Marjorie P. Fergusson, 89
Marjorie P. Fergusson passed away peacefully on October 6, 2013, she was 89 years old. Like many women, Marjorie “Marge” Peterson Fergusson came into this industry as the mother to a young daughter, Jeanne, who developed a passion for “all things equestrian” after beginning lessons in the early 1960's at Don Peebles Stables in Morton Grove, not a far jaunt from the Fergusson's then-home in Evanston, Illinois. Don and Dude Peebles selected Jeanne's first horses for her before they made the transition to Chat Nichols Stable wherein Chat acted as their agent in the purchased of top three gaited horses Arabesque and Victory’s Serenade as Jeanne's first top show horses. Really having been bit by the bug, Jeanne's parents Marge and Don Fergusson thought they would purchase land and build a horse farm of their own.
In 1970, Royal Scot Stables was established in Richmond, Illinois, thus beginning the lifelong family affair with top American Saddlebreds and Hackney ponies that, through the generations, continues to this day.
From 1970 until 1987, trainer Bonnie Byrne developed and trained such American Saddlebred show stars as CHTartan Twilight, CHNatural Rights, CHJimmy James, CHBusy Agent, CHCity Glitter, Santana Ann, CHBonus Gift, Sweet Treasure, CHLady Cameron, CHGotta Dance, Main Topic, CHRoyal Scot’s Chapel Belle, and CHEpcot Center. While daughter, Jeanne, was in the saddle, Marge and husband Donald W. Fergusson, (who preceded her in death in 1976 at the age of 54), sought involvement through showing and breeding top Hackney ponies such as the great ten-time World’s Champion Tijuana Brass, who went on to become the sire of many World’s Champion offspring. Marge has shown many outstanding ponies throughout the years including Dun Haven Inspiration, Tijuana Jubilee, Sir Fistication, Holiday’s Prime Time, and Tijuana Tribute. In 1996, Marge showed the flashy Bold Lad to the Amateur Harness Pony World’s Grand Championship under the direction of Pat McConnell.
Royal Scot has also 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 who have gone on to operate at the family's New Lenox, IL location under their own banner of Skyline Stables.
Along with these top trainers, Marjorie has kept horses over the years with a select group of outside trainers including Scott & Carol Matton, Frank & Nancy McConnell, Lynda & Andy Freseth, Jack Nevitt,
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 Midwestern stops in-between are: CHPlayboy Kabaret, Chief’s Magnum Force, CHHigh Expectations, CHFantastic Step, CHSergeant Royalty, CHMy Grande, CHPeppermint Sonburst, The Great Gazoo, and CHProtégé.
Marge has been a fixture on the Midwestern show circuit for more than 40 years, 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, the 2005 Audrey Gutridge Award at the World's Championship Horse Show, and Illinois American Saddlebred Pleasure Horse Association's Horse Person of the Year. She has been an avid 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. Marge also served on the board of the American Hackney Horse Society.
Always a lady....we salute the matriarch of Royal Scot Stables, Marjorie P. Fergusson, a lady who taught us all how to smile and the true embodiment of the word grace.
Marge was the loving mother of Donald C. (Stacey) Fergusson and Jeanne (Thomas C.) Pettry. Dear grandmother of Donna (Kenny) Smith, Kristen, Thomas D. (Vanessa), Andrew R. Pettry, Tara (Steve) Litchfield, Brent (Corey) and Quinn Fergusson. Great-grandmother of Caden Litchfield. Dear sister of Donald E. “Smokey” Peterson and the late Charles L. Peterson. Aunt of many nieces and nephews and the dear friend to many.
Visitation for Mrs. Fergusson was October 11, 2013 at the William H Scott Funeral Home in Wilmette, Illinois. A luncheon followed interment at the Doubletree Hotel in Skokie, Illinois.