Horse Racing

Letter to the editor: In memory of Josephine Abercrombie

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Update: January 5, 2022 at 6:17 pm

Josephine Abercrombie | Coady


When Clifford [Barry]my number is flashing on my screen [Wednesday] I had a gut-wrenching feeling because I knew why he was calling. We both lamented that Mrs A was in a better place and that it was “time”. She is one of the kindest people, a true horsewoman, a philanthropist and all the other wonderful people people will talk about. But for those of us who are fortunate enough to actually know Mrs. A, there has never been, and I doubt there will ever be another like her. When I heard Terence Collier talk about her accomplishments at the Pin Oak scatter last fall, I thought of all the stories I wanted to share about Mrs. A, but that would take days. and some of them don’t exactly match this. publication.

The first time I met Mrs. A, she and her entourage went to Ocala to buy a stallion that we owned. After a few volleys back and forth with offers, she turned around and said, “You’re not from Texas are you?” I said, “yes, ma’am,” and she said, “come into your office and cut this contract.” In less than five minutes we were out and she bought her first stallion caller ID from me and it was done with a handshake. We sold her another stallion and she was delighted with it and later said she would like a good stallion if I ever saw one. A year later I called about a horse I was managing for longtime owner Morton Rosenthal. She and Clifford flew to Florida and again – shaking hands – she bought Maria’s Mon.

But more interesting were the stories about Josephine that she wanted to share when we were together. Here are just a few:

The time she left her best friend on the tarmac because he was five minutes late for a plane to go to a dog show. He was running towards the plane and she instructed her pilot to take off as she waved at him. Every time we gathered after hearing that story, we made sure we were 15 minutes early for any meeting with Mrs. A.

Then there’s a story she loves to tell about how she’s a much better skier than her instructor, but she always follows him down the slopes because she loves the view.

And the stories of her travels around the world are fascinating. She once insulted someone at a dinner party abroad and her father sent a plane to pick her up the next morning. But it was Mrs A, she really was a lady, but she did it her way as Frank Sinatra would say (but that’s another Mrs A’s story told better by her than I am).

Then there were all those Thanksgiving dinners in Virginia, the birthday parties in Kentucky and Ocala and all the memories of our visit to Pin Oak.

When Maria’s Mon died, we sent Mrs. A and Clifford a champagne flute each and I still have her letter thanking me and suggesting that every New Year’s Eve we raise a toast. Maria’s Mon. Just the night before, we had dropped the flute, but this time we raised a toast with Mrs. A, and Mrs. Maria’s Mon.

She once asked me to stop calling her Mrs A, and just call her Josephine, and I almost always replied, “yes, Mrs A” and we would laugh.

The last time I led her up the long winding stairs after a night out, I wondered how many more times I would be with her.

Susie and I will always be grateful to Mrs. A, and we will take those Moët & Chandon flutes again and toast to a very special woman.

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This story was posted in News is shared and tagged Caller ID, Clifford Barry, Dr. EC ‘Pug’ Hart, Jospehine Abercrombie, Letter to the editorial office, Morton Rosenthal, Battery Oak Stud.

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