By Linda Dougherty
In an era during which the Sport of Kings is often criticized for its aging fan base and lack of appeal to younger people, there is a youthful presence in Maryland racing who has made himself known as a trainer in a very short period of time.
Noah Abramson, a 26-year-old native of Woodbine, Maryland, turned heads when he won with the first two horses he saddled, both at Laurel Park in June of 2017. And who knows, had it not been for an unfortunate starting gate incident, he might have won with his first three.
Abramson was not new to horses when he decided to take the trainer’s test, but he was new to the Thoroughbred world. Thanks to hard work and an inquisitive nature, he was able to glean information from seasoned horsemen, gain the confidence of an owner/breeder, and start down the path to early success in a game that is not often kind to newcomers. With the help and support of his family, Abramson has embarked on a journey that he realizes will be filled with as much disappointment as glory.
Take a stroll down Abramson’s shedrow on the Pimlico backstretch and you’ll see 15 or so Thoroughbreds in thickly bedded stalls behind custom webbings, emblazoned with the stable’s logo. It is not a slap-dash operation but one that appears well-tended and professional, one that you might think is run by a veteran conditioner. Yet at its helm is a young man who has taken what he’s learned from a very successful equestrian career, much in the mold of equestrians-turned-trainers Rodney Jenkins and Michael Matz, and parlayed it into a burgeoning Thoroughbred business.
As a young boy, Abramson grew up with many pets, but there was one animal he really wanted -- a horse.
“I said to my parents when I was about seven, ‘I want to own a horse,’ and they said, ‘Well, you’ll have to learn to ride if you want one,’” recalled Abramson. “So I said I’d give it a try. I went for a lesson and the instructor had an apple tree in her arena. I’m little, and the horse is big, and the horse starts trotting away under the apple tree, and then the branch cut me straight out of the saddle. I fell off, scared to death, and I quit.”
He didn’t start riding again until four years later, this time with much better results. He had a knack for riding, a natural affinity with horses, and pushed himself to see what he could become in the equestrian world. He gave up hanging out with friends to be in a barn every day, sometimes walking there as soon as school dismissed. By the time he was 16, he was competing in shows all across the United States.
“I got my first horse and then my parents (Alan and Holly Abramson) bought me another, a big jumper that they imported from Germany, so I had two horses,” said Abramson, whose instructor for many years was Kim Rachuba Williams, also from Woodbine. “I took them to the McClay finals in New York, and to Devon and Kentucky, going over 4-foot-6 fences.”
It was through his uncle, Darrel Davidson, that Abramson was introduced to Thoroughbred racing.
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