Horse ownership

A beginners guide to horse ownership in New Zealand

Why own a race horse?

It’s a great time to own a harness racehorse and the rewards can be very lucrative! For this 2022/23 season there’s over $7.0 million in prizemoney up for grabs across 32 race meetings at Alexandra Park alone.

There’s nothing better than the thrill of seeing your very own racehorse take to the track while experiencing the journey alongside friends and family. With Alexandra Park’s transformation into a highly desirable entertainment precinct showcasing a unique mix of eateries and live entertainment, it’s a great time to get involved!

The North Island Harness Racing Owners Association (NIHROA) is a Kindred body which represents Standardbred Racehorse Owners in the North Island, under the umbrella of the NZ Trotting Owners Association. Aside from promoting the interests of standardbred owners, the Association aims to encourage ownership of the standardbred racehorse by endorsing the benefits of being an owner and the methods of becoming one. Contact NIHROA today.



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horse ownership benefits brand exposure

Brand exposure

For your business and team by owning your racehorse, racing under your company name, sporting your company logo will be the gift that just keeps giving. Racing of course draws in a huge television audience.

horse ownership benefits team building

Team building

Friday Night At the Trots is a great night out team building opportunity - owning and racing a horse takes that concept to a whole new level! Follow your horse’s progress, and when the horse races get together and celebrate. More importantly if they’re part of a syndicate they will benefit financially when it wins.

horse ownership benefits networking

Networking opportunities

Networking opportunities are best when they’re not staged and you’ve got something to talk about. The fact that right in front of you is a trotting track under lights with horses racing around it, matched with everyone’s desire to pick a winner, is the perfect conversation starter.

horse ownership benefits foot industry

Foot into the industry

Harness racing makes no bones about needing more owners, trainers and drivers to keep sustaining the industry well into the future.
Your role as an owner or part-owner will make a positive contribution to the country’s wider racing sector which is a critical one. Racing is currently one of New Zealand’s top 10 industries, contributing significantly to the country’s GDP, exports, and international image.

Individual Ownership

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Individual Ownership

Individual ownership is exactly that. You are entitled to the entire prize, you can name the horse, and create personalised silks however you are also responsible for the expenses associated with the horse.

Part Owner

Part Owner

A part-owner has the same privileges as a sole owner. However, you get to share the costs. It also allows you to enjoy special moments and the entire journey with a close friend or family member.

Syndicate Member

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Syndicate Member

Buying a share in a syndicate horse can be a cost-effective way to buy a slice of a racehorse and enjoy a lot of fun, as well as any trials and tribulations, along the way.

The syndicate manager is responsible for communication between the syndicate members and the trainer, as well as the accounting functions. Their role is pivotal to the enjoyment that the syndicate members derive from being involved.

Company Ownership

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Company Ownership

Company ownership is also a possibility in New Zealand. Harness Racing New Zealand must approve the company for racing horses. Essentially shareholders in the company are the owners of the asset, in this case the horse or horses.
It can be a great extension or distraction in the busy daily life of you and your fellow directors.


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Leasing allows the easiest entry to harness racing ownership, removing the capital component and meaning the lessee’s only costs are the actual training costs. This can be a cost-effective way to get started.

Looking for an agent or trainer?
Browse our online directory.

Membership Grid

How much does it cost?

There are horses to suit all budgets. Unless you know exactly what you are looking for, make sure you ask the advice of a trainer or bloodstock agent before you get the urge to put your hand up in the auction ring.

A trainer will advise, inspect and even purchase for an owner with the expectation of training the horse. While an agent will charge a negotiated fee or a percentage of the purchase price (10%).

How to get involved?

Browse through the list of trainers and check out their websites as there may well be shares for sale in horses that suit you and your budget. Contact a trainer that lives close to you and have a chat to them as they’re generally happy to give guidance and advice.

Check the Syndicates, Stud Farms and Breeders section as they may have options available that suit you.

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