Fractional Ownership of Top Dogs
Did you see that the three-year-old colt Mage won the Kentucky Derby last week? He held 15 to 1 odds in the two-minute race, delighting his many owners by coming in first … and he has a LOT of owners, as part of Mage is owned by a syndicate of 400 owners!
This is a little known but increasingly popular way to ownership that allows everyday people to invest in racehorses and share in the excitement of racing. It has totally democratized what was previously considered the sport of kings … The sum you may need to become a part owner is as low as $50!
Fractional ownership is becoming a game changer not only in horse racing but also in other historically expensive or difficult-to-access industries, like fine art and real estate — enabling smaller investors to gain exposure to what has previously been out of reach for all except the super-wealthy.
I don't see why the same practice could not be applied to show dogs. We know that it easily costs more than $100,000 per year — sometimes MUCH more — to campaign a dog at the top level. The dogs that compete and win consistently have anything from a single owner to several people who chip in varying amounts per month. How much is seldom disclosed, but we can safely assume that it's more than most people can afford.
Say you have a little bit of money to spare and wanted to be one of 100 owners of a top dog. You'd probably have to shell out less than $84 per month … Still too much? You could become one of 200 owners for half that sum — or you could tell the handler that the budget is limited so he or she can't fly across the country more than a few times, looking for good judges and easy points.
Of course, there would be little in the way of real financial reward even if the dog is successful. Mage has won $2.1 million so far, which means that even with fractional ownership of part of the horse one will make $1,312.50 … minus of course what the costs are, but it's still probably pretty lucrative. That doesn't apply to most racehorses, of course, and never to show dogs, since there is no financial reward for winning in the dog world. That doesn't seem to stop the people who own the top dogs currently from spending lots of money on them, and it should not have to stop you from becoming a fractional owner of a top dog.
Wouldn't it be worth a relatively low investment to be able to say that you owned a Westminster winner, or the number-one dog of whatever breed you're interested in?