Judith Noone, a Leader & Innovator of Dressage in USA, has Died at 79

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Judith Noone–1938-2018

Mar. 23, 2018

Judith Noone, a leader and innovator in development of dressage in the United States, has died at the age of 79.

Judith was a long-time resident of North Abington Massachusetts and who wintered with her son, Tom, in Florida to be close to the sport she loved.

Judith initiated Junior/Young Rider programs first for the New England Dressage Association and then nationally for the U.S. Dressage Federation as well as team championships, dressage programs for 4H and the U.S. Pony Club and intercollegiate competition. She also helped create an educarional video series, “Just for Juniors.”

In 1981, Lowell Boomer, founder of USDF, appointed her the first chairperson for the new USDF Junior/Young Rider program.

She was described as “an extraordinary” show manager, obtaining corporate sponsorship for decades before most other dressage events.

Judith began her career as show manager in the 1970s, and brought in the German judges who were leaders in the sport. She ran everything from backyard shows to regional and national championships. Among them was her concept that became the Festival of Champions, organizing the first two of for the U.S. Equestrian Team with its leader at the time, Fiona Baan. She was also the driving force behind dressage exhibitions and fundraisers to benefit the USET that governed America’s international competitions at the time.

She organized the first CDIs, international competitions, in New England, and created the USDF Regional Championships throughout the nation. She wrote the championship guidelines and created the omnibus competition prize lists. Her New England omnibus was single-handedly produced by her for 30 years, and is still being published, now in its 39th year. For colleges, she expanded the equine program to include show management.

Judith was a champion for adult amateur riders; she developed USDF Adult Camps and the East Cost Riders Cup competition. She also gave lectures on how to create your own musical freestyles donating the proceeds to equine rescue services.

She ran some of the first programs for dressage judges in the US, creating the format, educational materials and guidelines for the “Sit with the Judges” program, enlisting the respected Edgar Hotz to teach. This program expanded from regional clinics to a nationwide series that later became the USDF Learner Judges Program.

In 2003, Judith was on the USDF Honor Roll as one of its 20 most influential members. In 2009 she received the Dressage 4Kids’ Braley Gray award for extraordinary achievements in dressage. In 2010 she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by USDF.

One of her happiest memories was seeing her son, Tom, represent America at the dressage World Cup Final in Denmark in 2001. She designed the music and choreography for his freestyle.

Judith was on the board of The Dressage Foundation since its inception in 1990, and in recent years served as the organization’s treasurer.

Judith was predeceased by her husband, Tom, who often was an announcer at competitions. She is survived by her two sons, Tom and Tim.

Services will be private. In lieu of flowers, Judith’s family requests donations to The Dressage Foundation in her memory.