Central venous pressure measurements were made in 74 horses and ponies free from clinical evidence of cardiopulmonary disease. Using the sternal manubrium as the zero reference point, the mean value obtained was 12 cm H2O (S.D. +/- 6). There was a significant correlation with body weight (r=0.6, p less than 0.001) but there was none with age, sex, breed or type. During halothane anaesthesia, using the same reference point, the mean value was 24.5 cm H2O (S.D. +/- 6) in 28 animals in right lateral recumbency, 29 cm H2O (S.D. +/- 8) in 17 animals in left lateral recumbency and -6 cm H20 (S.D. +/- 4) IN 27 supine animals. The use of the sternal manubrium as zero reference point did not allow comparison of values in standing and recumbent animals and it was considered that serial measurements were of more value than isolated determinations in assessing the circulatory state of an animal.