Syndicates and Clubs
Racing Syndicates and Racing Clubs offer a cost-effective way to experience the thrill of being at the heart of the racing action.
The ROA offers a great range of benefits for members of syndicates and racing clubs, including free racecourse admission, VIP parking, racing discounts and more! See why you should become a member.
What is a Syndicate?
A syndicate is a form of shared ownership where the members own, or lease, an interest in one or more racehorses and make a financial contribution to their purchase in return for legal or equitable title to the horse. Additionally, you will share the costs (for example training fees, travelling and veterinary).
In most cases you will receive a percentage of any prize money earnings over the course of the horses’ career, proceeds from the sale of the horse/s and/or breeding rights – always check individual syndicate terms and conditions.
The syndicate is run by a manager (or syndicator) who manages, administers and promotes the syndicate and who often receives payment to carry out this role.
- SYNDICATORS: Any person that has financial responsibility for, or is engaged in the managing, administration or promotion of, a syndicate whether or not for profit is included as a syndicator. For a syndicator to be approved by the BHA they must themselves be registered as a sole or company owner.
- SYNDICATE MEMBERS: Any person who has shares in the ownership, or lease, of racehorses through a syndicate should be listed a syndicate member.
Have a read of our essential guide below. There are also our handy agreement templates for syndicates to get you set up and started.
What is a Racing Club?
A Racing Club is often a more affordable option and offers a great way to dip your toe into shared ownership. As a Racing Club member you will not own any legal or equitable rights to the racehorse, ownership remains with the racing club or a third party. You are likely to pay an all-inclusive membership fee which entitles you to similar benefits to that of a syndicate and can include; owners’ badges, stable visits and social events. In most cases, club members are entitled to a percentage of the prize money but check individual club terms and conditions.
- RACING CLUB MANAGERS: Any person that is the owner or lessor of any racing club horses, or is engaged in the managing, administration or promotion of, a racing club whether or not for profit is included as a racing club manager. For a racing club manager to be approved by the BHA they must themselves be registered as a sole or company owner.
- RACING CLUB MEMBERS: Any individual or entity which has bought a subscription to a racing club to acquire certain benefits such as the sharing of prize-money, but not any ownership, or leased, rights should be known as a racing club member.
If you have any questions or require support to make any changes to your ownership entity, contact [email protected]
What is a Micro Share?
The Racehorse ownership experience is now more accessible than ever thanks to microshares. This unique type of racing club allows hundreds of micro-owners to buy a tiny share of a horse at a very affordable price.
For the relatively small cost, you can still receive many of the same perks as a traditional owner. From visits to the stables, regular updates from the yard and ballots for raceday tickets; it’s an inexpensive way of enjoying the ownership experience.
Shared ownership regulation
All Syndicates registered on or after May 1 2021 must ensure they comply with the BHA’s Code of Conduct. All Syndicates registered prior to this date must ensure they are in compliance with the previous Code of Conduct, and that their contracts are updated to reflect this new code no later than April 30, 2022.
In promoting their ownership it is important that Syndicators and Club Managers accurately and clearly portray their offering to prospective members. This can mean several things in practice, including:
- ensuring that the Syndicate or Racing Club Terms and Conditions cover all terms required by the BHA’s Codes of Conduct, they are transparent, written in plain language and are easily accessible to any prospective member
- any advertising linked with a Syndicate or Racing Club must also be aligned with the terms outlined in the respective Codes of Conduct and the BHA’s ownership definitions. To elaborate, under no circumstances should involvement in a Syndicate or Racing Club be advertised as an investment and, depending on the structure of the entity certain language should be used in any promotion.
For example, the BHA defines a Racing Club as an entertainment associated with racehorses, where the Members acquire no ownership rights to, or lease an interest in, any racehorses. Considering this, promotion must not portray Racing Club membership as bestowing ownership, part-ownership or leased ownership on any individual. As such, use of the word 'owner' or ‘ownership’ should be avoided. Instead Racing Clubs should be promoted based on the benefits afforded to members and what their subscription fee grants such as regular updates from the trainer, days at the yard, the chance to watch the Club’s horse(s) run as well as potentially receiving a split of any prize-money won.
It is important to remember that even if prize-money won by the Racing Club’s horse(s) may be shared amongst Members, the sale of a membership should not be described as purchasing a 'share in a horse'. The term 'share’ implies the member is securing ownership of, or a legal leasehold interest in, a racehorse and should, therefore, not be used when promoting a Racing Club.
With regard to Syndicates, the BHA defines them as a form of shared ownership where the Syndicate Members own, or lease, an interest in racehorses. A such, the member is purchasing a share in a horse and any promotion should be aligned with that. It is important, though, that any advert details what type of share the member is buying i.e. are they purchasing a leasehold share for a defined period of time or, as is more common, does their interest include the bloodstock too.
The growth of shared ownership is essential for the future of British racing. To support this, the Racing Digital platform must simplify administration for syndicators and address regulatory risks associated with the increasing number of syndicates. Key changes include:
Simplified Syndicate definition
Starting from spring 2024, syndicates will be redefined as commercial entities where members own or lease racehorses, and syndicators receive compensation for their role or use methods to attract public participation. Racing clubs, on the other hand, will remain entities where members do not acquire ownership rights.
Syndicate Member Shares
Syndicators will be required to declare the percentage shares of horses owned by their members. This promotes transparency and allows members to better understand their ownership interests. Syndicators can update member details and shares easily.
Syndicator and Club Manager Licenses
In mid-2024, a new license will be introduced for those managing syndicates or racing clubs. This is aimed at bolstering consumer confidence in shared ownership and ensuring compliance with the Rules of Racing, promoting business competence, advertising, and financial sustainability. Both new and existing syndicators and club managers will require this license.
