There are several options to consider, whether you want to spend a few hundred pounds or tens of thousands of pounds, if you want to become one of the estimated 14,000 registered racehorse owners in Great Britain.
If you want to live and breathe owning a horse by making all the decisions directly with your trainer and collecting all the winnings, then sole ownership is the option for you.
A partnership is a popular option for family and friends who want to share the ownership of one or more horses. All members of a partnership must register as owners. Partners often buy three or four horses to spread the cost of owning a horse outright.
It’s not uncommon for a company to own a racehorse under its name. The jockey can wear corporate colours and the horse can be used to promote the company at racing events, where clients can come along too. Companies can own horses outright or within a partnership or syndicate.
Join a syndicate
A syndicate is a lower-cost option and enables a group of people (typically from 10 to anything up to 5,000) to come together to collectively buy a horse or horses. Syndicates will have a designated manager to run the day-to-day business that goes with owning a horse. Syndicate members often get to visit their horse at the stables and have opportunities to wear an owner’s badge on race days. For more information on this type of ownership, visit the Racehorse Syndicates Association website.
Pick a racing club
As a member of a racing club you don’t own the horse, but you do reap some reward if your horse wins. You pay an annual membership, typically around £50–£250, and pick a horse of your choice. If your horse wins, any prize money is shared between other members who chose the horse. As you don’t own the horse, you don’t have to worry about training fees or veterinary bills – although your share of any winnings will be lower.
Fix a lease
Any of the above options could involve the leasing of a racehorse for a set period. Costs become the responsibility of the lessee for the lease period and, in return, the horse will run under the ownership of the lessee. At the end of the lease agreement, the ownership of the horse returns to the lessor/the legal owner.
Registering with the British Horseracing Authority (BHA)
Whichever route you take, for a horse to race in your name, the name of a company, or for a partnership, syndicate or racing club, the details must first be registered online with the BHA.
How Weatherbys Racing Bank can help you
Weatherbys Racing Bank has designed a simple bank account specifically for each of the ownership types so that you can keep your racing finances separate from your day-to-day banking.
All racing transactions will be automatically transferred to the BHA using your Weatherbys Racing Account and all prize money will be paid into your account as soon as it has cleared.
Our VAT Return Service team provides expert advice and deals with HMRC on your behalf to handle everything from online VAT applications to the collation and submission of quarterly VAT returns. We also offer a Racing Payment Service which takes all the hassle out of paying invoices and offers peace of mind for both owners and trainers.