Chapter Two

What Does it Cost to Own a Racehorse?

<< Chapter One: What's a Quarter Horse?

Introduction | Printable New Owner Guide | Contact a Professional | New Owner Video

New owner guide photoDon’t be scared off by the dollar amounts on the previous page. Your first racehorse will likely cost quite a bit less than $20,000, and there are a few ways to mitigate that cost. Truth be told, the purchase price of the horse is often your smallest expense. As the owner, you’ll bear the cost of:

  • buying the horse
  • stabling, feeding, shoeing and providing veterinary care
  • a trainer
  • a jockey
  • nomination fees to run in races
  • insurance for the horse (just like you buy insurance for your car)
  • shipping the horse from track to track

All of these costs – minus the purchase price of the horse – average out to about $1,800 per month, though that number can vary based on what you do with the horse and how you train it.

New owner guide photoIf you don’t have quite that much money burning a hole in your pocket, you should consider starting or joining a partnership, perhaps the safest and least-expensive way to be involved in racing. As we like to say, you get...

...10% of the cost, 100% of the fun!

Partnerships (also called syndicates) are very common in horse racing, and some of the most successful runners ever have been owned by partnerships. We suggest you join a partnership with people you already know and trust, as good communication is fundamental to making a partnership work smoothly and be enjoyable.

You’ll find a much more detailed look at partnerships in our Guide to Owning Racing American Quarter Horses, and an AQHA affiliate can also explain the process and answer all of your questions one-on-one.

So you’ve decided to dive in and become a racehorse owner. Now you need a horse...

Chapter Three: How do I Buy a Horse? >>