Thursday, September 14, 2006

What does maintenance and training cost

? The more I research my opportunities the more confused I become and determined as well This is information taken from a website and I wonder how exact it is.

from West Point Thoroughbreds (this is from 2006) -

What does my initial investment cover?

Your initial investment covers the cost of the horse as well as all training expenses, fees, supplies, and mortality insurance through December 31st, of the horse's two-year-old year. From the time of your investment through the end of the two-year-old year you will not incur any further expenditures. West Point Thoroughbreds sells 10 percent units in each horse. The minimum buy in to a horse is 5 percent.

What does maintenance and training cost per quarter?

Costs for a horse in training at the track break down in the following manner (all figures are approximate):
Trainer - $75 a day, approximately $6-7k per quarter
Vet - $500 a month, approximately $1,500 a quarter
Blacksmith - $130 a month, approximately $300-400 a quarter
Stable Supplies - $100 a month, approximately $300 a quarter
Vanning - $200 a month, approximately $600 a quarter
Medication - $300 a month, approximately $900 a quarter. West Point Thoroughbreds places its horses on gastroguard to prevent and treat stomach ulcers as well as EPM medication.
Management costs - $500 a month, or $1500 a quarter. WHAT EXACTLY IS THIS EXPENSE IF I WOULD BE A SOLE OWNER OR PARTNER?
On average, the cost for a horse in training will be between $11,000-12,000 to cover all training, maintenance, and management costs. However, most horses do not spend the entire year in training.
A cost of approximately $40,000 per horse per year can be assumed.
Besides the initial expenditure and the training and maintenance fees, are there any other costs involved?

The only other fee is for mortality insurance (covered by initial expenditure during two-year-old year), which is charged annually and is 4.9% of the purchase price of the horse (not the syndication price). For example - if a filly is purchased at auction for $130,000 the annual fee for mortality insurance to the partnership would be $6,370. Therefore the annual cost for a person with a 10% stake in the partnership would be $637. If there is a major surgery the partnership is covered up to $1000, the partnership will be responsible for anything additional

Initial Expenditure - $34,000 Training and Maintenance – For each year thereafter approximately $4,400 to $4,800 (if at the track the entire year)

Purse Distribution

Purses earned at the racetrack are typically distributed as such:
First place receives 60% of the total purse
Second place receives 20% of the total purse
Third place receives 10% of the total purse
Fourth place receives 6% of the total purse
Fifth place receives 4% of the total purse
Per industry standards, trainers receive ten percent (10%) of any purse earnings. Jockeys receive ten percent (10%) of a winning purse, five percent (5%) of purses earned for finishing second or third, and a flat fee of $60 to $100 per mount for finishing off the board

- In my opinion West Point TBs is a "boutique" partnership group that is aiming for high priced horses and owners with deep pockets. All their numbers are high because they use the most expensive trainers and they sell shares based on the idea that everything is high end. To me I can't see paying a trainer $75/day in 2006, very high. Vet bills could be $500 but the horse better have something wrong for it to be that much, for routine vet work that is ridiculous. Blacksmith could be $130 but depends on which blacksmith you use and if the horse needs special shoes, that is a tad high to me. Most trainers don't charge extra for everyday horse supplies like buckets, lead ropes, cooling out blankets, etc. But if he needs a special type of equipment that can't be reused on another horse, such as a special bit or saddle pad, then you might get charged for that. Routine medication/vitamins shouldn't cost $300/month but I don't blame them for estimating high that way if it's less then the owners are pleased. Most partnerships don't charge a management fee, especially if it's just 2 or 3 people going in together on a horse. Most trainers will divide the bills up themselves and bill each owner for their share without any "management fee".

I'd say the cost to have a horse in training should be more like $2500/month or $30,000/year and it could easily be less since your horse may get a break from the track for a couple months here and there, layup at a farm is typically about $25/day, and if your horse is claimed then it will take a while to find a new horse, so you'll have breaks in your bills during that time also.


Anonymous said...

you obviously know nothing about racing. training bills are high, plain and simple. get a trainer for 30$-$40 a day and see what you get. You dont think the vet bills should be high either! Your high, maybe you should have all the needles and meds yourself so can save money. Oh I forgot, better not get caught with those needles or drugs or youre finished. take up another hobby or pastime,

amy4hsales said...

Please note that the original post quoted estimates from 2006 - if those numbers were advertised now in 2010 then I'd say they're good estimates of what it costs NOW. The "mega trainers" now (2010) charge $100 and up/day per horse and all the other expenses are also much higher. Yet purses have not increased.

Justin M said...

I'm not completely green to this game, I grew up at a track and love horse racing and even went in on a horse with family this past year. But with costs like this what would be the point of even owning a claimer? Don't $3500 to $12000 claimers make a huge portion of races on most of N/A race cards? At even $60 per day training, less than 2% of owners would break even. What's the point? There has to be some room for negotiating with any trainer isn't there? Help me out here I'm just trying to wrap my head around this. I guess this just seems to me that if anyone has an interest of being an owner you must regularily wear a top hat and monocul.

Anonymous said...

Valuable info. Lucky me I found your site by accident, I bookmarked it.

J.L. said...

I've been in racing for 30 years. From sales to breaking, exercise riding, owning my own breaking/training business, to owning race horses. Those getting in to ownership should know one VERY important fact that can not be argued : Your chance of making even one dollar profit after all expenses is about 15 %. That's owning a horse destined to race. Most bloodstock agents and trainers won't tell you that fact. If you don't have the money to lose, don't do it. Finding a cheap trainer will ultimately pass down to the horse, who will suffer the consequences. Get one good horse and match it with a good trainer with good credentials. And for heavens sake, find someone you can trust to help you. The racing world is FULL of dishonest people. Anyone can talk to a beginner for 2 minutes and see that they're clueless. Those are the people who get taken advantage of. Do your homework !!! Plus, you are responsible for the horse's welfare when you're done racing it. Too many people "throw them away", where they end up going to slaughterhouses. I always found good homes for mine, even if it took years. When you buy an animal, you buy the responsibility, even after it can't do what you originally bought it for. Good luck !

amy4hsales said...

Since this post is the most popular of the blog, I think anyone who reads it should also read the article at

which breaks down the "day rate", or trainer's daily fee per horse, to show where that money goes. I think new owners sometimes assume that all or most of it goes in the trainer's pocket, but it's actually used to pay all stable employees and all feed for the horses - these are the 2 biggest expenses a stable has. If a trainer is not getting $65/day per horse then he or she is probably losing money in 2012.