How Much Does a Racehorse Cost?

Last Updated on February 24, 2022 by Allison Price

Hello, there! My youngest son was curious about Santa’s visit on other days than Christmas. I didn’t mean to hurt his feelings, but I wasn’t going to lie. So I politely replied, “No, but I can still buy you a Christmas present.”

This conversation reminded me of my childhood riding horses. This conversation brought me back to my childhood days, when I foolishly believed that Santa would buy me a Racehorse for Christmas because I was a good child this year.

To be truthful, I still long to own a racehorse but I struggle to save enough money for one. This has been on my bucket-list for so long, that I have lost track.

How Much Does a Racehorse Cost

I check from time to time what their cost is. What kind of care does it require? This is all I know about racing horses.

Although there are many horse breeds that can be classified as “Race Horses”, the thoroughbred is considered the most comparable racehorse. Although we have already discussed thoroughbred earlier in the year, I wanted to give an overview of what it costs to purchase a racehorse.

Every racehorse takes the same amount from your pocket. You can also use the information below to find out more about your favorite racehorse breeds. Let’s get into it.ContentsShow

What is the cost of racehorses?

Racehorses are not like other horse breeds. They are very expensive and cost a lot depending on their pedigree, body, and conformation.

The average initial cost to purchase one racehorse to ornament your barn’s decor would be $94,999. You may also be able to purchase it for $76,612, if you are lucky.

You might think that it is quite expensive. The price is reasonable for the exceptional horse you will be getting in return. You will need to save money each month to cover the monthly upkeep costs.

Upkeep costs for a racehorse

Racehorses require a lot of upkeep and are therefore out of reach of most people. Even if they are financially stable enough to buy one, the annual upkeep costs can make them want to bury their dreams.

Feeding cost

Two types of food are typically provided for racehorses: roughage (hay) and grains. Their keepers arrange Timothy hay and Alfalfa for them to eat. The monthly cost of feeding a horse can add up to $20-30 to its total cost.

Training costs

The racehorse is allowed to participate in small- and large-scale horse races. These horses must be trained before they can compete in professional races. To train these horses for professional racing, one must pay at least $34000 per year.


Even if your horse is not wearing Jimmy Choos, shoeing can still be expensive. On average, you will pay $100-400 per month for shoeing.

Vet bills

Racehorses are the only horses who have to visit the vet every other day. These horses are often injured because they have to participate in athletic activities.

Although it’s difficult to calculate monthly vet bills, the medication costs are high and an injection of anabolic steroids (which repairs tissue after injury) can run up to $60.

Jockey Fees

The jockey fee is the amount the horse owner pays to a professional jockey to accompany the horse during a race. The fees for jockeys vary depending on their experience.

Other costs racehorses

Other costs are associated with maintaining and grooming racehorses in your barn. Transportation, insurance, legal fees and commission are just a few of the unavoidable expenses that you will have to pay monthly.

These costs can vary from one state to the next so a person who is familiar with the laws and traditions in each state will be able to tell an aspiring owner how much he should budget for these expenses.

Although it is difficult to estimate the cost of insurance and legal fees, sales tax typically amounts to 10% of the sale price. The Blacksmith, Dentist, and Chiropractor fees can range from $80-100, $75, and $180 respectively.

Total annual upkeep costs

Racehorses of any breed are expensive to maintain. Their annual upkeep costs can exceed $70,000

A smart way to own the horse

Partnership is the smartest way to own a racehorse. To determine how much each year they will have to pay to become “a racehorse owner em”, the two horse lovers can divide $40,000 by 2 (20,000. each).

What factors determine the price of a racehorse

It is difficult to estimate the cost of a racehorse, as prices can vary between $90,000.00 and several hundred thousand. Fusaichi Pegasus was the most expensive horse to be sold. It was almost seventy million dollars. The above-mentioned factors may increase or decrease the purchase price.

  • Age
  • Pedigree
  • Reputation
  • It has won a lot of money
  • Racing record

Let’s say you’ve decided to purchase a racehorse using your retirement savings or retirement money.

How do I buy a racehorse?

