Thought I would post this story of Trademark written in 2003, for those of you that don’t know his story. He of course, has gone on to produce many many more get, and they all have special homes, pleasing their owners.
Little Engine That Could
Over our many years with horses there are certain morgans in our Scandia
family that seem to prove they are greater than the “odds” and greater than
the plans than we have for them. This happens over and over, and come
sometimes from the least expected places. One such horse, is Scandias
Trademark by UVM Lexington and out of Lyonhil Ambition. He is a breeding
stallion here at the farm, and holds a special place in our hearts for many
reasons. He is constantly proving to us that he is the “little engine that
could” and that he was meant to be on this earth to reproduce and make his
The story begins with our move to Oregon from Ohio, 20 years ago. I was
eight months pregnant with my son, Peter, and stayed behind to sell the
house while my husband went cross country with two of our horses. We
shipped the other three, in those days companies paid for many things,
including the shipping of our horses. Lyonhil Ambition was one of the mares
that Vince decided to take on his journey to Oregon. It was November and he
was stranded for a week in a snowstorm in Kansas, but then, despite the
weather,he went on with his harrowing journey, Ambition in tow. He
literally wore out the truck and the tires, and a pair of chains, but she
arrived in Oregon that December sound and still pregnant.
Ambition went on to be a nice broodmare for us, and had several wonderful
foals. She had not really produced the foal yet that would go on as her
legacy, and so finally in her 18th year we decided to breed to her to UVM
Lexington. UVM Lexington was a full brother to the beautiful UVM Elite, at
UVM farm, and also was winning for his owner here in the NW as an Amatuer
English Pleasure stallion. Lyonhil Ambition was by Lyonhil Benison, but
more importantly was out of the beautiful mare Elm Hill Dusky Donna. We
were looking for beauty! Incidentally, Ambition is also the dam of Scandias
Starry Nite, the sire of Scandias Carribean Blue.
That next Easter, Ambition foaled her colt and he was a beautiful bay. UVM
Lexington, that past fall, had won the Amatuer English Pleasure Championship
at Grand National. She foaled with seemingly no problem, but later in the
day seemed distressed. Trademark had gotten his colostrum and was still
nursing. Later I went out to check on them, and Ambition was down and
screaming for help. I got her out of the stall, and she was in a complete
cold sweat. She laid down in the yard and died in front of the whole
family, before a veterinarian could get there. When our veterinarian did
arrive to the scene, Ambition was dead, but an autopsy confirmed our fears,
Ambition had hemorraged. What to do, we had a new foal and no mother? It was
Easter and everything was closed. We put an old mare, who was 32. in the
stall for company with this new colt, but she had no milk.
At that time we had another mare, Funquest Cadenza, who had a filly on her
side. That night we started bringing her to Trademark and she let him nurse.
Later we were able to put him, along with her filly, out together, and she
took care of them and nursed them both. BUT, Trademark was always “second
fiddle” to the filly. We supplemented them both with a bottle, and later
with a bucket of Milk Replacer. Trademark became a very determined foal, and
had a strong will to survive. This was our first inkling of the “Little
Engine That Could”.
He was raised here at the farm, and then at three went off to training. He
did very well in the Jr. Western Pleasure division in the NW so we decided
that he should go to Nationals. Unfortunately, his trainer’s mother died the
month before the show. Not a good “recipe” for a winning combination at
Nationals, but we went anyway. He placed but certainly did not take home the
blue. Trademark was always under the shadow of our other stallion, UVM
Coming Attraction, who had won the Three Year old English Pleasure,
Stallions and Geldings, in the previous year.
Trademark did not do much after that, some limited showing, some trail
riding. One or two mares to breed. Took his owner into a Jack Benny class,
just a little of everything. He was even consigned to a sale, and at the
last minute he was withdrawn and his entry penalty paid. We still had too
much faith in the “Little Engine That Could” to let him go.
Then two years ago, tragedy and fate would come into Trademark’s life again.
He was out in the pasture playing and doing what he did everyday, when we
heard a sharp scream, and a continuing scream. We looked out the window,
and he was at the fence with his front leg held up, and he was calling for
help. We helped him in, three legged, and wrapped his leg. It was a Sunday.
He immediately laid down, and ate his food that way. He seemed to sense
that he needed to stay off the leg. The next morning my vet came out, Meg
Brinton, and took xrays. We went down to the local Urgent Care facility,
for humans, and had them developed. His pastern was shattered into seven
pieces. Devastation for all, owners, horse, and plans.. We made the
decision to take him to Oregon State University, a two hour trailer ride. We
splinted the leg and my neighbor and I “hit” the road. Trademark was in a
great deal of pain, but made it to the college, arriving in a drenching
sweat from the pain, and he hobbled in quietly to his stall. There at the
University the surgeon said the odds were poor, that it would cost us about
8000 dollars to save him, and that he would have surgery and have to be
recast many times. And if he did not founder or colic, he might survive!
The picture was bleak, but we went forward. The first surgery took bone
from his hip, and it was fused in the pastern, along with pins and a plate.
He had a full cast, and needed to be stalled the whole time. He was there
for a month and when he needed to be released, they wanted him close. He
went to Mantic Morgans, where they kept him stalled and nursed him for
another two months. He got a new cast about once a month. When he finally
came home, the cast was on for another two months, and during this process,
stalled only and xrayed every four weeks. The accident was in September, he
finally was able to get out of his stall in March. He never complained or
developed any stall vices, he withstood all the confinement. There then was
corrective trimming to deal with and that took another three months. By
summer we was finally out in the pasture and close to normal, just a hitch
in his gait. No longer a riding horse, just useful for breeding. The
“Little Engine that Could” had survived another ordeal with his strong will
That spring we had four gorgeous fillies by Trademark. There was not a poor
one in the bunch. He had only had three foals previous to that, two colts
and a filly for another farm. These fillies were some of the best that we
had had in 30 years. Big, pretty, and easy to “live with”. They were out of
some of our best mares. It was a sign to us that we had made the correct
decision in saving this horse. HIs foals all look like him, with that lovely
expressive face. Another colt, sired by him, was born to Bluebird Morgans
that same year, an outstanding sport colt.
The story is not over. Last fall, one of the colts that Trademark sired,
won Jr. Classic Pleasure at the Grand National. His name was Scandias Mark
of Destiny. What makes this even more interesting is that Mark of Destiny
was sold as a Western Pleasure horse, after winning his first and only
western class as a three year old. His new owners decided he had so much
motion they would take him Classic and qualified at the last minute for his
four year old year at the Nationals. They did all the work and training
themselves, and “lo and behold”, his son won the whole “deal”. He also did
well in the thirteen and under age group, carrying two different riders.
This year Scandias Trademark is feeling well, it has been two years since
his accident. He is being bred to seven mares this year, two of our own.
Recently he was taken to the vet so we could make a shipment of semen.
Trademark had never been collected on so we did not really know how it would
go. When I got there and the vet clinic had the mount extremely high, set
for warmbloods. Trademark went right up, and hung on for dear life on his
tippy toes, with great determination. His semen tested with a motility and
concentration great enough to have done fourteen mares, and was good after
three days. What else could we expect from this stallion, the Little Engine
that Could. I think I can, I think I can, and he continues to do soA video of Trademark