Jackson native Jamie Planck Martin has brought home a championship title from one of the equestrian world’s premier events. Martin and her bay gelding, Cayman, won the amateur-owner hunter, 36 and over tricolor at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show held in Harrisburg, Pa. The show, held in October, is America’s largest indoor multi-breed horse show. Martin describes it as the equestrian Super Bowl. More than 1,200 of the finest amateur and professional riders compete for $340,000 in prize money.
Martin and her husband are the owners of Providence Hill Farm, an equestrian riding and jumping facility, near Pocahontas, Mississippi. She has only been back in the ring for 3 years after taking a 24- year break from competition to practice law. Martin lived in Kentucky and was an Olympic hopeful in the late ‘70s, but gave up riding to go to law school and to raise a family. “I always wanted to ride again. I think God has blessed me incredibly to have this opportunity to do this again.”
Earlier this season, Martin rode Cayman, a large 17.2 hands, to earn the HITS Ocala Circuit Championship in Florida. She went on to qualify for the Devon, Penn., competition, where she won as Reserve champion. Devon is the leading outdoor competition in the U.S. She concluded the indoor season with her win at the Pennsylvania National. Martin believes her patience in finding the right team of horses and trainers has paid off. “It’s been really rewarding to stick to a plan and work hard over two years and see it come together.”
Now Martin spends her time readying herself and her 10-year old daughter, Tinsley, for competitions. In fact, it was Tinsley who inspired her mother to get back in the saddle. “I made it through about two months of sitting there, watching Tinsley ride before I said, ‘If I’ve got to spend all this time at the barn, I might as well do it, too!’” In fact, Tinsley is following her mother’s lead. She won the Children’s Hunter Classics in Lexington, Ky., in August and September.
Growing up, Martin never thought she would have horses of Cayman’s caliber for competition. “Horses are such a gift, and after having been away so long and come back, it’s amazing how much more I appreciate them. This time, I have time to know my horses and appreciate what fine athletes they are and that they really try.”
Martin works with her horses at her training facility at Providence Hill Farm. It is a full-service hunter and jumper equestrian facility, which provides boarding, training and lessons. “The facility is designed to produce excellence from all our horses and riders, young and old, experienced and learning,” says Martin. “This is a wonderful sport the entire family can enjoy together. Mississippi has the perfect climate to raise horses.”
While Martin is at the top in her sport, she plans to improve her riding and work with some young horses during the winter months. Then, when the outdoor competitions begin in February and the indoor competitions in September, she plans to bring even more blue ribbons home to Mississippi.
Providence Hill Farm is a full-service hunter and jumper equestrian facility, which provides boarding, training and lessons. To learn more, log onto www.providencehillfarm.com.
For more about equestrian riding and jumping, go to the Mississippi Hunter Jumper Association’s website at www.mhja.net.