Where do you start? EDUCATION,
EDUCATION, EDUCATION. I can't emphasize this enough. Go out to the
races and observe what goes on there. Visit farms, training centers,
equine hospitals, wherever you can go. Read (see the Library
section). Go to seminars. Ask questions.
Different Types of Ownership
1) Owning a
broodmare and raising foals to sell as weanlings or yearlings or to
race (number 2 and 3 from above).
You plan the mating and make the stallion choices
Control of the quality of care and environment as the foal develops
Knowledge of the complete history of your horse
Enjoyment and satisfaction of watching your horse grow up and either sell successfully or make it to the races under your guidance.
Chance to have a top quality horse for far less money than a purchase.
Having the satisfaction that your mating cross was correct should the foal become a stakes winner.
Your mare may not get pregnant each year.
The foal could be born with deformed legs that greatly decrease its value or even its ability to make it to the races. You "get what you get" in the breeding business.
Takes about 3 years from time of conception for your foal to be old enough to actually enter in a race.
Greater chance something could go wrong due to the long lead time while waiting for the foal to grow up.
Foal could end up with little or no talent after the long wait time
and three years of expenses.
foals, yearlings, or unraced 2-yr-olds. (number 2 and 3 from
Get to pick out the best individual that you can afford, thus avoiding the crooked legged horses or those that have veterinary problems which may preclude a successful racing career.
The horse is closer to the races.
Chance to get a top quality horse.
You can control the care and pre-race breaking and training.
The horses will be more expensive. Something to remember: the closer the horse is to the races, the more valuable it will be. The reason for this is that some risk has been removed and they are closer to bringing in income.
You don't always know if they have been properly cared for during their critical growth years prior to your purchase.
The horse is unproven; you are only buying potential. It could very easily turn out to be worth far less than what you paid for it.
3) Claiming horses (number 1 from above)
Horse is already running so the "getting to the races risk" is removed.
Plenty of action; horse can likely run right back shortly after your claim.
Adds one more element to the handicapping challenge. Did you make a good claim? Can your trainer improve the horse's value so that you can run him "up the ladder" to higher claiming levels or perhaps even turn him into a stakes horse?
No pre-purchase exam by a veterinarian so horse could have soundness problems.
Claiming horses are usually worth what you claimed them for and the chances of them ever becoming a stakes horse are remote.
If you run your horse where it can win, he will be claimed from you within a race or two, so you never really "get to know" your horse. Claiming horses come and go quickly.
horses that have already raced and proven their value.
You get a somewhat proven commodity that you can have examined
pre-purchase by your agent, trainer and veterinarian.
They will be very expensive and in short supply.
There are many stories of the
$17,000 yearling (Seattle Slew or more recently, Real Quiet) that
went on to be major stakes horses.
Partnerships and Syndications
Perhaps the fastest-growing area of new ownership is that of racing
partnerships and syndicates. There are also breeding partnerships. For most new owners, it
can make sense to start as a part owner
so they can easily get into the game, share the rewards, spread the risks and in some
cases, own more horses for the same amount of money. (With more horses, an investor stands
a better chance of getting one or two good ones.) Partnerships are also a great way for
anyone with limited time and limited resources to be actively involved in Thoroughbred