Lendon Gray (NY)
From her early years competing in Pony Club, western riding, hunters, and driving to her famous work with Seldom Seen and other ponies, Lendon developed a reputation for “taking unremarkable horses and making them good.” This belief in created talent and the power of dedication has inspired many of Lendon’s activities over the years. Determined to give others the opportunity to learn and improve, she has been extremely involved with organizations such as TDF, USET, USEF, USDF, US Pony Club, and Dressage4Kids (D4K), having served on nearly 50 committees for these organizations. She was a founding member USDF Instructor Certification program where she is currently an Examiner.
As a competitor Lendon not only won innumerable national championships, but she also represented the US in international shows in Europe and Australia, competed in the 1978 World Championships and was on the 1980 and 1988 Olympic Dressage Teams.
Though busy with organizational commitments, Lendon has been a successful professional in the equine world since she was 15. Over the years, she has taught clinics all over the world. Lendon’s formidable reputation for her coaching abilities is reflected in her training of many International, national, and regional champion riders, both juniors and adults.
Generous, outspoken, and pragmatic, Lendon has devoted her energies to the improvement of all riders and all horses. With the goal that all youth might learn how to become, not just better riders, but all-around horsemen, Lendon established Lendon’s Youth Dressage Festival in 1999. This was followed by the creation of the organization Dressage4Kids which has blossomed into a full-fledged non-profit, operating the YDF, the Weekend Equestrian Program, the Winter and Summer Intensive Training Programs, the TEAM program (Training, Education, and Mentoring), the Horse Donation Program, and Training4Teaching while transforming any proceeds from these functions into valuable scholarships for aspiring dressage riders.
Lendon has been repeatedly recognized for her performance and service including the 1989 Governor’s Award from Maine Sports Hall of Fame, 2002 Exceptional Equine Educator Award, ARIA Master Instructor Award, USPC Legend (2004), 2006 Sweet Briar College Sports Hall of Fame, 2011 USDF Hall of Fame (Seldom Seen was also elected to the Hall of Fame),and in 2020 the Most Influential Trainer Award from Young/Youngish Equine Professionals Group. Lendon has served as President for TDF, and continues as a valuable member of the Board.