Born in Austin, Texas, Shannon grew up outside of Vancouver, Canada. Her mother Jacqueline Oldham is a "S" judge in dressage in both Canada and the USA. Shannon was lucky enough to grow up with horses in her backyard, and evented up to the Intermediate level as a teenager, as well as show jumped and worked on the Thoroughbred racetrack, all this despite having a dressage enthusiast for a mother. She went through the Pony Club levels, to attain her "A" status at 18 years of age, and also got her Canadian Coaching Level2 status.
After completing a Bachelors degree in Animal Science at the University of British Columbia and a Masters degree in Equine Nutrition and Physiology at Texas A & M University, Shannon went on to be 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 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 Madison. In 1995 she bought her first real star, Korona, as a 3 year old from Bert Rutten.
Shannon trained Korona from the beginning. This partnership was very successful: beginning with an Individual Silver Medal at the Pan AM Games in 1997, 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 also were a part of the Canadian Team at the Open European Championships in England, which secured an Olympic berth for the Canadians for the following years Olympic Games. In 2004 they had a very successful training and competition tour at top International competitions in Holland, Germany, and Austria, but did not represent Canada at the Olympics- Korona was ill during the first of the Canadian Olympic Selection Trails.
Since those days, Shannon has been busy training other horses and riders to the FEI levels: Under Shannon, Leoliet won the PSG at Dressage at Devon CDI *** before going to train with Anne Gribbons. KRS Pegasus was a top small tour horse with great competition results in European CDI*** competitions, and was fully ready for the Grand Prix ring before being sold back to Europe. Control did fantastic in the small tour in all the Florida CDI*** competitions this spring, and he is training the GP well. Otharr is doing great with his owner Jean Klaucke at the PSG and Intermediate levels and is almost ready for the Grand Prix ring- Shannon rode him as the lead horse on the winning GP Quadrille Team at the Challenge of the America Breast Cancer Benefit in March of 2007- were he showed off his lovely piaffe, passage and one-tempi changes.
Shannon doesn't just work with FEI horses. Her horses in training start at the Training level- all the fun stuff begins with correct basics! Ringo Star has been a star competitor at Training, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd level and will be ready for PSG next year, and Amazing has lived up to his name at 2nd, 3rd, and 4th level, and will be ready for PSG and Intermediare I next year.
Shannon is very proud of her students too: Deb Hilton was ABIG Champion for Region 8 in 2006 at training level, and Krystalann Shingler was 2nd in the nation in 2006 at 2nd level, and this year has won almost every class she has entered at 3rd and 4th level. Jean Klaucke has qualified both her horses for the ABIG Championships this year, one at 2nd level and one at PSG and Intermediare I. Andrea Houghton did her first 3rd level test of her life and received a 67% in Wellington! Julia Lindsay has scores all the way to 68% at 4th level.
Shannon was coached by Bert Rutten of the Netherlands for 11 years. While living in Massachusetts she trained with Kathy Connelly. Recently she has worked extensively with Lars Peterson (Denmark) and also had the pleasure to train with Robert Dover, Stefan Peters and Hubertus Schmidt (Germany) on a regular basis.