Clubs and syndicates aim to open up eventer ownership *H&H Plus*

  • Different riders are offering different deals to those who would like to experience event horse ownership without the hefty price tag. H&H finds out about the different options on offer

    INNOVATIVE riders and enthusiasts have come up with a range of syndication ideas to make event horse ownership more widely available.

    World Equestrian Games team gold medallist Gemma Tattersall is offering membership of the “Kizzy Club”, in relation to her five-star ride Santiago Bay, while the new Event Horse Owners Syndicate (EHOS) has shares in a young horse ridden by Laura Collett for sale, as well as places on an “experience” scheme for Ben Hobday’s Shadow Man II.

    Gemma told H&H she had to “think outside the box” to meet the running costs for “Kizzy”, who finished seventh at Burghley 2019, and whom Gemma hopes has a bright future.

    For £150 per month, members will get updates on, and videos of, the 13-year-old mare, be invited to training and yard visits once Covid restrictions allow and get free or discounted tickets to events.

    Gemma is also offering discounted lessons, feedback on members’ riding via video and photoshoots with Kizzy, while some of her sponsors have come on board to offer discounts on their products.

    “I wanted it to be very exclusive, and a bit different to what others are doing,” Gemma said, adding that there will be no more than 15 members of the club. “Imagine being at Badminton when a horse you’re involved with is competing; you’d have to go a long way to get a feeling like that!

    “I think Kizzy’s one of the best. I’d have to have a good spring, and a good placing at Badminton, but I think she’s got a strong chance of being involved in the Europeans or Tokyo, and this way people can be part of her journey.”

    EHOS founders Megan Sanders and Jack Pryor are aiming for something similar.

    Ms Saunders told H&H her partner Jack had seen the success of syndicates in racing, and the aim is to offer more people an affordable route to event horse ownership.

    The company has bought Camouflage, a six-year-old found and ridden by Laura Collett, and hopes to sell 2,000 shares at £65 each per year, with the company retaining any unsold.

    “Megan competes at grassroots and her mum has a share in an event horse,” Mr Pryor explained. “We knew we’d never be in a position to own one ourselves, and thought about how we could go about doing it.”

    Mr Pryor said that as a young horse, Camouflage will be competing at a low level this year, at events that are usually free for spectators to enter, so stakeholders will be able to watch them in action. Should Covid restrictions limit numbers or prevent spectator attendance, footage will be taken at competitions and sent to shareholders. Also on offer is an annual yard visit, weekly updates, newsletters and priority access to training clinics.

    The Shadow Man “experience” membership is more expensive, with 500 places at £250 each, but is more exclusive and offers similar benefits, for a horse Ben hopes to step up to CCI5* this year.

    “This one isn’t ownership, but it’s a very special experience allowing people to get involved at that level without it costing an absolute fortune,” Mr Pryor said.

    Laura told H&H she thought the syndicates were “a great idea”.

    “Owning an event horse is expensive but this spreads the cost and the risk; I couldn’t see any negatives,” she said. “This is a way to be involved in the eventing community, which is very sociable; people can share the interest.”

    She added that Camouflage moves nicely and has a very athletic jump, as well as a good brain, although he is very green.

    “For me that’s the most exciting part of the journey, seeing them progress from the start all the way through,” she said.

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