A Tradition of Excellence
Through the production of an annual world-class competition, The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show supports the Texas Children’s Hospital through financial donations, outreach and volunteer support.
The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show is a multi-breed show – a rare treasure in North America today.
The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show is known for its rich history, time-honored traditions, equestrian excellence and extraordinary giving. As one of the oldest and most prestigious horse shows in the country, Pin Oak is also one of Houston’s unique social and fundraising events.
In 1945, JS Abercrombie had the vision to create a world-class horse show to benefit the community. His vision became a reality on May 26, 1945, with the sound of the trumpet heralding the opening of the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show.
JS Abercrombie was a man of great passion and love. He adored his only daughter, Josephine, who was an accomplished equestrian and horse lover. Mr. Jim’s other passion was a desire to help sick and critically ill children. From there two loves came, the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show and the charter for the Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas.
First the Pin Oak Stables, a world class venue, was built especially for Josephine to care for and show horses. The first Pin Oak show opened on May 26, 1945 and was billed as the social event of Houston as well as one of the top horse competitions in the United States. The show became a premier event for Houston’s elite. Ladies and gentlemen dressed in their finest and filled the coveted box seats to watch the best of American Saddlebreds, hunters, jumpers, and ponies, from all over the world compete for top prizes.
Pin Oak holds the honor of being the first donor to Texas Children’s Hospital in 1947, providing the seed money to begin the planning and building of the world’s first pediatric hospital.
The second phase of Mr. Abercrombie’s plan was to help build the first pediatric hospital in Houston. Using his social and business connections, the hospital became a reality. In 1952, Jim Abercrombie and his wife Lillie donated the first $1 million to begin construction of Texas Children’s Hospital. Today it is proud to consistently be recognized as a leader in pediatric care by U.S. News & World Report.
In 2018, the horse show continued to grow by adding a third week to the schedule, offering competition for American Saddlebreds and hunters, jumpers and equitation riders alike. Only a handful of horse shows continue to host a variety of breeds and disciplines as a major equestrian event. As such, Pin Oak was honored to be the first show in the United States to be designated as a Heritage Competition by the United States Equestrian Federation. The North American Riders Group (NARG) selected Pin Oak as a Top 25 Horse Show in North America three years in a row. Many other awards and “Best Show” designations have been collected over Pin Oak’s history – creating our tradition of excellence for this equestrian athletic event.