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Owning A Piece of the Action at Equestricon

Owning A Piece of the Action at Equestricon

Melissa Bauer-Herzog

If you have ever dreamed of joining a horse for a photo in the winner’s circle after a big race, you’re not alone. Perhaps due to public perception that the barriers to entry are too high and costly, many people don’t realize that horse ownership is an attainable goal. Just like so many other topics at Equestricon, horse ownership through racing syndicates will be a highlighted area of discussion. 

In one of the final panels of the convention (where over 80 panels, workshops, seminars and other events are scheduled), the heads of multiple racing partnerships will take part in the Racing Syndicate Question and  Answer session, sponsored by the Thoroughbred Owners & Breeders Association. The discussion will explore the many ways to join a partnership and the various ownership models available to prospective partners. 

Panelists scheduled to appear include recent Kentucky Derby-winning minority owner Terry Finley of West Point Thoroughbreds; Don Little of Centennial Farms; Tom Gallo of the Saratoga-based Parting Glass Racing; Peter Bradley of Bradley Thoroughbreds; and Gary Palmisano from the Churchill Downs Racing Club. The discussion will be moderated by racing analyst and TVG personality Caton Bredar. 

Finley, an  Equestricon Advisory Board Member, believes partnerships give potential owners a perfect low-risk entry point into racing. The model of fractional ownership allows partners to minimize their risk, as they’re still learning about the ins and outs of owning a horse. 

“[Partnerships are] a wonderful way to get started in our great industry,” Finley said. “It’s a wonderful way to get educated in our great industry and inherently you have more action when you’re in a partnership because you can distribute your capital to more spot.”

West Point Thoroughbreds has been managing partnerships for more than 25 years. In that time, West Point has campaigned 40 graded stakes winners and nine grade one winners. At any given time, the stable owns more than 70 years for some 500 partners. 

Terry Finley, West Point Thoroughbreds

Terry Finley, West Point Thoroughbreds

“So, you also get a shot to meet more people that really like horse racing and are as passionate about the business as you are, as a partner,” Finley said. “You put all those things together and partnerships are really where it’s at. So, that’s where [in the panel], I think people will learn and will take away the details of the different ways you can get into the business; the different structures and all the different things that one would see if they had a partnership booked, so to speak, but those I think are the biggest things.”  

Finley also points out that the the Racing Syndicates panel might even be beneficial to attend for those who may not be thinking about buying a horse at this very moment.  Finley has seen many people contact him about joining a syndicate years after they first showed interest in the sport of racing, due to changes in their life. The panel is the perfect place to learn more about joining a syndicate without the pressure of feeling like you must sign a check right away, and it also allows for any questions a potential owner may think of during the panel to be answered quickly. 

“Literally, we’ve had people who have been on our database for 10 to 15 years that end up having a turn in their lives and all of a sudden they’re in a position to invest in horses,” he said. “I think even if you’re not right on top of investing you still have a chance to come to this panel and learn and see what it conjures up in your mind. The more things are conjured up, the more questions you have, the more answers you get, the better prepared people will be when they get there and when they ultimately decide to make the jump into ownership.” 

As for those people who are already in the industry as owners, trainers or even bettors, Finley believes their support is paramount to making the overall Equestricon event a success this year and in years to come.   

Finley (pictured second from left) joined Equestricon founders Justin Nicholson, Kathryn Sharp and Dan Tordjman at the convention-launch announcement last September. Advisory board members Graham Motion (far left) and Anne Poulson (far right), as well as Saratoga Springs Mayor Joanne Yepsen (second from right), were also present for the announcement of the first ever international horse racing convention. 

Finley (pictured second from left) joined Equestricon founders Justin Nicholson, Kathryn Sharp and Dan Tordjman at the convention-launch announcement last September. Advisory board members Graham Motion (far left) and Anne Poulson (far right), as well as Saratoga Springs Mayor Joanne Yepsen (second from right), were also present for the announcement of the first ever international horse racing convention. 

“I’d ask the industry to get behind Equestricon,” he said.  “We’ve got to support it and it’s going to be as good and as successful as the amount of attention and interest and engagement that the industry puts forward. I hope and I trust and I call on owners and trainers and bettors and fans, I call on everybody to get behind this and to come to Saratoga in August. Let’s kick this thing off in a huge and remarkable way.” 

If you’re interested in attending the Racing Syndicates Q&A or any of Equestricon’s other scheduled events, you can view packages and purchase tickets here.

Equestricon™ is the first international horse racing convention, trade show and fan festival. Founded by Dan Tordjman, Kathryn Sharp and Justin Nicholson, Equestricon™ is designed to bring the horse racing industry together in an atmosphere of entertainment, engagement and education. The inaugural Equestricon™ will be held in Saratoga Springs, kicking off on August 13, and continuing with its General Session August 14-15 at the Saratoga Springs City Center. The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) is the official charity partner of Equestricon™.

© EQUESTRICON 2017