Caroline Martin Embraces A New Mentality For Land Rover Kentucky

Apr 25, 2019 - 12:15 PM

Lexington, Ky.—April 25

In previous years leading up to the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, Caroline Martin had a singular focus—preparing herself and her horses for the best performance possible. But this year, the 24-year-old has been riding with a different mentality.

“My parents’ company isn’t doing so well,” she said. “They work in Central America, and there’s a lot of unrest in the countries, so they told me in December I need to be self-sufficient.”

To achieve that Martin sold two of her advanced mounts, The Apprentice and Spring Easy, and has started a sales business to help pay the bills.

Caroline Martin and Islandwood Captain Jack were first down centerline this morning. Lindsay Berreth Photo

“Normally, in the past, I would just focus on being on the top and getting as many lessons as I can, but now my main focus for the season was making money and focusing on the top three horses,” she said.

“You don’t know if you can make it in this business, and it’s a little bit of a sink or swim type of year,” she continued. “[My parents] gave me the option of I could sell everything and do something else as a living, but I like this sport too much, and I want to be at the top. We will also syndicate the three horses that I have left. We’re going to announce it this weekend, so if there’s anyone who wants to support me and these horses that’d be great, or they might potentially be on the market soon. It just depends.”

Caroline Martin and Islandwood Captain Jack scored a 40.0 in their test. Lindsay Berreth Photo

But for this weekend, Martin’s hoping to give her five-star rookies Islandwood Captain Jack and Danger Mouse the best rides she can. She was first down centerline with “James,” a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Jack Of Diamonds—Suir Touch, Touchdown), and scored a 40.0.  (You can learn more about James by going behind the stall door with him.)

“It’s good,” she said. “He’s quite a green horse. It’s his second year at advanced. I’ve done a lot of work with him these last couple weeks in dressage. He didn’t show all of the homework we did, but he didn’t really care about the atmosphere and stuff like that, so it’s a good building block.”

Other riders might be hesitant to leave the start box first on a greener mount, but Martin is embracing it.

“I don’t mind at all; I like being out first,” she said. “I like walking the course and making my plan and sticking with it, and riding more off of instinct rather than worrying about what someone else did the ride before. It’s good for me to go out there and just take a crack at it.”

Martin will ride Danger Mouse at 2:44 p.m. on Thursday, April 25.

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We’re on site at the Kentucky Horse Park to bring you all the info and photos you need to know from the biggest event of the year. Check back all weekend at and be sure to pick up the May 20 print edition of the Chronicle for much more.


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