2018 Honor Guest - Josephine Abercrombie


2018 Thoroughbred Club of America Testimonial Dinner
Honoring Josephine Abercrombie


Josephine Abercrombie has been selected by the Board of Directors of the Thoroughbred Club of America as the 2018 Honor Guest, Club President W. Gray Lyster IV announced today. Ms. Abercrombie will be honored by the Club at its 87th Testimonial Dinner at Keeneland Race Course on Friday evening, September 28th. "The Thoroughbred Club of America is excited to name Josephine Abercrombie as our 2018 Honor Guest," said Lyster. "Her accomplishments as an Owner, Breeder, and Farm Operator, as well as her lifetime support for the entire industry, make her an obvious selection as the Thoroughbred Club of America’s Honor Guest."

Horses have always been a part of Josephine Abercrombie’s life. An accomplished rider in her youth, she was very active and competed successfully in the Saddlebred world. In 1949, she made her first foray into the Thoroughbred business when she purchased a group of sales yearlings in a partnership that included her father, Houston oilman J. S. Abercrombie. Three years later, she and her father acquired 1,348 acres in Woodford County, Kentucky and named it Pin Oak. The original Pin Oak raised Simmental cattle, grew tobacco, asparagus and other crops, and began the business of raising Thoroughbreds. Success came quickly to Pin Oak’s budding racing stable with MAKE A PLAY winning the Astarita S. in 1953, followed by a win in the 1955 Louisiana Derby with ROMAN PATROL. Other major winners for Pin Oak in the early years were ELOCUTIONIST, TOUCHING WOOD, TREE OF KNOWLEDGE, COOL, and GREASE.

In the 1980s, Ms. Abercrombie focused on establishing a successful operation to provide bloodstock for her passion, Thoroughbred racing. She designed and developed a new farm on U.S. 60, near the original property. The new Pin Oak was a labor of love, transforming a 750-acre hunting preserve into an efficient, functional Thoroughbred nursery from the ground up. Every aspect was carefully considered and dedicated to raising good horses – planting grass and trees, building roads and fences, constructing barns and residences.

A prominent feature of the new farm included standing a select group of quality stallions, which has included prominent sires SKY CLASSIC, PEAKS AND VALLEYS, MARIA’S MON and BROKEN VOW. Recent additions to the roster include exciting young sire homebred ALTERNATION.
Ms. Abercrombie’s dedication to her horses has been justly rewarded. Pin Oak’s LAUGH AND BE MERRY earned the Eclipse Award as Champion Turf Female and future stallion SKY CLASSIC garnered the Eclipse Award as Champion Turf Horse for Sam-Son Farm before being recruited for the Pin Oak stallion roster. Other champions were PEAKS AND VALLEYS, who earned Canada’s Sovereign Award as Horse of the Year and Champion 3-year-old Colt, and HASTEN TO ADD collected the Sovereign as Champion Grass Horse. Over the years, Ms. Abercrombie and Pin Oak Stud have been honored by its peers with several prominent awards – in 1995 as the national Thoroughbred Breeder of the Year by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA); in 2005 she received the Hardboot Award presented by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association/Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders (KTA/KTOB), and in 2012 she was again honored, this time with the William T. Young Humanitarian Award, also presented by KTA/KTOB.

The relentless pursuit of assembling a top-notch broodmare band continues daily and has resulted in numerous quality runners since its inception. To date, over 100 stakes winners have been produced or campaigned by Pin Oak, including multiple champion-siring BROKEN VOW, a homebred G2 stakes winner who anchors the stallion roster. Other Grade 1 stakes include MISSED THE STORM, CONFESSIONAL, SEE HOW SHE RUNS and CHANGEINTHEWEATHER. Additional top performers from the Pin Oak program include such Graded stakes-winners and top earners as current Pin Oak stallion ALTERNATION, BEDANKEN, BROWNIE POINTS (dam of 2018 multiple Graded stakes-winning homebred SYNCHRONY), CRYPTOGRAPH, EUPHONY, GOLD MEDAL DANCER, and OVERHEARD, plus $500,000-plus earner ALTERNATE (dam of ALTERNATION).


For 86 years, The Thoroughbred Club of America Annual Testimonial Dinner has honored persons who have rendered distinguished service to the sport of Thoroughbred racing. To learn more about The Thoroughbred Club of America, visit us online at www.thethoroughbredclub.com. For tickets to the September 28th Testimonial Dinner, please call (859) 254-4282.