AQHA Past President Marten Clark

AQHA Past President Marten Clark

The member of the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame has passed away.

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AQHA Past President Marten Clark of Pebble Beach, California, died July 28, 2022. He was 93.

Marten was born and raised near Soledad, California, and grew up in the farming, produce and beef and dairy cattle industries. While attending California State Polytechnic College at San Luis Obispo, he became involved in the horse industry, and bought his first Quarter Horse while he was still in college. 

After Marten graduated from Cal Poly, he returned to his family’s farming business, but he also became even more involved in the horse business. He often said that the beginning of his success in the industry was with a mare that he raised called Nevada Starlet. By Nevada King out of a daughter of Waggoner’s Rainy Day, he bred Nevada Starlet to such horses as Poco Tivio, Doc Bar and Par Three. Among her produce were three AQHA Superior halter horses as well as a number of other horses who earned points in halter and performance events. Marten always said that his mentor in those early days was Charley Araujo, who owned Poco Tivio.

In 1953, Marten was elected as a director in the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Association, and remained so for the next 20 years. In 1972, he was elected president of that group. He was elected as an AQHA director in 1968 and served on the stud book and registration, Hall of Fame, nomination and credentials, finance, investment oversight, and shows committees. He was chairman of the shows committee when he was elected to the AQHA Executive Committee in 1977. In 1981, he was elected AQHA President. At the time of his death, Marten was still a member of the investment oversight committee. He served on various committees for 54 years and was AQHA’s longest tenured committee member. 

Marten became an AQHA-approved judge in 1955 and was one of the judges at the first AQHA World Championship Show in 1974. He had judged throughout the United States as well as in Canada, Australia, Brazil and Italy. 

Marten was a past director of the Salinas Valley Fair Board and of the California Rodeo at Salinas, and he was a former member of the Monterey County Airport Land Use Committee.

He was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1996.

Marten is survived by his wife Jody, his son Mark and wife Susie, his daughter Margot Nunes and husband Tom, sons Jay and Erik Farrior, and daughter Laura Farrior, as well as nine grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.

Memorials may be made in Marten’s honor to the American Quarter Horse Foundation.

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