The Event Horse Owners Syndicate has been set up to give eventing enthusiasts a way to experience the thrill of ownership without the huge financial commitment it normally entails. With shares in exciting young event horses available for as little as just £65.00 with no overheads and ongoing costs, it really is so accessible.

This month the EHOS team shared the details of the first horse to be sourced and purchased for their syndicates!. Camouflage, is a five-year-old gelding imported from Germany by 5* winning rider Laura Collett. An impressive and athletic German Sports Horse, Camouflage (stable name Rupert) is already proving to be very popular indeed! The resulting interest in EHOS and the syndicates has led to a flurry of questions from excited eventing fans. We thought it was high time for a blog which will answer all of those FAQs. You know all about the benefits – weekly updates, a yearly yard visit, priority access to rider clinics – but what about the nitty gritty?! Here’s how the Event Horse Syndicate works… 

How do you manage to keep the costs so low? 

EHOS is modelled on race horse ownership syndicates, where a lot of people club together to buy a horse. The racing syndicates were credited with raising the profile of racing and widening its appeal. Here’s hoping EHOS does the same for eventing! They sell around 2,000 shares in each horse, so lots of people can experience ownership at an affordable price. It means that there’s a one-off cost for a year’s ownership with no monthly fees or overheads to worry about.

What happens after I buy a share? Is there anything I can give someone to ‘unwrap’ if I bought it as a gift? 

EHOS pop a welcome pack in the post which has your share certificate as well as other information. You can ask for this to be sent directly to someone else as a gift or give it to them yourself. You’ll be sent weekly updates, competition reports, behind the scenes videos and more online after that. Shares can only be in one person’s name. That means if you both want a share you’ll have to buy one for you and one for your friend!

Will I always be able to go and watch my horse when it competes?

The majority of events are free to attend and EHOS welcomes all owners along to watch their horse compete. If there is complimentary admission for owners of horses competing at an event, tickets will be allocated via a ballot. Even if you are not lucky enough to receive an owners’ ticket, you can still attend the event by purchasing your own admission tickets.

Laura Collett event horse

How and when will I know when my horse is competing?

In your weekly updates from the rider, they will outline their plans and aims for the season ahead. Obviously those plans need to be fluid as events can be cancelled (for example due to very hard ground, ice and snow or very wet ground!) or the horse might experience a setback. Events work on a ballot system which dictates when a rider will know which event they are competing at. As soon as they know, EHOS will endeavour to tell the syndicate members. This may give you several weeks’ notice or just 10 days, but you will know as soon as possible. 

What happens at the event where my horse is competing? 

EHOS will provide a meeting point which will be communicated to all shareholders prior to the event (obviously the most up to date Covid-19 restrictions will apply!). That means you can meet fellow EHOS members for a bacon roll and a chat. They don’t allow members to meet at the rider’s lorry even with an owner’s ticket to the event. Everyone needs somewhere to go and gather their thoughts privately when competing! However they do aim to arrange for EHOS syndicate members to meet their rider at the events. 

Do you share out the prize money?

Because prize money at the lower levels of eventing is so small, if the horse does win then the prize money will be used to buy treats for the horse ‘from’ the syndicate. At Advanced or International level, any prize money will be split between the syndicate members at the end of the 12-month term. 

What happens if my horse is sick or injured? 

As a living, breathing athlete there could be setbacks for your horse along the way. EHOS is open with owners and shares all updates with them, even if they do detail a setback or disappointing news. A horse still requires lots of care and attention when injured (sometimes with large vet bills), but no extra costs will be passed on to the syndicate. However, this does mean that no refund can be provided if a horse doesn’t make it to any competitions. If the syndicate is ended early, then a pro-rata refund will be provided, excluding any capital costs.

Photo credit – Events Through a Lens

What happens at the end of the 12 months?

EHOS syndicates run for 12 month period. As the end of that period nears you will receive a report from EHOS and the rider. This reviews the activity and performance from the past year and outlines future prospects. If the recommendation is for them to be campaigned for another 12 months, then the cost of the next 12 months will be calculated. You will be asked if you would like to renew your syndicate membership. If you decide not to renew, your share will be relinquished and put up for sale. That means there are chances to join existing syndicates in the future. The cost per year may change slightly, particularly if the horse is going to be campaigned at the higher levels of the sport. 

Hopefully you’re up to speed with exactly how the Event Horse Owners Syndicate works. If not, why not take a look around their website which has lots more information! You can also take a closer look at the fantastic Camouflage and the Ben Hobday experience… https://www.eventhorseownerssyndicate.co.uk