Ownership Series – Costs

While the last thing we would like to do is put you off ownership, you really need to know all the costs associated with ownership on top of the cost of your share in purchasing or leasing a horse, plus your spelling, pre-training and training fees. 

Below is a list we were able to put together so you can see what might be on your bill.  

One thing that is noted is that no invoice from a third party for any of the below are attached to your invoice. This is noted as – unlike a law firm where every invoice needs to be attached to an invoice – the racing industry does not require the trainer to do so.  Therefore you really need to find a trainer or syndicator you trust.  

Costs are likely to look like the below: 

Nomination fees to every race your horse is nominated for

Acceptance fees

Farrier fees

Full  Set of Racing Plates (you will see this often) 


Strappers fee for every race day

Transport fees:

. to and from barrier trials, 

. To and from race days, 

. in some cases to water walkers, 

. to and from spelling yard 

. to and from pretrainer

Water Walker session fee

Dentistry fees

Weekly administration of vitamins / minerals IV injection

Phenylbutazone / Bute 

Gastrozol ulcer prevention

Gastrozol ulcer guard (daily)

Regumate readyserve oral progesterone (daily)

Electromagnetic Pulsed Therapy

Treatment administered 

Consultation and clinical examination

Administer electrolyte salts for recovery by nasogastric tube

Drip kit DMSO, Hartmanns, catheter

Ultrasound examination fee

Administer DMSO drip

Racing NSW charges Workers Comp + public liability at every track when racing. 

If your horse is lucky to be travelling interstate, you will be charged all your trainer’s expenses as well as any team member required. 

We will discuss prize money under another article but you should be aware of the breakdown of any prize money: 

Owner: 83.5% 

Trainer: 10.0% 

Jockey: 5.0% 

Stablehand: 1.5%

A percentage of you winnings also goes to Racing NSW on a new rule for their distribution to off the track thoroughbreds funding. 

Note the above is only a guide of what you might see.  There may be more or less costs as it depends on what your horse might require. 

Therefore because of the above, your horse needs to win a few races to even consider a break even result.  Not every horse will run in the City and have the opportunity to recoup good prize money.  The good news is country and provincial prize money has increased.  Nearly every horse will commence their racing career at a country or provincial race meeting and should move through their grades in order to give your horse the best possible chance of winning prize money.  

Something to consider is if your horse is not winning you may wish to move it to a country trainer where costs are reduced dramatically. There are plenty of outstanding country trainers to consider.  

This decision will need a majority of ownership of above 51% to agree to be able to move your horse.  (Another article way down the track.) 

Your trainer may have this conversation with all owners if they feel it is in the best interest of the horse and owners. 

There are a couple of new large group syndications where it is an agreed set monthly fee so this might be another option. 

I hope the above enlightens you to make a conscience decision if you can afford ownership.  

It is Thoroughbred Events Australia & The Thoroughbred Club’s hope that at the end of your horse’s racing career, you will consider finding the best possible place for them to enter into another career.  

We would love to hear from any owner who knows where their horse has gone and has a great story to share.