This Washington track is offering everyday people the chance to co-own a race horse for just $500.
You can't buy the Seahawks or the Mariners, but for just $500 you can co-own a race horse for a year. That's the pitch that Emerald Downs, in Auburn, Washington, made to the public. And it seems to be working.
According to Vince Bruun, director of media relations at Emerald Downs, the Emerald Racing Club was begun to combat a growing problem in the horse racing industry -- the lack of people who can afford to take on the expense of owning a race horse.
"We're losing the whales in our industry," he said in an interview with KUOW. "The guys and gals who invest in the very highest level."
But thanks to the Emerald Racing Club, almost anyone can now invest. The club currently owns two race horses, the 4-year-old filly Distinguishable, and another called McDove.
Distinguishable cost $10,000, and as with any other horse, the club has to pay for his housing, feed and training, as well as the jockeys to ride him. The cost can add up to $30,000 a year.
"I would never tell anyone that it's a path to riches," said Bruun, "If you're an owner and you break even, I think you're doing pretty good."
"We're a middle-income family on a modest budget. This was a great way for me to own a horse. And I now have 199 new best friends."
If the horses win, the club members split the winnings, but Bruun tries to keep their expectations realistic.
"If you start guaranteeing things in this game you get in trouble real fast," he said.
But he does want them to enjoy the experience, and hopes that some of them go on to become future "whales" of the industry.
"I think if you expose 200 people to something, a certain amount of them might desire to go to a certain level higher," Bruun said. "The first year club of 2014, we had a couple of them went in very deep. They bought several horses and invested half a million dollars in the industry."
It's just what the industry needs, and it all starts with a $500 investment.
Would you like to co-own a race horse through a similar club? Tell us below!
All images via KUOW.
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