Born in Austin, Texas, Shannon grew up outside of Vancouver Canada. Her mother Jacqueline Oldham was an “S” dressage judge in both Canada and the USA, and instilled in Shannon a love and knowledge of classical dressage from an early age. Shannon was lucky enough to grow up with horses in her backyard, and evented to Intermediate level as a teenager, as well as show jumped and worked on the Thoroughbred racetrack. She went through the Pony Club levels to attain her “A” status at the age of 18, and also got her Canadian Coaching Level 2 status.
After completing a Bachelors degree in Animal Science at the University of British Columbia and a Masters degree in Equine Nutrition and Exercise Physiology at Texas A&M University, she went on to become faculty at Lakeland College and Olds College in Alberta, Canada, and then moved to Massachusetts with her husband Lorne to take up a faculty position at Johnson & Wales University.
In 1994, Shannon spent many months training in Holland as a working student for Bert Rutten – this was when she decided to get serious about dressage. She rode in her first international competition in 1995 in California, and was long-listed for the Canadian Equestrian Team in 1996 with her mother’s Madison. In 1995 she sold her last event horse and bought her first real star, Korona, as a 3 year old from Bert Rutten.
Shannon trained Korona from the beginning. The partnership was very successful, beginning with an Individual Silver Medal at the Pan Am Games in 1999, they never looked back. Korona and Shannon represented Canada successfully at the Grand Prix level for many years. In 2002 at the World Championships in Spain they were the top Canadians, finishing 23rd in the Grand Prix and 25th in the Grand Prix Special. After winning the Canadian League World Cup Final in 2002, they represented Canada at the World Cup Final in Sweden in 2003. In 2003 they were also a part of the Canadian Team at the Open European Championships in England, which secured an Olympic berth for the Canadians at the 2004 Olympic Games. In 2004 they had a very successful training and competition tour in Holland, Germany and Austria, but did not get to represent Canada at the Olympics – Korona was ill during the Canadian Olympic Selection Trials.
Since those days, Shannon has been busy training other horses and riders from Training level to Grand Prix. The many horses she has trained to the FEI levels and competed successfully on include Leoliet, Pegasus, Amazing, Ringo Starr, Control IV, S Infinity, and Sentimiento II. She absolutely loves teaching her students both at home and at the shows, and many of her students have been with her for years.
It took her many years to find her next international superstar, but she bought Ayscha in Germany from a friend as a 6 year old. Ayscha was supposed to be sales project, but Shannon soon found out that she had talent for Grand Prix, and decided to keep her and develop her as far as possible. With very limited show experience, Ayscha began Grand Prix in 2010 as a 9 year old. Shannon and Ayscha were part of the Canadian Team which traveled to Europe with Robert Dover and they competed successfully in many international shows in Germany that summer. In 2011 Ayscha and Shannon headed to Great Britain to train with Carl Hester, where they competed at Hickstead and London Olympia as well.
Shannon has had wonderful coaching all her life, from the very beginning with Klaus Albin and Dietrich Von Hopfgarten in Langley British Columbia with her event horses. In her adult life she has had extensive help from Bert Rutten of the Netherlands, Lars Peterson of Denmark, Kathy Connelly, Robert Dover and Steffen Peters of the USA, Hubertus Schmidt and Wolfram Wittig of Germany, and most recently, Carl Hester of Great Britain.
|Shannon is a clinician with www.Dressageclinic.com which is a super video website featuring top dressage trainers from Europe and North America. You can watch videos of Shannon teaching all levels of students as well video and her commentary when training all levels of horses, from a baby 3 year old to Grand Prix.|