Leasing a Horse

1. Single Race Lease. You will need to arrange a Single Race Lease (SRL) in order to run a horse in your name (individual(s) or unit) in the Royal Artillery Gold Cup, if you do not own the horse yourself. The ‘real’ owner (lessor) who leases the horse to you (lessee) will probably help you with the formalities but if in doubt please ring Erica Bridge on 07774 193532 – or Neil Cross for Regimental leases, on 07734 457044. Weatherbys is Horse Racing’s secretariat for all registrations, entries and declarations and the SRL form required can be found on their website Weatherbys Single Lease Racing Agreement. The ownership department is extremely helpful and will accept all correspondence by fax or scanned, signed paperwork by email. Their telephone number is 01933 440077 and the fax number is 01933 440807.

2. Form an eligible ‘Ownership’. Gunner establishments, headquarters, regiments, batteries, troops, sections, messes and ad hoc clubs are all permissible but all members of a group must be past or present Gunners. This can be you as an individual, or any suitably named and eligible group.

3. Find a horse to lease. Owners and trainers of national hunt horses and point to pointers are good sources; the hunting field is good for contacts. Potential runners at the Grand Military meeting, which takes place 3 weeks after the RA Gold Cup, may be keen to lease if they are not Gunners and therefore not eligible owners for the RA Gold Cup. Ring Charlie Lane (07990 562046) for Grand Military contacts.

4. Negotiate the terms of the lease. Keeping a horse in training costs a lot of money and there may be a cost to the leasing owner to compensate for this. The ideal situation is for the lessor (real owner) to continue to pay training and transport costs including insurances as usual, but to retain all prize money less entry fees. The lessee (you) pays the entry fees as part of the lease costs and recovers the costs from the lessor if prize money is won. The lessee may even keep the owner’s trophy, but has the honour of seeing the horse run in his, her or the group’s name. Lease negotiation may take place with the lessor or the trainer, depending on individual circumstances.

5. Colours. You need a set of colours which have been registered with Weatherbys:
• For a single race lease you do not have to be a ‘Registered Owner’ or have your own registered colours and it is permissible to ‘borrow’ a set of registered colours – it might be tactful to run the horse in the colours of the lessor, although Regimental colours are also registered to The King’s Troop RHA and 14th Regiment RA. The owner of the registered colours needs to grant permission to Weatherbys to run your horse in their colours (email).
• If you have a set of colours and wish to run the horse in these colours, you or the group must become Registered Owners and annually register these colours. This is a simple formality. Fill in and dispatch the form provided by Weatherbys. The combined cost of registering as an owner and your colours is about £100. The form covers both. It takes 48 hours to process from receipt at Weatherbys.

6. Register the Single Race Lease. The form i is simple to complete and needs to be signed by both lessor and lessee – can be managed by inter-faxing, or scanning and emailing. A single race lease costs about £154 (incl VAT @ 20%) and takes 24 hours to process. It can be submitted after close of entries which is 5 days before the race. Weatherbys have agreed to waive the £300 deposit for single race leases for military races.

7. Engage a Rider. You will need an eligible military amateur rider (see conditions – past or present military; child or grandchild of a Gunner) who holds a valid permit to ride. This rider will need to contact the trainer at the earliest opportunity. Ring Erica Bridge (07774 193532), Charlie Lane (07990 562046) or Peter Wright (07437 437522) if you or the lessor need some assistance. If you lease a potential Grand Military meeting runner it will probably also have an eligible rider so saving you the trouble. If you engage a serving Gunner rider you will receive a starter’s allowance of £400 if your horse runs, to go towards the costs of ownership.

8. Enter the horse.

Entries with Weatherbys by Noon Sat 9 Feb 19. This costs £40 (no VAT) plus £30.85 (handling fee – incl VAT – and racing’s Charitable contributions to Animal Health Trust and retraining of Racehorses. The trainer will submit the entry – but confirm with them.

Deadline for the Single Race Lease form to Weatherbys. Tue 12 Feb 19 – but submit it earlier if you can.

Declare the horse and rider with Weatherbys by 10 am Thu 14 Feb 19. The trainer or lessor will do this.

Declare the horse. On the day of the race, at least 45 minutes before the race start time (at the desk in the weighing room). The trainer or lessor will do this. This is the time to hand over the colours to the rider in the weighing-room, if required.

9. Enjoy your day as an owner. Park in the owners’ car park. Collect your owners’ badges at the front desk at Sandown. You will be invited to the Race Committee reception in the Eclipse Pavilion bringing along your lessor, trainer, rider and their partners; appear in the paddock with the trainer, horse and rider; enjoy the day’s racing; lead in the winner and collect the trophy. As the winning owner, you or your Regiment’s name will be painted on the owners’ boards at Sandown and will appear in the race role of honour and add to the history of this incredible Regimental race.