You’ve decided you want to buy a racehorse and made a list of all the reasons why you want to own a thoroughbred. Now you are probably wondering, “how much does a racehorse cost?”
Lucky for us average nine to fivers, racehorse syndicates come in a wide variety of prices. Some racing syndicates only require a couple hundred bucks, while others require initial investments in the thousands. This post will explain some of the factors that impact the cost of a racehorse.
Initial racehorse cost
Purchasing a racehorse comes with an initial investment to buy the horse and potentially transport him to his new home. Several factors impact the initial racehorse cost including age, pedigree and racing history.
For instance, foals (or baby horse as I recently called them) are unproven and riskier than yearlings and two-year-olds. This often means they will be cheaper initially than a more mature horse. Yearlings, while better known than foals, carry a bigger risk and are typically cheaper than two year olds. However, age is only one factor that determines how much a racehorse costs.
Pedigree is a major factor in the initial cost to buy a racehorse. Does your racehorse have racing legends like Secretariat or Seattle Slew in his genealogy? If so, you can expect to spend a little more to buy a racehorse. While pedigree does not guarantee a multi-stakes winner, good genes are important to determine a racehorse’s potential.
Finally a horse’s racing history impact the cost of a racehorse. Race-ready horses can be purchased relatively inexpensively at claiming races. However, claiming races also carry a risk because the horse will need to adjust to a new trainer and home.
Ongoing costs to train and care for a racehorse
You’ve found a racehorse with great genes. Terrific! But don’t start fitting your seersucker suit yet. Even the most genetically gifted racehorse requires proper care and attention to reach its potential. In addition to your initial investment, you also need to consider ongoing costs to feed, shelter, train and care for your thoroughbred. Ongoing racehorse costs include:
- Veterinary visits
- Blacksmith expenses
- Racing fees
In addition to horse costs, your thoroughbred syndicate will have administrative expenses which will be shared among the owners. Fortunately, experienced thoroughbred syndicates provide very accurate expense estimates, but you must be prepared to set aside additional funds for unexpected expenses such as emergency veterinary treatments.
In a future post, I will share what questions you should ask to better understand both the initial and ongoing cost of owning a racehorse.
Now you have learned some factors that affect initial racehorse cost and ongoing expenses. In my next post, I will discuss the differences between foals, yearlings, two-year-olds, and older horses to help you buy a racehorse.