Virginia Yearling Futurity Set For September 9; Rick Abbott Named Judge

The annual 2020 Virginia Breeders Yearling Futurity will be held Wednesday September 9 at the Warrenton Horse Show Grounds from 9 AM – 1 PM. A total of $22,500 in awards will be on the line. Even though Labor Day weekend’s Warrenton Horse Show has been cancelled, the Futurity is still a go. The event is sponsored by the Virginia Thoroughbred Association and Virginia Breeders Fund.

The judge for this year’s competition is Rick Abbott, a former long time Pennsylvania bloodstock agent who along with his wife Dixie, had their own sales consignment business, Charlton Bloodstock. Among the horses bred, raised and/or sold by Charlton over the years have been graded stakes winners Miss Union Avenue, Palmeiro and Afleet Again. The Abbott’s retired in 2016 and sold their 160 acre farm near Coatesville, Pennsylvania. They were both active in horse shows and hunting when they met and married in the early 1970’s.

The nice weather in 2019 made for a relaxing morning to view 31 yearlings compete in three divisions and championship round.

In a Bloodhorse article published four years ago, Abbott said any emotion attached to retirement is associated with the farm and not the business. “The emotion is not about giving up the business as much as it is about giving up the farm,” he said. “We have been there 36 years. We raised our children there. It’s a beautiful place and we love it, but it really needs to be a business. We’re sentimental about the farm, but I’m ready to give up the business. We’ve been doing it for 40 years.”

2019 Yearling Futurity Grand Champion is by Union Rags out of Kiowa by Stephen Got Even. Photo by Ann Purdy.

Their most prominent broodmare was Christmas Strike, a $10,000 private purchase after failing to meet her reserve as part of the Lane’s End consignment to the 2001 Keeneland November sale. Her twelve offspring combined to earn over $1.3 million and eight of them sold for just under $1 million combined. One was Double Down Vinman, a 20-race winner who earned $540,204. Another was Agonistic who bankrolled $386,604. One of her yearlings topped the 2019 Midlantic October yearling sale when she sold for $250,000.

For more event details, visit