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Christian Simonson: "The Discover Dressage program has been extremely influential in my career"

Aachen23_Christian Simonson with Son of A Lady

February 2024

Christian Simonson has garnered a well-deserved spotlight in the equestrian/dressage world. Starting at the age of six and quickly rising through the ranks, his achievements at both the youth and senior levels are truly remarkable. From earning medals at the FEI North American Youth Championships to making a successful senior team debut at the FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ USA, Simonson has consistently demonstrated his skill and dedication to the sport.

His notable accomplishments, such as winning Team Gold Medal at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games, team silver and individual gold at the FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ USA 2023 in Wellington and securing championships at the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions, showcase the level of excellence he is achieving in his career.

1.    What are some of the key achievements or milestones in your dressage career that you are particularly proud of?

 In my career so far, some moments that I am particularly proud of are being a 3x NAYC Gold medalist, individual young rider bronze at Aachen, and being a part of the 2023 Pan American Gold Medalist Team. More importantly, though, I am most proud of the truly incredible horses I have been fortunate enough to ride in my career thus far and growing a competitive bond with them. 

2.    Back in 2021, how did the experience of competing in Europe differ from your previous competitions, specially on the international stage? 

Competing in Europe for the first time definitely had a large learning curve. There is so much that goes into shipping horses across continents that I previously had no idea about. The level of competition in Europe is also significantly higher, which really brings out the best in you and your horse. 

3.    In what ways has the Discover Dressage program influenced you’re your dressage Career?

The Discover Dressage program has been extremely influential in my career. With the support of Discover Dressage, I got vital international experience at such a young age. This experience that Discover Dressage has helped me acquire has played such a large role in my development to the senior ranks and gave me so much confidence when competing at the Pan American Games. 

4.    How does it feel to transition from participating in the Discover Dressage program to the senior level?

Due to the amazing opportunities Discover Dressage has helped me with such as the opportunity to travel to Europe and compete at some of the largest venues such as Aachen. The transition from the junior levels to the senior levels, while still challenging, has been significantly smoother due to the amount of experience I have had already. 

Aachen23_Young Rider_Christian Simonson

5.    How do you think programs like Discover Dressage contribute to the development of young riders in the equestrian community?

Absolutely! While I can't speak for every rider that has been through the Discover Dressage programs, I can personally say that the Discover Dressage programs have played one of the largest roles in helping me transition from the junior ranks to the seniors and compete at larger games such as the Pan American Games. 

6.    Winning a gold medal at the Pan American Games is a significant accomplishment. Can you share some of the most memorable moments from that experience and what it meant to be part of the gold medal-winning Team USA?

Being a part of the Pan American Games was like nothing I have ever experienced. You have such a large sense of patriotism and unity with fellow Team USA athletes. Being a part of the games made me feel like I was a part of something much larger than just the equestrian world. I think for me, stepping on the gold medal podium was quite incredible. I think the most memorable moments I had while in Chile were the various travels and time spent with my fellow teammates. Whether it was the flight down to Santiago, missing passports, or just having dinner before the final team competition, those moments of camaraderie with my fellow USA teammates were just so special. 

USEF_ 2023 Panams Santiago de Chile_ USA wins Gold

7.    Your success has undoubtedly captured the hearts of the dressage world. How do you feel about the impact you've had on the sport, especially being recognized as a standout young talent?

To be completely honest, I am not sure how I feel! I often feel like the luckiest guy in the world for the great people and amazing horses I work with every day. I just hope with my luck I have had that I can continue to learn how to be the best rider and horseman I can be and hopefully inspire others! 

8.    What are you looking forward to this Florida season ?

This season, I am most looking forward to competing in the U25 division with Son of a Lady and further developing my partnership with Fleur De Baian. Above all, however, I am most excited about the new things I will learn from my horses and coach. 

9.    What is your advice you would give to a young rider who would like to advance in sport?

The biggest advantage I would give to a young rider who hopes to develop further in the sport is to be curious and hard-working. In my career, being curious and asking questions has helped me learn so much, not only about how to train my horse better but also how to be the best horseman I can be. 

Anna Marek & Christian Simonson - Panams 2023

About AEGT

Now in its 7th year, Discover Dressage, a 501c3 Florida nonprofit, has pledged to continue its support of American Youth Dressage. Since 2018, Discover Dressage and AEGT have raised over $1,000,000.00 for the USEF Emerging Athlete Program for Dressage, Robert Dover USEF Horsemastership Clinic Presented By Zen Elite Equestrian Center, Lendon Youth Dressage Festival Midwest, Florida Youth Dressage Championships, and -for the first time- the FEI North American Youth Championships. For all of this, AEGT is a major part of this strategy.

Live Auditions are the heartbeat of Discover Dressage/American Equestrian Got Talent (AEGT), where the talent meets the stage and excitement fills the air. These auditions serve as the gateway for participants to showcase their exceptional non-horsey talents. Participants will have the chance to impress a panel of judges from all the horse disciplines and captivate the audience with their talent, competing for a coveted AEGT Golden Ticket for the AEGT Finale.

The first live audition is scheduled for Wednesday, February 7, 2024, starting at 6:00 pm, at the Stallion Restaurant, located at 1630 Polo Club Rd, Wellington, FL 33414. The excitement will continue with the second live audition on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, at 6:00 pm, held at the prestigious World Equestrian Center Hotel Pool at 1750 NW 80th Ave Ocala FL 34482. Audiences will expect a dazzling display of talent and skill in a dazzling atmosphere.

We are excited to blend two vibrant equestrian communities--Wellington and Ocala--in this effort to support our Youth Athletes together. American Equestrians Got Talent (AEGT) acts as a unifying force, weaving these two communities

“American Equestrians Got Talent” is the only show open to any talent in the Equestrian Community. The auditions are a lifetime opportunity for performers across the nation to showcase their non-horsey talent. This experience is transformative for all! Mark your calendar and make your plans now. For updates, registration forms, audition tips, venue information, and to submit an online audition, visit

Don't miss out on this exclusive event! Tickets are available for the Gala Finale on Saturday, April 13, 2024, at the Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club. Reserve your seat now and be part of this unforgettable night!


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