Marten A. Clark
Inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1996
While he was a student at California State Polytechnic College in San Luis Obispo, Marten Clark purchased a 3-year-old sorrel stallion named Nevada King on a trip in Nevada. Clark brought the horse back to Cal Poly, making the first ripples of Steel Dust blood in the program's gene pool.
He bred Nevada King to a great granddaughter of Man O'War (TB) and the resulting foal -- Polly Cal -- was the first Quarter Horse owned by the school.
Before selling the stallion in 1959, Clark bred Nevada King to a daughter of Waggoner's Rainy Day. The resulting filly, Nevada Starlet, carried Clark even further into the then unchartered waters of Quarter Horse breeding.
Clark bred Nevada Starlet to AQHA Champion Poco Tivio, a National Cutting Horse Association world champion finalist by Poco Bueno. Then he bred the mare to an untried stallion owned by Tom Finley of Gilbert, Arizona. That stallion's name was Doc Bar.
When all was bred and done, Nevada Starlet produced 14 foals, 12 of which were AQHA point earners. Her first son by Doc Bar (she carried three of his foals) was Barlet, a colt that clinched one halter futurity after another. In 1962, he stood reserve champion at the Cow Palace, outranked that day only by his own sire.
Clark worked for the Quarter Horse industry ever since he first started in the business. He was a director of the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Association for about 20 years, and served that group as president in 1972. He was a past director of the Salinas Valley Fair Board and of the Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association, a director of the California Rodeo and a member of the Monterey County Airport Land Use Committee. An AQHA Director, he was chairman of the AQHA Show and Contest Committee until being elected to the AQHA Executive Committee. He also judged AQHA-approved events from 1955 to 1977. Marten served as AQHA President in 1981.
As a judge, Clark represented AQHA in Canada, Australia, Brazil and Italy. He presented seminars in New Zealand and Brazil. Clark also judged throughout the United States, and was one of the judges for the first AQHA World Championship Show in 1974, in Louisville, Kentucky.
Clark was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1996.