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Since I started telling people that I had bought a share in my first racehorse, I have had so many questions about how it works. My partner even asked if it’s like when you sponsor a penguin at the zoo… So I thought I would create a post explaining a bit more about horse racing syndicates and how they work.
Why do syndicates exist?
Owning racehorses is incredibly expensive. Many trainers charge £400+ a week for having the horse in training. On top of this you have; farrier costs, vet fees, insurance etc. This makes it difficult for people to own racehorses by themselves. Around 60% of British racehorses are owned by multiple people, whether it be a company, partnership, syndicate or racing club.
What is a syndicate?
A racing syndicate is when a group of people all own a share in the racehorse and split the costs. A syndicate can be run by an individual or by a company.
How do syndicates work?
Different syndicates work in different ways. Some are short term with no obligation. So you would pay a one off fee for a year with the option of renewing at the end of the year. Or you can have a fixed share where you continue to contribute until the horse is sold or you sell your share.
How expensive is a syndicate?
This varies on how many shares are available. Syndicates with more shares will be cheaper as the costs are spread further than a syndicate with a smaller number of shares. You could pay anything from £40 a year to £400+ a month. It completely depends on what you want and can afford.
What are the benefits of being in a syndicate?
The benefits will vary between syndicates, but typically you can expect some if not all of the following benefits:
- Shares in any prize money
- Updates on the horse
- Visits to the horse
- Owners badges when the horse is racing
- A say in the future of the horse
The smaller the syndicate, typically the more benefits you will have. Especially when it comes to things like owners badges. Many racecourses only have space for 6 owners for each horse. So in a big syndicate you may have to take turns etc.
My syndicate is run through the Owners Group company. They manage the syndicate and we simply buy shares. They send us updates, arrange stable visits and let us know when our horse is racing. Since it is a big syndicate, owners badges are balloted to people who want to go to the race that day. But even if you don’t get an owners badge, there is nothing to stop you heading to the racecourse! You just won’t be allowed in the parade ring.
I hope this answers any burning questions you have about horse racing syndicates. It is just the basics to hopefully help you understand the situation a bit better. But if you have anymore questions please do let me know and I will try my best to answer them!