Expert Reveals Why Rich People Are Acquiring Race Horses

Millionaires who currently do not have the billions that can help them purchase their personal sports team have begun to spend millions on alternatively buying racehorses. According to Keeneland Racing’s racing and sales’ Vice president, Bob Ellison, a lot of excitement comes with being the owner of Thoroughbred horses.

Ellison mentioned that the millionaires are so enthusiastic about getting a good deal and that has willingly made them spend so much on high-quality horses. According to him, twenty-seven horses at the sale were sold for one million dollars or above. 14 of the buyers were international buyers while 13 of them were from the US. Three other horses were sold for over $2 million while there was a yearling that sold for $2.4 million. In summary, the buyers spent about $377 million on the purchase of about 3,000 yearlings.

Expensive Hobby

Ellison mentioned that this activity is a form of investment but added that acquiring race horses didn’t just become a hobby for the richest people all around the world. It can sometimes cost several thousands of dollars to acquire prized horses.

Polo, considered to be the sport for kings, is most times regarded as a hobby for members of the upper class. It is one where the elite gather to have cocktails and also socialize as they watch the sport. Yearly, socialites, designers, and Hollywood stars attend the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic. In fact, Chinese billionaires are reportedly beginning to see Polo as the new elite sport.

It is at the Kentucky Derby that some horses purchased at the Keeneland Sale compete. Ellison noted that the famous guests here  include Peter Brand ruling houses from the Middle East, Bobby Flay, George Strawbridge and Charlotte Webber,

The Vice president of UAE, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, reportedly purchased 27 yearlings for about twenty million dollars at this year’s sale. The total purchases included seven yearlings he bought for over a million dollars. The Vice President is considered one of the biggest owners of such horses in the world. He also owns a huge stable and different racing operations. Sheikh Hamdan, his brother, also bought 19 horses spending over $12 million.

Investment Opportunity

It is important to examine if these horse purchases have the potentials and can eventually become money makers for their buyers. Ellison noted that the possibility of that is dependent on the extent to which the horses race after they are sold. For instance, Justify was purchased for $500,000 and after it won the Triple Crown for this year, the horse is now worth a whopping $75 million.

Generally, breeders put in much effort into grooming horses for top sales as well as promising returns, be it through natural practices or commercial practices. According to Ellison, some breeders treat horses as is if they were tomatoes as they polish and feed them in an environment that is highly controlled, while some other breeders prefer to raise horses in the field. He added that irrespective of the method that the breeders used for raising the horses this year, the horses appeared to have more mass and are more athletically built.

Ellison added that while some buyers are particular about the size of the horse, how it looks racing, how its coat looks and how muscular it is, other buyers are particular about a horse that can run on grass and so want to know how fast the horses can finally transition to a race track.

Ellison, however, stated that there are some things buyers ought to consider to increase their chances of getting a better return. One of such is that colts, i.e. male horses, are generally worth more than fillies or mares (female horses).

Also, purchasing more than a yearling at each sale increases the chances of winning. Also the pedigree of the yearling matters.

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Pay for elderly to live in care homes in lower income countries, rich nations advised


Rich nations should consider paying for elderly people to live in care homes in lower income countries in a bid to ease the pressure on domestic residential and nursing care provision, argues an ethicist in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

Providing such a move wouldn’t disadvantage local residents, and that appropriate quality checks could be made, this policy would enable older citizens to access affordable and decent care when they need it, contends Dr. Bouke de Vries, University of Umeå, Sweden.

The reality is that many higher-income countries are struggling to provide affordable and decent care for their relatively old and ageing populations, says De Vries.

Something has to be done, and there are already examples of German and Swiss citizens who have opted to live in care homes in Eastern Europe and South East Asia, he points out.

Paying for provision in lower income countries would be morally acceptable if five criteria are met he suggests:

a significant proportion of citizens don’t currently have access to adequate residential or nursing carethe care in homes abroad isn’t worse than that provided in domestic care homessending states conduct regular quality checks or delegate this to reliable local monitoring bodiesappropriate steps are taken to ensure that this type of migration doesn’t disadvantage local residents in the receiving countriesthe public money allocated for this isn’t better spent on other ways of easing the pressure on domestic care/nursing homes

How much a richer nation should pay will depend on several factors, he suggests. These include its wealth; the magnitude of the strain on domestic provision; and how much the public purse will save, as well as the amount of taxpayers’ money needed to convince citizens to make the move, to monitor the quality of those care homes, and to offset any disadvantage to local citizens.

This disadvantage might include fierce competition for care home places that would otherwise be available to locals and/or increasing the costs of residential care, because of the ability of migrants from richer countries to afford higher prices.

But this could be overcome by the sending countries subsidising the construction of affordable care homes for local people or building care homes within the receiving countries that partly if not wholly accommodate their own citizens, suggests De Vries.

In a linked blog, De Vries acknowledges that this migration policy is not the only solution to the crisis facing elderly care.

Others include paying formal caregivers more; providing better support to informal caregivers; and investing in robot caregivers and other forms of assistive technology. But he nevertheless believes his solution shows “great promise.”

Some people might object on the grounds that the policy might put undue pressure on people on lower incomes to migrate while others might simply feel that it is unpalatable.

“My proposal for higher-income countries to pay their residents to move to care homes within lower-income countries will undoubtedly prove controversial,” he accepts.

But should it, if the eligibility criteria are strictly adhered to? he asks.

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