|Martin jumps from courtroom to corral
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
MADISON COUNTY JOURNAL
By LEA ANNE BRANDON
Jamie Planck Martin has successfully made the jump from Mississippi courtrooms into the international arena of equestrian competition.
The northeast Jackson lawyer turned rider recently 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 October show is America’s largest indoor multi-breed horse show.
Martin, who returned to the sport of riding only three years ago after taking 24 years off for a law career and family, describes the contest as “the equestrian Super Bowl.”
More than 1,200 of the finest amateur and professional riders compete for $340,000 in prize money.
Martin, along with husband E.B., owns Providence Hill Farm, an equestrian riding and jumping facility in rural southwest Madison County near Flora. She has only been back in the ring for three years after taking a two and one-half-year hiatus from competition to practice law.
Before becoming a lawyer, Martin lived in Kentucky and was an Olympic hopeful in the late 1970s. She gave up the sport, at least temporarily, 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,” she said recently.
Earlier this competition season, Martin rode Cayman, a large 17.2 hands-high horse, 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,” she said.
Martin now 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!’”
Tinsley is following well in her mother’s stirrups. The pre-teen won the Children’s Hunter Classics in Lexington, Ky., in August and September 2005.
Growing up, Martin said she never imagined she would one day have the opportunity to own and ride 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,” she said.
Martin works with her horses at her training facility at Providence Hill Farms. 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,” said Martin. “This is a wonderful sport the entire family can enjoy together. Mississippi has the perfect climate to raise horses.”
While Martin has already reached 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 hopes to bring even more blue ribbons home to Mississippi.
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