Expenses to account for when purchasing a horse

Thoroughbred racing is described as the ‘Sport of Kings’ however participation in the sport is not confined to the millionaires, especially in Australia. 

There are numerous ways to be involved in racehorse ownership which can assist in sharing the costs. If purchasing through a syndicate, you may even find some that offer a fixed monthly rate that covers all costs. 

The approximate average price of yearlings sold at the different Australia public auctions are as follows:

  • Inglis Easter Yearling Sale- $306,000
  • Inglis Premier Yearling Sale- $139,000
  • Inglis Classic Yearling Sale- $101,000
  • Inglis Scone Yearling Sale – $17,000
  • Inglis VOBIS Gold Yearling Sale – $15,000
  • Magic Millions January Yearling Sale (Book 1)- $251,000
  • Magic Millions January Yearling Sale (Book 2)- $60,000
  • Magic Millions Perth Yearling Sale- $55,000
  • Magic Millions Tasmanian Yearling Sale- $35,000
  • Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale- $54,000
  • Magic Millions QTIS Yearling Sale- $44,000
  • Magic Millions June Yearling Sale- $50,000

Insurance – Insurance is calculated at a percentage of the value of the horse, and most auction houses offer competitive rates. Insurance is not a compulsory purchase but may cover your purchase in the result of injury or accident. Be sure to read the PDS to ensure the product is right for you. 

Race Series – Each major auction house offers a dedicated race series for nominated Sale graduates, with millions of dollars in prizemoney and bonuses on offer. 

Bonus schemes – Each State within Australia offers their own incentive bonus schemes, from BOBS and BOBS Extra in New South Wales to Super VOBIS and VOBIS Gold in Victoria, QTIS in Queensland, Westspeed in Western Australia and SABIS in South Australia. All bonus schemes are structured differently to benefit owners. For more information contact your local racing board.

Training fees – Training fees vary between each metropolitan, provincial and country training area. A racehorse trained in the country can cost between $30K per annum, whilst a horse trained in a metropolitan area, such as Flemington, can cost $50-$60K and above per annum. 

Other fees – There are a range of other fees to consider that will be either once-off costs at the start of your horse’s career (such as breaking in) or recurring throughout its career. Such costs include, but are not limited to:  

  • Bloodstock agent fees 
  • Transport & Freight 
  • Agistment
  • Breaking in
  • Naming and registering your horse with your state racing authority  
  • Vet and medical expenses 
  • Race and trial fees
  • Farriers
  • Rehoming / retraining costs at the end of your horse’s racing career 

If purchasing an internationally based horse to bring to Australia, you may also be subject to quarantine expenses, customs fees and levies and other related costs. 

Your FBAA accredited bloodstock agent will be able to assist you further in understanding these expenses and working them into your thoroughbred purchasing budget.