How can I buy a racehorse?

The majority of racehorses are sold at public auction, where they are grouped by type – yearlings, two-year-olds, horses in training and so on – listed in an auction catalogue and sold to the highest bidder. Depending on your budget and other requirements, buying a horse privately, directly from a breeder or trainer, at a negotiated price, may be your easiest option. Other choices include buying the winner of a selling race, which will be offered for auction immediately afterwards, or claiming a horse, at the advertised claiming price, from a claiming race.

Each method of buying a racehorse has its own pros and cons, so it is important, once you have decided on your budget, to seek a professional advisor, in the form of bloodstock agent or licensed trainer. Their knowledge and experience in analysing pedigrees, assessing form and, generally, in buying and racing horses, is likely to prove an invaluable asset.

How fast are racehorses?

A thoroughbred racehorse typically gallops at around 30 miles per hour, on average, but, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the fastest speed ever recorded was 43.97 miles per hour, by Winning Brew, a two-year-old filly, who covered two furlongs at Penn National Race Course, in Pennsylvania, USA in 20.57 seconds on May 14, 2008. Of course, the minimum distance over which thoroughbred horses race, in Britain, is five furlongs; the record over that distance belongs to Stone Of Folca, a four-year-old gelding, who achieved an average speed of 41.9 miles per hour when winning at Epsom Downs Racecourse, in Surrey, UK on June 2, 2012, in a time of 53.69 seconds.