The NAF Shining Star Award for June 2016 goes to ten year-old Ralfie Timmins from Sturton by Stow, Lincolnshire. Ralfie was nominated for this prestigious award for always having a likeable and chirpy demeanour and being a very diligent worker. Ralfie was nominated for the award by coach of the Lincolnshire & Nottinghamshire academy, Joanne Burns Firth, and she had the following to say about her nominee “Ralfie is lovely to coach, he is always really pleasant and cheerful and always tries his best. He works hard on his 5* booklet and he is usually the only boy in a group of girls but doesn't mind at all. Congratulations Ralfie!” As a keen eventer, Ralfie’s mother hatched a plan to keep him occupied when she was riding by getting him a pony. At the age of just two and a half Ralfie began riding Beano and loved it! Taking up the reins properly at the age of six, he joined British Showjumpng for his 9th Birthday as he announced 'I want to jump at Olympia' and he’s has been very keen ever since, riding at every available opportunity. Bringing all his ponies on himself, it is a massive achievement that Raflie has so many qualification already under his belt to enable him to make his first appearance at the British Showjumping National Championships in August, as well as an invitation to compete on the area team. Ralfie loves being part of the Lincolnshire & Nottinghamshire Academy, as coach Jo provides a fun and welcoming environment where he is always learning new things and making friends as well as improving his ponies’ way of going. Jo has also offered support and guidance to Ralfie’s Mum Isobel, educating her on the sport and its qualification structure. Upon finding out he had become a NAF Shining Star, an elated Ralfie said “It means a lot to me to be selected to be the shining star as I work really hard as I only have young ponies. One day I want to jump at Olympia and HOYS or even for Great Britain. But I know I'm going to have to put the work in to get there and it won’t be easy. I must say a huge thanks to Jo for running these academies as I love going to them. " Ralfie will kindly receive some NAF equine products to use alongside the supplements that he currently uses, which include; NAF Magic, NAF Superflex and the all-important NAF Show OFF Shampoo to keep all his ponies sparkling inside and out. Melissa Newman, NAF Brand Manager, further commented “It sounds like Ralfie has been an excellent asset to his Academy, it definitely pays off to be cheerful and it’s great to hear that he is enjoying working on his 5* booklet, well done Ralfie.” 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.