There are four easy steps to becoming a racehorse owner. First of all, consider what kind of owner you want to be - do you want to own the horse outright or jointly? You can join a partnership or a syndicate with some friends, or even become a member of a club and get a taste of what being an owner is all about.
Then you'll need to think about the horse you're buying, where to find help and what to look out for when you choose. Choosing your horse is where the real fun starts. Then you'll need to pick the right trainer for you and your horse - and weigh up some of the costs involved. Then have some fun choosing a name and selecting the colours that everyone will see on the racecourse. Now you're all set for the ride of a lifetime as part of a special body of people for whom racing is more than just a day at the races.
But first of all, find a horse to suit your pocket. Whether you decide to be a sole owner or one of many, there are several ways to get started.
The ultimate dream is probably to own your own racehorse. It’s the most expensive option - but you’re in control. The excitement of choosing the horse, the name and the silks is yours alone.
You’ll choose the trainer, help select when and where your horse runs, as well as the jockey. There’ll be no rotating of race day owners’ privileges and the spotlight will be on you in the Winner’s Enclosure. You’ll benefit in the horse’s appreciating value - and of course there’s all that prize money you won’t have to share!
For more information, visit the Racehorse Owners' Association website.
If you choose to share the cost, there’s no reason for that to dilute the thrill of racehorse ownership. Sharing the pleasure, anticipation and drama with others can make the experience even headier!
Partnerships and Syndicates are a popular way to get involved in the delights of ownership. There’s no better way to cement bonds between friends or colleagues – or to make new friends among other racing fans.
You can choose Joint Ownership, consisting of between 2 and 12 people, or a Racing Partnership, consisting of between 2 and 20 people.
Many Racing Partnerships and Syndicates are managed by trainers, who usually become co-owners themselves. They deal with the hassle of paperwork and the day-to-day upkeep of the horse – leaving you free to enjoy the fun! For more information on the different ways that co-ownership can be registered please visit the ROA website or call the Ownership helpdesk at Weatherbys on 01933 440077.
You could also join a professional partnership, which charges a management fee for carrying out all the administration.
For information about joining an existing partnership, go to the British Horseracing Authority’s relevant website page or visit the Racing Syndicates and Clubs Association website.
If you are thinking of setting up a Racing Partnership then the ROA has more information here.
Company Ownership is where the horse is owned by the company’s shareholders, with a registered agent acting on its behalf. The horse could even run in the company’s colours and under a company name!
If you’re unsure about whether the long-term commitment of racehorse ownership is for you, leasing might be the answer. It allows you to sample the buzz of an owner’s life without the initial outlay of buying a horse.
You can lease a horse for just one race or for a set period. You’ll pay for its running costs during that time and, in return, you receive an agreed share of the prize money.
It’s important both sides are clear (in writing) about the precise lease period, the split of any prize money, what happens if the horse’s form disappoints and any exceptional costs. At the end of the lease period the horse returns to the legal owner.
If you fancy the perks of racehorse ownership - like visiting the horse’s stables and watching it run - but aren’t so keen on the cost and responsibility, Racing Clubs could be ideal.
They’re a great introduction to racehorse ownership, because you receive all the benefits of being involved with the horse, but the day-to-day decisions are taken by a racing manager.
You won’t necessarily be the owner, as that ownership stays with the Racing Club, but you may receive a share of any prize money. You usually pay a one-off annual fee. For more information, go to the Racing Syndicates and Clubs Association website.