Surfing the Internet early on a summer day in 2018, Suzanne Henry of Edmonton found the Facebook page of Final Furlong, a Winnipeg listing service founded almost a decade ago by April Keedian and Emily Johnson who have been joined by Jan Melnychuk.
Final Furlong offers a free horse listing service to owners/trainers at Assiniboia Downs, offering videos and photos of horses at no charge to help Assiniboia horses find their next career, promote thoroughbred horses in the province and offer a resource for new and potential Off Track Thoroughbred (OTTB) owners.
Keen to get back into riding after years of schooling in pharmacy, Henry, with the help of her riding coach Sarah Frostad, spotted a mare named Something Posative, a Manitoba bred by Battle Cat who had recently rejoined Final Furlong after her first adopter could no longer keep her.
“She was very beautiful and looked like she had good movement and conformation,” said Henry, 29. “Of course, here I was ordering a horse over the Internet. I thought to myself, ‘Am I crazy?’”
Something Posative, bred by Robert James McGee, raced briefly for McGee before trainer Lise Pruitt bought her in 2016. The beautifully-bred mare, whose dam Alexandrine is a daughter of U.S. champion Slew o’ Gold, won four races for Pruitt and placed in 13 others. She earned over $32,000 in a racing career that spanned five years.
Pruitt originally retired the dark bay mare in 2017, had her listed on Final Furlong and transferred her to an adopter. When she was returned later that year, Pruit brought her back to the races. Something Posative remained on the Final Furlong list of available horses.
“I was interested in adopting her, but Lise was racing her once more,” said Henry. “So I watched her in the race and I even placed a bet on her.”
Something Posative finished fifth in that final start on June 23, 2018 and by Canada Day, Henry greeted her when she stepped off the van from Winnipeg. “There were several horses on the van and I watched and waited with anticipation. When she came off the trailer I thought she was even prettier in person.”
Henry, who grew up riding in pony clubs in Grande Prairie, took her time getting to know her new mare, nicknamed Bobbi, before beginning trail riding and lessons with Frostad for eventing and cross country.
“She is just so level-headed and laid back,” said Henry. “She really liked the trail riding and the lessons.”
This past May, the pair were in their first schooling show at Minds Eye Ranch in Morinville.
“It was incredible. All the commotion with the other horses at the show didn’t bother her at all. She did great.”
Henry, who sends Pruitt and Final Furlong regular updates on Bobbi’s post-racing career, can’t hide her joy when she talks about how easily the mare transitioned for racehorse to eventer and cross-country ace.
“There is no way I was expecting to be showing her already, a year after getting her,” said Henry. “I am just amazed at how well she has done.”