Partnerships - a form of shared ownership for family and friends - will become more accessible on Racing Digital. They can join other partnerships to form new ownership groups, and the cost of registering a new partnership will be reduced. Individual owners can also register free of charge.
Codes of Conduct
There are six key principles which all applicants must ensure are adhered to when registering a new syndicate or racing club and which it is expected all existing entities should ensure they are aligned with:
- The ownership of the horse must be reflected in the Owner registered with the BHA. For example, if a horse is owned by a group of individuals or entities, this should be registered as a partnership or a syndicate – under no circumstances should these horses be under the name of a sole or company owner;
- A full list of syndicators/club managers must be provided to the BHA and maintained while the owner continues to be registered;
- Syndicators must maintain a full list of syndicate members on the Racing Admin system and racing club managers must ensure they maintain a full list of racing club members which can be requested by the BHA;
- Should a syndicate/racing club own more than one horse, every member must have an interest in all the horses. If this is not the case, a new syndicate/racing club should be registered for each. To be clear, unless the members’ list is the same for each horse, a new ownership must be registered each time;
- Where required, all syndicators/racing club managers must ensure they adhere to the Syndicate or Racing Club Code of Conduct respectively;
- The promotion of, and advertising linked to, any syndicate or racing club must be aligned with:
6.1: The terms outlined in the respective Codes of Conduct;
6.2: The information provided to the BHA; and,
6.3: The definitions of each owner.
Racing Club Code of Conduct and FAQs
Shared Ownership Audits from August 1, 2022
Included as one of the ten key measure in the Shared Ownership Consultation Report, from the beginning of August 2022, the BHA is to start auditing a proportion of Syndicate and Racing Club contracts to confirm compliance with the respective Code of Conduct.
The BHA will audit both a proportion of contracts as part of the new registration process and conduct spot-checks throughout the life of any Syndicate/Racing Club.
By more closely examining the contracts provided by Syndicators and Club Managers it will help better ensure all the mandated terms are covered while simultaneously increasing awareness of the Codes. At no point will the BHA comment on, or review, the commercial terms, or provide legal advice in relation to any contract.
In respect of Syndicates or Racing Clubs asked for a copy of their contract, should the contract provided not meet the requirements of the Codes, guidance will be provided by the BHA to ensure all terms are covered so that the Owner is operating within the Rules and, in the case of a new application, the Syndicate or Racing Club can be approved.
For further information or guidance, please email [email protected]
Syndicate and Racing Club Agreements
To assist those in syndicates, the ROA has introduced a set of template agreements. These are available in the Members' Area as editable Word Document versions of the templates which can then be adapted to meet a syndicate’s requirements. Here they are published for information purposes as PDFs.
Syndicate members can enjoy a range of benefits and these include free raceday admission, daily owner updates, digital racecards, free day passes to watch their horse run, discounts and a monthly subscription to The Owner Breeder.
ROA members can download editble versions of the Syndicate Agreements from within the Members Area.
For information regarding which clubs and partnerships are affiliated with the Racing Syndicates Association (RSA), please visit their website: www.racehorsesyndicates.orgROA Syndicate Agreement Template (Multiple Horses) (002).pdf
ROA Syndicate Agreement Template (One Horse) (002).pdf
ROA Racing Club Agreement Template (002).pdf
Editable agreements are available in the ROA Members Area.
Over 60% of racehorses trained in Britain are raced in some form of co-ownership. This helps share the costs and increase the fun of the experience.
The ROA see syndicates as a valuable introduction into ownership and to get the most from experience we have come up with seven tips to consider before you join a syndicate:
- Read the Syndicate agreement carefully, to ensure you are clear on all aspects of costs, factional interests, duration of the syndicate, liability and management. A FREE syndicate template is available below.
- Weigh-up the pros and cons of the available options to match your expectations and situation.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Pre-arranged stable visits can be a very enjoyable aspect of ownership, so you may wish to check how often you would be welcome to visit.
- Be clear on what you’ve entered into. Is the horse owned or leased? Will you receive a share of any prize-money won?
- Check whether the horse you are involved in is insured (against all risks of mortality). Some owners choose not to insure, but members of syndicates can usually insure their proportion of ownership if they wish.
- Establish the frequency and method you can expect to receive updates, and who your point of contact will be.
- Ensure you have some form of third-party liability insurance cover. Owners may be vulnerable to claims even when their horse is in someone else’s possession. Members of the ROA receive £10m cover as part of their package of benefits. Read more here
In The Paddock
In The Paddock is a website designed to help discover the thrill of ownership. It offers a range of search functions to find UK-based shared racehorse ownership options to suit all pockets.
Inthepaddock.co.uk is an interactive destination that is aimed at anyone considering getting involved in racehorse ownership for the first time and which showcases just how accessible, affordable and exciting it is to be part of the action.
As well as providing useful information on the different facets of racehorse ownership, visitors are able to search for racing clubs and syndicates to suit them using the search function which filters results by cost and payment terms, location, their jump or flat preference, as well as the average number of club members and the numbers of horses in training. They are then able to view the club or syndicate’s unique online profile where they can find out more about what is offered and get in touch with the racing manager directly.
There is also a wealth of information on the site including a step-by-step guide of key points to consider when thinking about entering racehorse ownership for the first time and insight from current syndicate and racing club members on their experiences in a number of blogs and video case studies.
One of the key aims of the site is to demonstrate how affordable and accessible racehorse ownership can be, with visitors able to search for membership options from as little as £100 and with over 60 syndicates and racing clubs from across the UK to choose from. Each ownership entity is able to create their own online profiles and be listed on the site for free.
For more information visit InThePaddock.co.uk