03/28/09 Midwest Regional: Mastering Michigan

  • March 24, 2009
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As breeder/owner Marilyn McMaster looked at splashy photographs of yearlings galloping across lush pastures, her favorite gray mare posing beneath a weeping willow tree, and her intricately self-built log home, memories of her humble beginnings came rushing back.

She remembered a day during the mid-1970s when an acquaintance owed her late husband, Rolland "Mac" McMaster, a significant sum of money and offered a few of his Thoroughbred mares as a means to cover the debt.

At the time, Mac and Marilyn owned a farm in Central Michigan where they kept a few Quarter Horses, a herd of cattle, and offered boarding services. But aside from attending a few races at Arlington Park, they had never been directly involved in the Thoroughbred industry until the peace offering of backyard mares was handed over to them. Three decades later the McMasters' operation has risen to the top of the Michigan market. And even though Mac is no longer present to share the success, Marilyn knows it was their collaborative teamwork from the beginning that has now paid off.

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