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What keeps owners in racing when 60% of horses fail to win?

Home Forums Horse Racing What keeps owners in racing when 60% of horses fail to win?

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  • #21053
    SteeplechasingSteeplechasing
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    • Total Posts 5767

    From my blog

    Many in racing believe owners deserve a reasonable chance of recouping a worthwhile percentage of costs. Some contend that fair recompense is vital in keeping owners in the sport.

    But if we are to judge from the behaviour of owners, then prize money means little to them as an incentive.

    Owners with a structured plan for making racing pay, the Godolphins and Coolmores, realise that prize money is the jam; the bread and butter is stud fees. Other high rollers like JP and Andy Stewart are in it for the love of the sport. But such ‘wealthy individuals’ make up only a tiny percentage of owners in the UK. The ones who really need ‘fair’ prize money to keep them in the game are those who cannot play at the highest levels, right?

    Maybe not . . .

    In the UK, in the 56 months from January 1st 2007 until August 31st 2011, 47,175 horses raced for total win prize money of just under £294m.

    58.75% of horses failed to win a single race.

    3% of horses won 34% of total win prize money (Group/Listed race winners) sharing £101m, a slice of which would have gone overseas.

    Those who probably needed it least as an incentive shared more than a third of win prize money. Of the remaining cash, 59% of horses won nothing of it for their owners.

    So, if prize money is not the incentive for the owners of 61% of horses, is it likely that the remaining 39% view it differently? (Only 13% of horses in that 56 month period won three races or more).

    However much The Horsemen might bluster, campaign and boycott, the stats say that most owners do not expect prize money to compensate them for indulging their hobby.

    I’m grateful to Weatherbys for supplying the figures

    Never argue with a fool. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience, then onlookers might not be able to tell the difference. https://lazybet.com/

    #392756
    ricky lakericky lake
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    • Total Posts 2358

    Joe , the answer is really obvious ….they are laying them to cover costs , end of stoty

    why else would you have a horse in training if you could not recoup costs , unless you can really afford it as outlined

    Time to face the reality

    Ricky

    #392757
    ricky lakericky lake
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    • Total Posts 2358

    In my opinion of course !!!! :D

    #392764
    DroneDrone
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    • Total Posts 5108

    However much The Horsemen might bluster, campaign and boycott, the stats say that most owners do not expect prize money to compensate them for indulging their hobby.

    If true, that’s a healthy and heartening attitude and just as it should be. Does anyone buy a Jag or Merc and expect compensation for hurling disposable money at a very pleasant but wholly unnecessary item?

    Some may choose to counter that with the ‘but owners supply a betting product’ type-argument. True, and the owners are ‘compensated’ for providing the ‘product’ as it is: without the punting-pound levy there wouldn’t be

    any

    prizemoney, or very little anyway

    Playboys’ playthings

    Play up! Play up! And play the game!

    It’s only a game Arthur

    Gallant Sport

    #392767
    GingertipsterGingertipster
    Participant
    • Total Posts 26580

    It’s a hobby that owners get a lot of pleasure from. Very few football club owners make a profit either. Owners don’t go in to racehorse ownership expecting to make a profit, I’d imagine the chance of winning races keeps them going.

    With internationalisation of Top Class racing, we need to Keep our top races as valuable as possible. Sheikh Mo and Co love GB and I racing because of its history. Also, our top races are worth more in stud value than some with a larger initial pot. However, if quality is not maintained then eventually stud value goes down and our "history" won’t look as apatising. Prize money for top class races is worth travelling horses, so we must do our best to keep tabbs on the top races on the World stage. It is not neccessary to be at the very top of prizemoney lists (our "history" and stud values will help us), but we do need to keep within hailing distance. Otherwise our "best" will go around the World instead of running at Epsom, Ascot or Newmarket.
    Also, we need to attract horses from overseas to keep our standards high. Again, history helps, but prize money needs to be thereabouts. Otherwise connections will say "you’re having a laugh, we were coming, but not for that pittence".

    With poorer class racehorses it is not worth travelling. So the hard truth is prize money will not be a priority.

    For those just below the top, it is not going to be worth travelling all around the World (apart from possibly Dubai). But there is a danger some may well be trained or race in France. For many years they’ve also been sold to Hong Kong.

    Conclusion: Priority must be the top grade with a sliding scale downwards.

    value is everything
    #392770
    sberrysberry
    Member
    • Total Posts 1801

    Apart from the affordable hobby part there is syndication which can see ‘owners’ in the sport for about the same as following a football team?

    And if the vast majority are in the lower class of horses then they are providing the majority of the income into racing for the rich owners of the higher class horses?

    If most of the jobs, income and action is in the lower class, shouldn’t that be where most money goes?

