Martin and his partner Jerry Bailey from Reddick, Fla., competed on July 8-11. The team defeated 82 other teams, roping four steers in 35.48 second, to win $7,000 and trophy saddles. Martin now hopes to win the national finals in Oklahoma in October.
Last year at nationals, Martin placed in several roping categories. His record for team roping is one steer in 4.1 seconds which he set in Pittsburgh, Texas about 15 years ago.
He said he enjoys the fellowship of team roping, being with the animals and the competition.
“It’s a sport where you will see a grandfather roping with a granddaughter,” Martin said, commenting that the handicap system used in team roping makes it fair for beginners.
Martin began competing in roping when he was 16. Raised on a ranch in Kansas, he has also lived in Texas and Oklahoma. In 2006, Martin moved to Cleveland to become the president of Reinsman, which he describes as the “largest most complete manufacturer of equestrian products.”
Martin said he misses the Western lifestyle of these states. Martin said what he missed the most about the western lifestyle was the people.
When Martin was little, a horse fell on him causing him to develop arthritis in his back.
Wanting to stay the equestrian industry despite his back problems, Martin started making saddles. Martin said saddle making is “one of the few things that has never been automated and never will be.” He said the best is a good fit for the horse and the rider and a fashion statement.
However, he never let the arthitis keep him from riding.
“I had a true passion for the equestian industry,” Martin said.
Martin opened his first retail store two weeks after high school. The store was successful and since then he has owned several others throughout the midwest. Martin is also a public speaker and writer about business and the equestrian industry. Martin said he was a self taught business man, but that his father was a big influence in his success and passion for the industry.
Martin has roping partners throughout the United States. Through the years, Martin had the opportiunity to rope with some famous personalities such as George Strait and James Pickens Jr. Martin said he plans to attend his first competition with his wife as his roping partner at the end of the month. His wife has been roping for about a year.