The founder of a showjumping syndicate that hopes to provide financial return as well as introducing more people to the sport says its basic aim is to keep good horses for British riders.
Sarah Peacocke has set up a company to buy Cornets Pleasure WW (Gibbs), bred by Gerda Weston of Weston Warmbloods. The four-year-old stallion is by Cornet Obolensky and his dam is a full sister to Scott Brash’s ride Hello Forever.
The company is offering 150 ownership shares, at £1,000 each, with the prospect of return on the cost from Gibbs’ stud fees. Two-thirds have already been sold.
“Two things are unique about this; I think it’s the first time a young showjumping horse has been syndicated this way,” Ms Peacocke told H&H.“It’s a one-off payment for the shareholders, they don’t have to pay for upkeep or anything, and because he’s a stallion, there should be good stud fees coming in every year.
“He covered 20 mares this year without any marketing; next year, we’re hoping for 50, and the stud fees will be returned to shareholders as a dividend — that would mean about £250 back for a £1,000 share, which is an incredible return.”Ms Peacocke added that a maximum of 2,000 two-year memberships of the syndicate will be sold, at £65 each, to cover Gibbs’ running costs and his management team, which will make decisions on his future.
Buyers will be sent gift boxes, certificates and brochures, as well as invitations to yard visits and shows. Ms Peacocke is confident these will all sell, owing to the success of similar schemes in racing, and hopes it will encourage more people into the showjumping world.
No one is to have a majority share of the horse; he will stay with Weston Warmbloods for the next year and “be produced the right way”, after which a top rider will be sought to take him on.
“We will do everything we can to protect this horse to jump for Britain,” Ms Peacocke said. “He’s probably one of the best-bred horses in the country and we’ve got the highest hopes of him jumping in Nations Cups and at the Olympics. This came from my desire to keep good young horses in Britain, jumping for Britain.”
Ms Peacocke said that if, for example, someone offered millions for the horse in a few years, the decision would have to go to the syndicate and he might be sold, but that his management team would do all they could to keep him in Britain.
Ms Weston told H&H she is “excited” about the scheme, and that while she did not want to sell him initially, Weston Warmbloods is undergoing a major refurbishment and expansion.
“I’ve known Sarah for years and when she came here to buy a foal, she saw Gibbs and fell in love,” Ms Weston said. “She asked if he was for sale and I said no, then she asked if I’d be interested if I could keep a share and I said possibly. I know I can trust her and that we’ll work well together, and she’s put so much research and work in to make sure it works.
“He is really something else, the best; I can see why she fell in love with him. I’m very proud of him, and if anyone can make it work, Sarah will. It’s really exciting for British showjumping and British breeding, and we want to keep these horses for Britain.”
Ms Peacocke hopes the idea could be rolled out to other stallions, including possibly others of Ms Weston’s.
British Showjumping CEO Iain Graham told H&H: “Any initiative that opens up horse ownership to a wider sector of the public is always a good thing.
“We always encourage people who want to get more people involved in the sport, and are happy to work with them.”
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