Blue Ribbon Farm

Rick and Debbie Pabst
Rick & Debbie Pabst

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Blue Ribbon Farm

Our farm has been operating in the northwest shadow of spectacular Mt Rainier since 1973 when we began purchasing it from Tom and Donna Arndt who had been operating a family dairy. Many of the outbuildings remain the same but have been converted in use. We maximize the nutrition value of the grass by spreading composted manure, harrowing, and clipping weeds. Fencing is 80% v-mesh wire with the remainder high tensile New Zealand. Paddocks vary in size from an acre up to 5 acres, allowing the post foaling mare the exercise she needs to rebreed efficiently. During the foaling season, a night watch person monitors 5 stalls with closed circuit TVs. Buckley is located on SR 410, 25 miles east of Tacoma, 30 miles southeast of SeaTac airport, and most importantly 25 miles or 30 speeding minutes southeast of Emerald Downs racetrack.


Newborns are kept in stalls at night for the first 3 to 4 weeks of life and turned out with their dams in paddocks during the day both to insure that they are haltered and led daily, and to develop their good behavior. At about 1 month of age, foals and mares are put outside in large fields to get plenty of exercise and Dr. Green (new grass). We wean at 4 months using an across the fence method allowing as stress free situation as possible. In the fall over a two week period, weanlings are separated, stalled and mannered to load in a trailer. The rest of the winter and spring they are allowed to be horses as they develop bone and muscle in 3 to 5 acres fields. The following early summer they are stalled during the heat of the day in preparation for their fall sale. In addition, throughout their lives they are handled regularly to be trimmed and given wormer and injections as needed.


Debbie and Rick have been supporting the Washington Thoroughbred Industry for years dating from the purchase of a share in the Longacres based sales pavilion in the 70's to supporting the construction of the current sales pavilion as well as the construction of the Northwest Racing LLC owned Emerald Downs. Debbie has supported the WTBA as board member, secretary-treasurer, sales committee member and chairman, chairman of the finance committee, member of the WTBA Farm Managers, member of the WTBA Magazine/Website Committee, WSU Vet Hospital Equine Advisory Board, Northwest Race Series Committee Chairman. She was born in Seattle, raised in Ojai, CA, graduated in Astronomy from Wellesley College.(the last always helpful when weaning by the sign!!!)


Rick's dad was a ski pioneer with Big Bromley Mtn in Manchester, VT, where Rick worked summers growing up. He graduated from Dartmouth College with Engineering Science BA and spent a year in Meteorology gratis the USAF which introduced him to the North West via McChord AFB.. His favorite pastime when not repairing fence is sailing his 30ft 1977 Mercator sloop north summers as far as Debbie will let him.



2013 History:


The 2013 Summer Sale was a very successful one for the farm -- topped by our HARD SPUN colt out of SWEET FOURTY selling for $55,000 to Mark Glatt, agent.  We would like to wish Good Luck to all the purchasers of our 2013 horses, including Jody Peetz, Hilton Stables, Doris Harwood, Claudia Canouse, agent, H. R. Gibson, Virgil Marchand, Brian Lusk, Betty and the Boys, David Ratko, Scott Centers, Bill Turner, and Glenn Sears.


NATIONHOOD is off to tremendous start with his first crop of 2-year-olds!  He has had 6 starters from his 15 foals, with 4 winners -- ZAFARI NATION (in her 2nd start), SLEWBIE DOO (by 9 3/4 lengths), GALE CREEK (in her 1st start at Golden Gate), and FIND YOUR SPOT (in a $32K at Golden Gate).  His other 2 starters, Uptownfreddybrown and Cherokee Chelsea, have both placed in MSW events.  What a beginning for him!


We attended the 2013 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale, and came home with a new mare WITCHY MEETING, purchased for the partnership of Pat Murphy and ourselves. A winner of over $130K on the track, she is in foal to TIZ WONDERFUL, and due in mid April.



























We are eagerly awaiting the foals from the first crop of ATTA BOY ROY.  The first mare due is domiciled at Griffin Place -- SW SILVER SCREEN GIRL.  She is due in February -- as are a number of other mares. 


Hi Everyone -- July 13, 2013 News


     Just wanted to let you know that NATIONHOOD, our young stallion standing here at the farm, had his first winner today at Emerald Downs.  This is very exciting, and has certainly gotten him off on the right foot!  He has other youngsters in training, and I hope they will soon join ZAFARI NATION as winners.


Update for July 6, 2013 --


            Breeding Season and Foaling Season are officially over!  There are lots of foals at the farm, including Nationhoods (colt & filly), Freud filly, Posse filly, Harbor The Gold colt, and so on.  Check our Facebook page for tons of pictures in the "Foals of 2013" Album.  You can always find lots of the latest pictures there -- Atta Boy Roy, for example, and racehorses shown in morning training and in the afternoon.

            And speaking of racehorses, Saturday July 6th, the first two Nationhood fillies are running in the first race at Emerald Downs.  Go, Girls, Go!  There have been many Blue Ribbon Farm bred winners this season including Sweet Nellie Brown, Amazing Legacy (bred in partnership with Pat Murphy), Run Atom, Sweet Sara Brown, Big Bad Brown, and so on.  JEBRICA won the Budweiser Handicap -- running a fantastic race against the track bias.  FINDING MORE won an allowance race at Churchill Downs by a commanding 4 lengths, beating horses bred by Claiborne Farm and Winstar Farm, among others.  Blue Ribbon Racing #9's SEE MY TAIL LITES won her first lifetime start, a maiden special weight race (with Blue Ribbon Farm-bred Sunpenny second).  Both Oil Country and Sudden Arrival have won at Northlands Park.  We are hoping for even more wins as the season progresses.  Again, Facebook has almost daily posts keeping everyone apprised of entries and results. 



I hope you are following our facebook page, (also the name of our website), as their are loads of pictures of the new foals as well as our drop dead gorgeous new stallion ATTA BOY ROY.  I try to keep posts going out daily or every other day so you can find out what's happening on the farm.  We have 9 more mares to foal, and it's all very exciting.

     FINDING MORE, the filly we bred which was champion 2yo WA-bred filly in 2013 will be running in the Star Shoot Stakes at Woodbine (in Toronto) on Saturday.  We can use all the support for her we can get.


Update February 2, 2013 - Atta Boy Roy will be entering stud at Blue Ribbon Farm this year! See his Page.

Update March 27, 2013 - Ocean's Fourteen is booked to Coast Guard. / Victoria Cross is booked to Atta Boy Roy