    #392772
    TuffersTuffers
    Member
    • Total Posts 1402

    I would be amazed if anyone went into racehorse ownership with the expectation that prizemoney would fund their hobby either in whole or in part.

    The real issue connected with low prizemoney IMHO is that the level of prizemoney offers insufficient incentive to always run a horse on its merits (particuarly at the bottom end of the scale).

    I’m not sure I understand the relevance of the percentage of horses which fail to win a race, though. Prizemoney is only an issue for the horses that DO win, surely?

    #392775
    Eclipse First
    Member
    • Total Posts 1572

    In the timescale how many owners left the sport? While there is a definite appeal to owning a racehorse, how many find the reality far less appealing and leave the ranks in under 3 years. I know this is probably impossible information to glean as the syndicates have owners come and go in the course of their duration.

    I do not think that any owner expects to make money from racing their horses when they first enter ownership. A fair return, whether it be via advertising, entertainment or whatever, for the money invested, is essential to keep the new owners coming into the sport.

    The issue that needs to be addressed far more urgently is that of over-production of the raw material. Commercial breeders must take the blame for this. They play the numbers game in order to increase their chances of producing good horses, this must by default,result in more bad horses being foaled. Too many horses, means there is too much racing so the prize money levels are diluted to accommodate bad races. While I accept that there is a need for races for bad/moderate horses, the volume of these races is disproportionate and economically unsustainable. If there were any sense of realism within the racing industry, they would cap the number of fixtures. Then racecourses would have to prove their viability or accept the vicissitudes of market forces.

    #392789
    DallimannDallimann
    Member
    • Total Posts 138

    Joe , the answer is really obvious ….they are laying them to cover costs , end of stoty

    why else would you have a horse in training if you could not recoup costs , unless you can really afford it as outlined

    Time to face the reality

    Ricky

    not necessarily the owners Ricky! Not them who are just in it for the fun and can afford it.

    #392790
    DallimannDallimann
    Member
    • Total Posts 138

    Joe , the answer is really obvious ….they are laying them to cover costs , end of stoty

    why else would you have a horse in training if you could not recoup costs , unless you can really afford it as outlined

    Time to face the reality

    Ricky

    not necessarily the owners Ricky! Not them who are just in it for the fun and can afford it.

    #392797
    Leeknowles1Leeknowles1
    Member
    • Total Posts 100

    For me its the thrill of racing, and owning a horse in a race is an amazing experience, I suppose you could say its like betting, you dont always win, but you keep going back and trying, if you had a bet expecting to win everytime, you would end up suicidal because more often than not, you lose!

    To be completely honest though, the people that own racehorses have alot of money generally anyway, a horse will cost around £1000 a month just in training fees, then you have vet bills, shoeing, gallops fees, race entries… so with the % on offer to winners, i would assume people would not take the risk unless it did not make a difference.

    Think you will lose from day 1. you wont be disheartened when you do! if you dont, bonus :lol:

    #392799
    andyod
    Member
    • Total Posts 4012

    I was connected to a horse who never won. He was second at least ten times( even when the jockey could not see straight).Got more fun than maybe say winning maybe twice and being down the field the rest of times.In fact he was the most fun of all ten horses I was connected to who won. Owners want a run from their horse,that cheers them up and gives them compensation for not winning!

    #392831
    betlargebetlarge
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2663

    Joe , the answer is really obvious ….they are laying them to cover costs , end of story

    why else would you have a horse in training if you could not recoup costs , unless you can really afford it as outlined

    Time to face the reality

    Ricky

    Ricky, maybe some of them do it for joy, fun, kudos, socialising, love of horses, the craic, fresh air, friendship, memories and sheer pleasure. This explains why prize money is irrelevant. The ‘reality’ you speak of is yours and would be completely unrecognised by these people.

    Mike

    #392844
    ricky lakericky lake
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2358

    Mike , you could possibly be right , alas I cant see it though

    lets stay real , 10 horses travelling to one of the sandpits of shame , to compete in one race for prize money of 2500 in total

    Most of this is the low level crap that punters are presented with in winter , can you imagine they all do it for fun ???

    Can you imagine what it costs to send horses /grooms/drivers …pay jockeys etc per horse , and do you really think they get away with 250 a head ……no way Sir , …..so maybe a few discreet mates do a bit of laying to ease the burden so to speak …..get my drift !!

    Just my opinion of course 8)

    cheers

    Ricky

    #392880
    DroneDrone
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    • Total Posts 5108

    The issue that needs to be addressed far more urgently is that of over-production of the raw material. Commercial breeders must take the blame for this.

    Indeed, those rather spooky abandoned queues of unsold inanimate cars in Avonmouth and elsewhere unsettle me

    Horses, like Officers, don’t queue :?

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