I WISH SOMEONE HAD TOLD ME how much fun it is to own a racehorse

Seasoned jockey Piere Strydom rode Puget Sound to victory on 4 June 2017 at Turffontein.       Photo – Peter Fourie

I fell into racehorse ownership quite by accident. In December 2016 we did some work for the Onamission syndicate, thanks to our mate Charles Savage, CEO of Purple Group.

Charles is racehorse-befok, and also passionate about broadening the ownership base in South Africa (in this instance) of racehorses. Charles is the ideas guy behind Purple Group’s EasyEquities share investment platform, which seeks to broaden share ownership among South Africans. He and his team call it “democratisation of the stock exchange”, the principle being that everyone should be able to own shares and have a say in the way listed companies operate.

EasyEquities really is easy, as the name suggests. It’s also cheap, which means it’s accessible to a much broader base of investors and potential investors… 55-million of them, says Charles. With its low fee structure and fractional share ownership offering, South Africans can buy into the stock market for as little as R5. (If you don’t believe me, check it out for yourself.)

And so with the EasyEquities concept picking up momentum among money-savvy South Africans – more than 130 000 of us, in fact – Charles set about investigating how to democratise racehorse ownership. Working with Mathew de Kock of Mike de Kock Racing, the Onamission syndicate was formed, offering the chance to own as little as 1% of a thoroughbred racehorse.

Puget Sound with Gregory in the winner’s circle at Turffontein Racecourse, 4 June 2017. Photo – Peter Fourie

This makes racehorse ownership, which is a very expensive pastime, accessible to far more people – people like me and my partner Gregory, for example. Racehorse ownership never really featured on my bucket list, although Gregory has always been keen. Now that I have a stake in a horse, though. I have become far more interested in the sport. And that’s what it’s all about.

On Sunday, 4 June 2017 our horse Puget Sound ran in his third race – and won! This was his second win in three races, which is phenomenal. His first win was in his very first race, at Turffontein in January. His second run was on Sun Met day in Cape Town, where he ran a very solid race but failed to place.

The thrill of seeing him cut through the pack to take the win at Turffontein was indescribable. It was an awesome experience, shared by everyone who owns a stake in this horse. And there are lots of us! More than 50 people, in fact. That’s a lot of joy, a lot of support, and a lot more people at the track on race days.

Mat and the Onamission syndicate members are extremely passionate and communicative about what’s happening with Puget Sound. We get regular updates via WhatsApp and regularly visit him at the stables in Randjesfontein. Being an owner fundamentally changes the way we engage with horse racing (or race horsing as I often accidentally refer to it). It has brought us into contact with some amazing people – our co-owners, as well as the amazing people at the Mike de Kock stables.

We recently bough a stake in another horse, a filly called Elbi, who is not quite race-ready yet. She is still in training, getting fit and strong to hit the track towards the end of the year – or if not, then sometime in 2018.

There are still some shares available in Elbi, who holds lots of promise. And even though it’ll be a few months before you see her in action, it’s well worth the wait. Click here for more details… or email Mat directly: onamissionbloodstock@gmail.com.

Colin is our resident wordsmith. He can write absolutely anything and loves to read, too. He even has his own book club.