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  • Writer's pictureBrian Cross

Owners' groups the winner when Gatecrasher clears maidens

Gatecrasher’s deserved win at Nelson recently was due reward for a large group of owners who have watched their pride and joy running a place six times before breaking through.


Some of Gatecrasher's owners were on course at Nelson to enjoy his breakthrough win


Trent Yesberg purchased the Bettor’s Delight – We Love To Party now 4yo at the 2021 Auckland Yearling Sale for $50,000. Gatecrasher would then become one of the first Ripple Creek horses promoted for multiple ownership. When the gelding’s day finally arrived at Nelson, his loyal followers made sure there was plenty of celebratory noise. There’s unquestionably plenty more fun in store for the connections, many of whom turn out at every opportunity to see him race.


Trent has long had faith in Paulie as he’s affectionately known, and that’s been backed up by consistent performances on the track. Interviewed after the race by Harness Racing Unhinged’s Nigel Armstrong, Trent commented: “it’s taken a bit of time to build his confidence and get his gait sorted, but once the penny drops he’ll be onwards and upwards.” 


Paulie has shown a lot of courage too, which all bodes well for the Gatecrasher team now he has that first win under his belt. “I think he’ll do a really lovely job,” said Trent.


In all 18 people have shares in Gatecrasher ranging from 2.5% to 10%. Among the group are two syndicates – one external and one managed internally. “While there are restrictions on our ability to promote syndicates, we make the option available to people who only want a small interest,” says Trent. “The HRNZ limitation of 10 named owners means some ownership grouping is often necessary so we don’t have to turn people away. “


Since those early days of proactively working to expand the client base, a further six Ripple Creek syndicates have been in ownership of the stable’s horses. “We now have over 130 active clients, about half of them members of syndicates” continues Trent.


Ripple Creek syndicates have their own sets of Rules based on HRNZ guidelines, with member funds held in separate bank accounts for each horse, and with monthly income and expenditure reports for full transparency. 


“Along with our regular audio reports direct from the stable, our syndicate managers Brian Cross and Chris Brown keep members engaged. All the feedback on the way our syndicates operate has been positive, says Trent”.


Trent talks to new owners about their purchase after trackwork at one of Ripple Creek's regular Open Days


If a group of friends want to pool resources and set up their own syndicates, we are happy to guide them through the process and provide support. Such was the case with thoroughbred acquisition Diamond Alley. A group of South Auckland mates got together to form Up The Wahs Syndicate as part-owners. Such was their enthusiasm we now have Up The Wahs Syndicate No. 2 as well, with a share on our latest thoroughbred Heading To Noosa.


“It’s important for our business that we can accommodate all budgets,” says Trent. “Word of mouth is an important customer source, and of course big trees out of acorns grow.” 


As a footnote to this year’s Nelson harness racing meeting, as well as training Gatecrasher to win, Trent had early involvement with two other winners on the second day. Debut winner Queen Of Swords was a Ripple Creek purchase for clients at the 2021 NZ Bloodstock Weanling Sale, while Trent sold Fourth Amendment through the 2019 Christchurch Yearling Sale. 


Ripple Creek has a draft of 12 horses in the 2024 NZ Bloodstock Standardbred Yearling Sales to be held in February. Trent plans to be an active buyer there too. We welcome existing and new owners aboard when we shortly put our next crop of ownership groups together.

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