The Show debuted in Houston on May 26, 1945, at J.S. Abercrombie’s Pin Oak Stables, with the proceeds given to charity.
In very short order this annual event became THE social event of the season. At one point when hosted at the original stables in Bellaire, tickets for Pin Oak were harder to come by than Kentucky Derby tickets!
In 1948, Pin Oak began a long-term commitment to raise funds to construct, and later support, Texas Children’s Hospital, which opened in Houston in 1954.
During the next three decades, “Mr. Jim” Abercrombie, Leopold Meyer, the Junior League and a group of dedicated Houstonians established Pin Oak as one of the preeminent horse shows in the nation, attracting as many as 60,000 visitors, and enabling the Association to contribute millions to worthy causes. As Pin Oak continues this legacy, our giving continues to grow as Texas Children’s Hospital grows. Pin Oak was on the fore of giving for the first community hospital near Katy, Texas know as The West Campus and is to the fore of the next community hospital, The Woodlands Campus.
The new generation of Pin Oak leaders began allocating funds for needed research at Texas Children’s and supporting the construction and maintenance of Family Room Centers at the Hospital staffed by Houston’s Ronald McDonald House Family Rooms volunteers. The Family Room Center continues to grow and serve the families of seriously ill children and the children themselves by providing a home away from home. We also lend support to Candlelighters of Houston.
We would like to thank our exhibitors for their continued patronage and participation. We are also deeply grateful to all of our sponsors and other contributors whose generous support enables us to carry on the tradition of charitable giving for which Pin Oak was established.
Last but by no means least, we wish to acknowledge the immeasurable contributions of all the volunteers who give us so generously the gifts of their time and their talent.
A passion for helping build a better community by helping others was the driving force for J.S. Abercrombie in creating the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show.
As a team, J.S. Abercrombie and Leopold Meyer worked tirelessly to create a horse show that exudes elegance and excellence to raise charitable funds to build a hospital specifically for children.
“When the Golden Trumpet Sounded the Ringmaster’s Call, Moments Later Proud Horseflesh Filled the Pin Oak Arena and the Horse Show Was On”
The show debuted in Houston on May 26, 1945, as J.S. Abercrombie’s Pin Oak Stables with proceeds given to charity. It was a premiere horse show in the country and quickly became the social event of the season in Houston. The annual horse show began at the original stables in Bellaire amind much fanfare. Quickly, tickets for Pin Oak were harder to come by than Kentucky Derby tickets. Through sponsorships, box, and tickets sales charitable funds were raised to make a difference in the community.
In 1947, the first donation was made from the show’s proceeds as the seed money to begin the planning of the first pediatric children’s hospital. This seed began the long-term commitment to raise funds to construct and support Texas Children’s Hospital which opened its doors on February 1, 1954.
During the next three decades after the hospital opened in 1954, “Mr. Jim” Abercrombie, Leopold Meyer, the Junior League and a group of dedicated Houstonians established Pin Oak as one of the pre-eminent horse shows in the nation, attracting as many as 60,000 visitors, and enabling the Association to contribute millions of dollars to help sick children.
With a devotion to creating a spectacular horse show steeped in excellence, Pin Oak is one of the only horse shows in the nation that features multiple breeds and disciplines – the show rings fill with Hunters and Jumpers, and American Saddlebreds. An equestrian extravaganza that pleases and delights attendees of all ages and inspires giving.
In its history, the show has been met with challenges.
Over time, the famed Pin Oak stables were no longer part of the Houston landscape, and the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show struggled to find a permanent home. It moved from the Astrodome to the racetrack and finally to its current home at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, TX.
Continuing in its social tradition and honoring its rich heritage, the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show continues to garner accolades, awards and enjoys an enviable stature in the horse show world. In 2009, Pin Oak was designated as the first Heritage Competiton in the country by the United State Equestrian Federation that is a source of pride for the show. Continuing to grow in prestige, Pin Oak was named by NARG (North American Riders Group) as Top 25 horse show in North America many times over. The recognition does not stop there; Pin Oak has been voted favorite breed show multiple years and a UPHA Chapter Honor Show – Pin Oak continues to strive for excellence in keeping with its traditions.
A new generation of Pin Oak leaders continues to allocate funds to benefit Texas Children’s Hospital and two charities that work inside of Texas Children’s – Ronald McDonald Family Rooms and Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Family Alliance.
The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show of today has evolved into something that is so much more than just a horse show with its charitable giving and outreach throughout the year. Houston’s hometown horse show has become the horse show that brings healing through horse power!
TO READ THE PRESS RELEASE ANNOUNCING PIN OAK AS 1ST USEF HERITAGE COMPETITION, PLEASE CLICK HERE.