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What is A Thoroughbred Racing Partnership & How Does It Work?

November 21, 2011 · By Nancy Ury · Share


Thanks to the creation of racing partnerships, Thoroughbred ownership is no longer restricted to elite members of society. A partnership (or “syndicate”) is an easy and affordable way for both new and experienced owners to get involved with the Sport of Kings. These groups provide a great opportunity to experience all the thrills of horse racing at a fraction of the cost when you join a syndicate.

The management team is responsible for purchasing top-quality horses privately and at sales as yearlings or 2-year-olds. Potential owners are then invited to invest or “buy-in” on horses. They can get involved on their own or with a group of friends, and have the option to determine their level of participation. The minimum investment cost (decided by the management team) usually varies with each horse. Obviously, the more horses you’re involved in, the better your chances will be to hoist a victory trophy. You also limit risk by diversifying your investment over multiple horses so if a horse can no longer compete, there are others who are capable and maintain your participation.

Just because you aren’t the sole owner of a horse doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the advantages and perks of full ownership. Racing syndicates take away the financial stress of participating in the game because costs such as training, veterinary expenses, insurance, racing fees, etc. are managed by the partnership. It is the management team’s responsibility to deal with trainers, horses, and racing on a day-to-day basis. However, partners in a syndicate are still given a voice on certain key decisions. For example, West Point Partners vote on issues specified in the partner agreement, such as whether a horse should be dropped into the claiming ranks for the first time or offered for sale. Partners also vote on the expenditure of large sums of capital.

In most partnerships, partners get full access to the stable area and paddock, the chance to meet the trainer(s), and an opportunity to meet jockeys. Another perk of premier partnerships is raceday dining or seating for you and your family and friends at the track. Another major perk of a partnership is a chance to meet fellow owners and form a camaraderie.  Owners not only spend time together at the races cheering on their horses, but also at sales and events throughout the year, such as the Kentucky Derby and the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.  

Like all investments, there is a degree of risk involved with Thoroughbred ownership. There is no guarantee your horse will cover your initial purchase price or cover expenses. Because Thoroughbreds are professional athletes, there is a risk of injury, illness and retirement. Yes, horses are able to “pay their way,” but there is no such thing as a sure thing.  

To sum it up, racing partnerships are a great way to participate in something big at a fraction of the cost. While the number of owners on each particular horse varies, you can still have 100% of the fun.  

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Hi! glad people are reading my post and asking questions. Please leave your name. Here are a few asked so far: Q: what is the average cost per year to keep a horse? A: depends on track/circuit, trainer, management company but ours are in the range of $50,000-60,000/year. Q: does the trainer get 10% of the winners purse or also a cut if the horse comes in second or third? A: depends on partnership and agreement with trainer, but it is custom to award 10% of win purse. Q: do you have any horses that are now racing or will be in the near future, that are available for purchase. A: we have opportunities that we can present to qualified individuals email me or submit a contact us form if you wish to learn more. Q: do you ever claim any horses? A: No, we purchase the majority of our racing prospects from public auctions.
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