Gaby Sumner Shines for the Suffolk Academy

The NAF Shining Star for January 2016 has been awarded to 14-year-old Gaby Sumner from Ipswich, Suffolk. Gaby is a committed and supportive member of the Suffolk Academy and she was nominated for the award by Academy Lead Coach Mia Palles-Clark.

When talking about her nominee, Mia said “Gaby is dedicated member of the academy and especially enjoys the team ethos and spirit that it creates. Since being a member, she has made a lot of friends and has greatly benefitted from the academy environment, something which is reflected in her results. Gaby also has her sights set high and she knows how to set herself goals and subsequently achieve them. She also supports her fellow academy members and is a valued team member.”

Having ridden since a young age, Gaby progressed through the Pony Club and joined British Showjumping back in September 2013. During her time as a member, Gaby’s showjumping has developed and she has qualified for a number of Championships and second rounds, including this summer’s Pony Newcomers Second Rounds. On board her main ride, Cruising for Candy, Gaby is also aiming for the Pony Foxhunter Second Rounds and the English Home Pony team.

A delighted Gaby was pleased to hear that she had become a NAF Shining Star and commented “I first heard about the award from Mia and it was something that I really hoped I would win one day, so to have been recognised is a really nice surprise. The academy is very enjoyable and I have met lots of new friends who I also get to see at competitions. I also like the training sessions and competing on academy teams. This summer, I’m really looking forward to competing in the second rounds and am hoping to get to Horse of the Year Show. I have also started working through the NAF Pony Five Star Awards and am enjoying that too.”

As a result of winning the NAF Shining Star Award, Gaby will kindly receive some NAF equine products to use and Melissa Newman, NAF Brand Manager, added “It is lovely to hear that Gaby has made new friends at the academy and has displayed such admirable characteristics. Being committed and a good team player is vital for a successful sporting career and Gaby is undoubtedly a dedicated young lady and very deserving of the NAF Shining Star Award. Good luck with your campaign and well done Gaby!”

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.

FEB16 NAF Star