The reversal of detomidine-induced sedation with iv atipamezole was studied in 6 horses. All horses were injected iv with 10 μg and 20 μg/kg bwt detomidine and 15 min later this was followed by 6-, 8- and 10-fold doses of iv atipamezole. Atipamezole caused a quick arousal in all horses with minor side effects. Bradycardia, rhythm disturbances and head ptosis caused by detomidine were not abolished completely at the end of the 15 min observation period, even with the highest atipamezole doses. All horses remained slightly sedated but without ataxia. There were no significant differences in head height, heart rate and sedation score between the different doses of atipamezole for either dose of detomidine. According to the degree of sedation, doses of 100 μg to 160 μg/kg bwt atipamezole are adequate to antagonise detomidine-induced sedation in the horse.