Lucy Macgregor, aged 10, from Abernyte, Perthshire, has been awarded the NAF Shining Star award for June after showing great improvement in her riding and her confidence, to Perth and Fife Academy coach, David Harland.

Speaking highly of Lucy, David said: “The reason I put Lucy forward for this award was to reward her for all of her hard work.

“Just a few months ago, Lucy was scared of jumping especially as her pony was quite a tricky character.

“With lots of hard work she is now jumping well over 90cm courses and was due to head to her first British Showjumping show before tragically losing her beloved pony Custard.”

After finding out she was the winner of the award, Lucy said: “I am really amazed, it’s great as I wasn’t expecting to win. I was told I had been nominated for the award at my last academy training session but sadly Custard died suddenly a few days after. I have been very sad but winning the award has cheered me up.

“I really enjoy sharing academy lessons and going home to practice what I have learnt. I am starting to ride my mum’s pony Ffion, a 13.1hh Welsh section C which is also a palomino like Custard.

"We are starting to get used to each other, but as she has only been used for hacking I’ve got lots of work to do to get her fitness up ready to compete.

“She’s totally different to Custard but a good, honest jumper and I am looking forward to seeing what we can achieve.”

Branwen Griffin, from NAF, added: “It was a pleasure to hear Lucy has been chosen as this month’s Shining Star. To go from being scared of jumping, to jumping at 90cm is an incredible achievement. Lucy is such a deserving winner as it can be very hard to overcome confidence issues and go on to achieve great things. Well done Lucy for staying determined.”

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 coach and then judged and awarded by NAF to one person each month.

  • David Harland's operation is also featured in our In my Yard feature on page 55.