Dressage rider and trainer Shannon Dueck has had a very good year, with even more good things to look forward to in 2008. Winning the USDF Horse of the Year honors at Third Level with a median score of 72.061, was Jean Vinios’s Ringo Starr, trained and ridden by Shannon Dueck. The six-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Relevant out of Liara by Leggiero was bred in Germany by Holly Simensen, director of the North American Division of Verband Der Zuchter Des Oldenburger Pferd.
"He has wonderful gaits," said Dueck, "especially walk and canter. And he is incredibly trainable." Dueck has had the horse in full training since he was imported as a four-year-old and has plans to start him at Prix St Georges in 2008 with an eye towards the National Developing Horse Championships for horses 7-9 years old. "Jean and her husband Nick are a wonderful inspiration and are great clients - she has a fabulous farm outside of Boston where I go in the summer." Vinios also owns the successful FEI horse Balmoral ridden by Canadian Jackie Brooks.
But Ringo Starr is not the only horse in her barn in West Palm Beach, Florida, Dueck is planning to campaign for the USEF Developing Young Horse honors. Her own Danish gelding Amazing turns eight in 2008, and she also has the talented Westfalen gelding by Sandro Hit owned by Dr. Cetty Weiss. With Control, owned by Evan Lindsay and his daughter Julia, Dueck had a successful year in the FEI small tour, with top placings during Dressage in Florida 2007, and winning the CDI Saugerties open Prix St Georges, and Fourth level at Dressage at Devon, with a second place I the Intermediaire I.
Dueck's the proudest of a great year, is not her success, but that of her student Krystalann Shingler. Shingler attended the USDF Annual Awards dinner in Orlando Florida to pick up her 2007 HOY Award for 4th Level (Adult Amateur) on her Seven yr old KWPN gelding Tividor. "This was a horse I picked out and have trained since he was three-years-old. I am particularly thrilled with this!"