After you’ve made the financial and emotional commitment of investing in a racehorse, choosing the right trainer becomes vital. Whether you’re an experienced owner or a newbie you can easily make a costly mistake at this point. So, how do you go about selecting the right trainer who suits the needs of both you and your horse?
Whether owning a racehorse outright or in a syndicate it’s always a gamble. How much are you willing and able to spend to experience that racing thrill as your horse powers down the home straight? Costs for the essentials such as equine insurance, feed and stabling are easy to foresee but what about the expenses you might not have even considered yet?
First steps to finding a racehorse trainer
There’s a fine line between success and failure in this sport, so it takes the right trainer to make the experience a good one. If you already have racehorses in training then your decision is probably simple, as you’ll go with the trainer of your other horses. However, if you’re just starting out then it isn’t as straightforward. Working out which trainer is right for you and your horse can be tricky but the first thing to do is ask yourself some key questions.
- What’s the budget? The success rate of a trainer will raise or lower their price.
- How much direct involvement do you want in your horse’s training?
- What is your own approach and training philosophy? Do you want a trainer that suits this?
Racehorse trainer skills to look out for
The effectiveness of racehorse trainers can vary hugely across the industry. Not every trainer you meet will have what it takes to make your horse a winner. If you’re on the hunt for a successful trainer then they’ll need to possess these qualities:
- A ‘good eye’ for horse talent. Knowing which horses have the greatest potential for race success and how to maximize their natural talent will give your horse the best chance.
- Communication skills. Effective communication with you, your horse and the other people involved in the training is essential. In the past racehorse trainers have been considered to sometimes be a law unto themselves. But in these times of passionate owners and professional trainers great communication is now considered a basic requirement.
- Knowledge of racing strategy. In close consultation with the jockey, they determine how to run a particular race to beat your horse's rivals. All the preparation in the world will go to waste if they can’t read the track conditions on race day.
What else do you need to consider?
Choosing a racehorse trainer can be tough but here are some other matters to take into account. Remember, the efforts you put in now to secure the right trainer will hopefully pay rich rewards later down the line.
Previous track record
Whether you plan to go for an established trainer or an up-and-coming name, their previous results with horses will speak volumes about their abilities. And it’s not just about being first place. How consistent are they? If their results are variable then will they be right for your horse?
Having a mixture of indoor and outdoor training facilities is crucial for success. What are their gallops like? Do they have indoor automatic exercisers? Make sure you visit the facilities and check them all out. And if you’re looking for long-term racing success and to protect your investment then what rehabilitation facilities are on offer? Like all athletes, racehorses need the best care to help them recover from a race. Horse insurance can also help cover the cost of treatment.
Location, location, location
If you’re planning to race your horse in a certain area then you need to look for trainers nearby. Long journeys across the country will not help your horse's racing ability and you could end up missing out on race meets. Whatever travel arrangements you make, having the best horse insurance and horse trailer insurance will leave you and your horse better protected.
Money is always going to be an important factor when it comes to horse racing. Paying too little might only get you the basics; paying too much might leave you out of pocket later in the racing calendar. Shop around and do your research before committing to anything.
Where to find help
With the many different factors to consider when choosing a racehorse trainer, it’s all too easy to get bewildered. However, there is professional help readily available.
Both the National Trainers Federation (NTF) and British Horseracing Authorities (BHA) have searchable tools on their websites to help you make that all-important decision.
The National Trainers Federation
This national organisation represents racehorse trainers in Britain and has a searchable database of their members. Owners can search by name, county or licence type. It provides full contact details, email and web addresses.
British Horseracing Authority
The BHA website has a searchable list for all licensed trainers in Britain. You can search by name or view a full list of trainers. It provides not only contact details but also invaluable performance information. The site also lists the racehorse trainers' championship table for both Flat and National Hunt disciplines.
Protecting your investment with horse insurance
When you’ve invested so much time and energy into your racehorses protecting them from accident or injury is a big responsibility.
With over 60 years’ combined experience in the insurance market, our team of specialists are well aware of the strains owners can be under.
Whether your racehorse has just started its competitive life or is now nearing retirement, we can help you protect your equine friend. We also provide horse rider insurance and cover for your transport.
Lifesaving surgery available up to £7,500 per year for racehorses
Saddlery and tack cover is also available. While there’s also an additional discount for insuring more than one horse.
Call our equine insurance team now on 01480 220089 and get a quick quote today.
Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.