If joining a syndicate that already is set up, the new member should ensure he or she recieves a written copy of all the rules of the syndicate prior to signing up to the syndicate. The new member should be issued with the rules of the syndicate in terms of fees, when they have to be paid, an exit clause etc.
When forming a new syndicate, these draft rules must be produced and issued so that all members joining know exactly what to expect. As with any group of people, from
time to time disagreements can arise so written rules are important for resolving and avoiding many disputes.
Each syndicate is different and with varying rules, but above all these rules should be received in writing by all members. Here are some elements to consider:
While the syndicate members might be involved in the nominated horse for racing purposes, are members actual owners of the horse as an asset outside of racing? This must be made clear to all involved.
A syndicate name must be chosen by the members and accepted by Horse Racing Ireland. There is a limit of 40 characters including spaces and the word "Syndicate". Who decides the name?
How many members are allowed in the syndicate and are new members allowed into the syndicate/horse during the lifetime of the syndicate? Can shares within the syndicate be transferred?
Horse Racing Ireland requires a nominated agent to be appointed by the syndicate members - this is the one person that will manage all the paperwork, sign on behalf of the syndicate and generally manage the day to day workings of the syndicate. This role and the tasks should clearly be defined.
How is the agent elected/appointed? Can they be removed?
Who makes the decisions in a syndicate? Is it by majority vote or does one particular person have full control in the decision making process e.g. the agent?
Your trainer is the expert, ensure all members realise he or she will be making most of the decisions in relation to the horse’s running plans.
What are the costs of being a member? Outline the fixed costs as well as the provision for any unexpected costs?Is payment made on a weekly or monthly basis, in advance or in arrears? A monthly statement can be issued from the online Horse Racing Ireland RÁS system. All members should be issued regular account updates.
State the specific date for payment of member’s fees. In the cases of late or non-payment, what notice must be given and to whom? Is the agent to have discretion with regard to second warning? To remove a member what are the steps that have to be taken?
Does the syndicate allow members to transfer or sell shares? Are such shares then sub-divided or are they offered externally?Are members excluded from offering shares to third parties? Do all benefits/liabilities transfer with each share sold?Does a new member have to be agreed by existing members?
How is the notice to be given by resigning member to the agent and how much notice is required?Are fees due back to a resigning or will there be no refund/payment made?Such notice in writing/email?
What are the grounds for the removal of a member? How much notice or warning is given?Who decides on who is to be removed? The agent or a majority vote?
Consider carefully should a designated representative have a casting vote. Perhaps the registered agent? This is null and void if the agent of the syndicate is making all the decisions.
What are the grounds for ending a syndicate – end of lease agreement/end of horse racing career?When a syndicate is closed and finished, all outstanding fees must be paid to Horse Racing Ireland, trainer etc. Do all members realise they are liable to ensure these outstanding payments are made?
What are the circumstances in which horse may be sold.By public auction (is there a minimum reserve) or by private treaty?Are members entitled to some of the proceeds of the sale? If so how much?
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