Thursday 28th of October 2021

Megan Maguire November’s NAF Shining Star

Following a clear demonstration of grit, determination and talent, 15 year-old Megan Maguire from the Sussex Junior Academy has become the truly deserving winner of the NAF Shining Star Award for November 2016.


Megan was nominated for the award by Lead Coach Judi Piper-Dadswell, who said the following about her nominee:

“Megan has been a member of Sussex Junior Academy since 2008. She started on her tiny ponies and is now approaching her last year of jumping ponies. 


She and her Mum are really hardworking and have produced some super ponies over the years, which have gone on to provide other riders with great success.

This year Megan has had a series of setbacks, all of which were really bad luck. Her best pony had an accident at the beginning of the year and then, in August, she had a horrible fall but just a week later bravely insisted on representing Sussex at the Academy Team Show, where the Maxi Pony Team brought home the Gold medal. She has been a regular competitor in the NAF Five Star Performance classes at Weston Lawns and she is dedicated to training ponies correctly.

She is a great team member who always supports the younger riders and she helps out a great deal. She has also completed the NAF 4 Star level and I really feel that the NAF Shining Star Award is very much deserved by Megan as she has coped with this year’s adversity in a very mature way. Congratulations Megan and keep up the hard work!”

Megan started her riding career at age eight and in doing so became the first horse rider in the family. It soon became apparent that she had a natural flare for not just riding but also horsemanship after just a few months in the saddle. Megan joined British Showjumping and hasn’t looked back. Becoming part of the academy has really helped Megan flourish and it has allowed her to share her enthusiasm at the same time as improving her ponies.    

Upon finding out she had become a NAF Shining Star, a shocked Megan said:

“I really am pleased to get this award! At the start of the year I had two injured ponies but it is a great feeling to get this award after putting in so much hard work to bring them back up to fitness. A huge thank you has to go to Judi, my Coach, she has been there from the very beginning, as well as my friends in the academy for all the support they have shown through my ups and downs this year. I am really looking forward to 2017 and I am hoping to again be part of the Sussex team and I’m looking forward to spending time improving my ponies even more. Thank you!”  

Melissa Newman, NAF Brand Manager, added:

“Megan is an excellent example of the old adage ‘you have to get back on the horse’. Her bravery, determination and positive mind set are very admirable and essential in order to succeed in any sport no matter the setbacks – in this case bringing home the gold! She is clearly a very talented rider and producer of ponies and we wish her all the best in her future endeavours within showjumping and her continuation with the 5 Star programme. Well done Megan!’

Megan will kindly receive some NAF equine products to use alongside the supplements that she currently uses, which include; Pimp my Pony shampoo which is always in regular use, along with Superflex and the occasional minty treat after a good round.

The NAF Shining Star Award was introduced when NAF became a British Showjumping Business Partner. The award is for members of a Junior Academy who have shown a great deal of commitment, progression and outstanding behaviour along with their riding ability and much more. Riders are nominated by their lead coach, and then judged and awarded by NAF to one person each month.

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