Fractional Ownership is a Winner

The fractional ownership idea is a brilliant way to introduce people to horse ownership with little or no risk. It can, in some instances, cost a participant less than a night at the track, and it gives the participant a chance to get all the trappings of ownership (except a name in the program) with little or no risk other than the initial investment.

The pioneer of fractional racehorse ownership in harness racing is probably the Stake Your Claim Stable, founded in 1995 by Richard Jack, Ralph Ferrara, Eric Trosten, and Robert Barberio. They began with claiming horses, mostly on the East Coast, but over the years have spread throughout North America and have also offered fractional ownership on stakes horses, most notably Cami Whitestocking, who banked over $550,000. Their top 2014 performer, Blush Hanover, banked $171,000 last year.

Cleveland CPA Bob Smolko has owned horses alone, in partnership and fractionally, but really likes what fractional ownership can offer. “It gave me a chance to own small pieces of a number of horses and to have “my” horse race at The Meadowlands.

My son Kyle, age 27 and a casual racing fan, was also intrigued by the idea. As a 3-year-old Kyle ran around the yard mimicking Roger Huston’s Little Brown Jug calls and he always loved the races. He even had a short stint as a Northfield Park cameraman, but now living in Arkansas, he is a thousand miles away from the sports’ epicentre.

“I like it. It’s almost like a fantasy league. A single buy-in and you hope for a payoff,” he said. “You get some fun and competition along the way and you don’t have to monitor this as carefully – it’s less of a commitment and could be just as much fun.”

So it looks like the Fractional Ownership may be a winner in promoting horse ownership.

Keith Gisser