Appraisers are often called upon to appraise stolen, deceased horses or loss of future income.  Certain facts are collected and other information must be assumed based on information and documentation found in research such as discussions with vets, trainers, owners, judges and others who may be familiar with the individual horse or close progeny.

By using a certified equine appraiser that complies with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices (USPAP), you can be assured of the competency in the appraisal that was performed for you and know that the appraisal was conducted ethically, impartially, creditably and without bias.

Disclaimer:  All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.  The information is meant entirely for educational purposes and casual reading only and is NOT intended for any other use.  This information is NOT intended to support an opinion of value for your appraisal needs or any sort of value conclusion for a loan, litigation, tax appeal or other potential real property purpose.  If you’d like to obtain additional information or order an appraisal or valuation for your specific needs, please contact us at or 817-454-4537.  Bridget Brandon is President of The Equine Expert LLC and is a Senior Certified Equine Appraiser with the ASEA and is USPAP Compliant. The Equine Expert LLC


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