There are many different ways to become involved as an owner of a trotter or a pacer. Horses are sold privately, through major auctions, out of claiming races and through syndication.

Success as an owner can be life changing, but like all worthwhile pursuits, there are pitfalls for the inexperienced and often challenges to overcome to achieve success, so it pays to be prepared and do your homework before parting with any money.

Finding the right horse trainer is often the place to start as a trainer will make many day to day decisions that will affect your investment and you will need to rely upon his or her judgment and skill in obtaining the best outcome for your horse.

The NSW Standardbred Owner’s Association can assist potential owners or newcomers to the sport and ensure that their entry into harness racing is a positive one. If you would like some more information on owning Standardbreds, please visit the NSWSOA website at www.nswsoa.org.au

Ownership Options

The following information will help you to identify the ownership option that best suits your circumstances. Importantly, it also explains how the payment of prizemoney under HRNSW’s centralised payments system differs according to each ownership type.

There are four different types of ownership available in NSW:

1. Sole Ownership

This involves owning a horse on your own and having complete control over all decisions for the horse from rearing, to racing, to breeding. It also means that any costs associated with the horse have to be paid completely by you.

However, if your horse experiences success, once the trainer and driver are paid their percentages as per the Rules, the remaining prizemoney is yours.

2. Partnership

A partnership consists of between two and 20 people. Being in a partnership means that any associated costs with the ownership of the horse are split amongst the partnership members. It also means that all decisions relating to the horse must be approved by all members of the partnership and that each person is required to sign all documents relating to the ownership of the horse - for example, naming applications, ownership transfers and breeding decisions.

3. Syndicate

A syndicate consists of between two and 100 members and is a great way to become involved in harness racing with friends, family or colleagues.

A syndicate allows people to combine their resources to buy a horse under a syndicate name and gives you the opportunity to share the experience with others.

HRNSW finds that there are a number of syndicates registered that come about through sporting clubs, pubs and other groups of friends keen to experience the thrill of harness racing.

Syndicates work in much the same way as a partnership, however, there is an appointed ‘Syndicate Manager’ who is responsible for managing the affairs of the ownership group, including the distribution of the prizemoney.

Prizemoney is paid into one bank account designated by the Syndicate Manager for distribution to the members of the syndicate based on the ownership percentages nominated in the syndicate application. Therefore, HRNSW requires bank account details for the syndicate as part of the syndicate application.

click here for an application form to register a syndicate.

4. Lease

Leasing a horse can be a cheaper option to experience horse racing. You can lease a horse with your friends and family without purchasing or owning the horse. The Lessee pays for all of the training fees and associated costs, keeps a percentage of any prizemoney won, and returns a percentage back to the owner (typically 20-30%).

Click here for a Lease Agreement application form.

Prizemoney and Payments

The biggest benefit of direct racehorse ownership is obviously prize money, bonuses and trophies earned by your horse.

Prize money earnings are tax-free if ownership remains a hobby

Prize money is paid every second Wednesday directly into owners’ bank accounts by Harness Racing NSW. Prizemoney at race meetings varies from meeting to meeting and will depend on various factors.  


NSW Breeders Challenge

Purchase a horse eligible for the NSW Breeders Challenge and pay the $275 sustaining fee for them as 2YO's and 3YO's for your chance to share in the incentives available to owners through the NSW Breeders Challenge.

  • A share in over $200,000 in Prizemoney in the major race series as both a 2YO and 3YO
  • A chance to compete in the Regional Finals worth $20,000
  • If your foal is by a NSW based sire and your mare is based in NSW, an additional chance at $50,000 prizemoney through the NSWHRC Blue Finals
  • A chance to race for over $110,000 as a 4YO in the additional race series introduced in 2013
    In addition to the prizemoney available, you will also have a chance to share in the bonuses available to owners.
  • Owners Bonus Certificates, now worth $3,000, with over $2M having been paid out since July 2010 presented to owners when their horse wins their race in NSW*.
  • If you bred the horse, also available to you is the Nominator’s Bonus, a cash bonus paid to the breeders who originally nominate the foal for the NSW Breeders Challenge. The bonus is worth $3,000 and is paid to the nominator when their horse wins their first race in NSW*. Also, earn 10% of the total advertised first placegetter’s prizemoney of any Group 1 win in Australia as a 2YO, 3YO or 4YO.

Potentially, 2YOs are able to earn an extra $3,000 as an Owners Bonus Certificate for their connections on their first race win in a 2YO age specific race in NSW* just by you choosing to purchase a horse bred in NSW. *The race must be worth $5,000 or more for the bonus to apply.

Opportunities also continue for horses to win bonuses past the age of 4 (conditions apply).

Simply purchase or breed a NSW Breeders Challenge eligible 2YO or 3YO and you will be eligible to compete for these lucrative bonuses (provided the series fee or age based sustaining fees are paid).

For fees and full terms and conditions please contact the NSW Futurities Coordinator:
Robyn Fowler
Ph:     02 9722 6664
Fx:     02 8580 5792