How A Group of Dressage Students Helped Their Trainer Keep a Special Horse!

The Team Romantic Syndication

It's a familiar site at dressage shows in Florida and New England. Whenever partners Bill McMullin or Bill Warren prepare to compete, there is a crowd of students, friends, and family surrounding them, flocking ringside to cheer their trainers on. And "the Bills" of Warren-McMullin Dressage do the same for their students. Bill Warren's progress on Pineland Farm's Oldenburg, Romantic ( by Rohdiamant) was so successful, that the horse was to be offered for sale. This had always been part of the plan, but Warren admitted he had fallen in love, again, with a horse. "We are not very good when it come to horse sales," grinned Warren, "because we usually end up falling in love with the horses we buy or train."

One of Warren/McMullin’s students, and friend Donna Cameron, an attorney, decided to do something about it. She put together a syndicate with a large part of the Warren/McMullin fan club, and shared with DressageDaily how it worked.

During the 2005 winter season in Wellington, we had the distinct privilege of watching Bill Warren train, ride and show Romantic, a 7-year old Oldenburg gelding whom Pineland Farms of Maine offered for sale. Those of us who knew Bill well were aware that he was very attached to this lovely horse and that he wanted to keep Romantic if he could only find a way. It occurred to us that we could put together a syndicate and make an offer to Pineland Farms before some lucky purchaser whisked Romantic away from Bill and all of us.

We knew that syndicates are more common in the racehorse and breeding stallion arenas, but we were determined to apply the same principles to the purchase and ownership of Romantic. Therefore, we formed a limited liability company in Massachusetts (where most of live during the year) and drafted up an operating agreement to govern the terms of our involvement with Romantic, with Bill and with each other. The purpose of the company we formed is to purchase, keep, train, show and ultimately offer Romantic for sale in order to recoup our initial investment and the expenses of maintaining Romantic as he progresses in his career.

Basically, thirteen of us (who are all friends, followers, or students of Bill) created the syndicate to combine a group of like-minded dressage enthusiasts who all want to see Bill and Romantic reach their highest potential both in the United States and internationally. Bill and his partner, Bill McMullin, also participate in the syndicate as owners so that they are literally and figuratively invested in the enterprise. In addition, we elected Bill Warren as the manager of the syndicate so that he would be accountable to the syndicate owners for the continued performance and training of the horse, as well as the management of expenses.