NCHA Riders Hall of Fame: Scott Martin

Scott Martin might have taken the round about route to find his peaceful cutting home at Figge Farms in Bellevue Idaho; but it sure has paid off for him—$1,000,000-plus in earnings, to be precise. After more than 20 years in the cutting horse business, Martin passed the million-dollar mark and will be inducted into the NCHA Open Hall of Fame at the 2007 NCHA Futurity in December.

Martin always knew that riding horses would be in his future. After all, he grew up showing reiners and snaffle bit horses in California. With the support of his mother and stepfather, Mike and Pam Baker, Martin won many year end awards and stock seat medal finals as well as the ASHA Stock Seat Medal Finals in 1981 as a junior rider. With parents in the horse business and a successful early show career, one might wonder how Martin got into the cutting horse business fresh out of the junior leagues.

"I kept riding and learning from who ever I could," Martin said. "I moved to Oklahoma and went to work for Terry Riddle and Bill Freeman, each for two and a half years, in the cutting business.

"It was kind of my college education, working for them," Martin added. "I competed for them in shows, did training, and all kinds of ranch stuff."

This California guy—turned Oklahoma boy—soon found himself thrust into the big leagues as a professional, making a name for himself riding Futurity horses. As far back as 1985, Martin was a semi-finalist in the NCHA Open Futurity aboard Montoyas Golddust. Martin won the 1995 NCHA Derby with Meradas Sunset. Other great rides came; other big wins followed on such horses as Acres Of Red, RM Bell Boon N Candle, SR Shortening, Starlights Gypsy and Shorty Lenas Notice.

"Professionally, my biggest win is probably the Pacific Coast Futurity in 1999, when I won on Shorty Lenas Notice," Martin said of the horse he also rode to wins at the Northwest Ranch Festival in Fort Klamath, Oregon, and the Gold Coast Winter Championship in Las Vegas. "Winning the NCHA Gelding Stakes at Fort Worth was pretty big, too."

Having worked on farms in Oklahoma and Texas, Martin has ended up in Idaho with his training operation working for Jim and Sandy Figge. With an average of 25 young horses in training, Martin and his staff keep busy at home and on the road.
"It's a big deal to pass this mark," said Martin. "It took me twenty years to make that much money, averaging about $50,000 a year.

"I usually show anywhere from four to ten 3-year-olds, a couple of 4-year-olds, and maybe a couple of 5-year-olds," Martin said. "I don't go too far away too early in the year."

Martin credits his success with his team. Although his sons, Dogen and Bodhi don't ride yet, Martin enjoys his down time with them doing things like water-skiing, surfing and snow-boarding.

"With the cutting horses, there's a lot of professional camaraderie that helps you to pick out the cows, and get your horse show the best you can" Martin said. "There are so many variables to cutting. Sometimes, it's just the luck of the draw."
All luck aside, Martin realizes that training cutting horses is tough work. But he wouldn't have it any other way.

"It's a long, hard haul. Some years are great; some years aren't," Martin said. "The longer I'm in it, the more fun it is and the more I enjoy it." He is known as a great teacher and truly enjoys helping people learn the art of cutting.

Martin Cutting Horses, LLC
at Figge Farms
10727 Hwy 75
Bellevue, ID 83313
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