How Much Does It Cost to Own a Racehorse?


At one point or another, every horse racing fan around the world will one day dream of owning their own racehorse. It is a wild dream for many, but for some, it is well within reach. 

For the most part, racehorse ownership can be extremely expensive, as costs will go out on a monthly basis for training fees and vet bills, while the initial cost of owning a racehorse that can challenge for the top prizes is also expensive. But how much does it actually cost to own a racehorse?

Purchase Price

Before we even get into the price for maintaining the horse and ensuring that the training is at an adequate level, buyers must first settle on a price that they wish to pay for a horse. 

The average sum stands at around $75,000, but this is only a ballpark figure, as the best horses can go for much higher than that. Evidence of that can be seen from the Keeneland Digital Sale in 2021, where one of the highest-priced two-year-olds was sold for $210,000. 

However, the cheapest horse in the same sale was sold for $5,000. When it comes to buying a horse, the first question that a potential purchaser must ask is what they are looking to get out of the sport. If you are looking to land big graded prizes, then you will likely have to spend more, while those looking to buy a horse to add to the race-day experience may be best-suited to a cheaper option. 

Training Fees

After buying a racehorse, the money that buyers will spend going forward will drastically increase. The first cost that you must cater for is the training fees, which will ensure that your horse is taken care of, fed and training them for races on the track. 

The fee that you will pay for training fees will once again depend on the trainer that you go with. However, the cheapest option still stands at around $1,800, while some trainers could demand around $4,000 per month. 

Medical Fees

Just like humans, horses will require regular checkups to ensure that their health is in good stead. This is another big setback on a monthly basis, as medical fees for one horse in training could cost an average of $500 per month. 

This fee could be more expensive if there is something amiss with the horse, which means that it is vitally important that horse owners immediately get insurance on their horse as soon as they have been purchased. 

Travel Fees

Of course, horses won’t be able to walk to the races that they will be competing in, which means that travel fees to and from the races should also be taken into account. 

Farrier expenses can often be very expensive in the United States, especially if runners are being shipped from one side of the country to the other. You can check here the major horse races in the USA:

However, on average, horse owners should set aside around $300 per month to ensure those travel fees are covered when needed. 

More Affordable Racehorse Ownership

While owning a racehorse privately is the dream for millions, it may not be the most attainable target given the price. Therefore, there are a number of more affordable options when it comes to ownership. 

One of the most popular is by joining a racehorse ownership club. This will only require a yearly membership fee, which will cover all the expenses. 

However, you will likely need to apply for owner badges, which means that there is no guarantee you’ll see your horse run. Meanwhile, one of the most popular recent methods to get closer to the action is by joining a syndicate. 

Here, you can own a share in the racehorse by paying monthly or annually toward the training costs and other fees. These can be as small or as big as you like, but the less you pay, the more privileges you’re likely to enjoy.

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