Friday, 24 July 2015

Happy Fools & Horses

They say that a fool and his money are easily parted, but I think fools probably have more fun. That could be the premise behind the latest racehorse syndicate to advertise within the Cartmel racecard, an enterprise which is being promoted by one of our local shop-keepers, Steve Chamberlain.  

I’ve been told that if you don’t like someone you should give them a racehorse. If you really don’t like them, give them two! It’s something to do with the amount of money they cost to keep, but that’s missing the point – owning a racehorse provides lots of entertainment and is the source of magnificent dreams. I know that’s what Steve thinks and, as everyone knows, great minds think alike. Or should I have said, “fools seldom differ”?  

It doesn’t really matter because the working-title for Steve’s new enterprise is Happy Fools & Horses. The intention is to invite anyone interested in owning a leg in a horse to a September Open Day which will be hosted at Pitt Farm Stables in Cartmel. Steve is planning to buy a young horse, that has been running on the flat, and hopes that James Moffatt will be able to teach it how to jump.

If this week’s events are anything to go by, it looks like quite a good plan. On Monday Mr Moffatt took the Betfair Price Rush Maiden Hurdle with Altruism, a five year old gelding (who cost just £4,000), having his first outing over hurdles. 

It’s doubtful that they’ll be able to afford Golden Horn, who’s worth a few million more than the budget (and there might be objections from breeders if he were gelded in any case), but a small investment on our weekend selection (Ascot, Saturday) should secure you some funds to contribute towards a share in something else.  
Eight syndicate members are being sought and each member will be guaranteed an admission badge to the racecourse every time the horse runs. They will also be welcome to come and watch their charge on the gallops, before enjoying brunch at one of the four fantastic pubs in Cartmel. There will be dreams aplenty to be discussed – because all horses look beautiful on the gallops, whether they’ve learnt how to jump yet or not. Steve tells me that he hopes they’ll win some prize money and possibly even sell the horse for a profit after a win or two. But whatever happens, he’s not counting any chickens – he’s just hoping everyone has a lot of fun. 
There are additional plans for a further horse with 100 owners paying as little as £200 each for a year’s involvement. There would be a draw for race tickets each time it ran and any prize money won would be kept in a kitty to extend the duration of the partnership. Once again, the emphasis would be on providing fun for all at a price which won’t break the bank. 
Since their introduction in the early 1970’s syndicates and Racing Clubs have become mainstream. The British Horseracing Authority is working on ways of making them easier to register, as they aim to grow the horse population once more following a dip during the recession.
A short period of research will yield plenty of options for the aspiring racehorse owner – other Clubs and syndicates to have recently visited Cartmel include Premier Racing Partnerships and the Racegoers Club Owners Group (who scored with Chilly Miss here on Saturday).
If you want to contact Steve, e-mail him at

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