Page 43 - NM Winter 2023
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                   “There are many times when I wish my business had grown larger, faster. But, at the same time, I never want it so large that I have five or six, or more, strings scattered across the country. That means a list of assistant trainers. Then, before I know it, I can no longer manage things the way I want. If the operation gets that big, about all I do is ride around and check on everything. I’m no longer hands-on, and I’m no longer involved directly with the horses or with the clients. That’s not what I want.”
Fincher’s owners demonstrate an obvious sense of pride when asked the name of the person responsible for the care and well-being of their horses. Most of them share personal as well as business relationships with him.
Many of his client’s own partnership horses with Fincher. The clients who are involved with broodmares seek his direction when it’s time to select a stallion. They listen to him when he advises to sell or to keep the resulting babies. They also listen to his advice when it comes to purchasing yearlings, privately or through the sales ring.
Fincher is honest about the mares he breeds on his own, defining himself as a market breeder. “I sell everything I breed,” he said.
“The reason is simple – I believe New Mexico needs breeders as much as we need new incentives. I want to contribute positively.”
Fincher is a stand-up kind of guy. He does what he does because he loves it, and he wants to do it right for as long as he does it.
“This is not an instant gratification business,” he said. “You’ll have a much better ride if you don’t skip any of the steps. I usually have a pretty good assessment of a horse’s potential by the third or fourth work. None
of them ever come together at the same time, but I can tell you the ones with no talent are usually spotted quickly.
“Every horse’s mental aspect is critical. Gain an individual’s trust and keep it. Then make sure he’s happy and healthy. Teach him what it means to be competitive and, eventually, most of these horses will honestly give you whatever they have.
“Being honest, to me, covers a lot of territory. It includes honesty about the horse’s current talent as well as his potential. It also includes giving each horse in the barn a fair evaluation so it can be placed in the right race at the right time, and at the right track. There are a lot of things riding on a horse’s
performance – his reputation, the value of his sire and dam, the reputation of his breeder,
of his owner(s), of his trainer and jockey, and even the area of the country he represents. All that, and more, rides on each horse. It’s a lot to think about.”
Fincher didn’t set out to be a Quarter Horse or Thoroughbred trainer. He has, and will, trained both. “I think a trainer gets labeled,” he said. “It’s just one of those things that happens, but I’ve done well with both breeds over the years.”
At 51 and being a part of the racing industry since birth (literally), Fincher has lived a life of headlines. He’s tested fresh waters along the way, and for the most part, those experiments have worked well. One
of the reasons for his trail of success stories
in new environments is his consistency in applying his self-imposed rules – his honesty, his ironclad word, putting his horses where they should be when they should be there, and remembering each horse he sends out wears the colors of an entire cast of characters. No one wants to be embarrassed.
Fincher is best known in New Mexico, but some of those fresh waters we just
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