With horse racing being one of the most prestigious sports in the world, most people don’t even bother asking how much it would cost to own a racing horse. However, sometimes buying a horse can prove to be a good investment, especially if you know how the process works in order to prepare your horse for racing.
Although horse racing isn’t as popular in India as in the US, which has the TwinSpires Kentucky Derby coming up, it still gets some attraction. Especially for the big races like the Indian Oaks or the Indian Derby. Such races inspire people to take a look at the process of owning a horse and pursue the dream of creating the ultimate horse racing champion.
So, owning a horse isn’t that simple and before you make a full commitment you need to know all the costs that come with owning a racing horse in India.
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Buying a Racehorse
The first step before owning a horse is actually buying one. Fortunately, India is a big marketplace for racehorses and you can find one without too much struggle.
When it comes to the horse’s price, it is important to mention that it can vary depending on the horse’s breed, abilities, and attributes. For example, a reddish-brown horse with a beautiful black mane and tail, also known as a “bay-colored” horse is paid a higher amount of money for its shiny coat.
Racing horses in India are commonly sold at auctions that are often held in Mumbai which is considered the horse racing capital. When it comes to the price, it is worth mentioning that the average price of a racehorse in India is rising.
In a recent auction organized by the Royal Western India Turf Club, the average price of a racehorse was Rs 16.75 lakh or $22,000. This number is up by 35% compared to 2019 when the average price of a horse was Rs 12.3 lakh, and more than 50% from 2018 when the price was only Rs 10.9 lakh.
These are the prices for professional racing thoroughbreds. You can also buy cheaper horses that need to be trained in order to race in professional horse racing events. You can also find horses for as low as 50,000 Rs for part ownership of a racehorse.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Racehorse
As we mentioned before, the price of the horse depends on many factors that may or may not be valuable to you. But why some horses are worth millions while others are very affordable?
Well, there are several factors that are important when buying a horse, such as:
Knowing where your horse comes from and what genes it has is one of the most important factors that can determine its racing potential. That is why some horses are considered potential racing champions without even attending a race.
So, if you are in the process of purchasing a horse, make sure you go through the horse’s history and find out the success of the horse’s parents.
Some horses that are sold in India have already participated in races. Another important factor to consider is the amount of money that the horse has earned throughout its racing career. If a horse has earned millions from race purses, it will be worth substantially more than the original price.
Knowing when a horse is in its prime is another important factor to consider. Even if the horse has won many races and has a champions pedigree, if the horse is too old, you wouldn’t see much success with it.
Additionally, with every year that passes, horse owners pour a lot of money into training and healthcare, which is a cost that increases the price of the horse.
A large part of the cost for horse owners goes to training. Of course, this depends on the level of training you want to provide to your horse and different trainers charge different fees. The annual training fees can vary from as low as Rs 380,000 or $5,000 and up to Rs 1,141,948 or $15,000.
In most cases, the cost of the horse training includes fees for vets, dentists, gallop fees, health supplements, fees for farriers, and more.
Remember to look out for jockey schooling fees and trainer’s commission. Many horse racing facilities add additional fees that can increase the cost of horse training.
Racing a Horse
Congratulations if you made it this far, that means that you already own a horse and you’ve gone through the training process. However, it is time to get to business and sign up your horse for an actual race.
Depending on the type of race, there are different fees. For example, if you want your horse to participate in the biggest horse race in India, The Indian Derby, you might pay a whopping Rs 9lakh for a late entry fee.
Usually, when the prize purse is bigger, so is the entry fee that is required in order to participate in the race.
Horse Racing Gear
Lastly, you need to have professional horse racing gear in order to participate in the race. However, if you already trained your horse for racing, chances are that you already have the required equipment for horse racing.
A horse racing gear usually includes belts, blinker hoods, boots, bridle, chaps, racing crops, forks, gloves, helmets, halters, saddle, harnesses, and more.
Even though the cost of the horse racing equipment gear is significantly lower than the other fees included in the process, it is worth noting this cost.
Is Owning a Racehorse Profitable?
This is an interesting question without a straight answer. The trouble is, it all depends on the owner’s decisions and the racehorse. There are many horse races in India with a big enough prize purse to make some profits. For example, the 17 races that total the Indian Derby Day have a prize pool of around INR 91.5 lakh.
With that said, the racing capabilities of your horse are the most important factor when it comes to how much money you can earn with your horse. Since there are a lot of expenses that come with owning a racehorse, you need to think twice before deciding to purchase a racehorse.