In Memoriam: Judith Noone

Friday, March 23, 2018
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Judith Noone, 79, passed away on March 20, 2018. She was a long-time resident of North Abington MA, and she wintered with her son Tom in Florida where she could be close to the sport of dressage that she loved.

Judith was a positive force for dressage since its beginning in this country. Under her creative leadership, she initiated Junior/Young Rider programs first for the New England Dressage Association (NEDA) and then nationally for the United States Dressage Federation (USDF). Those programs included but were not limited to Junior/Young Rider councils, official classes for Juniors and Young Riders on a national level, team championships, dressage programs for 4H and US Pony Club, an educational video series (Just for Juniors) and intercollegiate competitions. In 1981, Lowell Boomer, the founder of USDF, appointed her as the first chairperson for the new USDF Junior/Young Rider program.

Judith was an extraordinary show manager and obtained corporate sponsorship for her shows decades before dressage dared think itself worthy of corporate sponsorship. She began her career as show manager in the 1970s, and immediately brought the German judges who were leaders in the sport. She ran everything from backyard shows to Regional and National Championships. That National Championship, now known as Festival of Champions, was her concept, and she organized the first two of those competitions for the United States Equestrian Team (USET) with its leader at the time, Fiona Baan. She was also the driving force behind dressage exhibitions and fundraisers to benefit the USET.

Judith was responsible for organizing the first CDIs (international shows) in New England, and nationally, she created the USDF Regional Championships throughout the US. She wrote the guidelines for those championships 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. Her Omnibus format and guidelines have been reproduced in other regions of the country as well. For colleges, she expanded the equine program to include show management.