Introducing Shayna Simon of Shayna Simon Dressage, located in Arroyo Del Mar. Shayna has received her bronze, silver and gold medals from the United States Dressage Federation, and most notably received the gold medal aboard a 12-year-old at his first Grand Prix, which she trained since he was just 3-years-old. Shayna grew up riding with a Classic Dressage Education and traveled the world with her family to watch and learn from the best of the best. Through the 20 years of riding dressage and the 12 years of riding and learning from some of the best Dressage Trainers possible, Shayna has a plethora of knowledge that she shares with her horses and her students.
One of her students is Béatrice de Lavalette, an absolute inspiration who we had the pleasure of listening to when she was a guest speaker at the Equestrian Businesswomen Summit. Bea is the most critically injured survivor of the Brussels Airport terrorist bombing on March 22, 2016. She was 17 years old at the time.
While we did not speak to Bea directly, we were ecstatic that Shayna was willing to speak to us about her own background as well as her introduction to the para-dressage world as Bea's coach. Meet Shayna!
We asked Shayna about her perspective of the partnership between a para-rider and horse, and how it may differ from an able-bodied rider and horse combination. To put simply, Shayna said watching Bea and her horse Delegada X interact was "magical". She goes deeper into detail about how important their relationship is and how she views the para-world differently than the traditional. A note on Bea: The now double-amputee Bea has been riding ponies and horses since the age of three. She competed at the French national club level in Hunter-Jumper and Dressage. She was back on her horse for the first time five months after the bombing and competed in her first national show at France’s Haras de Jardy just one year after the accident.
We are so inspired by both Shayna and Béatrice, who both embody true grit and perseverance to make their dreams a reality. We are so excited to follow them as they both chase their Olympic and Paralympic Dreams. Thank you for chatting with us, Shayna!