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April 2013

Fantastic Ownership Experiences
On A Resonable Budget

How do you get involved in race horse ownership without losing your shirt?    

Let’s be honest—one of the first things most people think about before they try something new is how much “it” is going to cost.  Wanting to know that upfront is smart because if the product or service costs more than you can reasonably afford, then you certainly aren’t going to gain much value out of the experience.
What most people don’t realize, however, is that owning a share (a fraction) of a race horse (or package of horses) can be both reasonable and very affordable—even on a modest budget.

In this regard, finding an organization that’s the “right fit” for you is, perhaps, the most important factor insofar as determining if participating is worthwhile.

Getting the Best Value for the Price You Pay

Some people ignore the unpleasant possibilities and conjure up reasons to justify almost any price if they want something bad enough; but, that’s not necessarily a reasonable way to go about getting involved in race horse ownership, and it’s certainly not the best way to achieve good value. 
A good deal is one in which you can get something that is the same (or better) quality for a price less than what it would normally cost.
The average monthly cost to maintain a race horse in training is around $3,000.  (The costs vary based on the trainer’s day rate, as well as the veterinary care needed.)  If this is something you can afford on your own, then you’re all set.  If not, then there’s a practical alternative to still be able to participate—joining a racing group and sharing the costs.
When thinking about a racing group, it’s important to consider organizations that look to provide exceptional value; that have business models designed to weather challenging circumstances; and come with options built in to tolerate probable swings in operating performance.  Even when the initial gameplan doesn’t work out, the best racing organizations position themselves to yield rewarding experiences that you would be unable to achieve on your own.
It’s also important to think about the ideology of the racing organization—the friendliness of the people, priority of the welfare given to the horses, its accountability to the participants, and the underlying passion to support a worthy cause.  The horses are the reason to participate; therefore the care given to them by the organization before, during, and after the races must be a top priority.  New participants need lots of information, so the organization should be willing and set up to provide open communication early and often.  And, while the racing action is very fun, being part of any organization with a meaningful mission elevates everyone’s satisfaction with their involvement.

10 Considerations When Thinking About Racing Partnerships

What to ask yourself if you’re thinking about joining a racing group?  Here are some questions to help you evaluate what’s being offered:
1.    Are you seeking an adrenalin rush that will make you behave uncontrollably when your horse races toward the lead at the top of the stretch?
2.    Are you interested in a hobby that is sporting, offers field trips, encourages social gaming, and includes parties?
3.    Are you looking for an extraordinary level of satisfaction that touches your mind, heart, and soul?
If you answer “yes” to these questions, then a horse racing partnership may be a good fit for you because it is exhilarating, unique, and fulfilling.
4.    Does the racing organization explain the risks upfront and admit that there are no performance guarantees?
5.    Is the contribution structure clearly outlined so there are no doubts about what you should be prepared to pay and when you have to pay it?
6.    Does the business explain in writing and in plain English what are the terms and conditions for participating in the group?
7.    Do you believe the organization will be putting best the interests of the horses and your contributions to good use?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, then owning a fractional share in a race horse may be a good fit for you because the best partnerships are relatively safe, affordable, reasonable, and practical ventures.
8.    What do you want in return for the contributions you make? 
9.    Is exceeding your expectations important to you? 
10.  Is the ideology of an organization relevant to you? 
If you answered “yes” to these questions, then participating in a racing group may provide you with hard-dollar value along with the emotional value that comes from the integrity of an organization that believes in upholding the highest standards.

Participation Varieties

Participating in the sport of Thoroughbred racing as an owner offers a variety of rewarding experiences, and getting involved in a racing group provides a safe and affordable introduction to that.
Racing groups, and organizations that create them, come in all different shapes and sizes, and they operate from different locations around the world. 
Some only focus on the upper echelons of racing competition at the premier race tracks, while others do just as well operating in the daily ranks of claiming races at the local level. 
The out of pocket expenses to participate in a racing group can be as much as $35,000 or as little as $500. 
It’s really up to you to decide what’s the right fit for your interests—just do your homework; compare your options; and go with what works best for your needs. 

Now more than ever, the sport relies on racing groups to increase the level of awareness, involvement, and support for the industry.  In my next article, I’ll explore the roles racing groups play in the sport.

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Each month we'll dive deeper into the categories that shape the sport of Thoroughbred racing and the best ways to become part of the action.

Mojo Background

Mojo Thoroughbred Holdings, LLC (which conducts its racing operations as Mojo Racing Partners) is based in Fort Worth, TX and was formed in 2006.  Since then, Mojo has raced at Arlington Park, Churchill Downs, Indiana Downs, Keeneland, Kentucky Downs, Lone Star Park, Remington Park, and Turfway Park.

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