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Home: Wellington, FL
Born: September 8, 1974
Nicole Shahinian-Simpson is one of the only 11 riders to win both the ASPCA Maclay National Championship and the U.S. Medal Championship, two of the United States’ most prestigious titles for junior riders.
Shahinian-Simpson was given the nickname “Catch Riding Kid” as a junior for her ability to compete on horses she had never ridden and win. She became famous for retiring every best child rider trophy at all the major horse shows in the US.
Shahinian-Simpson made her Grand Prix debut on the 1993 Florida circuit qualifying of the American Invitational, making history again as the youngest rider to ever compete and did it riding a horse she never competed on before.
Following a successful career as a junior rider in the East, Shahinian-Simpson moved to the West Coast where she continued to place well in major Grand Prix events. She has competed in the US, Mexico, Canada, and Europe with major wins and placings, culminating in nearly 30 career Grand Prix victories thus far.
Some of her career highlights include: winning the U.S. Trials for the 2010 World Equestrian Games; she was a member of the U.S. Team at the 2002 FEI World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain; short-listed for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team; and has received a Leading Rider Award at Spruce Meadows in Canada.
Throughout her career, Shahinian-Simpson has competed in seven FEI World Cup Finals, including 1997, 1999 and 2001 in Gothenburg, Sweden, the latter of which she placed ninth and was the highest-placed U.S. rider. She also competed at the 2003 and 2005 Finals in Las Vegas as well as 2004 in Milano, Italy.
Most recently, Shahinian-Simpson captured the $134,000 CabanaCoast Grand Prix CSI 3*, the highlight jumper class of week 6 at the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL aboard her top horse Akuna Mattata, one of three full siblings born from embryo transfers out of her former USET team horse, SRF Dragonfly.
The pair also took top honors on the West Coast, winning the $100,000 1.50m Gold Tour Grand Prix CSI 3* at the Blenheim Spring Classic III in California, before heading back East to the Devon Horse Show where they took home their first win together in the famed Dixon Oval after clinching the $50,000 Jet Run Devon Welcome Stake CSI4*.
Shahinian-Simpson and Olympic Gold medalist Will Simpson have two children, Sophie, who is also a professional show jumper, born in 1997, and Ty William, born in 1991.