Stable Secretary Success Stories: Nicole Shahinian-Simpson
Nicole Shahinian-Simpson is one of 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.
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 for 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, Nicki 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 35 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, Nicki 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.
Find out more about this hard working #StableSecretary user in this month’s Stable Secretary Success Story!
Q: How long have you been using StableSecretary?
A: 7 years – a while.
Q: How did you hear about StableSecretary?
A: Through Katie Rice who created it. I believe I saw it at Harrisburg when she was starting to launch it one year and I got in contact with her. I knew Katie from when we were juniors so it was nice reconnecting with her. It was really great because in the beginning she was very open to feedback so I started using it and was able to give her some suggestions and it’s really developed into covering a lot of aspects of what you need.
Q: How does StableSecretary help streamline barn management for your facility?
A: Everything gets recorded in there – there’s alerts that happen for due dates on vaccinations, shoeing, passport information, expiration dates and stuff like that that is really handy. You can customize it to your needs – for example your shoeing needs, whether it’s 4 weeks or 5 weeks, you can get the alerts that way. It’s really nice to have those reminders while having everything in one place. I also like how you can create reports for horses and include as much or as little information as you want in the report. It’s really great to have everything in one place. It’s my go to and it’s very user friendly.
Q: How long have you been involved with horses?
A: My whole life – I basically grew up in the barn.
Q: Can you provide a brief description of your current establishment?
A: I have a boutique business geared towards the jumper ring in which we specialize in individual needs with a smaller number of clients. It is important for me to be able to provide them each with one-on-one attention without having assistant trainers, so I keep it to a limited number of clients, each with multiple horses, so that I can really focus on their common goals.
Q: What is your proudest achievement under saddle?
A: I had a very successful junior career winning the Medal and Maclay finals. I did a lot of catch riding and had a very nice junior career thanks to a lot of people and opportunities. As a professional, it was special being on the U.S. teams, attending World Cup Finals and the WEG in Jerez in 2002. Our sport can be so challenging, I think every win is a special one worth holding close.
Q: What is a major goal for you moving forward?
A: Obviously, the Olympics is everyone’s dream and I’ve gotten close by being named to the short list. It really comes down to all things lining up at the right time and in the right year. I think just having the ability to bring horses along and reach the highest goals that we can is always important.
Five Fun Facts about you:
- I’m very much a homebody – I could just take a vacation in my home. When COVID hit, it was a bit nice that we had nowhere to go and we didn’t have to plan anything. I was very happy hunkering down in my house.
- I am a crafter wannabe. I love crafts and all of that. I never really get around to doing it but at one point I did a lot of ceramic painting – I had a whole big setup.
- I had a chimpanzee at one point through a trainer for several years which was pretty cool. She lived at our house and she would go trail riding on my back. I think if I had the ability to have anything I wanted, I would definitely do a whole rescue with exotic animals.
- I am a bit of a hoarder which my mom can attest to. I have saved everything of my kid’s. My mom was cleaning out my house the other day while we were doing renovations and she joked about how I saved every paper that they drew a line on – not even a drawing. So, I am a bit of a hoarder that way. I always figure as soon as you throw it out you need it. Not with the kid’s stuff but I am very sentimental so that leads to my hoarding.
- We did a very cool trip for my mom’s 70th birthday last year. I have to give my sister the credit for planning everything, but we surprised my mom right up to the end with a trip to Africa for 2 weeks. The whole family came including my kids, Ty and Sophie, Sophie’s fiancé Sean, and my sister and her husband, so it was really special for my mom. It was like a trip of a lifetime.