April’s NAF Shining Star has been awarded to 14-year old Saskia Mohan from Kirtlington, Oxfordshire. Saskia has combined her drive for progression and her positive attitude to become an integral member of the Central Junior Academy and this has led to her successful nomination for the NAF Shining Star Award.
Saskia was put forward for the award by Central Junior Academy Coach Mandy McGlynn, who said: “Saskia is a great team member and has competed in all of the team competitions over the last two years. She is always cheerful, a joy to teach and always keen to get involved. She is very supportive to other riders and you never hear her being negative about her fellow competitors. She is presently working on her NAF 4* Award and last year she was awarded most improved rider at the Central Academy Awards.”
After joining British Showjumping in 2016 with her pony, Tiperonic, Saskia has had a lot of success. For the past year she has been concentrating on producing a young pony, Ballyerk Cobalt, and she has worked hard on developing her riding and management skills at the Academy to be able to make the step up to jumping Newcomers. Saskia commented: “I am so honoured to have been put forward for this award and never thought that I would win, I am so happy! I really love attending the Academy, the training is really valuable, and it has a real community spirit that makes learning enjoyable. My big dream is to qualify for Horse of the Year Show with my youngster, so I plan to keep working hard with the help of the Academy.”
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.
Branwen Griffin, from NAF, commented: “Congratulations Saskia, a very deserving winner of this month’s Shining Star. It great to see that she is committed to developing her riding and management skills and that it is clearly paying off with a step up to Newcomers this year. Saskia has also shown great personal attributes as she is always keen to get involved and offer positive support to her fellow competitors.”
Saskia will receive some NAF equine products to use alongside the NAF Shampoo, Pimp my Pony, which she currently uses to keep her grey pony sparkling!