Highclere Thoroughbred Racing Offers Innovative & Successful Racehorse Syndicates

By CTH Editors

6 months ago

Highclere Thoroughbred Racing is a Great British Brand 2024

Highclere Thoroughbred Racing is an entry in our Great British Brands 2024 book. 

Highclere Thoroughbred Racing: Great British Brand 2024

Bay thoroughbred racing

‘When we started in 1992, Highclere was the first company offering shares in commercial syndicates in British racing. Until then, syndicates had generally been composed of groups of friends who owned a horse together. We were lucky enough to get off to a cracking start in 1993 with Lake Coniston, a sprinter bought for £22,000 and sold after a successful racing career for £2,500,000.

There are two keys to the business: one is buying the right horse at the right price. This is a skill which demands judgement and eye, attributes born of long experience of horses. It is old-fashioned judgement of horses which underpins our business. The other key is providing an exceptional service to our clients. We are a luxury goods business and Highclere acts as a personal racing manager to every shareholder of each syndicate. We set out to provide as much information to our syndicate members as possible: training updates, running plans and then, after the race, reports from the trainer and jockey on how the horse performed and its prospects for the future. Everything we do is designed to make shareholders’ involvement more fun and more fulfilling. The majority of our syndicates offer a five percent share in a horse, so have 20 shareholders, but we also offer some smaller syndicates.

Most of our 70-odd horses run on the flat, the remainder over the jumps. Integrity and transparency are central to Highclere: we produce certified syndicate accounts so that shareholders can see how every penny is spent. The horses are shared out between about 20 top-class trainers, spread all over the country, with whom we work to place the horses in the races which will give each individual its best chance of winning.’

Harry Herbert, Chairman & Managing Director

Bay thoroughbred with jockey and crowd

Five Proudest Moments

  1. Petrushka’s victory for Highclere in the Irish Oaks in 2000 was the first Classic race won by a horse owned by a commercial syndicate. 
  2. When Motivator won the race in 2005, he was the first Epsom Derby winner to have been bought and managed by a racehorse syndicate company. 
  3. Highclere became the first commercial syndicate to own the world’s highest-rated racehorse when Harbinger achieved that status in 2010. 
  4. When Cachet won the 2022 1,000 Guineas, she was the first horse owned by a racehorse syndicate company to win an English Classic. 
  5. Highclere’s first Royal Ascotvictory was Heritage in 1997, trained by John Gosden and ridden by Frankie Dettori.

What I’ve Learnt

  • The permanent importance of faultless integrity.
  • The need to protect the brand at all times.
  • Never to compromise on quality.


Great Farm Barns, West Woodhay, Berkshire RG20 0BP

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