When Jamie Planck Martin opened Providence Hill Farm, she envisioned a world-class hunter and jumper equestrian center, and it has met all her expectations in that regard. But, a funny thing happened along the way — people came for the horses, and proceeded to fall in love with the picturesque property. More and more folks started asking about holding a meeting or a reception at the complex nestled in rural Madison County not far from Flora.
Now, the ownership and management of Providence Hill Farm and Providence Hill Plantation is pushing the property as an ideal locale for corporate retreats, meetings, weddings, receptions, fundraisers and other get-togethers. And, it is proving an easy sell.
Providence Hill offers the best of two worlds. It is 30 minutes from Jackson and all the Capital City has to offer. But, the property is well away from the hustle and bustle of every day life. In short, it is the ultimate getaway.
The “barn” is certainly not the typical little red kind. It is a sprawling, beautiful structure looking over Providence’s main lake that covers well over 150 acres. Thirty-six stalls filled with fine horses line each side of the mammoth hallways.
Upstairs, the facility has a kitchen, bedrooms and meeting space. The “Trophy Room,” so named for the wild game (including giraffe, hippopotamus and buffalo) hanging on the wall, offers all the creature comforts and a sweeping, panoramic view of the main lake.
Nestled away on a cove of the lake is Providence’s Lake Pavilion, another popular meeting place. The pavilion offers cushy chairs and other comforts and a deck that looks out over the water. On cool evenings, visitors can stay warm by the nearby fire pit.
One offering that the folks at Providence really push is its shooting activities. The Providence Plantation range includes a 13-station sporting clays course, duck flush and trap skeet overlay. Shooters can walk the course or ride in golf carts, stopping at each station to take aim at targets that emulate everything from rabbits and squirrels to ducks and pheasants.
Jimmy Grant designed the Providence Plantation range and its lakes and other outside amenities, and says Providence’s outdoor activities offer a great way to build camaraderie and relax.
“People just have a great time with the shooting clays, which is the hottest shooting sport out there,” Grant said. “It’s neat to watch a group on the duck flush just firing away while their buddies watch and egg them on.”
Providence also offers the best in angling. The property, which encompasses 7,000 acres, most undeveloped as of yet, offers three large lakes and numerous other smaller bodies of water. One lake is stocked with stripped bass and another is dedicated to catfish. The bass are continuously culled — nothing over four pounds is kept.
With the success in landing meetings and parties, Grant has new money to work with. He said he has plans for further future development, further augmenting the property’s amenities.
Riding to win
“It has exceeded all my expectations,” Martin said. “I knew it was a beautiful property. It is just great to see it so well received.”
While Providence took years or work and planning (Grant and his team worked seven days a week from dawn to dusk for two years on the project), the property had a rather unplanned beginning.
Martin grew up in Kentucky and had a passion for horses. She was on her equestrian team in high school, and went on to the team at Sweet Briar College. However, Martin eventually went to Vanderbilt University, where she earned her law degree and started her family.
Home and career (she practiced law for 18 years) seemed to end Martin’s equestrian days. But when her daughter showed an interest in show jumping, Martin decided it was time to remount.
The Martins were stabling their horses at a facility in Jackson when the owner suddenly announced that the barn was to close. The Martins already owned the Providence property, which quickly was transformed into the new home for the Martin’s and other riders’ horses.
The Providence Farm is a state-of-the-art equestrian center, offering a Grand Prix jumping field, washing racks inside and out and numerous rings and arenas along with other amenities. The farm is also home to the Mississippi College Equestrian Program, open to novices and expert riders alike.
Martin said the farm continues to do well, and she now she sees unlimited potential for the property as a meeting facility.
“Business continues to build at the farm. The MC program has taken off, and we keep several investment horses,” Martin said. “We do hope to further develop Providence as a special event-type business. I enjoy entertaining people. I hope to continue to do more of that in the future.”
For more on Providence, visit www.providencehillfarm.com.
Contact MBJ staff writer Wally Northway at firstname.lastname@example.org.