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Rick Martinez always wanted to own a horse growing up. Now he has 15-plus “amazing” horses that he says are like his own, a childhood dream come true
Rick Martinez of Cumming, Ga., was presented with the Summit Achievement Award at the 9th annual International Hoof-Care Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Feb. 2, 2012.
American Farriers Journal and Delta Mustad Hoofcare Center established the Summit Achievement Award in 2008 to honor equine footcare professionals who have shown dedication to volunteer work, donating their time and talents to the equine community.
Martinez has dedicated a lot of time and resources to the Reece Center for Handicapped Horsemanship in Palmetto, Ga. The Reece Center provides equine therapy for metro-Atlanta’s physically and mentally challenged children and adults, and has been doing so for almost 30 years. It is completely staffed by volunteers and funded solely by donations.
Since joining the Reece Center in early 2000 — a friend of his asked for help after a barn fire destroyed part of the Reece Center’s property and equipment, but thankfully none of the horses — Martinez has devoted his life to the equine community. If it weren’t for the Center, Martinez says, “I would not have become a farrier.”
When Martinez joined the Reece Center, he helped rebuild the barn and used his tractor to mow, as the Center’s was destroyed in the fire. He would also watch the farrier at the time, Jerry Henry, work on the horses.