What happens when to a racehorse when it is no longer racing? That seems to be a question that weighs heavily on a lot of minds these days. Enter Final Furlong with the answer to this question.
Final Furlong is a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting owners and trainers find homes for their four-legged athletes when they are ready to retire from racing. Final Furlong, along with the racing community, understands that thoroughbreds are a particularly athletic breed suitable for other disciplines. Just because a horse has finished its racing career does not mean that they stop being an athlete, a companion, or someone’s best friend.

Final Furlong opens a door that was once hidden to most buyers. Years ago, you had to “know a person” who knew someone connected to the racing industry to be granted a look at a horse for sale. Now you just need to know Final Furlong. Providing a free posting service to horsemen and utilizing social media outlets; Final Furlong takes pictures, collects information and posts it for prospective buyers to see; and their audience is growing!

In 2019 Final Furlong along with the support of Assiniboia Downs and The HBPA of Manitoba kicked it up a notch with the first (of hopefully many) Showcase, that was held in the paddock of Assiniboia Downs. The date was set, advertised via social media and a group of horses and handlers took center stage in front of a group of prospective buyers from all over Canada and even some of the United States. It was showtime and our horsemen and horses did not disappoint.

The showcase allowed a large group of people to view a large group of horses at one time. This approach of viewing helps the busy horse professionals by relieving some stress from the trainers that would typically have to show a horse to individuals multiple times.

The Showcase also had supporters from Tribute Feeds, Elders Equine, and horse transportation services, all for the prospective buyer’s convenience. Final Furlong had a wonderful group of volunteers assisting in organizing, selling Final Furlong merchandise, answering questions, handling horses and providing direction to the large crowd as well as directing the real stars of the show, the horses.

It was incredible to see the horse community along with the racing community come together and volunteer, showing their support for this wonderful organization. The Showcase was a hit and most importantly the horses found wonderful homes. Great job everyone!

It has been noted that this was the first year in recent memory that the demand for Off the track thoroughbreds outweighed the number of horses for sale. A pleasant trend that shows the understanding of what amazing and versatile horses’ thoroughbreds are. No doubt this organization has had a hand in this as well. Educating the public on the versatility, athleticism, and abilities of these amazing animals is just one of the many services that Final Furlong provides on behalf of thoroughbreds.

This organization is growing by adding incentives for our retired friends like the addition of awards for Final Furlong graduates, a prospective clinic on TB aftercare and competitions for OTTBs. By promoting their efforts on social media they are gaining and reaching a wider audience. This is very exciting; there is no doubt the racing community will continue to keep an eye out for old friends by following along online as they continue to grow into their new homes and careers.

With continued support there is no end to what Final Furlong and the racing community can accomplish together. To quote George Williams, “Thank you, said every horse.”

If you are interested in information or donating to this outstanding organization, you can contact them by email; finalfurlong@hotmail.ca

The HBPA of Manitoba is a proud supporter of Final Furlong and their efforts. To find out more about Final Furlong please visit them at: https://www.facebook.com/FinalFurlongCanada/