Former Canadian Event Rider Nicole Shinton Shines in the Dressage Arena
Jacksonville, FL, USA
Nicole Shinton of Uxbridge, ON, won several classes during the Horse Shows in The Park Spring Dressage Classic held May 16-17 at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center in Jacksonville, FL.
With her two horses, GB Marko and GB Classic, Shinton dominated the Prix St. Georges division. On Saturday, Shinton won the Prix St. Georges test riding GB Marko with a score of 67.237% and returned to the ring on Sunday to once again win the Prix St. Georges, this time with a score of 65.789%. Shinton also placed third on Sunday with a score of 61.711% riding GB Classic, her 15-year-old bay Rhinelander gelding that she purchased 'sight unseen' one year ago.
At the show's conclusion, Shinton and GB Marko were awarded the FEI Champion and Reserve Champion titles.
In addition to her success at the Prix St. Georges level, Shinton claimed two victories with O-Topia, winning the Second Level Test 2 and Third Level Test 1. The pair earned the Dover Amateur Medal as well as the overall Second Level Reserve Champion title. O-Topia, a 13-year-old English thoroughbred gelding, was Shinton's former eventing mount, successfully competing at the intermediate level.
Shinton's trainer, Sharon Jerdeman, also enjoyed a successful weekend riding Shinton's Chinook, an 11-year-old grey Oldenburg gelding. The pair won the Fourth Level Test 1 on both Saturday and Sunday and was awarded the Fourth Level Reserve Champion title.
The Horse Shows in The Park Spring Dressage Classic marked Shinton's final competition in Florida this season. Shinton showed extensively with her string of horses, winning advanced level titles at such competitions as the Dressage on the Coast horse show in Jacksonville, FL, and the Zada Cup and the Heidelburg Cup, both in Apopka, FL.
Dressage has become a passion for Shinton since she switched exclusively to the discipline last year. As an event rider, Shinton was named the 2004 Adult Amateur Intermediate Rider of the Year by the United States Eventing Association, a remarkable feat for a Canadian rider in such a highly competitive division. Shinton was also named to the 2005 Canadian Eventing Team Long List with two horses, Pamela and The Grey Pony, before a rotational fall in 2007 forced Shinton to change her focus from eventing to dressage.
"It was and is a very humbling experience to switch disciplines," said Shinton, 35. "I felt like I went from knowing a little bit about dressage to realizing I had no idea what it takes to ride at the top levels in straight dressage. The horses are completely different in their way of going and I had to learn how to change my position to become a more effective rider. Also, entering a world where I knew no one at the horse shows was very strange, but the people I have met in the dressage world so far have really been great. Sharon Jerdeman, who has been coaching me in Florida, deserves special thanks for her patience and understanding that I come from a different background. She has really helped me to bridge the gap between the two disciplines."
Shinton and her husband, Alan, own Greenbrier Farms, a 160 acre eventing facility in Uxbridge, ON.
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