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Marjorie P. Fergusson presented the Audrey Gutridge Award

Paul and Sally Jo Briney, Marjorie Ferguson, and Show Manager Scarlett Mattson




In keeping with tradition for Thursday night here at the World’s Championship Horse Show, we now take pause in the action to present the Audrey Pugh Gutridge Award to another of our sorority of special ladies. 


This award was established by longtime protégés of Audrey’s, Polly Meade-Holm, whom we lost earlier this year, and Sally Jo Briney, both women having established themselves in their own right in our show horse community.


The 2005 recipient of the Audrey Gutridge Award is being given to a woman who has been a generous benefactor to many horse shows, committees and organizations throughout the last forty years.  Like many women, she came into this industry as the mother to a young daughter who developed a passion for “all things Saddlebred” after beginning lessons at the famed Chicagoland Don Peebles Stables in the early 1960's.  When they decided upon more serious involvement, they moved to Chat Nichols Stable and purchased the top three gaited horses Arabesque and Victory’s Serenade.  Eventually the decision was made to purchase land and build a horse farm of their own.  In 1970, Royal Scot Stables was established in Richmond, Illinois.  This began the lifelong family affair with top Saddlebreds and Hackney ponies. 


During the early years, trainer Bonnie Byrne and longtime farm manager, Mary Jo McAbee developed such Saddlebred show stars as Tartan Twilight, Natural Rights, Jimmy James, Busy Agent, City Glitter, Santana Ann, Sweet Treasure, Lady Cameron, Gotta Dance, Main Topic, Royal Scot’s Chapel Belles, and Epcot Center.  While daughter, Jeanne, was in the saddle, Marjorie and late husband Don sought involvement through showing and breeding top Hackney ponies such as the great ten time World Champion Tijuana Brass, who went on to become the sire of many world champion offspring.  Marjorie has shown many outstanding ponies throughout the years including Dun Haven Inspiration, Tijuana Jubilee, Sir Fistication, Holiday’s Prime Time, and Tijuana Tribute.  Most recently, in 1996, Marjorie showed the flashy Bold Lad to the Amateur Harness Pony World Grand Championship under the direction of Pat McConnell.


In recent years, Royal Scot has been home to such trainers as Kim and Fran Crumpler, Steve & Julia Joyce, Pat McConnell, Steve Wheeler, Tony Ray, and most recently granddaughter Donna and her husband Kenny Smith.  Along with these top trainers, Marjorie has kept horses with select group of outside trainers including Scott & Carol Matton, Frank McConnell, Lynda & Andy Freseth, Jack Nevitt, Nancy McConnell, Nelson Green and Jimmy Miller.  Some of the horses owned by Marjorie and shown by her family that have headlined at shows nationwide from California to Kentucky and all mid-western stops in-between are: Playboy’s Kabaret, Chief’s Magnum Force, WC High Expectations, WC Fantastic Step, WC Sargent Royalty, RWGC My Grande, WC Peppermint Sonburst, The Great Gazoo, and WGC Protégé. 

Marjorie has been a fixture on the Midwestern show circuit, a friend to many show secretaries, managers, exhibitors, and professionals alike.  She has been honored with numerous industry awards such as the Lurline Roth Sportsmanship Award, the Castleman Award, and the UPHA Associate’s Award.  She has and continues to be a grand supporter of the American Saddlebred and Hackney pony breeds, and passed down her love of the industry to daughter and son-in-law Jeanne and Tom Pettry, and grandchildren Kristen Pettry, Donna Pettry-Smith, Tom D. Pettry and Andrew Pettry. 


Always a lady....we salute the matriarch of Royal Scot Stables, Marjorie P. Fergusson. 

(Editor's Note: The above remarks were read on Thursday night at the World's Championship Horse Show.) 

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