02/23/2009 1:00AM

Marion Gross of Gainesway dies


Marion Gross, stallion manager at Gainesway Farm for 41 years, died Monday after a brief illness, the Lexington, Ky., farm announced Monday. He was 68.

Gross arrived at Gainesway in 1963, when the farm was owned by founder John Gaines and stood just four stallions. During his tenure, Gross oversaw the stallion roster's expansion to as many as 50 horses in the 1980s. He counted the sires Vaguely Noble, Lyphard, Mt. Livermore, and Cozzene among the charges in which he took the most pride.

On Gross's watch, the farm's ownership also changed from Gaines to Graham Beck, whose son Antony now runs the operation.

"Whether he was coordinating the activities of a few stallions or dozens, Marion's influence over the stud barn was all-encompassing and unfailing," the farm announcement said. "He directed thousands of matings in his extraordinary career and consistently exhibited a calm mastery of the horses, for which he will be long remembered."

Services tentatively were planned for Friday, with details still pending on Monday. Kerr Brothers in Lexington was handling arrangements.