Harrisburg - Caleb Martin is someone who could be called a traditional cowboy. He's got the boots, the hat, the spurs, and the horse. As most cowboys have a Carhartt jacket with their name embroidered on the chest, Martin sports a jacket of a different kind. He's got a track jacket with the letters U.S.M.C. embroidered on the back.
After tonight's First Frontier Circuit rodeo at the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg, Martin will be hanging up his rodeo gear to enter a new chapter of his life; serving his country in the United States Marine Corps.
Martin has been involved with the rodeo scene since he was eleven, and was introduced to the sport through family tradition. Almost every male member of his family has participated in rodeos, and he only hopes that tradition will continue in the future. A native of Sandston, Va., Martin has traveled all over the nation participating in steer wrestling events. When participating in one of the most dangerous sports on earth, Martin has become all too familiar with getting injured; and like most cowboys, continues to persevere in his event, striving for excellence to make his family proud.
Martin says that family is one of the most important things in his life, and appreciates that his parents are supportive in all of his efforts. Traveling from one event to another can be daunting, and Martin has become accustomed to travelling with his Uncle as his sidekick.
When reminiscing about fond memories throughout his years on the circuit trail, Martin will never forget the opportunity to participate in the National High School Rodeo Finals, held in Farmington, N.M., the world's largest rodeo, with over 1,500 contestants from over 40 states and five Canadian provinces. As the top steer-wrestling cowboy in Virginia, Martin placed fourth in the 2008 contest, and noted that it was one of the proudest moments of his life. In addition to his outstanding performance in 2008, Martin was able to make the trip to New Mexico in 2006 and 2009 as well.
Martin has been no stranger to accidents and injuries. A spill in Georgia set him back for quite a while, and he had to take time off from the circuit to recover. In one of his practice sessions before the rodeo, Martin jumped off his horse to take down a steer, but instead was knocked in the face from steer. The intensity of the hit made Martin fall to the ground, shattering his arm. The doctors decided to implant metal plates into his arm, and after several surgeries and six months of recovery, Martin made his way back into the circuit. He was cleared to participate the day before the National High School Rodeo Finals in 2009, and was able to endure through the competition.
As a future member of the Armed Forces serving for our country, Martin is more than excited to head to Parris Island, S.C. to begin boot camp. When asked about his thoughts of entering the United States Marine Corps, Martin replied "can I leave now?" After his final appearance in the rodeo at the Pennsylvania Farm Show, Martin will head back to Sandston and prepare for his departure, which is set for the end of this month.
The 2012 Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in the nation, featuring nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 300 commercial exhibitors. The show runs Jan. 7-14 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg. Admission is free and parking is $10. Visit www.farmshow.state.pa.us for details.
For photos, click here.