If you’re yet to become part of a racing club or syndicate, then ‘what are you waiting for?’
Times are changing at a rare old pace, and having a greater involvement in horse racing is now a realistic opportunity. Not everyone has the disposable income of a Rich Ricci or a Graham Wylie, and few have had the good fortune of striking oil whilst gardening out the back on a Sunday afternoon. Therefore a slightly more modest financial outlay is in order for your regular ‘Joe Bloggs’.
Hexham Racecourse became the latest to promote greater public involvement, when they launched their racing club last week. One of the best northern trainers, Lucinda Russell, will be training Hexham Racing Club’s first acquisition, the dual course winner Simarthur.
For those that are happy to part with the cash, it’s a great way of getting the ‘full on’ raceday experience. Entry to the paddock, visits to stables and the bonus of a share in any winnings are usually all part of the now ‘booming’ racing club adventure.
The Hexham initiative is also a great way of ‘stoking up’ the passion of local racing enthusiasts. Such a move is sure to add a few to the numbers passing through the gates on raceday.
The choice of syndicate or racing club can be a difficult one, and can often boil down to a decision based on finances.
Becoming part of a syndicate gives someone a share in the ownership of a horse. The amount of share available often varies as do the costs accordingly. Usually a lump sum is paid up-front before a regular monthly fee is required. This goes towards the trainer’s costs which include stable fees, race entry fees, and veterinary costs and so on.
Joining a racing club doesn’t always ensure a share in the ownership of a horse. However, the costs often reflect this, and the benefits can still be extremely worthwhile. A club membership allows a person to follow one or several horses at close quarters. Stable visits are often arranged and entry to the paddock on raceday is an experience not to be missed. Often club members are still allowed privileges normally reserved to owners. Access to the owners and trainers bar at the track is a common perk.
Friendly, sociable and successful, is often a claim of many a syndicate or racing club. Certainly the social aspect is a terrific incentive for many. The involvement also increases the awareness of just how important horse welfare is within the industry. Indeed a greater understanding and knowledge of all aspects of racing is a sure-fire result of the ‘membership fee’.
Trainers have also ‘grasped the nettle’, realising that this is a great way of getting more people involved in the sport. Such an influx of owners, share-holders and club members can greatly increase the income for a yard, ensuring that more horses remain in training.
To have a winner at one of the great racing festivals still remains something of a dream for the masses. But greater involvement in such a much-loved sport is now within touching distance for many. Just ask the ‘Wilde Blue Yonder’ syndicate how thrilling it is to follow your horse at Cheltenham or Aintree. Those guys are living the dream, surely it's time you joined them.