The Essential Guide to buying a Racehorse

Owning a racehorse may once have been the reserve of Royals and rich businessmen, but today, anyone can enjoy the benefits of purchasing their very own racehorse by taking advantage of shared ownership schemes or buying a horse as an individual. On average it costs around £15,000 to take sole ownership of a racehorse, which enables owners to choose the name and racing colours of their horse and receive the total of any profits made from race wins.

The BHA or British Horse racing Authority states that racehorse owners are responsible for paying ongoing costs for their horse, which can include veterinary care, gallop fees, training fees, stabling, race entry fees and jockey fees, ownership registration and tack and equipment. When you consider that training alone can cost more than £16,000 a year it’s easy to see why more and more equine enthusiasts are choosing to get involved in shared ownership schemes.

Racehorse Ownership

In order to be classed as co-owned a racehorse must be owned by two or more people and up to twenty individuals can set up a racing partnership and share the associated costs of racehorse ownership. In many cases a professional organiser or trainer is appointed to set up a partnership on behalf to set up partnerships and carry out the necessary administration. Horses can also be owned by company shareholders who appoint an agent to register the racehorse on their behalf, or leased, whereby the owner leases a horse to a company, partnership or individual for a pre-specified length of time.
Buying a Racehorse

If you’re considering buying a racehorse the first step to take is to appoint a trainer or bloodstock agent to inspect the horse you intend to purchase, arrange vets checks and offer advice about the best horse to buy. In general a Bloodstock agent will charge a fee of around 5% of the purchase price of the horse, whilst some trainers may offer their services for free if your horse will be housed in their yard.

You can buy a horse at public auction, privately or at a horse sale. If you plan to buy privately you can find sales listings from private owners in the racing press or find horses for sale through word of mouth.

If you choose the sales, first determine whether your horse will compete under National Hunt rules, on the flat or both. The Tattersalls October Yearling Sale and the Doncaster St. Leger Yearling sale are both good event for buying flat horses, whilst National Hunt horses can be found for sale at the Doncaster Spring Sales and at various ‘breeze up’ sales located in Yorkshire.
You can buy a horse as seen from a claiming or selling race. Each horse’s price is listed on the race card and winners are offered at public auction immediately following the race. Whatever type of purchase you make, it’s important to remember that you and your co-owners are responsible for the insurance, transportation and welfare of your horse.


Alan is a keen racing enthusiast and blogger and loves all things horsey.

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