What is a ‘syndicate’?

In horse racing, a ‘syndicate’ is a group of like-minded people that comes together or, indeed, is brought together by a syndicator – who can be an individual or a company, must be registered with the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) – to purchase ownership of a racehorse. The cost of buying and training a racehorse is prohibitively expensive for most people, at least if they do so for themselves. The idea behind horse syndication is that each syndicate member buys a fixed share, say, 2.5%, 5% or 10%, in one or more horses and makes a contribution towards the annual costs – such as farrier, veterinary and, of course, training, fees – needed to keep the horse fit, healthy and ready to run for its life.

In other words, instead of the whole cost of ownership being laid at the door of one, extremely wealthy individual, it is split between multiple part-owners. Of course, owners also share any winnings their horses accumulate during their involvement but, even so, most people consider syndicate membership as a relatively inexpensive way to enjoy personal involvement with, and a stake in, racehorses, rather than a lucrative investment opportunity. Of course, it is possible make large of sums of money from horse syndication but, for many owners, the best way to make a small fortune from horse racing is to start with a large one.