There is nothing more satisfying than watching your horse walk down the winning track. You need a horse that is well-trained and meticulously planned to witness victory.

You can purchase racehorses through an auction, a syndicate or bloodstock agent. Or, you can make an informed purchase.

While all these options come with their risks and rewards, a wise purchase can reduce the risk. Newbies often look for a buying guide.

Horse lovers who are more familiar with horses prefer to purchase the horse through a trader, dealer or broker. This is because you can have greater legal protection. A syndicate can help you buy a racehorse. They do all the work. Privately, you can also buy and sell racehorses.

This buying guide will discuss the best ways to buy a racehorse. Now you should have a good idea. Let’s get to the details and move on.

Privately buying a racehorse

Privately buying a racehorse is the best way to become a part owner or full owner, but it can be risky. Private ownership can reduce the risk of purchasing a racehorse, provided that the selling and buying party know how to legally seal the deal.

If you’re thinking about building a stable for a racehorse, I wouldn’t recommend purchasing a private racehorse.

Professional horse traders or dealers have the best information. However, private buyers must verify that the information is accurate. Private sale of a horse is still a popular option for advanced horse lovers.

Purchase a racehorse via Auction

Although it is the most expensive way to become a racehorse owner, many wealthy stable owners still take pride in purchasing the horse through auction. This is how you become a proud horse owner.

Although the racehorses brought to auction are highly-respected and trained, the potential horse owners need to be more specific about which type is best for them.

Although buying a horse at an auction can be risky, most auctions offer previews of the horses one day before the auction.

These auctions are trusted by experienced horse owners for trading racehorses.

  • Goffs
  • Graham Budd
  • Tattersalls

Auctions are more practical for wealthy horse lovers because they have a wider selection of choices. This saves time and money on travel to find the perfect horse.

Auctions are a great option if you frequent these places to buy and sell and know the breed of racehorse very well.

Purchase racehorses starting in Yearling sales

Yearling sales are the best way to become a horse owner. Each year, the yearling sale takes place in autumn. The yearling sales are open to untrained racehorses. Buyers will be able to choose based on their breeding, reputation, or appearance.

Horses that are sold at the yearling sales usually have a age between one and two years. The horses are not trained so buyers want a strong, muscular, and well-balanced horse.

Purchase racehorses at Breeze ups Sales

Every spring, breeze ups are held. Breeze ups are open to horses aged between two and three years. Horses are judged by their movements and appearances, just like the yearling sales.

Most people believe that yearling and breeze-ups are cruel for young horses. Horses bought from yearlings and breeze ups can be dangerous. The young horses are being pushed too hard to perform well.

Buying horses through the claiming race

You can also buy horses through claiming races. Aspiring racehorse owners go to the claiming races to purchase one of the horses that are performing. The horse’s price is established in advance. The horse owner then pays the amount and takes the horse home.

These are the most popular ways to buy racehorses. The above mentioned ways to buy racehorses can be expensive and risky. The buyer must decide how to reduce the risk. While it is difficult for someone to purchase a racehorse without a lot of experience, it is possible to get help.

Can you help me buy a racehorse.

Most racehorses can be bought through a syndicate or bloodstock agency. Horse lovers who wish to share ownership usually contact the syndicate to finalize the deal.

A bloodstock agent can help you buy a racehorse. The bloodstock agent will do all the hard work to find the right racehorse for you.

Because they are more familiar with the industry than anyone else, bloodstock agents visit local auctions more frequently and often participate in deals.

Which racehorses were the most expensive ever sold?

A well-respected racehorse can be expensive. History is filled with examples. In the past, few racehorses were sold for more than a million dollars. According to 2013 data, the following ten horses were sold for the highest prices.

  • Plavius
  • Jalil
  • Imperial Falcon
  • Mr. Sekiguchi
  • Snaafi Dancer
  • Meydan City
  • Seattle Dancer
  • The Green Monkey
  • Shareef Dancer
  • Fusaichi Pegasus


Plavius belonged to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum who was the emir and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates from 2006 to 2006. The entire career of this racehorse saw him win $41.572. It was sold to Godolphin racing in 2006 for $9.2million.


