Molly Kinnamon tackles the topic of syndication in our latest Athletux rider blog. For more information about The Diesel Boy and Molly, visit mkequestrian.com, or contact molly via email at [email protected]. For more information about syndication, visit ExperienceEventing.com. Many thanks to Molly for writing, and thanks for reading!
As a professional rider, I make a lot of choices every day. These choices include making decisions about daily training schedules, feed rations, veterinary care, competition plans and much, much more.
Helping guide a horse along through their career is one of the best and most rewarding things about my job. I take great pride in watching a horse develop and thrive in a sport they love. One very special horse, The Diesel Boy, has been with me since he was just 3 years old and is now on the brink of stardom at the upper levels in eventing.
When I decided to purchase “Leto,” as he is known at the barn, as a 3 year old, I was impressed with many things about him. Even at such a young age, he was quite balanced and agile, maneuvering across uneven terrain and various obstacles in the woods. He seemed very curious about life; a trait that has stayed with him through his training and in my opinion makes him a very special, exciting horse.
There are horses with talent but not enough heart to make it to the top; there are horses without talent but a lot of heart; and then there are horses with talent and heart. I think Leto has talent and a lot of heart, and, in our sport, that can be a hard combination to find.
Over the last few years, we have seen a significant increase within our sport of horses being owned by syndicate groups with a number of owners, rather than just one sole owner. Last year in 2014, Leto proved to me that he really has what it takes to be a contender at the upper levels. Being aware of his great talent raised a very important situation; a decision needed to be made for the two of us to move forward.
I could either sell this great horse to a rider with the funds available to compete him at the higher levels or figure out a way to keep him myself! I feel like Leto and I have a really good partnership and fit each other very well, with strengths and weaknesses complementing each other.
Years ago, before syndicates were really publicized or known at all, I actually had a syndicate for a very special horse called Havarah’s Charly. Back then in a desperate attempt to gather money to keep the ride on Charly, who had been imported by my previous employer to be sold with several other imports, I had a remarkable group of people come together to help me.
Today the idea of syndication has become much better known, and there is a greater amount of awareness surrounding the idea, in addition to having better contracts, ownership assistance and marketing, though the general structure has not changed drastically.
After recently looking into the option of syndication further, I was excited to learn that there are now knowledgeable people who can assist you in creating materials to help people you approach understand what you are trying to accomplish through syndication.
There are also lawyers who specialize in assisting with syndicates. In creating a syndicate, there are a lot of decisions to make; for instance, how many shares will there be in total? Who’s going to manage the horse’s needs and the accounting needs? The list continues with choices, which is great, as each syndicate can truly be fit to fulfill each horse, rider and owner’s needs.
Syndicates have different goals, and, for me, my goal in creating a syndicate was not to make a bunch of money on my horse, but rather to make it possible for me to keep him by offsetting his annual costs.
While I know that I would like to keep competing The Diesel Boy, it is also very important to me to be able to create an opportunity for some of the wonderful people I know who would otherwise not have a chance due to financial restraints to be involved in owning an upper-level horse. After all, it would make this journey so much better to be sharing the thrills that come along with the process.
With all of this in mind, I made the decision to form the DZL Syndicate. My goal is to unite a group of people to partake in our journey together. Leto moved up to the Intermediate level at the end of 2014 and is at an exciting point in his career as 2015 kicks off.
At this point in time, I feel that I can be the most effective as his rider and trainer instead of his sole owner, rider and trainer. Owning an upper level event horse is no small task, but yet a hugely rewarding one. I feel like having a syndicate own an upper level event horse will help make our goals achievable financially and allow many people to really enjoy the activities along the way.
Having the luxury of an established relationship with this horse, I am confident in putting together this syndicate. The process of this can be quite overwhelming to start with, but the more I have learned about syndication as it stands today, the more I believe in the opportunities it creates both for the rider and potential owners.
There are many things that I would like to accomplish with Leto, and I am so excited to have the opportunity to share this with others. With the right group of people as owners, I feel like my team can achieve so much, and I urge people who do not know about syndication to learn more.