Could investing in a racehorse make you rich?

Cost of Owning a Racehorse

You and your checkbook will get to know one another very well when you buy a racehorse. In addition to the initial purchase, there is a laundry list of other costs you as the owner will be responsible for. By year's end, an average owner can expect to pay $60,000 per horse for training, boarding and other expenses [source: Wharton].  Here are a few of those costs:

  • Day Rate: This is the rate owners pay to train, house and feed their horses at the track. The average fee can range from $45 to $120 a day per horse [source: Wharton]. Owners who race at major tracks can expect to fork over $34,000 a year in training fees [source:].
  • Shoeing: Although horses don't wear high-heeled Jimmy Choos, the cost of keeping a horse in shoes is just as expensive. Shoeing can run between $100 and $400 a month per horse, depending on the type of shoe the animal needs [source:].   
  • Vet Bills: Horses get sick. Horses injure themselves. They need vitamins and other medications. Veterinarians aren't cheap. Vet fees vary. Medications are expensive. For example, an anabolic steroid that can repair damaged tissue or increase the appetite of a horse can run as high as $60 per injection [source: Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association].
  • Jockey Fees: This is the fee owners pay the jockey to ride a horse in a race. Jockeys can take home a minimum of $35 to $100 a race. Jockeys also earn a percentage of the purse if the horse is lucky enough to win, place or show [source: Animal Planet]. 
  • Transportation: Transporting a horse from track to track is expensive. Those who race close to home will not have to dole out as much money as owners who race their horses nationally.
  • Other Fees: Racehorse owners must also pay for insurance, licenses and of course, taxes, all of which can vary by state.

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