A volunteer is one who performs a service willingly and without pay. Especially to USDF, a volunteer is an invaluable treasure, as volunteers are the driving force behind the organization’s growth and success. The USDF Lifetime Achievement Award, established in 2002, recognizes those volunteers who have given long and faithful service to USDF and its mission. In this article, the USDF Historical Recognition Committee would like to introduce the 2010 USDF Lifetime Achievement Award recipients: John “Jack” Kimball and Judith Noone.
Jack Kimball: Southern Powerhouse
The late John “Jack” Kimball, of McIntosh, FL, was an active volunteer with the USDF from its beginnings in 1973 until his death in June 1996. He served on several USDF committees, including Technical Delegates, Symposium Organizing, and Show Management.
A USDF founding member, Kimball attended the inaugural USDF meeting as an official representative of the Florida Dressage Society (now known as the Alpha Dressage Association; see October’s “Club Connection” for more on Kimball and this GMO). Kimball had founded the FDS, one of USDF’s first charter group-member organizations (GMOs), in 1969, and served as its first president. With Kimball at the helm, the FDS put on the first recognized dressage show in Florida, the Southern States Dressage Championships. Kimball managed the show for seven years and is credited as one of the founders of the Florida dressage-show circuit.
A USDF Region 3 director from 1979 to 1987, Kimball worked tirelessly to promote dressage throughout the region. He helped several GMOs get off the ground, including the Arredondo Dressage Society and the Deep South Dressage and Combined Training Association. Under Kimball’s guidance and initiative, promotional and educational dressage demonstrations were held at large hunter/jumper shows.
On the national level, Kimball was a well-known American Horse Shows Association (now US Equestrian Federation) “R” dressage judge and technical delegate. He also managed shows and judged at hunter/jumper shows.
Judith Noone: Yankee Ingenuity
Judith Noone, of Abington, MA, has given countless hours of her time and expertise to the sport of dressage and to USDF. As a mother of five, among them the FEI-level dressage competitor Tom Noone, Judith Noone is not surprisingly known as a champion for youth in dressage. In 1978, she proposed a junior/young-rider program to her GMO, the New England Dressage Association. NEDA and Noone would go on to collaborate on the organization of free weekly youth clinics and Jr/YR dressage camps. It was Noone’s idea to offer separate divisions for Jr/YRs at New England horse shows. As Noone saw it, young people are the future of the sport and therefore deserve access to the best instructors as well as opportunities to compete and to learn good sportsmanship.
USDF founder and inaugural Roemer/USDF Hall of Fame inductee Lowell Boomer asked Noone to helm a USDF Jr/YR program. She accepted, and in 1983 she became the chair of the new Junior/Young Rider Program Committee. Under Noone’s leadership, the committee developed educational grant programs for youth, produced the three-part educational video series Just for Juniors, introduced the Jr/Young Rider Executive Board (now the Youth Programs Advisory Subcommittee), and founded the USDF Youth Regional Team Competitions. Along the way, USDF’s youth membership tripled.
Noone also managed the NEDA Spring Dressage Show for many years. For 30 years, she produced the NEDA Omnibus, the dressage-show and resource bible for New England-area competitors. She organized “Judges’ Viewpoint Seminars” with the late Edgar Hotz around the country, and she served as a United States Pony Clubs board member.
Both Jack Kimball and Judith Noone were innovators whose enthusiasm and hard work have forever improved the USDF and the sport of dressage. We salute them with the 2010 USDF Lifetime Achievement Award. s
Kim Sodt is the staff liaison to the USDF Historical Recognition Committee, which reviews and champions nominations for the USDF Lifetime Achievement Award and the Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame.