“I’m gold medalist,” is what Martin said repeatedly after jumping out of the saddle and realizing he had just won the individual junior jumping championship with Ricore Courcelle (Quaprice Bois Margot x Alme), a 17-year-old Selle Francais stallion owned by Teddy Vlock. Martin has only shown Ricore for two months now and their new partnership was still untested. “It was surreal in the moment, he really took me by surprise out there today and I owe him a lot of credit,” Martin said about the win.

William Martin Golden on Last Day of NAYC

Martin wins gold in the Individual Junior Championship
Photo Credit: Ben Radvanyi

A clear round had eluded the combination in recent competition, but this week changed that. Saving their success for when it counted, the Canadian pair jumped double clear in the first two rounds, but were focused on the team event. After the teams contest concluded with Canada finishing in fifth place, Martin was feeling somewhat disappointed. As he hadn’t even looked at the standings, he was surprised to learn, when approached by someone in the barn, that he was at the top of the leaderboard in the individual. “I laughed when they told me because I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “After that I looked at the standings and wish I never had, because I couldn’t eat or sleep from that point on.” He added, “I’m not one to get nervous, but this took me by surprise!”

To try and calm his nerves leading up to the individual championship on August 14 and help him find focus, the 16-year-old reached out to his mental performance coach. “Everything prior to today was nerve wracking, but once I was in the saddle, it felt perfect.”

In round one of the final, Martin incurred a two point time penalty, but then in the second round, found his edge and jumped clear ending with a final score of 5.90, to secure the win. 

William Martin Golden on Last Day of NAYC

Martin and Ricore Courcelle competing during the NAYC Championships
Photo Credit: Ben Radvanyi Photography

When asked about the personality of his horse, he said with a smile, “he has a big personality, a complete ‘bollocks’ of a horse, he’ll buck, root, he’s just playful, always happy and in a great mood. Nothing comes easy with him.”

NAYC brought many successes for teams and individuals. To top off a great championship for Canada, at the conclusion of the junior individual championship, Dayton Gorsline, Canada’s jumping Chef D’Équipe was awarded the Caristo Cup. The cup, presented in honour of Ralph Caristo, a zone two Chef D’Équipe who lead a team to the most cumulative gold medals in zone history, given each year to a participant at the NAYC who displays sportsmanship and perseverance.

William Martin Golden on Last Day of NAYC

Gorsline and the jumping team celebrating the award
Photo Credit: Ben Radvanyi Photography

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