Fresh from winning the Best Actor gong at Tropfest on Saturday night for his film Combination Fried Rice, actor Hugo Johnstone-Burt took some time out to pen a letter about his miRunners ownership experience.
My name is Hugo Johnstone-Burt and I’ve been a professional actor since 2009. I’ve done a few shows and films including San Andreas with Dwayne Johnson and The Wrong Girl on Network Ten. I’m also into my writing and as of last year I’m a racehorse owner with miRunners.
I’m going to be deadly honest with you. Before becoming an owner, the most experience I’d had with horses is going to the races: I’m not like a lot of people who have grown up around horses or have been show-jumping since they were kids and things like that but at miRunners that doesn’t matter.
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miRunners is all about giving the everyday Australian the chance to become an owner, whether they have history in racing or not. You don’t have to be someone who has grown up around horses to appreciate what the miRunners program does: if you’re an everyday person that likes going to the races, likes putting on a suit or a frock and having a good time while watching some races – then this is exactly right for you.
I got involved in ownership when I went with my partner Julie Snook [who has been on board with miRunners from the start] to Emeran Park to have a look at Saganaki and the experience was second to none.
The amount of time the stable gave us, invested in us an how welcome they made us feel was incredible, especially as I wasn’t even on board at this point! I saw these beautiful training grounds where the horses trained, I saw the love and attention that were put into these horses by the staff and I learnt a lot about horse physio and the life of a racehorse.
I walked away saying “I really need to be a part of this” so I signed up and I’m so glad I did because the miRunners ownership experience has really put me in the mix of Saganaki’s journey as a racehorse.
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I’ve got plenty of friends who invest in racehorses and they own 5% in whoever but they’re basically a silent partner: they get to chuck in their money every month but they never get to see the horse in person, they never get to go and see it, they never get to meet its physio and they never get to watch it just bolting around a paddock. All they can do is sit in the stands on race day, say “Hey, that’s my horse there” and use binoculars to check it out. In comparison, what I have as part of miRunners is so involved, it’s just a wonderful thing.
You really, really are part of the team. Racing is not something I’ve grown up with but it’s something that I thoroughly enjoy and when I get that experience and am treated as part of the team it just makes the whole experience so much better.
It’s going to be pretty emotional when I see him run for the first time. To to be part of something – anything in the world – from the start and see it flower and grow is a special thing. Especially when it’s something like a racehorse. And at miRunners we’re not dealing with any old horse: we’re dealing with horses that have a great lineage, a great history and that’s another big drawcard – that I know I’m getting quality when I own a horse through miRunners.
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If you’re thinking about becoming an owner and you’re thinking about miRunners I suggest signing up: you’ll get a quality horse and you really will feel part of the team. You only need to have one unit in the horse and you really feel like it’s your horse: especially with the ability to see the horse in the flesh, see it in training, see it resting, see it have its tantrums etc. It truly is wonderful.
For the full ownership experience head to Our Stable, choose your horse or trainer and follow the prompts to sign-up. The full ownership experience is available from just $275 a unit plus $15 a month for your first unit. Fees are $5 for any additional units in the same horse.