Owning a Share in a Racehorse – Investment or Indulgence

Owning a racehorse used to be confined to those fortunate few who were rich and privileged enough to afford one, which is not surprising when costs of feeding, training, vets bills etc are all taken into account. But not anymore thanks to the formation of syndicates. It is now possible to own a share in your very own racehorse, this way you have all the fun, excitement and possible winnings of ownership with only part of the cost. Should your chosen horse do well and have considerable winnings and you all agree to sell then you could make a handsome profit!
I was personally very skeptical about any value in actually owning through a syndicate. Then my friend Raj Patel related how he made a very tidy profit out of a part ownership in Miss Assertive through Nick Litmoden's Newmarket stable. There are two ways to join a syndicate, but for both you will firstly need to contact the British Horseracing Board (BHB) on 0171 3960011. If you decide to go along the first route of joining an ownership club, the BHB will provide you with a list of multiple ownership groups as well as offering advice regarding suitable horses, employment of trainers and jockeys, any ownership clubs who are seeking members, in fact all you need to know! You can also attend a special course run by the BHB for new owners.
You have a choice of which ownership club to choose or you could alternatively join the ownership club at the Royal Ascot course, this has 200 members who have access to a clubroom and private grandstand. Whatever club you join, you must register with the Jockey Club and make sure the club is officially recognised and approved by the BHB.
Before you hand over any money get as many details as possible about your chosen syndicate just to make sure it is suitable for you and that there is a good working relationship between members. The more members in one syndicate then the less costs incurred however should your horse win then you will receive less prize money. Costs for just one horse mount up quickly with training fees, feed bills, farrier costs, any vet bills incurred including inoculations, rugs etc. so don’t be fooled into thinking that racehorses are cheap to keep, they are finely tuned athletes and need to be treated as such. Syndicate ownership is an ideal way to own a racehorse with the financial burden being shared.
Hopefully your racehorse will earn enough to pay for its keep and although your return may not be a lot of cash, the pride at being part owner of a magnificent animal and watching it race should be more than enough to justify the costs of its keep.
Friends form some syndicates and again there are rules and regulations to abide by. The Jockey Club will again offer advice on all these necessary rules and regulations. Costs of a part share can vary enormously, but we are talking thousands rather than hundreds. As an investment remember it's quite risky too. I would recommend talking with an accountant to see if you can legitimately structure this as a business investment to claim tax deductions against the expenses (or losses if the worst should happen).
You will also need to decide if you want a flat racer of jumper. Flat racers usually cost a bit more than jumpers and the BHB can advise you about buying a horse for investment potential. Before you buy arrange to meet the horse’s trainer and ask questions about its age, any past injuries, has it won or been placed in any races, how much roughly does it cost to keep per month etc. Try and get as much expert advice as you can about the horse before buying it and keep an open mind.
Remember there are no guarantees that your horse will win or you will actually have a return from your investment. Heeding expert advice on buying and training should start you off on the right direction and with luck and good fortune you will watch your horse win its race from the private owner’s stand. Just think how proud you will be then and your previous worries about costs incurred will pale in comparison.

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