Stable Returns: Exploring the Opportunities and Risks of Horse Investing

Few sports are more popular worldwide than horse racing, with the vast majority of fans aiming to achieve unlikely victories at the highest level of the sport.

Owning racehorses is the dream for many fans connected to the sport, but it can often be reserved for only those with the deepest pockets. Still, that doesn’t stop fans from dreaming that they can increase their involvement within the sport, as it’s typically the dream of having a winner in a race such as the Grand National or Kentucky Derby that will keep racing fans invested within the sport.

Betting on the sport remains at an all-time high with TwinSpires’ daily horse racing Ideal bets, but how affordable is racehorse ownership, and are there any alternative methods to get involved in owning a runner?

Buying A Racehorse

Before examining potential trainers and pinpointing routes to the top of the sport, potential owners must first consider buying a horse that will represent their silks. Horses are typically purchased at auctions open to the public, with ownership swapping hands away from the parade ring in rare instances.

Buying the right type of racehorse can often be one of the biggest challenges approaching a potential buyer, meaning that they will likely need help from those with a better understanding of pedigrees. Buying a racehorse can often differ in price, depending largely on the pedigree of the runner you’re looking at.


For example, one of the most popular sales takes place annually in Keeneland, with the average horse being sold for a fee of $141,000. However, if you’re looking to invest heavily into a runner at a sale, then you could be looking at a price considerably higher than that, with the most expensive runner ever purchased costing a stunning $2.5 million.

Other factors that could have an impact on the price of a runner is the age, with older horses typically going for smaller prices as owners won’t be purchasing with potential in mind. Meanwhile, it has also been proven that jump horses cost less than runners on the flat, as there is no potential to make further money when runners go to stud.

Training Fees

After buying a runner, the attention will then switch to training the horse to compete on track. Training fees can differ depending on where the runner is located, with the top trainers across the world able to charge a premium price for their services given their long-term track record of big race victories.

For the most part, the average sum to have a flat horse in training is $20,000 per year, while a jumps training sum on an annual basis will be closer to $15,000. This fee will take into account clipping, dentist, and medal bills.

However, if you’re looking for your horse to have the Ideal in care, then you may still have to fork out extra to ensure that your runner is treated like a superstar at the top of the sport.

Racing Costs

Most owners will believe that their funds are complete after paying for the runner and then taking into account the training fees and insurance bills.

However, it also costs money to enter horses into a race, with the most prestigious races on the calendar costing considerably more to make an entry. On average, it is reported that horses on the flat could cost around $3,000 per year, while jumps entries could cost up to $1,000 on average.


As well as this, owners will also be responsible for covering the jockey fee, paying for travel, and also racing expenses to ensure that your runner has care from the training team. Overall, this could take the cost of a flat runner to around $4,500 per year on the flat.

Syndicate Ownership

Given the expensive cost of buying a racehorse outright, syndicate ownership has been hugely popular across the world as a way to get into owning runners at some of the biggest meetings across the globe.

A syndicate typically involves a group of around 20 likeminded people, with costs cut down due to the number of people involved. Instead of outright owning the whole horse, syndicate members will each have a share, meaning that they will pay less into the ownership, and also win less in prize money should their runner pick up big purses throughout their careers.

This is a stress free way to get involved in ownership of horses, as there will typically be a manager in charge of setting out fees and putting aside the money that it will require to make entries. Racing Clubs are also a popular alternative to syndicate, with these typically having a higher number of shares available, making racehorse ownership incredibly affordable.