Marty Bauman can be found at horse shows and events all around the country, but not on the back of a horse. As the owner of Classic Communications, a public relations, marketing and event management company, Marty may not be riding but his participation in the horse world is extensive, including including serving as the equestrian press officer at three Olympic Games, and as press chief for the Kentucky Three-Day Event, Hampton Classic and 10 FEI World Cup Finals. Marty jumped into the horse world almost by accident in 1978 when he was working on his master’s degree at Boston University and doing freelance public relations on the side. Mason Phelps was running the American Jumping Derby in Newport, Rhode Island, and looking for help with public relations and offered Marty the job. “I didn’t know anything about the horse show world but everything I did seemed to work,” Marty said. “We got great coverage in the local press and attracted big crowds. When I finished my master’s, I decided that rather than look for a job I would try to parlay the horse show into a business. Very quickly other opportunities opened up: Gene Mische met me at the Derby and asked me to come to Lake Placid. Then he brought me to Florida for the Winter Equestrian Festival — which consisted of horse shows in Tampa, Ocala, Jacksonville and West Palm Beach, way before there was any such thing as Wellington — and I was on my way.” Marty said he believes that if it had rained the weekend of that first Jumping Derby, he would have a different career today.
Growing up, what were your hobbies?
I grew up in West Roxbury, a neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. We had buses, not horses, so I was usually playing ball — baseball, basketball, football and street hockey.
When you were young, what career did you dream about?
The career I dreamt about the most was playing center field for the New York Yankees! Yes, even though I’m from Boston, I’ve always loved the Yankees.
Is anyone in your family an equestrian?
My wife, Nancy, and I have been married since 1983. Neither of our children is an equestrian although both are horse show babies! In 1985, I was promoting the American Invitational in Tampa and Nancy was ticket manager. She was due to have our first child (Jonathan) around Memorial Day, so we thought we’d be home in plenty of time. The day before the Invitational, I rushed her to the hospital for an emergency C-section. Nancy decided to stay home from the Lake Placid Horse Show when she was pregnant with our daughter, Bailey, in 1988. I was at the show when I got the call that Nancy was in the hospital. The next morning, I flew out of the tiny airport in Saranac Lake and after three flights, arrived at the hospital in Boston in time to be there when Bailey was born!
Have you ever ridden?
When my family and I went to Ireland in 2016, Louise Parkes, an Irish equestrian journalist who writes for the FEI, conspired with my family to trick me into going on a trail ride. My daughter convinced me to put on boots and a helmet and sit on a horse for Facebook pictures. When the lady came to lead the ride, I explained I wasn’t going on the ride, I was going to get off. She looked at me and said, “No you’re not!” I went on a one-hour trail ride. It’s the only time I’ve gone riding!
Have you had a funny horse show moment that still makes you laugh?
I love to swim, especially in lakes, and my favorite lake in the world is Mirror Lake in Lake Placid. There are few things I enjoy as much as running around Mirror Lake and then jumping in for a swim. One year, when the water was still cold, one of the ladies from Florida who worked for the horse show, Jane Del Valle, looked out the window of her hotel room and said to her roommate, Mary Silcox, “Mary, look, some idiot is swimming in the lake.” A moment later, she said, “Mary, look, the idiot is Marty!”
What’s your favorite thing about being part of the horse world?
The wonderful relationships I’ve developed over the years. The horse show world really is one big family.
If you had a week off, what would you do?
I am on the go so much that I would probably be very happy just to lie on a beach reading a book and going in for a swim!
Who inspires you?
Everyone who is kind, considerate and friendly. Everyone who makes an effort to help others and help the world.
Do you have a personal motto?
I believe in working hard but that it’s OK to have fun while doing it. I believe that every time you do something good, something good happens to you.
What’s your favorite meal?
Any meal with friends.