The final accounting has been done and we reached 178 members this season! A really nice increase over last season and that means our coffers have $44,500 from our members plus our licensed owner Curt Sampson’s $5,000, gives us $49,500 to start the season with.
I have already been in touch with Clay Brinson and we are actively looking for horses in the $7500 – $10,000 range. We will be looking for two to start and then perhaps even a third depending upon how things go. I like to have a nice reserve in the bank and make sure that several months of bills are in storage before we go forward to buy another horse.
One of the earliest – and most expensive – lessons that new owners learn is how expenses can mount up and how quickly reserves can be exhausted if you’re not careful. It’s important not to overextend. While this is a game supported by wagering and we do make a gamble when we claim a horse, finances are an area where gambling should be kept to a minimum.
So the next step is to get us a couple of swift runners that can carry us to the Mystic Lake Winners’ Circle. As I believe I mentioned in a past post, we like to claim in a range where there is some room to drop in class if we have to in order to keep the horse competitive. If you claim at the bottom, there is no room to drop if you realize that the speed isn’t there and then you have a problem. I also like to see some consistency – not a lot of long layoffs as well as a horse that is nearly always in the hunt. I like to agree with our trainer! If Clay doesn’t like a horse, for whatever the reason, I will nearly always defer. The horse is in his care, will be in his barn and he is the professional we entrust to train and evaluate the talent of our runners. If I could do THAT part of the business, I’d be a trainer – obviously I am not. And finally I’d like to see a recent 30-day break – or at least a horse that hasn’t been over-raced – which indicates to me that the horse won’t need freshening during our relatively short meet here at Canterbury.
This was a record breaking year for membership and each and every year the Club has been in existence it has grown. Here’s hoping we break some wins and earnings records as well!