Wayne Bucklar: You're listening to Business Radio Talkers.FM. My name is Wayne Bucklar and in conversation with me today is Mark Burckhardt, Director of Regal Blood Stock. Mark welcome to the program.
Mark Burckhardt: Good morning Wayne, nice to be here.
Wayne: Now Mark I could have a guess what Regular Blood Stock does but I'm in one of those moods where it would be silly so why don't you explain to us what you do, and who you do it for and where you do it?
Mark: Yes, certainly. So pretty well Regal Blood is all about providing people with unforgettable experiences and when I say that is we're looking to chase, certainly from my point of view or what I've actually experienced in life - there is specific moments in your life that you'd like to remember and cherish and one of those things for me was definitely the horse racing and winning my first race as a young owner. This experience it's captured me for pretty well most of my life and I'd like to be able to pass it on to other people. Look, race horse indication is about basically what I do is I buy horses at value, I go stay do the pedigree analysis of horses about three months prior to the major sales, I then get a bit of blood. A couple of people that work closely with me to go on in inspect horses on the farms prior to the sales and then on the sales and sales day themselves we go in and do the last inspection. We work out a value for the horse and then we determine a very good price which we expect that the horse may go for on our shortlist and then we go bidding. And then once we were able to achieve a price we're looking for, that horses we are buy. We buy for our customers and then later on, we break those horses into shares to make it affordable for customers to actually race a horse and have the experience just like being a sole owner. So basically a person that buys a share in a horse has a full privileges as a full-fledged owner and I think that's a wonderful way for people that racing is a very expensive hobby as most would understand. A decent-size commercial racehorse, it would be starting in a minimum prior price around about $80,000 and yes upkeep costs around about 35,000 a year with a trainer. So we breaking it into shares, the optimal option is around 5%. I would say it's a starter and if you bought by 5% share it's certainly a viable prospect for people to really enjoy the experience of owning a racehorse. Certainly they have the full privileges as a normal owner or a sole owner would occupy.
Wayne: Now Mark, lots of questions come to my mind here and I'm sure for lots of people this will be a new concept. So when you syndicate a racehorse, how many people are in your average syndicate? How many people are you co-owning with?
Mark: That's a very good question and recently legislation has actually changed again but you can have up to 50 people in a syndicate. Actually racing a particular racehorse under the current model, yes. So it is a very good experience, I mean to me, early in the days I used to race horses individually and also with a couple of close friends. But I can honestly say to you, the experience is much better with more people and thus therefore I've actually followed my passion and decided to open a syndication company and embrace that and actually opt to try bring more people involved into racing and certainly with the horses that I have raced myself. There's no feeling like having 15, 20 people all supporting or even greater supporting our particular horse and following it through for its path, its journey. Yes, it's a fantastic experience.
Wayne: Now this brings to mind timeshare a little bit and some of our listeners will have had experience with joint timeshare on luxury boats and maybe some apartments and stuff and there's issues about management decisions and issues about who gets to use the boat, what weekends, and where. How does syndicated owning of a racehorse overcome all those sorts of problems?
Mark: Firstly, if you're a 5% owner or if you have a minimum of 5%, when it comes to timeshare there is no such thing, as you’re an owner. You have 5% and you have all privilege as an owner. That means you have access to that horse when you require that, you'll get communication as much as you wish to have. So for example you're able to get access to the trainer or to myself in regards to feedback and our updates. In regards to the horse, you are able to visit the horse. So you're able to go across that whole journey and be part of that whole experience. None of those privileges that you have as a single owner are off the table if you're a minimum level 5% owner.
Wayne: Right. And what about the decisions about how the horse is handled? Are they made by vote or are they made by someone else? So how does that give in?
