CHARLOTTE, NC – Charlotte’s oldest cowboy passed away at the age of 86 on Monday. Bobby “Big M” Martin died of complications with Covid and pneumonia. His lasting legacy includes rooms in his house full of horse show trophies and generations of people impacted by his stable.
“They’re gentle giants. If you treat them and respect them. They’ll do the same to you,” said Bobby’s son Ron Martin.
Ron Martin now runs the stables, which his father started decades ago in the 1970’s. Ron says his father’s goal was to get the community involved.
“He didn’t care what you’ve done, who you were. He treated you the same, but he always had a joke,” said Ron.
Martin says his father worked through racism and setbacks to continue to provide a positive and rewarding activity for people in the Druid Hills neighborhood.
“What he really wanted to do was make it affordable so that black young men can afford a horse,” said Ron.
Bobby Martin’s home is filled with dozens of trophies, ribbons, and relics from a lifelong passion. His legacy continues outside his front yard at the stables.
“Truly there is a legacy here like no other,” said Jefferey Hendricks.
Hendricks is a friend of the family. He says the horses helped change his life for the better. And he’s seeing just how Bobby Martin’s work in the community is helping to change others lives.
“Everybody that comes here comes here for their purpose. And the fact that Mr. Bobby would appreciate whatever your purpose was and then give you a story to go along with it,” explained Hendricks.