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May 2013

Racing Groups: The Roles They Play,  and The Benefits Provided

A racing group (per se) is an entity that organizes people to support any number of activities associated with the sport of Thoroughbred racing.  Racing groups form partnerships, in general, to allow people with similar interests to join forces to promote/achieve common objectives—typically, winning races and/or selling bloodstock.  

Pooled Resources = Affordable Participation

One of the benefits racing groups provide is that they offer people an affordable opportunity to participate in the sport as owners when the same people may not otherwise be able to do so directly by themselves. 
Race horses are fascinating, beautiful, and awe-inspiring athletes.  They provide thrills and excitement that humans dream about achieving—there’s nothing like it!  They are high performance, living, breathing animals that require a lot of daily care, attention, and expert oversight to achieve their maximum potential.
Through the partnerships they create, racing groups raise money by selling percentages of (or shares in) the collective interest to people who only wish (or are able) to make a smaller contribution.

Diversified Expenses Reduces Participation Costs

Another benefit of participating in a racing partnership is that the expenses related to the care of these amazing equine athletes are spread out based on the number shares offered. 
To understand this benefit, you have to know that, to keep one race horse in training, the costs can range from $30,000 to $40,000 a year.  The expenses associated with training a race horse fall into three categories:  basic necessities (feed, water, and living areas); professional services (training, veterinary care, and transportation); and administrative costs (licensing, racing fees, and bookkeeping).  
Thus, diversifying the overall costs lowers the financial risk for everyone—to the equivalent of each participant’s vested interest (percentage).

Flexible Involvement for Newcomers

We all have limits.  We all have multiple commitments.  We all have different desires.  Whatever the level of interest may be, racing groups provide perfect opportunities for people new to ownership to become familiar with the different aspects of the sport/industry at their convenience.
As owners, we all want to experience the thrills of racing and the sense of pride that goes along with saying our horse won the race.  Do you know about all of the things that go into making that happen?  Do you have the time to learn about these things?  Further benefits of being involved in a racing group are:  You don’t have to know everything and you can go about learning the in’s and out’s of ownership at your own pace.
The leader of the group (typically, the managing partner) takes care of running the business aspects for the partnership.  This allows newcomers to spend most of their energy getting to know the other participants, absorbing the atmosphere, and enjoying the overall ownership experience.

Camaraderie and Team Spirit

Horse racing is a team sport.  No one person, individual, or entity is responsible for the success in a given race, meet, or campaign (these three things are different).  
Victory comes in a variety of forms for racing groups, and it takes a lot of effort and hard work to achieve it. To prepare the horse for racing, the trainer typically relies upon his team of trusted assistants to help care for each runner in the stable.  In a single race, the combined efforts of the trainers, the owners, and racing officials all have to be properly orchestrated in order for the horse to be entered in a race.  To run well, the trainer, jockey, and the horse have to work together.  All of these things have to be repeated, correctly, each race during a scheduled meet (race meets can be anywhere from five days to 75 days depending on the race track).  And, if a horse demonstrates a spark of exceptional talent, the trainer will prepare a plan to point the horse toward a certain racing goal (which could span the course of different race meets)—this is a campaign.   
Through it all, a racing group provides companionship and solidarity to its partners.  Celebrating even the smallest victory with a group of friends is a great feeling, and it’s equally comforting to have the support of others if things don’t go according to plan.  Either way, there’s camaraderie when you’re part of a racing group.

Social Gatherings

Being part of a racing group is also a good way to meet new people who share a common interest and get together on a regular basis whether that’s at the farm, at the race track, or at an event hosted/supported by the partnership.
Of course, going to the races is fun—especially, when you’re with your friends.  Going to the races as an owner is exhilarating—after all, that’s your horse out there!  Sharing the thrills of ownership with your fellow partners will provide additional rewarding experiences that include wonderful memories that will last a lifetime.

Multiple Vested Interests

People get involved in hobbies, organized recreational activities, and/or arts programs because there is some sort of personal return on investment for them.  They buy season tickets, join country clubs, and/or purchase boats and motorcycles because these things enhance the quality of their lives.
By the nature of their existence and the structures under which they operate, racing groups introduce new groups of people to this sport—people who have a personally vested interest in the return on their invested capital.  In doing so, racing groups bring multiple advocates into the Thoroughbred industry.
To this end, the friendliness, the service, and the convenience that the industry offers/provides (by all of those who are part of it) makes a difference insofar as whether or not someone chooses to become an owner or decides to buy a season ticket package for their favorite sports team.

In the next article, we’ll explore the things to look for (both good and bad) when considering/evaluating racing partnerships.

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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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