In less than two decades, society seemingly abandoned the analog realm and entered a digital one. By embracing smart devices and crypto, every aspect of our lives has been made easier, faster, and digital – even the most traditional hobbies such as horse racing, fine wines, and antique collecting. 

With more time for leisure, traditional hobbies are growing in popularity. But how has our digital world changed these hobbies for the better? And how can we benefit from these changes?

Smart devices, digital connections, and cryptocurrency have revolutionized every aspect of the world and our daily lives. They have even made pursuing and enjoying the most traditional hobbies easy.

There is virtually no corner of the Earth untouched. 

Leveraging either or both crypto and technology, an investor can become the owner of a highly competitive racehorse, locate rare antiques that can be purchased on the blockchain, and even captain a yacht without being tethered to the helm.

From Saudi royals to tech barons, horse racing is still the sport of kings

For as long as the combination of horses and man has been a singular force, the powerful have competed for prestige in chariot arenas, across deserts, and jousting tournaments.

Today, the desire to own a pure-blooded champion is no less relevant than when Alexander the Great conquered the world on the back of Bucephalus.

Even though the stakes have changed, the thrill of seeing your horse cross the finish line first has not.

When Prince Bandar bin Khalid Al Faisal set the purse for the Saudi Cup at $20 million in 2020, he created a world record for the winner to take away $10 million in winnings. 

For the highest-performing horses, annual events like The Kentucky Derby and The Dubai World Cup offer between $5 and $20 million in purse prizes.

Thus, thoroughbreds are not the average animal or asset; they are a multimillion-dollar investment that provides multidimensional ROI.

The cost of being a thoroughbred owner

Yearling sales at the best auctions in the USA attract excellent breeders and knowledgeable buyers. Buyers will pay in the six-figure range for untested, untrained yearlings bred from the bloodlines of champions.

However, the horse is only one element of the investment – the stable itself is an entire enterprise. 

On average, a yearling will cost at least $30,000 annually for stabling, care, and training fees, plus any significant vet costs.

Moving your investment from point A to point B must be done with the highest care and standards. Transportation by truck or air will run into at least the mid-five digits every year.

Finally, there are all the racing-related costs [to name a few]:

  • Handlers
  • Racing Equipment
  • Jockey fees
  • Race entry fees [which vary depending on the location and prestige of the race]

Bear in mind that the owner does not keep the entire purse when their horse wins. 

On average, the owner only keeps 50% to 60% of the advertised purse. The train, jockey, Barn Stake, and other minor players all get a cut of the purse. 

Then, there is the cost of investing in innovative technology to improve the overall chances of running against the odds. 

In the modern horse racing world, jockeys, trainers, and owners can utilize new wearable tech designed to monitor a horse’s biometric data and drones to measure its stride, gait, and form as it trains.

Trainers can then break this data down into training methodologies that help them shave precious seconds from the clock.

Start your flat racing legacy with a specialist syndicate

With as little as $10,000, anyone can experiment with owning a racehorse. 

The easiest way to start is to purchase a share of a racehorse with a prestigious specialist syndicate online – such as Highclere in the UK.

As a share owner, you enjoy ownership perks while their professional team takes care of the practicalities. Owning a share in a thoroughbred offers racing experience at the highest level in the UK and worldwide.

Becoming part of a small, select syndicate allows investors to be closely involved in the horse’s training and success as it races for top prizes. It also allows you to network – meet other owners at various events, and make new international business connections.

With a syndicate share, you can enjoy owning a pedigreed racehorse while living anywhere in the world without it costing a king’s ransom.

Build your own horse racing stable of NFT racehorses

If you like the idea of owning racehorses but not the idea of actually using real animals, there’s an app for that – ZEDRUN is the fusion of Web3 and flat racing.

ZEDRUN is a fun, futuristic horse racing game built on the blockchain that lets you own, trade, breed, and race NFT horses 24/7.

As popular as e-gaming and fantasy leagues have become, it is a no-brainer that the concept would find its way to thoroughbred horse racing.

The platform is straightforward and offers a familiar interface. You can register and create an account with your social media via their TORUS wallet, or if you already have a MetaMask or Coinbase account, you can connect that to the game.

ZEDRUN has 70,000 stable owners, and more than $75,000,000 in prize money has been distributed since the game’s inception in 2018.

Even more impressive, at its peak in 2021, a seller auctioned off one of their NFT horses for $125,000. Arguably, that owner did better than most real thoroughbred stables do. 

