how to get into horse racing ownership

Entering horse racing ownership is an exciting journey. Start by researching different ownership models, such as syndicates, partnerships, or sole ownership. Decide on a budget and research trainers and farms that align with your preferences. Attend auctions or reach out to breeders to acquire horses. Secure insurance and establish a training plan with your trainer. Develop a budget for expenses such as training, feed, and veterinary care. Stay informed about the industry, attend races, and connect with other owners to gain insights and build relationships. Remember, horse racing ownership involves risks and rewards, so proceed with a well-informed approach.

Understanding the Financial Commitment

Horse racing ownership can be a thrilling and rewarding experience, but it also requires a significant financial commitment. Before you take the plunge, it’s crucial to understand the costs involved.

  • Purchase price: The purchase price of a horse can vary widely, depending on factors such as its breed, age, and performance record. Expect to pay anywhere from a few thousand to several million dollars.
  • Training fees: Horses require daily training to stay in shape and perform at their best. Training fees typically range from $500 to $2,000 per month.
  • Veterinary care: Horses require regular veterinary checkups, vaccinations, and treatment for injuries. These expenses can add up to thousands of dollars per year.
  • Transportation costs: If you plan to race your horse in different locations, you’ll need to factor in transportation costs, which can include trailer rental, fuel, and tolls.
  • Insurance: It’s essential to insure your horse against injury or death. Horse insurance policies typically cover between 80% to 90% of the horse’s purchase price.
  • Other expenses: Additional expenses include blacksmith services, stud fees for breeding, feed, and bedding.
ExpenseMonthly CostAnnual Cost
Veterinary care$200-$500$2,400-$6,000
Other expenses$200-$500$2,400-$6,000

It’s important to note that these are just estimates. The actual costs of horse racing ownership can vary depending on your specific circumstances and the level of involvement you choose. It’s best to consult with industry professionals and do thorough research before making a financial commitment.

Understanding Pedigree and Family Trees for Thoroughbreds

Horse owners taking the first steps into thoroughbred horse race owning will need to learn to study and determine the value of both pedigrees and family trees. These two resources go hand in hand and can help you make the most informed decision when selecting a racehorse.

Here are a few key things you should know about both pedigrees and family trees to get you started.

What is a Thoroughbred Pedigree?

  • A horse’s pedigree, or family tree, is a chart that maps out its ancestors over multiple previous (usually five to seven) full-horse birth, or generational, terms to show the lines of st allions and mares that make up its current genealogy.
  • The pedigree of a racehorse starts with the individual horse and then goes back in generation lines (starting with its sire and dam and continuing on both sides of the family “tree” to provide a visual representation of its complete origin.

Valuable Information from a Thoroughbred Pedigree

  • A pedigree can supply horse owners and breeders with many valuable pieces of information about a horse, such as the following key points.
  • Lineage: Its overall pedigree will show you the presence of important and famous historical horse figures in its line.
  • Identifying Potential: Assessing a horse’s pedigree can offer clues as to its athletic and physical performance potential, especially when combined with other key factors, e.g., conformation and physical appearance, past race performance records of both the horse and its family.
  • Line/Strain/Breed/Family Performance: The extended pedigree or family tree also can provide information about the overall speed, strength, endurance, and st amability of the horse’s family line.
  • Evaluating Health and Illness: Observing and assessing the family tree can assist in spotting any recurring illnesses or physical problems in the horse’s line.

Thoroughbred Family Trees

A horse’s family tree, like a pedigree, is a visual representation of the horse’s ancestors. However, a family tree will only go back a few prior (usually four to six) birth series, or generational, lines, which is less extensive than a pedigree. It will include the names of the horse’s sire and dam, as well as the names of its grandsire and granddam on both its maternal and maternal grandsire’s sides of the family. It also can display the names of other important family members in your horse’s history. From this resource, you can see a clearer picture of the horse’s overall family unit.

