Joséphine Abercrombie collars; Pin Oak Stud founder, champion breeder and philanthropist was 95 E! News UK

Josephine Abercrombie, 95, passed away peacefully at her home in Pin Oak Stud in Woodford County, Ky. On January 5, just 10 days before her birthday.

Born January 15, 1926 in Kingston, Jamaica, Josephine welcomed each new day of her extraordinary life with a quest to see what was to follow. The only child of Texan oilman and founder of Cameron Iron Works, JS “Mr. Jim” Abercrombie and Lillie Frank Abercrombie, Josephine spent her childhood in Texas.

At the age of seven, Josephine’s love for horses led her to start showing American saddle horses. It was the start of an illustrious career where, as a young woman, Josephine became the Madison Square Garden record holder for most blue ribbons won in a single season, winning 17 of 20 classes. She was also one of the few amateurs to feature a great world champion.

Her passion for the sport, combined with her strong desire to support civic projects, led Joséphine to join her father to create the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show in the mid-1940s. This very successful figure from Houston on the national circuit has dedicated his support for Texas Children’s Hospital, which Mr. Abercrombie had played a major role in establishing.

Josephine’s success on the horse show circuit eventually took her to major competitions in Louisville and Lexington, Ky., Where she fell in love with the land and being surrounded by horses. In no time she began to turn to thoroughbred breeding and racing. In the 1950s, she and her father purchased an almost 4,000-acre farm, which they named Pin Oak, in Woodford County, Ky., And established a breeding and ranching operation of pure -blood. Joséphine quickly developed a deep respect and passion for the land and all that it nurtures.

After 35 years on the original Pin Oak, where they grew tobacco and raised white-faced Simmental and Hereford cattle in addition to the Thoroughbred operation, Josephine decided to move to a smaller 750-acre farm just downstairs. of the road to focus only on thoroughbreds.

The new farm, named Pin Oak Stud, has become a labor of love for Josephine. She relished the daily interactions on the farm and enjoyed the tranquility and the mix of wildlife, as well as the constant company of her beloved Weimaraner dogs. Owner of the land, Joséphine was present at many births of her thoroughbreds and loved to watch the young foals develop. She was active in the early education of young racehorses and eager to see her blue and gray racing silks, the school colors of her alma mater Rice University, compete on the racetrack. Joséphine always wanted the best for her horses, her farm, and for all the people who took care of and involved in their well-being.

Josephine Abercrombie of Pin Oak kisses jockey Joe Bravo after Bravo guides her dog Synchrony to victory in the Year 3 Red Bank Stakes at Monmouth Park in 2018

To date, nearly 70 Stakes winners have been bred or raced by Pin Oak Stud, including Classic winners in America and England and Grade 1 Stakes winners in three countries. A source of great pride for Josephine was racing special local breeds, such as Eclipse champion hens like Laugh and Be Merry and Confessional, as well as prominent foals who became successful stallions including Peaks and Valleys and Broken Vow.

For almost 15 years, Pin Oak Stud sponsored the Valley View Stakes in Keeneland, which she won twice with homebreds. Recognized as the National Breeder of the Year, Josephine was also honored by Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders with the Hardboot Award as well as the William T. Young Humanitarian Award. Additionally, she was inducted into the Texas Horseracing Hall of Fame. In 2018, Josephine was guest of honor at The Thoroughbred Club of America in recognition of her “enduring sportsmanship, insight and vision, as well as her dedication to the noblest principles established by the early leaders of the Turf ”.

With a strong sense of responsibility towards future generations, Joséphine was passionate about conservation and education. She has provided generous philanthropic support to civic, educational and thoroughbred industry projects. In addition to his generosity to his alma mater Rice University, it was perhaps the founding of Lexington School that was his crowning achievement. There are legions of grateful parents, alumni and students whose lives have been enriched by the educational journey unleashed by this institution.

Towards the end of her life, Josephine revisited her lifelong love of ballroom dancing and spent many years training and competing in ballroom dance competitions across the country. Her joie de vivre and her quest for new challenges have never wavered.

Josephine Abercrombie is survived by two sons, George Anderson Robinson IV and Jamie Abercrombie Robinson, as well as her grandchildren George Anderson Robinson V and Blair Abercrombie Robinson.

Funeral arrangements are private.

For those wishing to honor the memory of Josephine Abercrombie, contributions can be made to the Lexington School, Attention Una McCarthy, 1050 Lane Allen Road, Lexington, KY 40504; Woodford Humane Society, Attn: Katie Hoffman, PO Box 44, Versailles, KY; or Thoroughbred Charities of America, attention Erin Crady, PO Box 910668, Lexington, KY 40591.

Learn more about Joséphine Abercrombie:

Abercrombie, leader of the opposition to horse slaughter

Abercrombie’s gift of education continues to give … and give

Fighting Lady: Josephine Abercrombie brought an unlikely presence to boxing

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