TOBA: Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association
Owner Education

Selecting Your Team

Every new owner is confronted by the urge to develop a stable on his or her own, specifically the selection of the horses however, Thoroughbred racing and breeding is a team sport. Success in the game is dependent on more than the natural talent of its athletes. As with any other good team, in addition to outstanding athletes, the team must have a good coach, astute scouts, a quality physician, adequate support personnel and a savvy owner.

Recognize early that the success of one's racing or breeding operation will depend, to a significant extent, on the makeup of the team. Exercise as much, if not more, care in selecting a team of consultants as you would expect to exercise in the selection of your first horse.

Given the size of your particular investment, and with the general objectives of your business plan in mind, you should consider which consultants should be retained. Your particular team of consultants may be as few as one or may include any combination of the following: A bloodstock agent, a pedigree advisor, a trainer, a veterinarian and/or a mentor - someone already in the business such as a farm manager or more experienced owner.

Consider how this team will assist you. Will they merely participate in the selection and evaluation of potential purchases or in refining your business plan as well? Again, in making this decision, remember to exercise sound business judgment.

When selecting your team of professional consultants, keep in mind the following thoughts:

  1. Thoroughbred racing and breeding are businesses; treat them as such.
  2. Be rational, not emotional. Keep an open mind during the preliminary selection process.
  3. Disclose your objectives from the start. Ascertain whether they are consistent with the areas of expertise of the consultants considered.
  4. Stay within your budget created. Realistically evaluate your ability to invest in the industry at the level you have selected. If not certain, scale down your level of participation. Remember, it is just as much fun to own part of a horse as it is to own the entire thing.
  5. Once your consultants have been selected, allow them to do their jobs. Stay involved, but allow the professionals to do what you have hired them to do - provide learned advice in areas where you have little knowledge or expertise.


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