Information Provided by Thoroughbred Family Trees

  • A family tree can also provide you with some essential information about a horse, including but not limited to the following general key point.
  • Connections: You can see how the horse is connected and related to others in its family lines.
  • Improving Breeding: A family tree can also be vital when trying to plan future and safer or more predictable (based on prior historical knowledge) foal-producing events.

Important Considerations to Keep in mind

  • While pedigrees and family tree data can be quite useful in the process of horse selecting and/or horse production, it is important to remember the following cautionary points while using this information to make important and/or relative decisions.
  • History is Not a Promise: A horse’s pedigree and accomplishments do not necessarily indicate the level of performance and career success you might expect from its direct offspring or close family members.
  • Stomach Matters: A thoroughbred’s temperament, as well as its overall health, can also have a major effect on its ability to train and perform when compared to other family members’ prior performance records.
  • Atg is an Insignificant Detail: A horse’s age will also tend to have an effect on its performance, both speed and endurance, so it is critical to consider and understand the age range of the horse, as well as its specific birth dates when evaluating its actual potential performance against its documented family tree or pedigree data.
  • Observation Still Counts: It is still important (and highly recommended) to actually watch the horse as an individual and close personal observer during its training and/or test-racing to see for yourself how it compares to its immediate family members, both close and extended.

Checking a horse’s pedigree and family tree will allow you to learn a great deal about its birth-related family-line history, but it is still an incomplete and limited part of the overall picture that can be used to guide your decision-making process when selecting a racehorse.

To gain the most knowledge about any horse you are considering to add to your family or for your business, it is essential to know and understand how all the data points, from its full pedigree (multi-generational family tree/family history) and its overall personal medical and health records, as well as its performance records, compare and contrast to other available relative points of interest from the horse’s available, related performance and family history.

Building a Syndicate or Partnership

If you’re interested in getting into horse racing ownership but don’t have the resources to go it alone, you may want to consider forming a syndicate or partnership. A syndicate is a group of people who pool their resources to buy and race a horse, while a partnership is a legal agreement between two or more people to share the ownership of a horse.

There are several advantages to forming a syndicate or partnership. First, it can spread the risk involved in owning a horse, so if the horse doesn’t perform as expected, you won’t lose as much money.

  • Share the expenses of buying and training a horse
  • Spread the risk of ownership
  • Enjoy the social aspect of horse racing

Second, it can be a lot more fun to own a horse with friends or family. You can share the excitement of watching your horse race, and you can celebrate your victories together. Third, syndicates and partnerships can often get access to better horses than they could if they were trying to buy a horse on their own.

If you’re interested in forming a syndicate or partnership, you’ll need to find a group of people who share your interests and are willing to commit to the financial and time commitment involved in owning a horse.

The Legal Side of Things

Multiple owners, each with a share in the horseTwo or more people who share legal ownership of the horse
Shares can be sold or transferredShares cannot be sold or transferred without the consent of all partners
Managed by a syndicate managerManaged by the partners themselves

Connecting with Trainers and Breeders

Networking is essential for horse racing owners. Building relationships with trainers and breeders can provide valuable insights and opportunities.


  • Attend industry events, such as races and sales.
  • Reach out to trainers through phone or email.
  • Read publications and browse online directories to find reputable trainers.


  • Visit breeding farms and attend breeding stock sales.
  • Contact breeders directly to inquire about their programs and available horses.
  • Use online resources like Equineline and The Jockey Club to research pedigrees and find breeders.
Industry EventsFace-to-face interaction, potential for immediate connections.May be crowded or competitive.
Direct ContactPersonalized approach, allows for tailored conversations.Requires research and follow-up.
Online ResourcesWide reach, easy to research and compare options.Limited personal interaction, may not provide in-depth insights.

Well there you have it. Hopefully, you’ve gained a clearer understanding of the steps you need to take to move from the rail to the owner’s box. Of course, there are countless other details to consider, but there’s no better place to start than right here. Thanks for reading and be sure to check back in soon for more exciting tips, insights, and analysis on the thrilling world of Thoroughbred horse racing.