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In a response to another reader, trainer Gina Rarick — who is a trainer in France — said that costs for keeping a horse in training overseas were quite realistic.

This caught my interest, never having discussed the finances of training with anyone overseas. To my query for further details this point, Gina made the following response:

Frank:

Happy to provide ballpark figures, and specific examples if anyone wants.

It costs between 20,000 and 30,000 euros to keep a thoroughbred in training for a full year here, including vet bills. That’s if the horse stays in the yard all year, without time off in the country.

My day rate is 55 euros, which is about average for Maisons-Laffitte, just west of Paris. My average vet bill is 500 euros per year per horse.

Some trainers bill extra for things like shoes or nutritional supplements, but my fee includes them. Transport to races is subsidized by France Galop, so if your horse is trained in the Paris region, your costs are pretty much covered.

It costs less to have a horse trained out in the provinces – probably 12,000 to 15,000 a year, but your transport to races is a lot longer, and the FG subsidies won’t cover all your costs; so you end up paying almost the same as having a horse trained near Paris.

As for the cost of bloodstock: I’m probably an exception, but I buy a lot of cheap horses in England at the Newmarket Horses in Training sale, and they have all won races or been placed. By cheap, I mean less than 10,000 euros. I often buy horses to lease to new customers as a way of drawing them into racing, which means their start-up costs are nothing – they just take over the day rate.

Hope that answers some of your questions – I’m always happy to answer more.

Indeed, that answers many of the basic questions for anyone interested, and that is why I realized this note deserved its own post. The costs do not seem notably different than those in the States, with one exception: vet fees!

How can one’s annual vet bill measure only 500 euros? The first reason that comes to mind is no race-day medication.

I cannot count the number of friends who’ve told me that their MONTHLY charges for vet work equal their training bill.

Ouch!

What, dear readers, have been your experiences with training charges, in the US or overseas?

**Gina Rarick, in addition to training racehorses at Maisons-Laffitte, is a journalist and writes a blog on training and racing here.

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