Once you have bought a horse, Jeremy and his office staff will help you go through the administration that needs to be carried out. And when your purchase arrives at Shalfleet, again the infrastructure is in place to make sure that registering the horse, including naming it and choosing its colours, is done without fuss.
- The owner need to be registered with Weatherbys, who administer many aspects of British racing on behalf of the British Horseracing Authority. If they haven’t owned a racehorse before, a new owner will need to complete some documentation.
- Once an owner is registered and an ‘Authority to Act’ is established, we take over by ensuring that their horse is listed in their name. We usually recommend that they set up a bank account with Weatherbys, for Weatherbys fees to come out of and for any prize money (hopefully) to go in. The fees are for registration, registration of colours, all entries and declarations, for example.
- If owners need colours, they supply the ones that they want and we put together suggestions of designs available for them and get them made up on their behalf once they have decided upon a design.
- We also advise them of the VAT scheme in place and Shalfleet’s accountancy contractor offers the service of registering them accordingly. The scheme enables them to easily claim back the VAT charges paid out while having a horse in training.
- With regard to names, the owner can come up with a variety of names and we have to check the availability with Weatherbys. If the horse is US born, we also have to check availability in the US as it can’t have the same name as an existing one, either here, in the UK, or in America.
Campaigning your horse
The Flat racing season - often referred to as the Turf season - traditionally begins at the end of March at Doncaster. If you have purchased a yearling the previous autumn, your horse will automatically be adjudged a two-year-old on January 1. Two-year-olds - also called juveniles - often take time to mature sufficiently to be able to race. While some are specifically bred to be ‘early’ types, many take longer to get to that point where they are ready to head to the racetrack. Jeremy always likes to make an early assessment of the material at his disposal, although, because two-year-olds are still going through considerable growth, plans can change. But a lot of horses are capable of running at two, soundness and overall health permitting.
At Shalfleet we do not retain a jockey but always look to secure the riding skills of the best person available. The top men in the weighing-room - Ryan Moore, Frankie Dettori and Richard Hughes - all invariably make themselves available to us when they are allowed to by their own respective retaining agreements.