“I got the horse right here,
His name is Paul Revere,
And there’s a guy that says if the weather’s clear,
Can do, can do, this guy says that the horse can do,
If he says the horse can do, can do, can do…”
Strains of FUGUE FOR TINHORNS from the Broadway musical GUYS AND DOLLS popped happily into my head when I heard that a friend of a friend had purchased a share in a racehorse. When the horse wins races, the shareholders get a split of the profits. I like profits.
What a fascinating idea, I thought, and how “Great Gatsby” it is, too, with a lot of “Guys and Dolls” thrown in for good measure. I don’t gamble on horse races. I’ve never even been to a racetrack. Still, I wanted to find out more.
I may not have previously known too much about horses, let alone the world of racing, but somehow it’s in my blood. The Quinn side of the family, back in Pomeroy, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, had been the proud owners of a livery stable. My Uncle Jimmy had loved horses. I was so small and slight as a child that he was constantly suggesting to my father that he should have me trained as a jockey.
I tried taking horseback riding lessons once but didn’t take to it. Horses, however, took to me. The few I’d encountered in New York City were usually mounted policemen’s horses. I remember one sweet horse I’d see every now and again when I worked at a company on 42nd Street. That horse never seemed to want to let me stop petting him. They’re sweet, powerful creatures.
My racehorse research led me to several stables, including one with the intriguing name of Funky Munky Stable. I emailed Funky Munky, saying straight-out that I was just beginning to investigate the possibility of investing in a horse.
The name of the stable is a play on the surname of the owners, Richard and Karen Munk. Richard called me, catching me at home on Veteran’s Day, and I liked him at once. He said their stable wants the owners to have fun with the whole experience first, then explained how it all works. We began talking about a 2% investment.
Each racehorse in the stable has his own LLC. When they win, first and foremost, some of the winnings get put aside in case there’s a need to “float” the horse and handle any unforseen expenses he might incur. After that, quarterly, if the horse has a good season, the share owners get a piece of the action.
I invested in a mutual fund a little while back and that’s not giving me a fraction of the kind of returns that a horse might, so why not?
What I really liked about Richard Munk was that he had so much integrity. At one point I said I was thinking of investing 4%, as another stable I’d looked into would have required.
Where someone else might have wanted to take the whole 4% with open arms, Richard surprised me by saying no to that idea. “You don’t want to put 4% in one horse. If you have 4% to spend on it, it’s better to put 2% into two horses,” he explained, saying that increased the odds of winning and making what I like most, namely, a profit.
He also explained that harness racing horses run 25-40 times a year, whereas thoroughbreds only run 6-12 times. I like the odds with the harness racers better. I like the idea that there’s an owners’ party every year at a New York racetrack, too.
I decided I wanted in, and for a harness racehorse. My father said Uncle Jimmy would be so happy about this if only he were still here to hear about it. So Ladies and Gents, my first horse, who has a steady track record, is a handsome stallion named ADDWATER. Funky Munky Stable just acquired him in a claiming race, so he’s in good hands now. Naturally, I’m hoping Addwater will ADD-MOOLAH.
There will soon be another one. Richard’s getting the LLC ready for a beautiful yearling horse the stable just acquired, too. I can hardly wait.
And if you’re interested in buying a share of a racehorse and getting in on all the fun, I got the horse right here: Funky Munky Stable!