Marion duPont Scott
Marion duPont Scott (1894 - September 4, 1983) was an American philanthropist, internationally renowned thoroughbred horsebreeder and the last private owner of Montpelier, the mansion and land estate of former United States President James Madison. At the time of her death, Mrs. Scott bequeathed Montpelier to the National Trust for Historic Preservation as a national landmark open to the general public, with the condition that the Madison home (which had been expanded to 55 rooms by the du Pont family) be restored to its original 22 room state as a historic landmark.
While the Du Pont family usually spell the family name as "du Pont," Marion and her brother William duPont, Jr. spelled it conjoined.
She was born in 1894 to William duPont and Annie Rogers duPont. She spent her childhood at Binfield, Berkshire, England. She was the great-granddaughter of Eluthere Irenee duPont.
Mrs. Scott owned Thoroughbred racehorses that competed under her nom de course, Montpelier Stable, in both Flat racing and Steeplechase. In 1934, she and her brother William duPont, Jr. founded the Montpelier Steeplechase Hunt Races, which are held at the Montpelier horse racing steeplechase course (which Montpelier overlooks) the first Saturday in November each year (a National Steeplechase Association event). The graves and tombstones of three of her beloved racehorses lie off to the left of Montpelier Mansion. Two of these are sons of Man o' War, Battleship and Annapolis. Battleship is the only horse in history to win both the American Grand National and the English Grand National steeplechase races.
Mrs. Scott's horse Mongo was voted the 1963 American Champion Male Turf Horse. Following the creation of the Eclipse Awards in 1971, Mrs. Scott's horse Soothsayer was voted the 1972 American Champion Steeplechase Horse and in 1976 Proud Delta was voted American Champion Older Female Horse. Mrs. Scott was the recipient of the Thoroughbred Breeders of Kentucky Award in 1973, and in 1981 was voted the National Turf Writers Association Joe Palmer Award for meritorious service and outstanding achievement in racing.
Equine Medical Center
Virginia Tech's Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Virginia, was created in 1984 through a gift from Mrs. Scott. The center is a full-service equine hospital that offers advanced specialty care, 24 hour emergency treatment and diagnostic services for all ages and breeds of horses. The hospital sees approximately three thousand patients annually, and employs one hundred twenty equine healthcare professionals.
Mrs. Scott's important collection of books and periodicals on the history and practice of equestrian and related sports was donated to the University of Virginia's Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library with an endowment fund to maintain and expand the collection. Her famous 'red room' with decorations and furniture at Montpelier, although removed permanently from the house during restoration, was moved to Montpelier's visitor center where it is open for viewing by the general public. The visitor center also displays several walls of photographs from Mrs. Scott's distinguished Thoroughbred horse racing career. She was married briefly to Hollywood actor Randolph Scott.