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Beginner's Guide to … Ownership

Have you ever watched the races and wondered how you would begin to be a racehorse owner?

Many of us have dreamt of owning a racehorse, yet we don’t realise just how achievable that dream can be! 

Racehorse ownership can be accessible to all types of people with all types of budgets, the biggest question is deciding which type of ownership suits your best.

Types of ownership

  • Sole ownership - Owning a horse outright gives you the chance to receive 100% of the owners prizemoney, name the horse and race it in your colours.
  • Partnership - When you race the horse with up to twenty family members, friends or stable clients and share the thrill of ownership for a percentage of the cost and prize money.
  • Syndicate - Registering a syndicate with your friends and family (up to 20 people), and the Syndicate then owns a share in the horse.
  • Promoters & Syndications - Owning a horse purchased through a licensed promoter means you will own a share in the horse with a group of people and share the thrill of ownership for a percentage of the cost. There is the added benefit of legal documents (PDS) which include publicly disclosed details such as all costs and vet checks, and a signed partnership agreement outlining the procedures for managing the horse, such as how to vote on the horse name, how to distribute trophies and how to manage disputes.
  • Lease - Leasing a horse can be a cheaper option to experience horseracing. You can lease a horse with your friends and family without purchasing or owning the horse. The Lessee pays for all of the training fees and associated costs, keeps a percentage of any prizemoney, and returns a percentage back to the owner (typically 20-30%).

Ownership privileges

There are many benefits of owning your own racehorse, from naming your horse, to choosing jockey silks, not to mention the thrill and prospect of winning.


The biggest benefit of direct racehorse ownership is obviously prize money, bonuses and trophies earned by your horse. Did you know that one Saturday win in the Metropolitan area could cover training costs for a year or more?

Jockeys Silks

  • The jockey wears the colours provided by the managing owner, syndicate or the trainer.
  • Get creative and design your own set of unique colours that could one day be the start of a dynasty! Register your colours with Racing NSW to ensure they are available.

Naming rights

  • A huge highlight of ownership is naming your young racehorse. Coming up with a clever and unique name can be quite a challenge but is a lot of fun.
  • Remember that your horses name will be shouted by a race caller and if you’re really lucky, may be chanted by the crowds like a true champion.

Behind the Scenes Access
When you become a racehorse owner, you are opening the doors to racing’s elite. Imagine rubbing shoulders in the mounting enclosure with Gai Waterhouse, or walking alongside champion jockeys like Hugh Bowman. Having your horse race, gives you that backstage access to racing royalty, and hopefully may propel you into the spotlight if your horse wins!

Ticketing & Race Day Privileges
After all the careful work in choosing the horse, and the patient time and preparation it takes to train the horse, you will no doubt want to be trackside to watch your investment launch around the track.

As an owner you are privileged with tickets to the racecourse when your horse is running, including tickets to the Member’s Enclosure and Winning Enclosure. This access will ensure you are standing with your trainer as the last words of advice are given to the jockey, moments before he is whisked up on your horse. You can then watch the race in the members stand for a great view, or stand by the rails in the enclosure, as close to the action as you can get.

If you are lucky enough to win the race, you will get your picture taken with the horse, receive the trophy in a presentation (if applicable for bigger races) and then you and the horse’s connections are invited to the Winning Owners room to celebrate in style.

NSW Incentive scheme - BOBS

The Breeder Owner Bonus Scheme (BOBS) is a NSW incentive scheme designed to reward owners for racing horses in NSW by providing ADDITIONAL prizemoney to owners. In the 2014/15 season, over $12 million of BOBS bonuses were awarded. BOBS website

Progeny of BOBS stallions standing in NSW are eligible for the scheme, and are paid up by their owner. BOBS horses are then able to win BOBS bonuses in all races in NSW with the exception of Group and Listed races.

BOBS Extra is an initiative started in 2010 which supports owners who have greater expenses when they race older staying types of four years and over. The aim of BOBS Extra is to improve the quality of middle distance and staying races in NSW (1800m+), to preserve the racing careers of thoroughbreds and to reward the patience of owners and breeders with slower maturing horses,

BOBS Double-Up is an innovative incentive to reward owners and encourage participants to reinvest BOBS earnings back into the racing industry. With BOBS Double-Up, owners can elect to take DOUBLE their earnings in the form of a voucher which can be used towards the purchase of an unraced BOBS eligible yearling.

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