Tough As They Come

by Ed Meyer

posted on December 10, 2009 in General Discussion | No Comments >>

We would all like to work as long as possible. It gives us a sense of purpose, and keeps us active in many degrees. But for Martin Brown, life has been a ride for this youthful 65-year-old jockey.

Martin Brown cut his teeth the way many riders do in Louisiana. He began at age seven, and hooked up riding match races at bush tracks. This is the ropes for many hailing from Cajun land.

In 1962, he began riding at Fair Grounds. He did pretty well, and was able to raise his family. His career stats will not be shocking, as he is just another blue-collar athlete who knows no boundaries. Somebody forgot to tell him he was not 18 anymore.

He has loved what he’s done for a living. It is rare in this day and time to really enjoy what you do. He considers himself a very lucky man.

This past September, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He had some questions, and they were pretty serious. First, he wanted to know how long before he could ride again. Would he be on the shelf?  Second, he wanted the treatment that would be least invasive and not keep him from doing his work.  They stopped making them like him a long time ago.

He does not see himself sitting deck side by the pool anytime soon. He wants to get his problem taken care of, and he figures God will tell him when it is time to hang it up. But for now, put away the shuffleboard sticks.

We all have known someone who inspires us. But it is rare when you read about a man who plies his trade with people half his age. It was an article by Rick Mocklin that drew me to this tough man. I am so glad that I took the time to read, and who knows, maybe I will get to see him ride in person someday.