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
"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
"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
"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
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
"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
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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