What’s a horse racing syndicate?

As in other walks of life, in horse racing, a ‘syndicate’ refers to a group of people engaged in a shared enterprise, in this case the ownership of one or more racehorses. Obviously, the initial purchase price of a racehorse varies according to its age, pedigree, soundness and so on, but between £10,000 and £20,000 is not uncommon. Coupled with annual training costs, typically between £16,000 and £23,000, it is easy to see how the cost of buying a racehorse and keeping it in training is beyond the means of many individuals.

Consequently, groups of like-minded people, who may be strangers to each other, are brought together by a syndicate manager to share purchase cost(s) and the day-to-day cost of ownership among them. A typical syndicate consists of twenty or so members, each of whom buys a fixed share, say 5%, in one or more horses and makes an annual contribution towards training and other costs. Any prize money is, likewise, shared among syndicate members, but most people join a syndicate for the love of the sport, rather than an opportunity to make money.