A 19-YEAR-OLD show jumper from Bewdley has won a Shining Star award for her positive attitude to the sport.

Keen horse rider Sophie Hopkins was awarded the NAF title after being nominated by her coach Hannah Jackson, who said she was a "valuable member" to the Hereford and Worcester academy, who is "always striving to be better".

Lead coach Hannah said: "Sophie is the first to put her name down for training and competitions, she is the first person to arrive and the last to leave.

"No matter what the job, whether it be helping other riders, helping organise training, odd jobs or poo-picking, Sophie is always there to help. She has such a big heart and loves being part of a team.

"She tries incredibly hard to progress her riding and is always looking to learn and for ways to improve, she takes the task and gets on with the job. Sophie is great to have around and is an inspiration to others.”

After finding out she was the NAF Shining Star winner for March, Sophie said: “I am overwhelmed to win the award. I have not had it easy over the last 12 months but my coach, Hannah Jackson, has helped me through the tough times and helped me learn to believe in myself.

“I enjoy the team aspect with the academy. I have made some very good friends and we all support each other. Hannah is a fantastic coach.

"My aims for 2020 are to compete at the national championships. I also have a young horse to bring on and a bigger horse to progress from 1.10m.”

Lisa Field, from NAF, said: “It’s a real pleasure to hear all about Sophie; her enthusiasm and hard work make her a great team member to have.

"Sophie has a very caring nature and must be a real pleasure to have around. Congratulations Sophie a very deserving Shining Star!”