An affordable, fun, low-risk way to buy into the exciting experience of Thoroughbred racehorse ownership in Ontario.
Horse racing syndicates have been around for decades. Cot Campbell’s Dogwood Stable in Kentucky was a pioneer in group ownership, offering shares in horses, or groups of horses, beginning in the early 1970s. Team Valor, West Point Thoroughbreds and more recently, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Starlight Racing, are other big-name American syndicates. Those partnerships are made for prospective owners with a bit more cash in their pockets than the everyday racing fan.
In the last few years, racing ‘clubs’ and fractional ownership opportunities have both exploded in popularity developed to allow you, your neighbours and your workmates a more affordable entry into owning that first racehorse. The long-term goal of these partnerships is to bring new participants into a sport that desperately needs new owners.
As Terry Finley of West Point Thoroughbreds says on his website, “partnerships are today the backbone of Thoroughbred racing”, noting that the lower the risk for newcomers to horse ownership, the more appealing these first experiences can be.
The benefits of shared ownership are numerous: fewer bills and/or consolidated costs, opportunities to own shares in more than one horse, a chance to get up close to your horse and the racing experience, and meeting other horse racing lovers.
These days, many trainers will own a share of their horse with a few other owners and split the monthly costs, which can be upwards of $3,000. Buying into some of these trainer syndicates could start as low as $1,000 per share, a one-time fee for the season that includes all bills.
The newest fractional ownership businesses have proven popular. These programs offer shareholders regular video updates, interviews and news, and meet-and-greets at the barns and tracks. In Ontario Standardbred racing, TheStable was started in 2015 and it has dozens of horses, each with numerous owners, racing throughout North America at all levels.
MyRacehorse was hatched in California late in 2017 offering micro-shares for as little as $100 in dozens of well-bred horses. In June 2020, MyRacehorse bought into Kentucky Derby contender Authentic, attracting 5,314 investors who acquired a 12.5% stake in the colt through the MyRacehorse app and website. The colt went on to win the Derby and the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). Each share in Authentic sold for $206.
Of course, some 5,000 micro-shares for just under one-ninth of a racehorse is not going to make shareholders rich and for the most part, making money owning a racehorse – whether you own 100 percent or .01 percent – is difficult. But the lure is the connection to the horse, the jockeys, and the sport.
The HBPA Ontario and Ontario Racing websites list many syndicate options for racing at Woodbine, Fort Erie and at the Quarter Horse track, Ajax Downs. Contact the HBPA for more, as there are also many trainers not listed below who will entertain partnerships. For example, Michael Blake is looking to claim a horse at the upcoming Keeneland meeting and offer five to 10 percent shares with the expenses equally distributed between shareholders and himself.
Beat The Feet Racing Stable, formed by owner and trainer Sylvain Pion and wife Teri, is back for 2022 with two options for prospective shareholders. The two young horses available are Mr. Commish, a three-year-old Kentucky bred by Commissioner who showed promise in his debut outing last fall at Woodbine. A five percent share in Mr. Commish is $3,500 and there are no other costs through the season.
Shebatown, an unraced three-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by Jersey Town – Seeking Sheba (Seeking the Gold), is available at $5,000 for five percent ownership. The promising filly was bred by Charles Fipke.
Double Blooded Stable
Julia Ezra and her father, owner/trainer Daryl, have done well with their syndicate in its early years. The Double Blooded Stable, based in Fort Erie, made headlines in the fall of 2021 when one of its horses, Ready at Dawn, raced in the Prince of Wales Stakes, the second jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown.
“We started out in 2019 and called it ‘Krazy 8 Stables’,” said Julia Ezra. “That group won six races together at both tracks and the next year we expanded and started up Double Blooded Stables. Last season we had a capital of $40,000 with 19 members. This year we have a capital of $25,000 and 14 members, of which, 11 have been members of our previous syndicates.” They currently own Ready At Dawn and may or may not get another horse, depending on his earnings/equity.
The Double Blood Stable syndicate costs $1,000 as a one-time payment. Contact Julia Ezra via Facebook for more information or use the HBPA contact form in the Beat The Feet section.
Ted Holder Syndicate
Trainer Ted Holder is offering shares in an Ontario-bred two-year-old colt by Mr. Speaker from the mare Grey Pride for racing at Woodbine in 2022. A share is $5,000 (US) and is a one-time payment. The colt, a full brother to two winners, has been training in Ocala, Florida. For more information, call Ted Holder at 647-921-1654.
Kathy Patton Syndicate
Multiple graded stakes winner trainer Kathy Patton is forming a syndicate of 20 shares at $5,000 (CAN) for 2022. The share price covers all training and racing expenses for the year. Contact Kathy at 647-609-3445.
Good luck, and good racing!