The racehorse, an atypical investment


No need to be a millionaire, there are many small races everywhere in France. The world of racing is changing and is no longer synonymous with a closed club. Thus, alongside the big names who own prestigious stables, there are more and more “small” owners (85% owning only one horse), whether they are industrialists, traders or craftsmen.

In 2010, a baker buys a Yearling for 10 000 euros. Two years later, his horse, which did not pay a mine, won the prestigious Jockey Club prize. Now retired from racing, he would have earned more than a million gains for his owner(1).


The owner’s first expense is the purchase of his race horse. Then, it is necessary to plan the costs related to the application for accreditation to become a homeowner and the pension costs. Boarding fees vary depending on the trainer, the training location, and whether the horse is owned by a single owner or several partners.

Other to individual ownership, various less expensive formulas exist to promote access to shared horse ownership, these types of formula can help investors mitigate risk.

>L’association de copropriétaires

The association allows one to ten people to gather around a single horse. A managing partner must be appointed and it is under his colours that the horse runs.

Les écuries>The group stable allows an unlimited number of owners and allows to exploit the career of one or several horses. The members own shares in the company and the horse is engaged under the team’s colours.

La location

A horse declared in training can be the subject of a rental contract between: a lessor (or association of lessors) and a tenant (or association of lessees). The rental principle leaves the burden of training to the tenant who, in return, keeps 70 to 80% of the earnings. The horse will wear the colours of the tenant who will benefit from a purchase option to become the owner of the horse.


Four types of horses are very popular on horse markets.

A horse ready to run

The purchase can be made either during training sessions, amicably, or in public sale or during races

  • to claim”. During the races, competitors are for sale at a price indicated on the day’s programme (average cost between 15,000 and 30,000 euros). At the end of the race, the buyer must submit a secret ballot with the price at which he wishes to acquire the horse and the highest bid is selected.

Un” 2 years “>

The purchase of a pre-trained 2-year-old horse reduces the time between purchase and the beginning of the race and reduces the uncertainty linked to the horse’s abilities. These sales are organised throughout Europe in spring.

Un Yearling

A foal is called “Yearling” from 1er January following his birth to 1er January of the following year. Buying a Yearling is the right balance between patience and dream. Yearling’s main sales take place in Deauville in August and October, where the largest stud farms present their products. The amount of the purchase of a Yearling is estimated between €5,000 and several million. The price of the horse depends on its physique and pedigree.

Un Foal

A foal is called “Foal” from the day of his birth to the 1er following January. The purchase can be made directly at the breeder’s premises, by amicable sale or by auction. The purchase of a Foal obviously requires more patience and thought than the purchase of a horse in training or ready to run.


There are three types of potential gains: >

The prizes awarded during favourable ranking in competitions

sale of projections

the added value at resale

Run prices are distributed as follows: 50% at the 1st, 25% at the 2nd, 15% at the 3rd, 6% at the 4th, 4% at the 5th. However, a commission is paid to the coach (16%) and the jockey (5%) but it is also necessary to pay attention to maintenance costs, and the more the coach is recognized, the higher they are. The prices are supplemented by bonuses paid by the parent companies of the races (France Galop and the Société du Cheval Français) if the horses were born and bred in France, these bonuses reach 60 to 70% of the allocation.

La saillie peut aussi rapporter de quoi assurer une partie de l’entretien du cheval de course. The breeding can reach exorbitant prices as soon as we consider horses having obtained good results in competition, a healthy horse can make between 5 and 10 matings per month. Beyond racing allowances and sales of matings, a horse can generate an interesting added value when reselling as a stallion or broodmare.

FISCALITE>Depending on horse ownership is also different, there are three types of owners who do not use or exploit their property the same way.

Les propriétaires non intervenants

The owner not involved is the purchaser of the horse but entrusts the maintenance and training to a qualified professional (this form of ownership is the most common).

The non-professional intervening owners

The owner intervening non-professional occupies an intermediate position because he delegates the maintenance of his animal to a particular trainer but intervenes in training matters and makes the necessary decisions concerning his horse’s career.

The professional owners

The professional owner is therefore a competent and qualified person in the profession who fully supports all the needs of the horse and develops a training and career strategy in a profit-oriented manner.

Depending is also different depending on the horse’s property form. For the owner not involved, income from the horse’s results during races is exempt from tax as soon as he has entrusted the exploitation of the animal to a qualified third party. Only those capital gains that can be realised if the animal is sold for more than its purchase value are taken into account (although they are subject to an annual allowance). This tax can therefore be particularly advantageous for those affected by wealth tax.

In the case of non-professional intervening owners, the earnings and premiums received are included in the calculation of income tax in the non-commercial profits category. Similarly, capital gains tax also applies to these owners if they sell their property.

Finally, the situation is the same for professional owners. Nevertheless, any known deficits over a year are taken into account because it is a professional activity. The income taken into account for taxation is therefore the result of calculating the difference between profits and any deficits. For persons concerned by wealth tax, the value of horses is not taken into account at all if the animals are used for the main professional activity.


This type of investment can be extremely profitable if you bet on the right horse. It is also a good way of diversifying heritage, but only for a population of connoisseurs such as investing in art. The gains and capital gains on resale are closely correlated to the investor’s experience, to his ability to evaluate the potential of the racehorse or to surround himself with the right people to advise him and develop the horse. Also, like many passion-driven investments, it is advisable to be extremely cautious and to commit only a minimal part of your assets unless you are a true expert in the field.

Bassem TRIKI

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