This section is dedicated to first time owners and others that haven’t been owners for all that long. We aim to help you along your way and get the most out of racing by choosing the right type of racehorse ownership for you.
In general Syndicates allow you to own a capital share in a horse, Racing Clubs allow you to lease the horse for an agreed upon length of time. The cost of Racing Clubs is therefore usually less but you’ll still gain most of the benefits of actually owning a horse for example trips to the races, meeting the trainer and jockey in the paddock, stable visits etc. Syndicates give you the chance to actually own a horse and be fully involved in the horses career at a fraction of the cost of Sole Ownership
The first thing most people consider is the cost. There are syndicates and racing clubs out there for all budgets, the first thing you should probably look at is how you are going to be charged and what you get for that cost. You can search for syndicates by price on our Browse page
Some syndicates and racing clubs offer a one-off payment for the purchase and training of a horse for a set period of time. In most cases you will be paying to lease the horse for this time. Generally this type of syndicate or club is aimed at the budget end of the market and offers a great low-risk first step into racehorse ownership.
There are often many members in this type of syndicate to help spread the costs, however this won’t dilute the fun! This is a great option for many people as you get the perks of owning a racehorse at a fraction of the cost.
Other syndicates and clubs will charge monthly payments for the ownership or lease of a horse. This is very similar to the one-off payment style of ownership and the horse is often leased to run in the syndicates name rather than owned outright. Many trainers run syndicates or clubs in this manner, leasing horses to the syndicate that they have already sourced and bought.
Syndicates that allow you to own a capital share in a horse usually require an initial purchase fee, in line with the percentage of the horse you wish to buy, along with monthly fees for the training of the horse. This type of ownership will likely cost you more than the previous two options, however small stakes of as little as 2.5% are often available.
The upside of this is that you do actually own the horse and could potentially benefit if your horse performs well and is sold at a profit. This type of ownership can also offer the chance to get involved with the naming of the horse.
Yard visits are part and parcel of owning a racehorse. Whether you own a tiny percentage of a horse or are part of a racing club you will be able to visit your horse at the trainer’s yard. Most syndicates and racing clubs book days for their owners to have a morning watching their horses on the gallops with the trainer. Most trainers are happy to have syndicate members visit their horses regularly.
Syndicates and racing clubs have their own set of registered colours that their horses run in. Some syndicates may allow you to run the horse in your own colours if you own a majority share in the horse. If you form a partnership or syndicate among friends or family then you can choose a set of colours yourselves and register them with the British Horseracing Authority. You can find the relevant forms here.
Most Trainers will have jockeys that ride the majority of their horses who they prefer to use. Most syndicates or clubs leave the jockey booking up to the trainer, however if your syndicate combined has a particular favourite jockey it may be possible to negotiate with the trainer over who rides your horse. If you have a favourite jockey it may be worth finding a syndicate or club that has a horse based with a trainer that usually uses that jockey.
Nearly all syndicates and racing clubs divide the prize money earnt and distribute it according to the percentage each person owns in the horse. It’s also worth finding out when and how they distribute your winnings. Some have the prize money transferred into your Weatherbys account monthly, whilst others have their own methods. Weatherbys is a bank that provide accounts for racing professionals and deals with all UK racing's transactions.
It’s an unfortunate reality that racehorses do get injured from time to time. If it’s a minor injury then it’s just a case of sitting tight until the horse is ready to race again. If it’s a long term injury it really depends on what syndicate you’re part of and the terms you have agreed upon. Many reputable syndicates and racing clubs may offer to replace the horse if they are likely to be out of action for the season.
This depends on the syndicate or racing club that you are a part of. If you actually own a percentage of the horse then it is likely that you will be able to sell your share when you want. If you are part of a racing club where you are leasing a stake in a horse then it is likely that you will agree to pay a subscription for a set contract length and may not be able to opt out. There are syndicates available where you can pay monthly to lease a share in a horse with no obligation to renew each month.
Of course, all syndicates and clubs offer you the chance to go racing and go in the paddock with the trainer and jockey. Each syndicate or club is usually entitled to 6-8 free tickets for meetings where they have a runner. In larger syndicates these free tickets are usually distributed fairly to members throughout the season. On days when its not your turn to use the free tickets, or if you wish to take family and friends, syndicates can usually purchase reduced price tickets that make the day affordable.
Generally speaking trainers will often run horses at their local racecourses so if you would prefer to stay local its best to join a syndicate or club with a horse trained locally to you. This also makes stable visits a lot more convenient for you!
The British Horseracing Authority put in place a Syndicate Code of Conduct in 2017 to regulate syndicates and racing clubs. More information can be found on the BHA website
You don’t need to become a registered owner to be part of a syndicate or racing club. The manager of your club or syndicate will be registered with the BHA. If you wish to set up your own syndicate you will have to become a registered owner, you can find more information on what’s required here