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Finish Line Story – Chapter 1

John E. Howe

Every business has a story. Every story has a beginning. This is Finish Line’s story.

The company itself is a culmination of generations of techniques and homemade supplements and salves passed down amongst the Howe family, beginning in the late 1890’s with John Edward Howe, a Rough Rider with Theodore Roosevelt in Oklahoma territory. Yes, THE Theodore Roosevelt that would go on to be a leader of the free world. For those not aware, the Rough Riders were a group of Army volunteers widely known for their skills in managing horses. This is where John Edward Howe finessed his impeccable foundation of horse care. A foundation that little did he know would be the catalyst of the Finish Line® Horse Products some 70 or so years later. He did us great service by passing on the traditions he learned to his son Oscar Edward Howe.

Oscar trained horses during the Depression. In a time when everyone was struggling to make a buck, Oscar sharpened his skills to help horses on the track be in the condition to win. And a win could mean putting food on the table. Proving these methods worked, he lent his skills to his son John Casper Howe.

J.C. (as he was affectionally called on the track) used the familial wealth of knowledge given to him to enjoy a nearly 50-year-long career as a professional horse trainer at racetracks all across the South and Midwest. This was in the grand ol’ era where winning trainers would travel with maids and butlers. They’d live an extraordinary life if they won and if they didn’t? Well, let’s just say you better win.

Eventually, J.C.  became well-known for having sound horses with great legs and for being able to significantly improve their overall market value. His success was largely attributed to his talent and ability to create products that helped horses by using and altering the techniques passed down to him. His son, John R. Howe, watched his father reach podium-level heights using these family practices and decided that others deserved to be able to benefit from the products as well.

With the help of his colleagues and friends, John R. Howe created Finish Line in 1975 and still runs it to this day.

The industry has changed in many ways since the 1970’s and 80’s. There are now more personal and competition show horses than ever before. With the internet, the average horse owner has more information at their fingertips than one could imagine. As a result, consumers have a much better understanding of what their horses need, and they refuse to cut any corners when it comes to their health and performance. Finish Line® is proud to be committed to the horse, for the horse, because of their strong foundation. Their products will improve your horse – they guarantee it!

“I can’t explain the joy I feel knowing horses benefit from our products,” John R. Howe said. “We started in a garage and to know we grew to where we are today because of the products working – I have great pride in that!”

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