ZEDRUN offers anyone with Ethereum the opportunity to become a breeder, race against others for prize money, and potentially earn actual ROI on their investment and time. 

Once you have bought your first NFT horse, you’ll race it in a maiden race to determine its rank. 

Then, you will compete against 11 other horses of equal ranking. Each race is grouped by class based on your horse’s previous performance.

It is a very real-life representation of how actual horse racing operates. 

The site uses a fairness-based algorithm to run the races with 10,000 random outcomes. Whether you win or lose, online reviews confirm that it’s addictive and fun.

Curate your antique collection with crypto

Collecting antiques is a unique way to express your heritage, highlight your style, and explore history.

Every piece on the market contains its own story. For example, it could be connected to famous historical people, like the bottle of Château Margaux that was said to have belonged to Thomas Jefferson, valued at $519,750, and famously broken just before auction.

Auction houses steer the past into a safer future

Traditionally, tracking the passage of an antique through time has been challenging. Its authenticity is usually dependent upon the expertise of several professionals. With cryptocurrency, antique collecting offers buyers more security and traceability.

Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and London Fine Antiques all offer payment in cryptocurrency.

With blockchain now part of these major auction houses’ purchase portfolios, items can be tracked, and their authenticity documented on the private market.

In addition, apps have been designed to document provenance and allow potential buyers and investors to search for items listed by top antique dealers. 

For example, the Auction Technology Group is a dominant force in this niche industry and has extended its innovative reach to the world of antique collecting and auctions.

Antique collecting is more than just large pieces of furniture. Smaller items include:

  • Luxury watches
  • Jewelry
  • Maps
  • Books
  • Paintings
  • Sculptures

Some trendy categories that collectors are currently seeking include:

  • African and Middle Eastern textiles: Including handwoven rugs, wraps, and shawls. These pieces are equally precious as they are rare
  • Georgian glass: Hand-blown and finished with precision and understated elegance, Georgian glass is the ultimate antique glassware
  • Japanese Imari porcelain: Bright-colored porcelain from two empirical eras: the mid-Edo period between the second half of the 17th century and the first half of the 18th century and the Meiji era of the late 19th century
  • African tribal art: In a stunning case of mistaking art as junk, an elderly French couple sold a rare Ngil mask made by the Fang people of Gabon for €150 only to learn it was sold to a collector for €4.2 million
  • Ancient world coins: Coins from ancient civilizations, such as Greece and the Roman Empire
  • Rare wines: Owning one of the last bottles of a rare vintage is one of the greatest pleasures and privileges. The record for the most expensive bottle of wine bought on auction goes to a 1945 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, which sold for $558,000 in 2018.
  • Lighting: 20th-century Scandinavian lamps are some of the most desirable items for modern collectors. The Danish design icon Louis Poulsen and his Artichoke Lamp is still one of the most coveted pieces

New era of smart innovative yachting

Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or thinking about taking a break in the sun on a chartered yacht, sailing is the freedom to roam and explore the world on your terms.

One of the best places to sail is along the island chain of the Caribbean’s Lesser Antilles. With an idyllic climate, pristine white sand beaches, and crystal clear waters, you’ll be spoiled by the incredible anchorages and ports of call. 

Yacht ownership and captaining come with their own set of pleasures. Previously, analog consoles required a large crew to man the helm constantly. 

With innovative smart technology, it is now possible to connect to the yacht’s digital console and monitor the helm from anywhere on the vessel. 

Some of the most popular devices for captains are produced by the Garmin – a company whose roots are intertwined the navigation and technology.

Once you connect a Garmin or similar smart device to the yacht’s network, you can easily:

  • View data position, speed, water depth, engine RPM, wind, and more
  • Change heading, engage pattern steering, and follow a GPS route
  • Get alerts for imminent tide changes and anchor drag
  • Mark waypoints and chart your course

Wearable tech allows you to control your yacht’s systems wherever you are, including onshore.

Astons – Fusing industry leadership with contemporary client needs

For over three decades, Astons has played a central role in molding our industry and implementing new technologies that create a better, more secure, and enhanced privacy for our clients.

For collectors and investors, assets are a pivotal element of their personal pleasure and passion, but also their wealth. Protecting that wealth can be greatly enhanced by the ability to hold, store, purchase, and even insure it by leveraging the power of a backup residency or Plan B citizenship and identity.

Schedule your Free Confidential and Comprehensive Consultation with Astons today to find out what options and solutions are available for you to capitalize on.