WHO WE ARERick and Dixie Abbott have operated Charlton in southeastern Pennsylvania for over 30 years. Dixie was raised in the Wilmington, Delaware area where she participated in horse shows and three-day events. Rick was raised in Chester County and was active in horse shows and foxhunting. Married in 1971 during Rick's second year in law school, they began their horse business training show hunters and preparing young horses for participation in breeding classes. Realizing the similarities between show preparation and sales preparation, the Abbotts steered the business away from show horses and into Thoroughbred sales. Charlton had its first sales consignment at Timonium, Maryland in 1973. In the ensuing years Rick and Dixie's roles have evolved to cover a diverse array of high-quality Thoroughbred services.
Dixie is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the farm and the horses thereon. She oversees the health of all of the horses as well as directing, in a hands-on way, the sales preparation of those horses destined for public auction. She and Rick attend to all foalings and have foaled over 1,000 mares in their 30+ years in the business. Dixie's particular interests lie with foals and yearling development, where her instinctive horsemanship lets her catch small problems early, before they become large ones. Dixie's outside interests, although limited by the demands of the farm, include tennis, peddle-boating and open space preservation. She has been a member of the Highland Township Planning Commission for over 25 years and was recently appointed to the Chester County Planning Commission.
Taking advantage of his law school training, Rick runs most of Charlton's business aspects. He visits clients' farms to view potential sales horses and acts as the front man for consignments at auction. Rick has served on the boards of numerous organizations including the Consignors and Commercial Breeders Association, the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association, The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, The Breeder's Cup and Fasig-Tipton Midlantic. In 1996 he was appointed by then-Governor Tom Ridge to a seat on the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission, a position that he still holds.