Welcome to the New Charles Davis Stables
Those that have known me for years may remember the original Charles Davis Stables and the Sir Chas Farm and Standardbred Training Facility that I had in King George Virginia 15 to 20 years ago or so. The farm had an ultra modern barn with 20 12×12 foot stalls. Each stall had rubber floor mats, an outside ventilation window, lighting, fly spray nozzle and an infrared heat lamp. Watering the horses was a snap as outside of each stall was a water connection. The barn aisle way was designed so that four horses could be tacked up and hooked to a jog cart at the same time. It was also possible to bathe four horses at once with temperature controlled water.
The grounds had eight different pastures ranging from an acre to 5 acres, plus a half dozen smaller turnouts. We had a ½ mile jog track, a high speed
exerciser and the first water walker. In hindsight, I should of filed for a patent for the water walker, they seem popular and expensive now. We normally had two or three outside horses being brought back from injuries.
Charles Davis Stables was one of the largest not owned by a trainer. Over the years, I had over 50 horses. I remember one weekend, where I had horses racing in Maryland, Virginia and Delaware off the farm. I had a horse racing at the Meadowlands with a local trainer and one at Buffalo with a trainer there the same weekend. The aftermath of the 9-11 attacks, caused the racing industry a great deal of damage and a shift in horses. My horses were doing very well against the local competition, but that changed when horses from the larger tracks started taking over. Suddenly my horses were not able to earn. The other local trainers saw the same impact. It was not long before I had to leave the industry.
When I left the industry and closed the farm and stable I “retired” 20 horses from racing. Twelve were active race horses, four broodmares and four weanlings. Each found a home away from racing, two stayed at the farm when I leased it out, the others to good homes.
The New Charles Davis Stables
That is ancient history, and now is now. I am not too proud to admit that I will never be in a position again to own a farm or even to own outright a few racehorses. Even one is too much of a risk. Realistically, you need to be able to handle a $4,000 a month lost for an extended period to even consider becoming an owner.
When I moved back to the states last year, one of my first side trips was to Buffalo to see the races and when Batavia downs opened for the season I started going there. I started thinking of looking for a possible partnership. I soon bought into a LLC and had a 2% interest in a standardbred 2 year old filly. I will not go into details about that transaction, let me just sum it up by saying I was not happy with the manner the LLC was organized and not comfortable with the trainer’s style.
The Harness Horse Breeders of New York State Association had a new owners seminar at Batavia downs so I signed up and went. My thoughts were I would get some insight on what had changed in the last decade and keep an ear out for a partnership. The seminar was outstanding. One topic briefly mentioned was the rise in fractional ownership. So it was off to hunt some more.
The Stable Ca.
Eventually I came across The Stable.ca. After trading a few emails with Anthony, I was impressed with the trainer and concept. I narrow my choices down to three and went to the winter open house to see the horses. I had told myself just 1%, so selecting which 1% that would be was hard. Sally De Vie got my nod and I purchased a 1% share. On the way home, I decided that my second choice was looking good too, so I also got 1% of Deweyann. When I had my own stable, I was in the barn (as a groom) helping out daily. I can not have that now, however, with the power of the internet I still can see what is going on with my horses. Email updates and posting on the web keeps me in touch. The drone footage during training was impressive. My horses have not started to race yet, but that happens with two year olds some are just not mature enough.
Recently, I picked up a share in my third choice Gouda Hanover. Followed by a share in another 2 year old Amicus. As I write this, I have not seen
Amicus race yet in person. I did watch him race live sitting at my computer. He currently racing in Ontario Canada only a three hour drive away so a trip is clearly in the near future.
Before you start thinking that I may get in over my head with the cost, let me put the 1% in balance. I took my mother to Olive Garden tonight, neither one of us felt like cooking. The food was good and the dinner came to about $43 with the tip. (no drinks). My 1% of Sally de Vie cost me $24 a month. If we had added an ice tea each to dinner, the meal would have been about the same as 2 months of training for Sally.
One of the other owners at the stable ca had this to say:
“I know regardless of what percentage of a horse I own, when I hand my license to security to go into the paddock I feel that I own 100% of the horse. I walk into that paddock like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever.”
This 1% approach moves ownership from a combination of pride of ownership and return on investment to one of pride of ownership and entertainment. When Yong and I went to the races decades ago, we were fans and loved every minute of it. I am still that fan and loving it.
The stableca manages about 50 horses each owned by fractional owners. In the next few months, a new yearling group will be added horse sale by horse sale.
On this website, I will be posting about my horses. I will likely also post a little about the old days. I will also be encouraging others to join the 1%.
The Future Charles Davis Stables
I really like this fractional ownership and will build a stable of 1% ownerships staying within a reasonable budget. I also hope that I can once again build some ties within the industry, maybe even find a nearby trainer that can use a part time groom. Hopefully that can lead to working towards my own trainers license down the road. If I was training my own horse then I can risk owning my own. Still I would keep my 1%s. — Charles Davis