Pluto III Marcella
by Kit Young Knotts
Click images to enlarge


It was love at first sight. While attending a meeting at Tempel Farms, the manager introduced some of us to the horses in the barn. As he turned a big, broad five-year-old Lipizzan stallion in his stall, I was totally smitten. When he took him out and trotted him a few steps, I nearly swooned.

This was not a happy horse though. I kept returning to look at him and he was always at the back of his stall, sullen and sour. I started picking apples from the trees beside the barn every time I came and went, offering them to him through the side bars of his stall. By the time the meeting was over, he was coming to the front of his stall, eyes shining, looking for his treat.

For nearly a year, I begged, pleaded and virtually harrassed them to sell him to me. Though they didn't especially like him, he was of an age group that had yielded few stallions and they didn't want to part with him. Finally I received a call that he had been put on the sales list. I flew to Chicago the next day. I took only my riding clothes, a down jacket and a bag of apples.

He had been moved to a less palatial stall, and was still at the back looking unhappy. I entered quietly, holding an apple out to the side. As he looked at me, his eyes lit up and he came right to me. I am sure he remembered.

I didn't care if he was sound (he was), I didn't care if he was sane (he was) or if he had three good gaits (he did). I knew I had to have this horse. I don't recommend approaching a purchase this way but this was totally heart over head. I saw him lunged and rode him a little, finding him spooky, cautious and very unsure of himself. I felt I could deal with anything as long as he could be mine.

When Marc arrived in Florida, I expected to spend a lot of time helping him acclimatize to new surroundings. I took him to his stall. He looked around, stuck his head out the open upper stall door, smiled and said, "This will do fine." Soon I took him to a paddock where I expected him to run and run. He took three steps and dropped his head to graze. I had to chase him to get him to show off his incredible trot. All his uncertainty and unhappiness disappeared when he arrived at Pegasus.




I took Marc to his first show near home within a few months and knew right away he was a true competitor. He traveled well, settled right in to the stabling, ate and drank, went like the champion he would become. He started to travel with Sandi and Duce to the big shows.

< 1987

He wasn't advanced enough to compete in regular classes at Dressage at Devon that year, so he went in the Young Stallions class. He spooked once on the triangle but otherwise was a star. He is the only horse I ever knew that was so relaxed he could sleep through the night classes at Devon.  



^ 1996 | 1991 >


Always such a gentle soul, Marc was an honored guest at Pegasus dinner parties. He quietly made his way around the table, grazing over people's shoulders, never spilling even a glass of wine.


  He had a special relationship with Zeus, one of the barn cats. Marc would lick Zeus every afternoon, much to both their pleasure. It ended abruptly one day when Marc picked Zeus up by the scruff of his neck and waved him gently in the air. When Zeus screeched, Marc dropped him. That was that.


If Marc's trot was to die for at the lower levels, his piaffe and passage were (are) legendary at higher levels, said by many to be among the best in the world. 

Though we no longer compete (been there -- done that), Marc gets cut no slack. His work includes everything of which he is capable, and several movements actually continue to improve. At age 30, he is completely sound and in great health.

The Kid and Marc, Christmas 2007 >

From the ground, he is the sweetest, kindest horse ever, and the quietest stallion. Under saddle he is a pistol! He bucks, kicks out, half-rears, waves a leg in protest, then does what I ask. He's really fun to ride since I never know what might come next. The love affair goes on -- 24 years and counting.  

Because I love Marc so much, in 2008 I embarked on a project with Dr. Katrin Hinrichs at Texas A&M University to clone him. In 2009 a foal was still-born. In 2010, Mouse was born. Though he died just before he was three months old, he packed our lives with joy. His complete story is here.

Mouse meets Marc May 19, 2010

Double trouble July 11, 2010

Kit, Marc, Katrin Hinrichs
January 2011
In January 2011, after a productive meeting in Orlando and a personal visit with Marc, Dr. Hinrichs redoubled her efforts to make clone embryos. The result was six babies in utero, all doing well, by July 2011.

Appreciating Marc
Video 4M 

July 23. I put Marc down this morning. He had been sound and healthy, working his regular schedule, until last Friday, when he developed a raging case of cellulitis in his left hind leg. We never determined a cause.

Over the week, treating with everything we could throw at him, other legs began breaking down. He tweeked his right hind trying to get up from a rest. The pressure on the front legs was also taking its toll.

Early this morning, he was determined to get up from a nap and finally succeeded, at great cost to his body. He took me to his favorite place in the back yard, where, a little later, he was put to sleep and buried. He is forever the "lawn pony" he loved to be.

Marc's 31st birthday
was also Easter
April 24, 2011

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