We have sad news out of Washington State this morning, as we’ve learned Markus, a 13-year-old off-track Thoroughbred gelding owned by Karen O’Neal, was euthanized Tuesday during colic surgery.
Markus, by Miner’s Mark out of Fighting Mom, raced until he was 7 and started his eventing career at age 8 with Karen, who successfully campaigned him through the Advanced level before handing the reins over to her daughter, Patience.
Together, Patience and Markus were named to the USEF Eventing 18 program in 2014 and participated in training sessions with U.S. team coach David O’Connor.
After hauling 2,000 miles across the country last year to compete in the CCI* at the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships in Lexington, Kentucky, Patience and Markus made the long journey worthwhile by winning the individual silver medal on a score of 55.
“Markus was the most honest, hardworking horse I’ve ever known and loved his life and competing,” Karen said. “He looked forward to taking care of us over the big cross-country fences and always tried to please.”
The horse completed seven events at the one-star and two-star level during his career, with highlights including a 10th-place finish at Woodside CIC2* in 2012 and an eighth-place finish at the Galway Downs CCI2* with Karen in the irons.
Markus dominated on his home turf in Area VII, winning numerous Intermediate horse trials at Caber Farm, Aspen Farms and Inavale Farms. He was named Area VII Horse of the Year in 2013 and won numerous Thoroughbred Incentive Program awards.
“As a loyal and exuberant partner in our trying sport, Markus will be missed, and a piece of our hearts will forever be with him,” Karen said.
Our thoughts are with Karen, Patience and the Area VII family during this very sad time. Rest in peace, Markus.