John M. S. Finney
Ran horse brokerage
John M. S. Finney, a native of Maryland who operated a thoroughbred horse brokerage firm, died Wednesday at a hospital in Lexington, Ky., of complications to heart replacement surgery. He was 59 and had homes in Lexington and Newport, R.I.
At the time of his death, he and his son operated Finney Bloodstock, Inc., in Lexington. The company acts as agent for purchasers of race horses and was involved in the earlier sale of the colt who turned out to be this year's Kentucky Derby winner, Go for Gin.
He was chairman of the executive committee of Horsemen's Bloodstock Services Inc., a Laurel company that has conducted auctions at the Laurel and Timonium racetracks.
In 1989, he resigned as president of the Fasig-Tipton Co. in Lexington, another thoroughbred horse brokerage. He had been associated with the firm since the age of 12 when he worked part time posting signs at auctions.
jTC He started his company after leaving Fasig-Tipton.
His father, Humphrey S. Finney, also had headed Fasig-Tipton, had been field secretary of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association and had started Maryland Horse magazine.
Mr. Finney was born in Annapolis but reared in Towson and was a graduate of the McDonogh School. In 1956, he graduated from Princeton University, then was a Navy officer for three years.
He was on the boards of the National Museum of Racing, the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and the McDonogh School.
He was a member of the Newport Reading Room and the Newport Country Club; and of the Saratoga Golf and Polo Club and the Saratoga Reading Room, both in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Services were set for 11:30 a.m. today in Lexington.
Mr. Finney is survived by his wife, the former Louise Groves; a daughter, Catherine L. Finney of Jamestown, R.I.; a son, Michael H. S. Finney of Lexington; his mother, Olive M. Finney of Lexington; two sisters, Patricia Hansen of Charlotte, N.C., and Marge Dance of the Lake Falls area; and a grandson.