Leasing is a fantastic way to get involved in racehorse ownership at any stage, but particularly so for those getting involved for the first time. By leasing a horse, you (the lessor) come to an agreement with the actual owner (the lessee) of the horse to race the horse under your own name for an agreed time frame under an agreed set of rules. The lessor gets to enjoy the thrill of having the horse race under their own name and colours as well as retaining any prize-money won while at the end of the agreed time, the horse is then returned to the original owner.
When forming a lease it is always advised to have a detailed lease agreement drawn up and signed by both parties confirming:
What date does a lease start and long does it last? A particular season or full calendar year?
With the duration of the lease set, is there any way for either party to end the lease prior to the agreed timeframe?
Who retains any prize-money during the lease? Generally it is the lessor who takes all the charges but also all the prize-money.
General vets bills should be borne by the lessor but what happens in the instance of substantial "uncommon" fees? If longer term injury strikes is the lease cancelled?
Is there a lease fee? If so how is it paid and is it transferred in advance through installments or one large payment.
It should be agreed who the trainer is for the horse's racing career. As well as that it must be clear as to who makes the decisions on the race programme the leased horse will follow.
The Irish Thoroughbred Breeders Association (ITBA) runs a National Hunt Fillies Leasing Scheme. This scheme puts breeders in contact with potential owners who are interested in racing the horse under a lease agreement. Further details can be found on the ITBA website - www.itba.info
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