Footballers who love racing

Footballers who love racing

Horse racing is a sport that is loved by people from all walks of life including current and former football players and managers.

Many Premier League stars are often seen attending the big racing festivals as well as the smaller days out at their local courses. Chester races in particular has proven a popular destination which is no surprise with the course being close to both the footballing hotbeds of Liverpool and Manchester.

While many simply love a day out at the races, some have taken their interest further and gone into racehorse ownership.


Michael Owen

Zara Philips presents Michael Owen and Andrew Black the 2013 Goodwood Cup (won by Brown Panther)

The former England footballer and pundit is racing mad and has even carved out a new career for himself in the sport. The striker invested in a 174-acre estate and built state of the art facilities, called Manor House Stables, which trainer Tom Dascombe now operates out of.

Owen’s best horse as an owner was the stayer Brown Panther; he was bred by Owen and he went to win the Dubai Gold Cup in 2015. Other high profile wins include the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Irish St Ledger at The Curragh all with Brown Panther.

Owen says that his new job as an owner is a lot more nerve wracking than being a professional footballer and was even seen tearful after winning at Royal Ascot!

Sir Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson chatting to Ruby Walsh

Sir Alex’s accomplishments in football are unparalleled winning 38 major trophies in a 26 year career as a manager; but did you know he is a big racing fan and successful racehorse owner? Sir Alex’s passion for horse racing is as genuine as his love of Manchester United, injury time goals and red wine.

Ferguson has had been involved in ownership since 1999 and has had runners in both the Grand National (Harry The Viking) and Cheltenham (What A Friend ran several times).

However his most successful horse was by some distance the Aidan O’Brien-trained Rock of Gibraltar. The miler was a total superstar, winning 8 Group Ones on the trot in 2001, including both the English and Irish 2000 Guineas.


Wayne Rooney

Wayne and Coleen Rooney enjoying Chester races despite the rain

Wayne Rooney has owned three horses over the years, although he’s not had the same success in racehorse ownership compared to his accomplishments at Manchester United!

His latest horse Announcement has showed the fiery antics that Rooney himself showed early on in his career, Announcement is part owned with teammate Michael Carrick and former teammates John O’Shea and Jonny Evans.

Sir Alex’s passion for racing has obviously rubbed off on the Manchester United players!


Ian Wright

Ian Wright and Sir AP McCoy with Born To Finish

The ex-England and former Arsenal forward is part of the ownership syndicate Crowd Racing Partnership who own Born To Finish. The syndicate got off to a flyer, achieving a hat-trick of wins in the first two weeks at the start of this year (two at Lingfield and one at Kempton).

Ian Wright commented on his ownership experience: “It’s my first go at ownership and I’m in the group with people and it’s really nice when you’re with everybody they’re all so excited about it because we all have a little piece of him. A hat trick of wins was unbelievable.”

Check out Ian Wright and Sir AP McCoy going head to head in a footballing challenge.

Joey Barton

Joey Barton and his horse Crying Lightening after winning at Leicester

The Liverpudlian bad boy footballer returned to the premier league this season, playing for Burnley.

Barton has owned a few racehorses and he has an unusual way of naming them. One of his favourite bands is the Arctic Monkeys so he names his horses after his favourite songs by the band, including Crying Lightening (pictured above) and My Propeller.

Racing is very much a hobby for Barton at the moment but once he officially calls time on his career, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him increase his profile in the sport.


Thomas Muller

Credit: Pinterest –

One of the most successful footballers playing today, Thomas Muller has won the World Cup, the Golden Boot (most goals in a world cup) in 2010, the Champions League and numerous German domestic titles.

Muller is known to be a bit of joker and naming his horse “Dave” is a testament to his character. Horses are part of the Muller family, his wife is a top dressage rider and they own a yard where he has given himself the title of managing director.


Other notable mentions who are keen racegoers and owners include Harry Redknapp, Michael Carrick, Robbie Fowler, Rio Ferdinand, Charlie Austen, Sergio Ramos, Diego Maradona and many, many more!

Harry Redknapp (Credit @Redknapp). Sergio Ramos (C Daily Express). Diego Maradona (C Daily Express). Robbie Fowler (C Daily Star). Charlie Fowler (C Daily Star). Michael Carrick (C Metro). Rio Ferdinand (C Sky Sports). Steve McManaman (C Daily Post)

You don’t have to be as wealthy as these footballers to get into ownership. Shared racehorse ownership can cost as little as £100 per share, it’s also a great way to have a fun, sociable time with like-minded people, get closer to action and gain exclusive access to the trainer’s yard.

If this tickles your fancy, check out In The Paddock where you can find your nearest racehorse syndicate, trainer and much more.