Letter to the Editor: Racing Owner Conversations

by Edd Roggenkamp, Versailles, Kentucky

Racehorse owners are the lifeblood of this industry. Without owners, there is no need for breeding farms, sales companies, consigners, vets, feed companies, et al. But the number of licensed racehorse owners is declining in most states, which is a seriously negative trend for the horseracing industry.

Over the nearly 30 years that I have owned and raced Thoroughbreds, I have always found it most interesting to sit down and have a candid conversation with another racehorse owner. It lets me find out how they manage their stable, design their tactics and adjust their racing strategy. Universally, their love for the sport and enthusiasm is contagious. These conversations, often over coffee in the track kitchen, have been a big help as I climbed up the steep learning curve of owning race horses. I was lucky early-on to meet some knowledgeable owners, that were enthusiastic, but realistic, and willing to share their “how to” tactics. Some of my best conversations were with small guys, often operating on a budget, but smart, careful, and having great fun owning racehorses and winning races. But such conversations are not always easily available to folks that want to own a race horse, or a new owner that wants to learn fast, or even a veteran who wants to hear different ownership strategies.

There are lots of articles and videos covering high-flying trainers and jockeys talking about their Grade 1 racing success, but how about the day-to-day ideas and strategies of the dedicated people that own the horses and write the checks?

So, the idea was hatched. Let’s record a series of candid and freewheeling Racehorse Owner Conversations with all kinds of experienced and successful owners. We’ll ask them to share their strategy, their level of involvement, how they acquire good racing stock, and how they find and develop relationships with quality support people. Then we will share these conversations freely with anybody interested in owning racehorses.

Luckily, modern podcast technology makes this possible. The first of these conversations (podcasts) are now available free on major podcast sites: Spotify, Google podcasts, Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts and many others.  Anyone can download and listen to these conversations at their leisure.

The conversations will not be just about winning graded stakes races because 80% of our sport is claiming races, and thousands of ardent owners, enjoy winning races at their local track. Ownership situations are generally the same…only the budget is different. Our first three podcast conversations are with successful owners that have won major graded stakes races (Texas-based Jerry Namy, a Grade I-winning owner at Keeneland; 2022’s leading owner in Maryland Larry Johnson; and West Coast-based Grade I-winning owner Jack Hodge), but all three have started a claimer within the last year.

So go to a podcast site, search for Racehorse Owner Conversations and listen in for free to the first 3 Episodes available now. More conversations will be added shortly, and all podcasts will be archived and available indefinitely. We think you’ll find these sessions with the candid, thoughtful and colorful people who share their ideas on Racehorse Owner Conversations interesting, helpful and enlightening.

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