x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Tips for getting into the horseownership game

Set a limit on your spending, do your research, seek out reputable advice, and more.

Make a budget

Racehorse owners incur ongoing expenses, with training, stabling and other fees that can easily reach more than €20,000 (Dh27,300) a year. The new low-cost internet-based syndicates also require monthly payments.

Be wise on the Web

Before even considering a racehorse, novice owners should go online to learn as much as possible about the sport. Most leading racing publications are also available online, as is a wealth information on horse racing from around the world. However, there is no substitute for attending race meetings - not to see them in the flesh defeats much of the point of owning a racehorse.

Take advice

Anyone buying a racehorse is entering into a marketplace where "horse trading" is the norm and where the uninitiated are seen as fair prey. One solution is to do business through a reputable bloodstock agent, who can steer the new buyer away from any obvious pitfalls and try to ensure he or she pays a fair price plus commission.

Attend auctions

Potential new owners should go to horse auctions long before making bids to get a feel for the process before entering the arena.

Consider syndicates

By just buying a share in a racehorse, a new owner not only shares the bills with other owners, but also benefits from their expertise. Most reputable syndicates will either be managed by someone with horse-racing experience or at least comprise members who have owned horses before.

Pick a strategy

You will have to plan which races you would like the horse to be entered in and at which level. Some owners, for example, may enjoy the fun of competing at local races rather than paying for a horse to be trained for races it has no real chance of winning.

Get a winning team

Although choosing the right horse is important, so is selecting the right trainer and jockey. Even when joining a syndicate, it is important to check on the entire team's history and reputation for winning (or losing) races.

Get a licence

In most countries where important races take place, a racing licence is required. It would be wise to investigate this early on because different fee scales apply from country to country.

Join the Jockey Club

Any owner planning to race in the UK should join the Jockey Club. The fun part is choosing your colours.

Enjoy the sport

The only reason for buying a horse or taking a share in one is to enjoy watching it progress and race. New owners should think of horse racing first and foremost as a sport in which they indulge, not as a home for savings.