A student from Barton-le-Clay has overcome health problems to be crowned runner up at the Miss Bedfordshire awards.
Megan Bayliss, of Longcroft Drive, has achieved her goal, despite being diagnosed with Myalgic encephalomyelitis chronic fatigue when she was eight.
She is an affiliated show jumper with the British Showjumping Association (BSJA) and has been riding since she was three.
The 19-year-old had to give up for a year because her health deteriorated but she is now back jumping again, for fun this time.
She is thrilled with her success at the awards held on May 8.
She said: “I won’t, and never have allowed it to beat me, I have wanted to be a part of the Miss Bedfordshire competition as it gives you a platform and opportunity to be able to inspire and be a good role model to others who may have their own struggles in life.”
The beauty therapy student first entered the competition in 2012 and has been in the top three every year since.
She said: “I’ve always been quite a shy person but decided to give it a go and to make me step outside my comfort zone.
“Sunday night was amazing, the atmosphere and support from the audience and judges was fantastic.
“I’m really thankful for The Bull pub in Barton for sponsoring me for Miss Bedfordshire, they are very supportive of me.”
Megan is starting her level 2 in Beauty Therapy in September and plans to open a salon, with a difference, when she finishes.
She said: “I want to give disadvantaged young people and people with special needs the opportunity to be able to get work experience and training in my salon and show them that they can do it.
“My brother has autism and he is such a strong person who inspires me every day so it is very important to me to help people to see they can shine and be whoever they want to be.”
She has been selected for the finals for Miss International.