In what began as the worst year of his life for Troy Martinez, an operator for Terre Haute Towing Service (www.terrehautetowingservice.com), after his tow truck was t-boned by a drunk driver early January, has since turned to a much happier time, after Jim Tracy Harness Racing heard Martinez’s story.
As odd as it may sound, Martinez is a life-long fan of, and part-time participant in, harness racing.
Harness racing is a form of horse racing in which the horses race at a specified gait, a kind of trot. They usually pull a two-wheeled cart called a sulky, although in Europe racing under saddle (trot monte in French) is also conducted.
Once Jim Tracy Harness Racing heard about Martinez, his passion for harness racing, and his unfortunate accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down, they decided to step up and design a sulky specifically for Martinez.
“We wanted him to be able to still enjoy the sport he loved so much, we just had to make something that would not only work, but would also keep him protected and make his safety a top priority,” said Benjamin Wiler, spokesman for JTHR.
The end result is a state of the art sulky that you truly must see to believe. Starting with their normal sulky design, the designers at JTHR designed a sulky that is not only out of this world, but absolutely and indisputably perfect for Martinez.
Safety was a top concern, so we reinforced the framing, added more secure seating, reinforced bars, stabilizers to keep his legs in place and safe, reinforced wheels, and we even brought in specially trained horses, trained for paraplegic interaction, to just top it all of for him.
The horses are trained to not only perform for harness racing, but are also attentive and intuitive to the needs of their owner, who in this instance is Martinez.
All is not lost for Martinez after all.