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Wednesday 22 January 2020

Racehorse Ownership Vs Racing Club

I've heard a lot of people saying they would love to own a racehorse.

I know a few people who own or have owned thoroughbred racehorses. I've been in a racing club which had a share in four horses and guess how much it cost per year? Just £200. Fair enough, you don't get any prize money (as that really would be incredible) but you get regular updates, the opportunity to visit the stable and owner/trainer badges to go to the races for free. Well, you paid £200, so you know what I mean. 

My friend Kevin McCourt has had a good few racehorses in his time. The last, Edgar, proved a very versatile and capable horse over both codes and paid his way before being retired. 

That is probably a rarity for most owners when you consider how difficult it is to own a horse to win any race. The likelihood of owning a horse that achieves a high standard to compete at pattern class is literally like finding a needle in a haystack. In fact, yearlings which cost a million pounds are very unlikely to attain that goal. 

One thing all within racing appreciate is the desperate level of prize money for the run-of-the-mill race. In truth, when you consider across the globe, how much money is bet on each and every UK horse race, a fraction of that money could pay for a winning prize of £10,000. Instead, it goes into the pockets of those who own the television rights which seems (surprise surprise) to be owned by bookmakers. 

Horse racing is like a conveyor belt and unless all go on strike the prize money issue isn't going to be resolved. I can guarantee if it did stop within a week every race would have a minimal prize of £10,000. It's unlikely to happen because most stables couldn't hold out because their owners wouldn't want to pay for horses not racing. 

Anyway, the lack of prize money means you want to think twice about owning a racecourse in this country. I don't imagine you would want to live in the UK and own a horse in America, but I'm sure the level of cost to prize money would be much better. 

Even a small training establishment in the UK would charge £15,000 - £20,000. The high-profile trainers cost substantially more. 

When the likelihood of actually making any money via owning a racehorse is probably, statistically, near-zero, you have a high chance of losing money. 

I joined the said £200 a year racing club and it was great fun. To all the world, when you are in the paddock, rubbing shoulders with all the other big wigs they don't know what money you have or don't have. When the horse wins you still cheer. 

I'd always side with the racing club unless you have plenty of money to burn. 

Good luck. 

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