Margaret Arion was a Guy Axworthy - Margaret Parrish - Vice Commodore foal of 1923. She was bred by A. H. Cosden of Southold, New York. Her dam, Margaret Parrish 4,2:06 1/4 was a speed marvel even with the handicap of having only one good lung. Margaret Arion was a full sister to Arion Guy 4,1:59 1/2, former champion four-year-old trotter and the first colt trotter to beat 2:00. As a three-year-old, on the Grand Circuit in Toledo, Ohio, Margaret Arion took her mark of 2:10 1/2. Three of her trainers, Ben White, Thomas Murphy and Harold Childs tried to put her in the 2:10 list, however without success.
Margaret Arion was purchased by Dr. Ogden M. Edwards of Walnut Hall Farm, Lexington, Kentucky as an addition to the farm's broodmare band. As a broodmare, Margaret Arion was especially fecund, producing 16 foals in 18 years. She was the first mare to produce two Hambletonian winners: The Marchioness 2:01 1/4 (1932) and The Ambassador 2:04 (1942). She had three Kentucky Futurity winners: Immortal Protector (1931), The Marchioness (1932) and Princess Peg (1934). Margaret Arion's first foal, Protector, was also her first 2:00 offspring. It is unfortunate that he was not eligible to the Hambletonian Stake, as he was defeated only once as a three-year-old. He went on to become a world champion with a 1:59 1/4 mile. Margaret Arion's second foal and second 2:00 minute trotter was The Marchioness 1:59 1/4; her third 2:00 trotter (and tenth foal) was His Excellency, 3,1:59 3/4. He placed second in the 1941 Hambletonian and in 1943 won the Lexington Red Mile's Transylvania Free-For-All Trot in a time of 2:01 1/4.
Margaret Arion produced her last foal in 1945. This great mare showed up prominently in the pedigrees of the three leading American-sired moneywinning juvenile trotting colts of 1988: Keyser Lobell, Flying Irishman; and Valley Victory. As of 2000, Valley Victory has produced 26 in 1:55, winners of $28 million, six $1 million winners, and three Hambletonian winners (Continentalvictory, Victory Dream and Muscles Yankee). Valley Victory is also the grand-sire of 1999 Hambletonian winner, Self Possessed 3,1:51.3 ($1.3 million). These incredible statistics illustrate the tremendous influence of Margaret Arion some 60 years after the birth of her first foal in 1928.
Margaret Arion, who is considered by many to be the greatest trotting broodmare of all time, died in 1946 at Walnut Hall Farm. She is buried at Walnut Hall Limited, Lexington, Kentucky.
Walnut Hall Farm, Lexington, KY
Published in the Harness Racing Museum's 2001 Souvenir Journal