Jalil, a pure American-bred horse, began his racing career at the age of two with the Newmarket Racecourse maiden race. Jalil was also a participant in the 2005 Godolphin race, which was sold for 9.7 millions dollars.

The thoroughbred horse retired after two years of racing and added $327,324 in the bank.

Imperial Falcon

The Imperial Falcon is a descendant of the Northern Dancer bloodline, which has been regarded as one of history’s most important sires. In 1984, the Imperial Falcon was purchased by Robert Sangster, a British businessman. The purchase cost $8.25million.

Mr. Sekiguchi

Another racehorse Mr. Sekiguchi is a record-holder for being the most expensive, and was sold to a Japanese businessman who is also the chairman of Venture Safe Net Inc. The horse was sold for $8 million in 2004.

Snaafi Dancer

Snaafi dancer was a thoroughbred racehorse that never actually took part in racing. He was sold to Sheikh Mohammed for $10.2 million in 1983.

The Snaafi Dancer was put up for auction, where Sheikh Mohammed won. The buyer was disappointed by the Snaafi Dancer because he was too slow to mate and also had fertility issues.

Meydan, City

In 2006, Meydan city was auctioned for $117 million. The Emir of Dubai purchased Meydan City. Meydan City was purchased by the Emir of Dubai for $1360. However, he did not make his new owner proud.

Seattle Dancer

The British Triple Crown winner Nijinsky was the sire of Seattle Dancer. Settle Dancer was purchased by several wealthy parties for $13.1 million. The modest racing horse Seattle Dancer is a historical landmark.

The Green Monkey

When he was only two years old, the Green Monkey was purchased for $16million. However, the Green Monkey failed to bring a smile to his owner’s face so he was retired after only three races. The horse owner offered him to be bred for $5000 later.

Shareef Dancer

Shareef dancer is also known in history as “the racehorse of modest racing history”. Due to her good reputation, Shareef dancer was sold by the Emir of Dubai at $40 million.

The Shareef dancer participated in five races, and won three. He won $250,000.

Fusaichi Pegasus

In 2000, the racehorse known for its ability to win six races was purchased for $64million. According to 2013 data, the Fusaichi Pegasus is the most expensive racehorse ever sold. The Shareef Dancer was second.

How to make money investing in racehorses ?

Most racehorses are bought for their ability to earn money and not for pleasure riding. It’s easier and more profitable than investing in a team of sports players to invest in racehorses. It is similar to gambling. You may not get your investment back.

The majority of racehorse owners don’t make much. If you’re lucky enough, you can make money with a racehorse if it takes patience and hard work.

Before you can be sure of making a purchase, it is important to understand the history of the industry. Racehorse owners make their money primarily from winning races, but they also have the option of buying and selling, breeding, and support services. Let’s now discuss how racehorses can make you money.

Make money by winning

Racing horses win handsome amounts of money by winning professional races. Only horses that are competent enough to win the race will be eligible for the prize money. There are many examples in history of horses that failed to earn their owners’ money, even those with the highest prices. To earn this way, one must be aware of what he’s investing in.

Making money by breeding

The owner has the right to make every effort to earn money on the investment since the racehorses were purchased after a large sum of money was spent.

To pay the annual expenses, racehorses can be offered for breeding. A prominent listing of the most expensive horses was held by the green monkey, which was sold for $5000.

Making money by pinhooking

Pinhooking is a way for horse owners to make more money. This involves buying young horses, training them, and then selling them at higher prices.

This is riskier than any other way to make money from racehorses, as you never know how the horse will behave over the next year.

Make money selling

Many racehorse owners make money by selling and buying horses. Horse owners purchase the racehorse to try and sell it at a higher price. It is common to make money by selling the horse for a higher price.

Make money with support services

Special barns are used to house the racehorses. Many racehorse owners rent the track and training fields to make it profitable.

Let me admit that the numbers (purchase price, maintenance cost) are not correct since they were taken from the Internet. You can only get the exact figures from the current owner of the racehorse. It is my hope that it will help you, whatever your reason.

Allison Price
Allison Price

I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!