When Martin Williams the Gower Riding Club Chairman made the decision to step down from his role last month and hand the reins of leadership over, I for one was saddened. I asked around the club for their memories of Martin and, in a very roundabout way, asked him of his memories. But I’m not going embarrass him here, but I have to say that the club would not be what it is today without him.
For so many years Martin has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure shows go ahead; several have told me that he’s built jumping courses very late on the evening before the Show and then been there to open the field and get the bacon butties going in the morning, others mention that they’ve seen him manage lorry parking and simultaneously put jumps back up, and to cap it all he’s even helped those of us who’ve parked in the one soggy part of the field whilst running back and forth with score sheets. His enthusiasm for the club has known no bounds, during the winter he’s been spotted with hammer, nails and rope on the cross-country course making repairs to fences only then to muster a group of us to take up creosote and brushes and repaint each and every one.
What may be less well known about Martin is his tireless dedication to supporting the up and coming juniors. Nearly every Sunday during the summer you’d probably find him in the middle of the ménage encouraging, guiding and supporting our talented youngsters over jumps and all this in his own time and for virtually no fee; I doubt if there is anyone who has put in so much effort to help develop riding talent within the club. I’m sure that there are many of us who have had the occasional lesson with him that has sorted out what we thought was an insurmountable problem.
The GRC owes a huge debt of gratitude to not only Martin but his whole family. He has fought tirelessly for the club, its members and the field always putting the needs of the club above his own. Everyone is agreed that he will be greatly missed on the committee but I’m very happy to report that he will remain a Trustee of the club and I’m sure we’ll see him compete and no doubt win over the coming years. Finally, the rumours that he is now living in a retirement home in Budleigh Salterton are completely unfounded as I saw him only yesterday and he tried to sell me yet more Ariat clothing…
Kevin Plunkett On Behalf of the GRC Committee