How To Buy a Thoroughbred Racehorse

Buying a Thoroughbred racehorse is an investment in time and money, so it’s important that you educate yourself about the racing industry and the costs involved. If you don’t take the time to learn, you can waste a lot of time and money on the wrong Thoroughbred racehorse.

All Thoroughbred racehorses in the United States are tattooed under their upper lip with a code. It’s normally invisible unless you look for it using black light. This code has numbers and letters, which track the horse’s year of birth and its Jockey Club registration number. Jockey Club registration will give you bloodlines and the horse’s family tree. A horse can’t race in the United States unless registered with the Jockey Club and the racetrack stewards will always check to confirm registration prior to allowing a horse to race.

Thoroughbred horses ready to race all have this ID tattoo. Along with the horses papers it’s a quick way to verify the horse you are buying is horse listed in the pedigree documents. You can get detailed information on the horse just by using Racehorse ID Tattoo is just a matter of contacting the Jockey Club, who now offers a free service.

Money plays an important role in horseracing. You must decide if want to own a horse outright or sell shares of it to investors. By having multiple investors, who own partial shares, you can spread out the cost of the horse and its care to each owner. Some costs include hiring a trainer, vet charges, shoeing expenses, the cost of feed, board, supplements, racing fees, and transportation to racetracks.

Racehorses are bought at auctions, through private purchases or claiming races. Claiming races are one way to get a horse and normally their prices are the least expensive, however, perspective buyers cannot have the horse vet-checked for soundness or health prior to the race. The horse is purchased “as is.”

Auction and private purchases are a better way to go because buyers can learn about bloodlines, family trees, and birth dates. In a private purchase, horses are sold directly and buyers can request a vet inspection prior to purchase.

Consider hiring an attorney with racing experience, contracts with sellers, selling shares in a racehorse, getting a State Racing License, and working with the Jockey Club for racing colors and Horse registration is important and having an attorney experienced in the field will help you save money and time.


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