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Options On Purchasing A Horse

Now you’re ready to purchase a Horse. Here are several options:

Yearling Sales

Purchasing a yearling can be one of the least expensive ways of acquiring a thoroughbred. You are purchasing purely on pedigree and conformation. Since yearlings are completely untried, once it matures, it may be disinclined to race or become the next Northern Dancer.

“Select” yearling sales are the pick of the crop and prices go accordingly. At the “non-select” sales there are thoroughbreds of every kind and price range.  Yearlings can be anywhere from 10 to 18 months of age; therefore you they may have up to a year of care and schooling before they can be entered into their first race.

Watch Owner Jim Menzies (Piano Bar Stable) explain he and his family became Owners through the Yearling Sales in this Talkin’ Horse Racing clip:
Watch Owner Marc Gruehl (Owner of Piper’s Heath) explain what he looks for at the Yearling Sales in this Talkin’ Horse Racing clip:

Two Year Old In Training Sales

Generally held early in the years. Horses have been ridden and have experienced some training, galloping or breezing. These horses are close to starting their first race.

Since their soundness and fitness have to be demonstrated and since their owners have invested more time in keeping and schooling them, these two-year-old’s are usually more expensive than yearlings.


Buying a horse from a claiming race is one of the quickest ways to become a racehorse owner. Claiming races constitute approximately three-quarters of all races run.

Claiming works like this. If you want to run a horse at the bottom of the claiming ladder (example $4,000) you must be willing to lose the horse for that price. In the minutes before the race is run, anyone can put up $4,000 to claim your horse. If the horse wins, you get the purse money, but the horse now belongs to the owner who put in the claim.

A claim must be entered 15 minutes prior to post time and the money for the claim must be in the owner’s account at the track. The claim slip must be filled out, put in a sealed envelope; time stamped and put in the claim box by the clerk of scales. Your Trainer will assist you with this process.

Watch Trainer Steven Chircop explain Claiming to Jennifer Morrison in this Talkin’ Horse Racing clip:
Watch First time Owners Jim and Graeme Bruce explain how they were able to claim “Arthur’s Pass” from six others who entered to Claim the horse in this Talkin’ Horse Racing clip:

Private Purchase

Private purchase of a thoroughbred can be done on and off the track. Owners can purchase a horse privately from the breeding farm, farm owners or training barns (Race track backstretch) Owners and/or Trainer’s can receive tips on specific horses for purchase or they can have special relationships with the farms themselves which leads to the acquisition. 

As always there are upsides and downsides to these types of purchases. An upside is you, your trainer and vet can take all the time you need to consider and examine potential horses; plus you can research the bloodlines. The downside, the Owner will have a set price.

We recommend that any horses purchased in Private have a formal Bill of Sale before completing the transaction. This is not only for the Owners protection, but for the sell as well.


Syndicates are always available for new or current owners. When choosing a syndicate make sure you to choose the right one for your needs. You can choose to join an existing syndicate or create a new one with friends and/or family. The amount of money you are willing to invest along with the amount of owners will determine your percentage of the horse.

There is less risk associated with syndicates since owners are only investing to purchase a portion of a thoroughbred horse instead of buying the horse out right.

Watch Trainer Tony Gattellaro talk about horse racing and how he syndicates out his horses for as low as 5% 4500 won for $40,000 in this Talkin’ Horse Racing clip:
Watch Owner Frank Di Giulio, Jr. talk about his syndicate came together in this Talkin’ Horse Racing clip: