Skip to content

Neil "Cowboy" Martin honored with the UPHA Caretaker Hall of Fame

The UPHA Caretaker Hall of Fame is given to an individual who has demonstrated a long standing commitment to providing excellent care of horses. He or she must share the enthusiasm and loyalty with his/her barn family and maintain perseverance in the face of adversity.

During the Thursday evening performance of the Lexington Junior League Charity Horse Show, UPHA honored Neil “Cowboy” Martin, as the 2020 inductee into the UPHA Caretaker Hall of Fame. 

"Cowboy" has a deep love of the American Saddlebred. He has spent his career taking care of some of this industry’s very best. 

The son of Jimmy Martin, he is originally from Alabama. In his youth, he and his dad moved to Harrodsburg, Kentucky. He developed his love of horses while growing up watching his dad train horses, in residence at the Mercer County Fairgrounds.
"Cowboy" worked for Nelson Green at Happy Valley Stables, John Conatser at Bent Tree Farm, taking care of the famous World's Champions: CH City Kitty, CH Cynthia's Party Punch, and TNT. He worked for Donna Moore, where he has fond memories of taking care of the World’s Champion mare CH Rhythm 'n Jazz. 
Additionally, he worked for Tom Moore for eight years. During his tenure he took care of the famous World's Champions: CH Home Town Hero, CH Caramac, Callaway’s Blue Norther, CH Crystal Vision, CH Night Prowler and CH Captive Spirit. 
He continued to stay connected within the horse industry when he was asked to drive a horse van for Bud and Cindy Willimon, owners of Southern Venture, Inc. He became their first full time driver and remained with them for 15 years. He then went on to drive for Creech Brothers for 18 years. He has always been a horse trainer’s partner both as a caretaker and a driver. You always knew your horses were in the best of hands with “Cowboy”.
If not for his diagnosis of ALS, "Cowboy" would still be working; safely hauling a group of top horses to their next horse show. 
"Cowboy" was not able to attend the presentation due to health issues. Accepting the award on his behalf was former UPHA President and his longtime friend Bret Day.

Congratulations once again from all of us "Cowboy", on your well-deserved induction into the UPHA Caretaker Hall of Fame.

More Stories