A Beginner's Guide to Racehorse Ownership, Part 1: Benefits and Types of Ownership

So you’ve been watching the races year in and year out — maybe you’re even a regular attendee of the year-round race meetings. You love the festival atmosphere, the palpable excitement, the bated breath in those last seconds before the winning horse crosses the finish line. You want more, and maybe you think racehorse ownership is for you. Here’s how to get started.

A Beginner's Guide to Racehorse Ownership | Track Mode Horse Racing and Fashion | horse syndications

Super Saturday at Flemington. Image: Bruno Cannatelli

The Benefits of Owning a Racehorse

Oh my, where do we even begin? Besides the obvious adrenaline rush of seeing your racehorse win, being an owner gives you involvement and privileges that mere spectators won’t have.

Prize money. Horse racing prize money is at an all-time high right now, and so having your horse win a major event could earn you a lot. If you’re planning on staying in the game for a long time, you could use the prize money to invest back into training and caring for your race horse. Eventually, you could compete in the most prestigious Group 1 races around the world — how does bringing home the Melbourne Cup or winning at Royal Ascot sound?

A Beginner's Guide to Racehorse Ownership | Track Mode Horse Racing and Fashion | horse syndications | Shamrock win

This could have been you, but you weren’t one of Shamrockers’s owners (yet) when she won at the Australian Guineas. Image: Bruno Cannatelli

Naming rights. Your horse is your baby, and just like with any baby, you get to name them. If and when your horse becomes a champion, this will be the name that they will be remembered by the world over. Your horse could be the next Phar Lap, Bernborough, or Black Caviar! Also, I know there’s nothing sweeter than having the crowd chant your name, but that usually isn’t the case in this sport, so having them chant your horse’s name should be the next best thing.

Socialising with the race horsing elite. Many racehorse owners are in it because they enjoy the lifestyle, and so being able to socialise with people who share the same passion is extremely fulfilling. You can mingle and rub shoulders with the best of the best in the horse racing industry, and make friends with fellow enthusiasts who are as invested in the sport as you are.

Access. Last but not the least, you get unfettered access to the heart of the action — you can enter the members’s enclosure, and soak up the energy and sheer nerves of the last few minutes before horses and jockeys burst out of the pen. If you win, you get exclusive access to the winners’ party, have your photos taken with your horse, receive the trophy, and even parade!

Types of Racehorse Ownership

Sole owner. You can buy a racehorse outright, and make all the decisions regarding naming and silk colours. You also get 100% of the prize money if you win. All the training and care costs, however, will also be shouldered by you.

With partners. While racehorse ownership is admittedly expensive, it is in no way exclusive to the rich. One way you can get in on the action is by gathering up to 20 friends and family members, in which case you can all share in the costs and privileges.

Horse syndications. Another way of getting access is by joining horse racing syndicates. This means you (as an individual or with partners) can buy racehorse shares through a syndicator within your state’s Principal Racing Authority.

When you buy a share in a racehorse, you get a corresponding share in the potential prize money, plus owner privileges. Racehorse syndicates are legally registered and run by a syndicate manager. They are obliged to show you full documentation and provide communication.

Race horse syndications may have a full or part ownership in a horse.

Leasing. For a period of time, you can pay a lease for a horse to run in your name. You’ll pay for training fees and other costs, and will receive a share of the prize money in return.

These are just some ways that you can get involved in racehorse ownership. There are several other options — I’ll be happy to discuss them with you if you reach out or alternatively click here for shares already available!

Also read up on part 2 of this series — all about how to choose your horse and team.

You may also want to read up on what it takes to win a race, take a look at our quick guide to the Royal Ascot races, or get to know some of the best female jockeys in Australia today.

Track Mode is a horse racing and fashion blog, founded and curated by Nina O’Brien. Besides race day dresses and hats, we also like talking about important people in the sport of kings. Follow us on Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram for horse racing and fashion news and inspiration. You can also follow my blog with Bloglovin.