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Owning A Racehorse in Ireland

Why own a Racehorse in Ireland

The first steps

Private purchase or auction

How each type of ownership works

Average annual cost of ownership

Why own a Racehorse in Ireland

 We have all dreamed of owning a good racehorse  Dreamed of a runner at Cheltenham, Royal Ascot, The Curragh, Galway, Punchestown, Leopardstown, our Local track, our local point-to-point.

 Well that dream has never been more achievable. This guide will show how how you too can enjoy one of the most thrilling, enduring and satisfying experiences in Irish Sport. To find out how to turn those dreams into reality, read on.

 As a proven source of quality thoroughbred horses, Ireland is the envy of racing enthusiasts around the world. With the cost of purchasing a racehorse in Ireland at a realistic levels and with over eight thousand foals produced annually, prospective owners can be confident of finding a horse to suit their own specific needs.

 The growing popularity of syndicates and racing clubs reflects the transformation of racehorse ownership from being the sole preserve of the elite classes to an area in which people from all walks of life can become involved. Syndicate ownership is now the fastest-growing form of ownership in Ireland, and it is set to expand even further. As well as minimising the costs by purchasing a horse as part of a group, little can match the feeling of celebrating in the winners’ enclosure with your friends after your horse has come home in front.


The first steps

There are a number of decisions that you will need to make before becoming a fully-fledged racehorse owner. You will have to decide on the type of ownership in which you wish to engage – if you want to own a horse as an individual, in partnership or as a member of a syndicate or racing club. The different forms of ownership and their requirements are outlined below.

 You can decide to purchase on your own initiative or to seek the advice of a professional within the industry. It is highly recommended that you seek the advice of an expert – be it a bloodstock agent or a trainer. Fortunately there are many industry experts in Ireland, and it is suggested that you seek as many opinions as you can. ITM would also be delighted to help you in this regard, and a complete list of trainers and bloodstock agents is available on request.

 The next decision you will make is on the type of horse you intend to purchase or lease. Will it be a Flat horse or a National Hunt Horse? Will it be a Filly or a Colt? Will it be a Foal, Yearling or Horse-in-Training? There are common and different reasons for purchasing each type of horse. Which type you choose will be dependent on your own individual desires or that of the group in which you are involved. ITM or your industry experts would be delighted to assist you in making this decision.


 Private purchase or auction?

 The two sales companies in Ireland – Goffs and Tattersalls (Ireland) – hold a number of sales throughout the year, each catering for different types of horses at differing price ranges. These sales provide the perfect opportunity for you and your advisors to assess the market and ultimately find the right horse.


How each type of ownership works 

1 Individual

 Individual ownership is where the horse is owned and run by a single individual. This individual must be a registered owner with the Turf Club.

 2 Partnership

  A partnership  can consist of between two and four people and all partners must become registered owners.

 A horse owned in a partnership runs in the name and colors of one of the partners, who must hold an equal or majority share, although the other partners’ names mat be listed in the racecard. Please note that a partnership cannot be registered unless the horse is named.

 3 Syndicate 

 Syndicates can consist of between 2 and 20 members. All members of the syndicate must sign the registration of syndicates form. The horse is leased to one member of the syndicate who must be a registered owner. He/she is known as the registered agent for a syndicate and is regarded as the sole owner for racing purposes. 

4 Company Ownership 

 A company may own and run a horse in its name if approved for registration by the Turf Club. To seek this approval, application must be made to the Turf Club. Details regarding company registration are available from Irish Thoroughbred Marketing(Itm).

 The company must appoint a registered agent. It is recommended that this person should be a company director or company secretary. He/she should sign the necessary registration forms on behalf of the company. 

5 Racing Club 

 A racing club may own and race a horse in its name if approved by the Turf Club. Up to four trustees may register as owners and other background information on the club is required. Further details regarding registration are available from ITM.


Average Annual Cost of Ownership


Here is a guide to the estimated cost involved in owning a National Hunt or Flat racehorse. Set against the existing costs must go the many actual and potential benefits. For those fortunate enough to own a very good horse, there is substantial prize money to be won, in addition to the increase in the re-sale and breeding value (if applicable) of the animal. As part of the overall ownership experience, there is the tremendous social side to racing to be enjoyed with family and friends. As a corporate proposition, ownership presents a perfect opportunity to entertain clients in an exciting and interactive manner. For sheer fun, thrills, elevation and satisfaction, nothing compares with shouting home your own winner, leading your horse into the winner’s enclosure, the applause of the crowd, the congratulations of your family and friends and the celebrations that follow.


 * Training fees will vary between IR£5,000 and IR£10,000 per annum depending on the trainer

 ** Based on an average of four runs under either rules with appropriate registration and entry fees


Average Annual Cost of Ownership

Training Fees *

Turf Club Fees **

Vets/Farriers Fees

Travel Costs







 For more information on Irish Racing and Breeding, Listings of Irish Trainers and Bloodstock agents visit www.itm.ie and take a virtual step closer to the dream of owning a Racehorse.



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