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Dr. Furlong Returns for 4th Year as Intercontinental Sport Horse Auction Chief Veterinarian

Wellington, FL – January 10, 2007 – Nona Garson and The Ridge Farm have announced that Dr. Brendan Furlong will work with the Intercontinental Sport Horse Auction for the fourth year. The auction, rescheduled for February 23, 2007, at The Ridge Farm in Wellington, FL, offers an elite selection of sport horses from around the world.

With a history that includes almost 30 years of involvement with the United States Equestrian Team through the Three-Day Event, Driving and Show Jumping teams, he has traveled around the world to competitions to provide the best veterinary care in the world. A few of his career highlights include team veterinarian for the Olympic Three-Day Event Teams in Atlanta (1996), Sydney (2000) and Athens (2004), as well as for the Three-Day and Driving teams for the World Equestrian Games in 1998, 2002 and 2006.

Aside from bringing a vast amount of medical and equine knowledge, Dr. Furlong contributes a passion for the animals and a desire to make the buying experience a positive one. A native of Ireland, he has been involved with the auction process since a young age and has had the experience of making decisions about what is medically acceptable.

“What we have done is to try to have a very open format where the results of the exams and the x-rays are all available in a very user-friendly manner to view. I’ve also made myself very available in person or by cell phone to discuss any questions or concerns buyers have,” he said.

While many auctions in the United States have a negative reputation as being clearing houses for problematic or unhealthy horses, Garson is trying to change that stereotype by modeling the Intercontinental Sport Horse Auction after the more popular European format. She selects the mounts offered in the sale, and each horse has a full set of x-rays and graded flexions to ensure that the prospects are healthy and sound.

“I believe that auctions with the sport horses in America haven’t really caught on like in Europe. There is still a bit of a connotation that if it is a sport horse, it’s one that someone is trying to get rid of. We’re trying to dispel that by not allowing horses into the auction that have significant medical issues,” Dr. Furlong explained.

He continued, “I think that Nona has worked very, very hard at handpicking the horses she is offering. She has worked with some people that are very reputable dealers in Europe, trying to find the right type.”

Garson selects each possible mount, which then undergoes a preliminary screening process with a local veterinarian and has the x-rays taken, no more than three months before the auction, and Dr. Furlong views the films. Once each horse arrives at The Ridge Farm, they are monitored and Dr. Furlong completes the flexion tests no more than 10 days before the auction. However, he noted that “Most of them are very clean because they have been fairly weeded out by the time they get to us.” In addition to Dr. Furlong, buyers are welcome to have their personal veterinarians evaluate horses and perform vet tests.

Potential buyers can view or try the horses during the week before the sale, and Dr. Furlong encourages them to do so, in addition to contacting him with any questions or concerns regarding the horse or horses. “I’d suggest that they avail of the clinical exam reports and the x-rays. We can get the information electronically to anyone, anywhere in the world. From the suitability side, they need to come and see the horses to know that the horse is the right type for them.”

Interested parties can view the final group of horses online at http://www.interconsporthorse.com, which has breeding details, individual specifications and photos. There will be video clips available of each horse at least one week before the auction. Horses can be tried or viewed, by appointment the week before the auction, and The Ridge Farm will host a cocktail party and viewing reception on Wednesday, February 21, 2007, where each horse will be shown.

The fourth annual Intercontinental Sport Horse Sale – Sport Horse Auction is open to the public but attendees are encouraged to register in advance. For more information, please visit http://www.interconsporthorse.com online or contact The Ridge Farm at 732-681-4379.

PHOTO CREDIT: Dr. Brendan Furlong, official veterinarian for the Intercontinental Sport Horse Auction. Courtesy of B.W. Furlong and Associates.


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