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Nicole Simpson

Event in which you compete: Show Jumping

Hometown: Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

Number of years riding: 32 Years

Career accomplishments to date: 

  • • Seven-time World Cup Finals Competitor
  • • 2002 World Equestrian Games Team Member
  • • 2008 Short List for Olympics
  • • 2008 2nd Olympics Trials
  • • 2010 Winner of the World Equestrian Game Trials in Florida
  • • 2010 Nations Cup Winning Team in Rotterdam


How you got started in your event: I grew up on a farm in New Jersey. My mom was into show horses and so was my dad. So I was pretty much raised doing it.

Favorite Ariat product: Olympia Breeches

Proudest career moment: 2002 WEG Team

Tell us about your first horse: I had a little pony called Bay Berry. He was my first pony, the one I learned to ride on.

You ride because: It’s in my blood and it’s a natural thing. I cannot picture my life without horses in it. Also, it’s the challenge of being with an animal’s everyday ups and downs – plus the competitive aspect.

If you weren’t a professional rider, you would be a: I don’t know anything other than the horses. It’s just like breathing.

Favorite mentor or idol growing up: I grew up at Overpack in New Jersey. Our barn was there. When you start show jumping, you start on foot and a few of my friends and I would compete by foot-jumping the jumps. We would compete against each other saying that we were Katie Monihan, Leslie Bur, and Melanie Smith, because they were the top riders at the time. I would always say I was Leslie Bur. When I was a Junior I was able to meet and ride with Leslie.

Favorite place to travel: Home

Name one fun fact that people don’t know about you: I love to cook! And many people think I am very unapproachable, but really I am a very nice person.

Favorite way to unwind outside the barn: I really enjoy ceramic painting.

Good luck charm: Just having my kids being supportive of what I do. It is very special to me. They are there – good, bad, or indifferent – and they are always behind you.