Tuesday, November 25, 2008

How Hard is This?

Fellow TBAer Handride's post today got me thinking about communication in partnerships. I have experience both communicating to folks and being communicated to and will share my thoughts.

I have been a member of partnerships with good communication (Star of the North Racing and VIP Internet Stable) and not so good communication (Owner's Stable). I know that there are various ways of doing things, but there appears to me to be three basic levels of communication: 1) General update; 2) Specific update; and 3) Financial update. All are important and all need to be a part of your partnership experience. If you get involved in ownership, let's face it, you're not doing it for the money (though we all try!), you're doing it for the experience and the insight. With no communication, you don't get any of what you're hoping to get out of fractional ownership of a racehorse.

In addition to winner's circle photos and videos, you should receive the following:

General Updates

These to me are updates to the folks on your mailing list. It would include all of your partners in all of your groups, family, friends and potential clients. This would be a general update on all your horses, active recruiting and any newsy items you want to share. This should be regular. When horses are racing I get this out weekly. Right now it's only about every three weeks, but, as you can see below, I announce at the end of the update when I'll be communicating again - and then stick to it.

Specific Updates

These are updates to a singular group about their horse. It will include more details than the general update. While you may include a workout time in a General Update, you'll include trainer comments in a Specific Update as well as the next steps for the horses and what races you're scoping out. When we're racing I do this every week prior to sending out the General Update - I like to get the partnerships their news before they read about it in the general update.

Financial Updates

I keep running financials for each group on an Excel spreadsheet. When I pay a bill, I enter it in the spreadsheet. At the end of each quarter I send out the spreadsheet to the individual group along with a short cover note hitting the high points (or low points) of the quarter. It takes trainers some time to get their billings out, but as I know the day rate and can estimate shoeing and vet bills (as an owner you know if there is an unusual vet bill coming your way - or at least you should) I can get a pro-forma out about a week after the quarter ends.

It's tough to win in this game and more times than not, your horse will not win. But if you feel like you're part of the process and are "in the loop", won't you be more likely to enjoy the experience?

Below is my latest General Update. I use a general template and a mailing list. It takes all of ten minutes to put together. I read comments like Handride's and I wonder what I'm missing? If a small timer like me can do it, why can't the big boys?

GENERAL UPDATE EXAMPLE

Hi All -

I hope that you all have a great holiday. While things are still a little slow, there are signs of racing coming back to life in the stable.

Fizzy Pop (100%) - Bernell Rhone

Fizzy is getting ready to ship to Florida this week or next. This guy has got it right - summer in the north, winter on the Gulf! He should remain turned out for another month and we look to see him back in the Rhone barn losing the excess pounds and getting ready to race again in mid-December.

I Am Woman (12.5%) - Tom Fanning

The two year old has gained some weight and has filled out nicely since being turned out in September. She's got about another 6 weeks of training miles to put in before she looks to qualify again in early January. She is being pointed to a Late Closer at the Yonkers after the first of year.

Valid Port (10%) - Armando Lage

A new addition to the stable, we bought into Porter because of his soundness, potential for earning checks and to dip a toe back into the California market and see if we can build strong enough relationships to perhaps start a group out there. Porter has thrown in a very strong 3 furlong work (:35.60 4th of 16) since we bought into him and Armando is actively looking to enter him either at Golden Gate or even down south at Hollywood.

New Group Updates

We're still actively recruiting for Tampa Bay and Hawthorne claiming groups.

We are also very excited about an unraced 3-year old filly has been offered for sale. GRS is actively looking at purchasing a large portion of her. She is a Minnesota bred that has been training very well and we feel has the capacity to compete in open company at Tampa (where she is heading to join the Rhone barn shortly). The price is right and the potential - especially for some of the nicer Minnesota bred races at Canterbury this summer - is there. Please drop me a line for more details, but hurry as I'd like to get this deal sewed up before December 1st.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving. Look for another update just before Christmas or earlier should events warrant. As always, you can always track events via the website, www.grevelisracing.com and the blog, www.grevelisracing.blogspot.com.

All the best,

Ted

5 comments:

PEM said...

You mean it's not the standard response I get from my "so what's going on?" emails? You know the ones that say "We're working on it-and here's you share of the bills."

May as well just say "Don't worry bud we're completely honest and know far more than you-now fork it over pronto!"

Above all though Ted--you seem to have some sort of game plan. I guess that comes hand-in-hand with being a businessman--but it's a quality I rarely find among the small-time horse owners I have associated with. Wish you well in your current endeavor-and if the construction bid-ness ever picks up here I would be quick to throw in my two bits as well.

Headed over to TBD in the morning to fill out some paperwork--I'll keep an eye out for a good claim for you guys!

PEM

Jessica said...

Ted, I wish I were in a position to join a partnership now -- I admire your apparent transparency and desire to keep everyone in the loop, as well as your obvious affection for Fizzy Pop and the rest of the stable. Much luck to you in the coming months ...

Handride said...

Thanks for the link, no response from Adena yet, not they'll ever read it anyways.

rather rapid said...

when i read stuff like this...man this sport is in a mess. Should the NTRA set up model partnership regs and provide enforcement for violation?

horse ownership is one of the two problems imo plague the sport, the other being market to bettors.

for ownership possibly the present partnership system barks up the wrong tree. partnerships are being sold as investments whereas I believe you'd find far more partners to sell them as sports franchises while giving the partners options as to control. There's a market of tens of thousands of ex-jocks for stuff like that.

a partnership should be carefully controlled. starting out with one horse only. trainer selection should be done with extreme care--i.e. someone other than the standard at our race tracks. there should be a plan for scientific training based on equine exercise physiology. the new horse should be watched like a hawk by someone in the partnership that knows what they're doing. webcams would be an imperative. a young horse can be brought along and make money to keep things afloat. it can be done, if you know what you're doing.

the sort of partnership stuff i'm reading about is ab initio ridiculous if you understand horse racing. there are possibilities though. txs for keeping us informed on this interesting blog!

Ted G said...

Thanks, all, for reading and taking the time to comment. I guess the only real point is - if a shmoe like me can put together a regular update, why the heck can't other folks?