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Nicole Shinton Wins at Blainville International Dressage Classic
Blainville, QC, Canada

Nicole Shinton of Uxbridge, ON, won the Intermediaire I at the Blainville International Dressage Classic held June 23-27 at the Blainville Equestrian Park in Blainville, QC.

Despite the rainy conditions, Shinton enjoyed a successful weekend of competition, winning the Intermediaire I with a score of 63.553% riding GB Marko. It was the first time that the pair had contested the Intermediaire I together. In addition, Shinton placed a close second with her other mount, GB Classic, with a score of 63.026%.

"Given the fact that there were puddles everywhere from the storms, I was thrilled with how GB Marco performed in the Intermediaire I," said Shinton of her 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding that she began showing this past winter. "Marco is usually quite spooky, so for him to be totally tuned into me during the test and ignore the puddles was amazing. One of the judges, Stephen Clarke, commented that we had a nice partnership and had trust in each other to perform so well in adverse conditions."

Earlier in the week, Shinton competed in Wednesday's Prix St. Georges, placing third with GB Classic with a score of 65.965% and also finishing fourth with GB Marko with 61.140%. On Thursday, another Prix St. Georges class was held where Shinton placed third with GB Marko and fourth with GB Classic.

Shinton also competed at Third and Fourth Level with O-Topia, her 13-year-old selle francais gelding. The pair won Saturday's Third Level test with a score of 64.615%. In O-Topia's first test at Fourth Level, the pair placed fourth overall with a score of 60.465%.

"I was very proud of O-Topia," said Shinton, 35, of the horse she originally purchased when she was competing in the equestrian discipline of three day eventing. "The flying changes have not been the easiest as he learned them when I was eventing him, but he has been slowly getting them. He has very strong lateral work and is capable of doing working pirouettes, so I think he will move up the levels quickly."

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.

Shinton and her husband, Alan, own Greenbrier Farms, a 160 acre eventing facility in Uxbridge, ON.

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