Talkin' Horses - Live Discussions

Cot Campbell Dogwood Stable

Wednesday October 18, 2006

When Dogwood Stable president Cot Campbell first conceived the idea of ownership of Thoroughbred racehorses through participation in group partnerships, he stepped out onto a new playing field alone—destined ever after to be known as the “father of Thoroughbred racing partnerships” as well as one of the most successful practitioners of the method he created in 1969.

Now—more than three decades and 70-plus stakes winners later—Campbell’s Aiken, SC-based Dogwood Stable has formed and managed partnerships that have campaigned a stable of runners that includes BC Juvenile Fillies winner and champion 2YO Filly Storm Song, Preakness winner—and Kentucky Derby runner-up—Summer  Squall, Eclipse Award Steeplechase champion Inlander, Smok’n Frolic, Trippi, and Limehouse, with a current roster that includes among its 61 runners the highly-regarded and likely Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies starter Cotton Blossom.

Campbell is also one of the most honored members of the Thoroughbred community. Among the honors bestowed upon Dogwood’s founder are the John W. Galbreath Award for “exceptional entrepreneurial and management skills” in the equine industry and the Clay Puett Award (University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program’s 30th annual Symposium). Campbell was feted as the 2004 Honor Guest of the Thoroughbred Club of America and named chairman of the Sales Integrity Task Force that produced the TOBA Code of Ethics for Thoroughbred Auctions in December of that same year.

The author of two books published by Eclipse Press (Lightning in a Jar and Rascals and Racehorses), Campbell is currently at work on his autobiography--which is tentatively entitled Memoirs of a Long Shot....A Riproarious Life--with publication plans yet to be announced. Cot is also an active presenter of awards in his own rite, having created and bestowed Dogwood Stable’s Dominion Award upon deserving backstretch workers and unsung heroes of racing since its inception in 1993.

Bellefountaine, OH:
Your books and your Web site are always such a pleasure to read! I especially enjoy Anne's comments. My fiancée and I share a love for horses and the racetrack. We are talking about joining a syndicate in the near future as we are moving to Louisville. What would you recommend as far as a get our feet wet scenario? Kate

Buy what you can afford, of course, and don’t spend money that you’re going to have to be frantic about. Do your homework, get some references from the syndicate manager, and feel good about the chemistry between you and that manager and you and the horse or horses. Don’t go too cheap - better to forget the whole thing. But again, don’t be desperately dependent on success. It is hard to come by.

Teaneck, NJ:
What do you think is a reasonable price mark-up of a partnership horse? For example, if a yearling costs $500,000, how much should the paper value of that asset be after partnership shares are sold?

We try to buy a horse at public auction that has fallen between the cracks. We seek a bargain and we hope when marked up and presented to our prospects we can justify the cost of the horse based on the average yearling price for that sire’s progeny. In other words, if after being marked up does the conformation of the horse and the pedigree make the price tag inflated. Based on that there may have been a 20 percent mark-up or there may have been a 60 or 70 percent mark-up. Hypothetically, a $500,000 yearling (a higher price than we ever pay) would be presented for $575,000 or $600,000.

Best of Talkin HorsesTo read the complete transcript of this chat, along with many others, check out Best of Talkiní Horses.

Best of Talkin’ Horses features provocative “chats” with some of Thoroughbred racing’s most prominent names. Adapted from “Talkin’ Horses,” the popular weekly online chat series hosted by, this edited collection provides additional insights by Ron Mitchell, editor and moderator of “Talkin’ Horses."


Editor's Note: moderators retain editorial control over Talkin' Horses discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests; guests may decline to answer questions. Opinions expressed by guests of Talkin' Horses are those of the guest and do not represent the opinions of Blood-Horse Publications, its employees, associates, or affiliated organizations. Guests, dates, and times of Talkin' Horses discussions are subject to change.