Mark: That's a good question. So obviously, I would consider myself reasonable professional in the industry now. I've been involved in racing for over 20 years and of course the trainer is certainly the expert when it comes to this type of matters. But look everyone, the most important thing about syndication is communication and when you do have regular updates at least once a week with all owners and via social media or email etc or telephone call as wished - very, very few issues arise. Of course every person does have a say, and anything as dramatic happening with the horse, any sort of changes or etc, must be communicated and also signed off by all members. But I found in my experience by and large, communication is the most important factor and as long as it's transparent and that the information carries forth and everyone knows exactly what's happening with the horse, very few problems arise.
Wayne: Now it does sound like a very clever way to make a start into horse racing. Now you describe it as being the experience that's the valuable part, just tell us about a little bit more about us for those people who haven't experienced the races other than perhaps as you know a few glasses of champagne in the backyard on a Saturday and that annoying occasional galloping goes past in front of them. Yes so you've had a very different experience as an owner I imagine, give us some sense of what that's like.
Mark: Let me break it if I may, I may lead into a story, which one of my first horses and one of its just like I mentioned before it's about these unforgettable moments. And one particular story that does come to mind was when my very first horse I owned actually had a race or was having a race at Randwick. Now as a child, I absolutely have a deep passion for racing, I wanted to be jockey. I just wanted to be involved in racing and I'm sure there's many people out there that feel exactly how I did. It's like any sport, once you've got that desire, you just want to get as close as possible and actually feel that and experience that and be part of that. So every horse has a character, they all have their temperaments and just funny ways about them. When you actually own a horse you actually get to see this and it's not just about the horse, it's about the team that plays for that horse. I mean you've got the trainer, you've got all the people that work with that horse. You're actually riding these very big waves that goes forward and end to that and you it's an incredible support or feeling and you do feel being part that, being involved in that horse. The horses had all different like I mentioned characteristics, some horses are very dominant, some are very recessive, some horses like to race in the front, some like to run behind. You get to know your horse and what type of characteristics are dominant in that particular horse and you get to observe the strategies and you get to follow that part with that horse on its journey and that's the most exciting things. Like I mentioned there was a story, I had a horse that it actually was quite a gifted horse. It won pretty well on every race track except in its home track which is a Warwick Farm and we couldn't understand why it was winning there and horses are very much a routine animal and this particular horse. When it came to race day we had a look at it at the farm and it basically just went berserk, it went crazy and what we put it down to basically was the horse normally gets trained very early in the morning around about three o'clock when it's dark. And basically it goes through its processes, well this horse on its home track could not relate to being out in the middle of the day and having all these people looking at it. It just broke its routine and mechanism so this horse, it was very much shaken up, it was nervous and etc and basically didn't perform on the track. So what we did was we actually we actually put it into a cart, into its horse cart about two hours before the race, drove it around the track three times and then brought it back into the stable and then associated it, knew what the race cart was or you know the actual flow. It understood that “I'm in the float that means I must be up for a race. I'm going to do that.” It understood that particular part of the routine and as soon as we did that by taking it around the track a few times, put in the back in the stall the started winning races on that track. And this is just one story that of thousands that I could tell you about in regards to racing and all those little quirks that race horses do have. And yeah, it is quite touching when you actually see once you work out the key to a couple of them and see the results. It's just amazing being part of that experience.
Wayne: I can understand why you're excited about it.
Mark: Absolutely. Yes, and being part of that I truly believe yeah it is something special and when a person actually has their very first race then they'll know exactly what I'm talking about.
Wayne: Mark thanks for sharing that with us today. For people who want to know more about Regal Bloodstock or who want to talk to you, how can they connect?
Mark: Well they certainly can go to my website which is a www.regalbloodstock.com. They'll be able to track all the horses I'm currently are syndicating at the moment and they'll be able to get a wealth of information there and obviously get in contact with me if they're interested to get further information about those horses.
Wayne: I've been in conversation with Mark Burckhardt, Director of Regal Bloodstock and if you just joined us and missed our conversation, the good news is on our website we have a transcript, we also have an audio archive on both SoundCloud and YouTube. This is Wayne Bucklar, you're listening to Business Radio Talkers.FM.