Buying a Horse

There are many options to procure a horse, which we outline here. For those that have no prior experience of owning a racehorse, a bloodstock agent or professional trainer would be the best person to approach. Visit our contacts section for details.


There are many options in purchasing a horse: yearling sales, ready-to-run sales, mixed stock sales or private sale. You should also consider what you are looking for initially is it a yearling or a ready-to-run racehorse, a filly/mare or colt/gelding, a trotter or a pacer? A smart move is to align yourself with a trainer before you purchase as their experience may be of big assistance.

A private sale can be between a buyer and seller or may involve an agent who will take a percentage of the price as a commission.


Racehorses can be purchased from Claiming Races. Horses are able to be entered into Claiming Races for a special specified "claiming" price, which is its sale price. A horse can be bought for the specified price at the races by placing a claiming form and cheque in a ballot box. The ownership of the horse changes immediately thereafter. If there is more than one claim for a horse, there is then a draw.


Alternatively, there is the option of leasing a racehorse, which eliminates the purchase outlay. This can be done with a horse of any age for a period of time agreed upon by both the lessor and lessee. The lease has to be registered with HRNZ. The lessee assumes responsibility for all care and costs of that horse while in their possession. The lessee enjoys the benefits of ownership, with the obligation to share some of the profits with the lessor as per the terms of the lease.