April 11, 2008

Top US dressage rider and trainer Lendon Gray has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of The Dressage Foundation, effective September 1, 2008.

The appointment was made following a special meeting of The Dressage Foundation's Board of Directors.

Major General Jonathan Burton, Chairman of The Foundation Board, said that Gray's appointment grew out of a Management Transition Plan that has been conducted over the past year by the Foundation's Board and Staff, to replace John Boomer, President and CEO, and his wife, Lynn, Administrative Director, who, as sole staff members, have led, administered and managed The Dressage Foundation for the past 10 years.

John Boomer said: "We are so excited about Lendon taking the leadership reins of The Dressage Foundation, as she has just piled one high accomplishment on top of another for so many years now, and has deservedly reached an exalted pinnacle in our beloved sport."

Boomer and the Foundation Board have assigned Lendon Gray the principal function of leading The Dressage Foundation to a higher plateau, financially and programmatically, thereby enabling it to make an ever-larger footprint on the sport of Dressage.

Gray said she was "exhilarated by the opportunity to expand on the base that The Dressage Foundation has provided for the advancement of amateurs, youth, and instructors as well as elite riders. Some of my first goals are to create opportunities to educate our instructors in teaching skills and to bring dressage opportunities to riders from other disciplines and 'alternate' breeds."

As a rider, Gray has won awards consistently since she was a young rider, rode on the 1980 and 1988 Olympic Teams, and won eight medals at US Olympic Festivals in 1981, 1982, 1991, 1992, on four different horses, each trained by her.

As a trainer/instructor/coach she has taught clinics all over the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland and Uruguay. Her list of students includes many of today's best-known dressage riders. She currently operates Gleneden Dressage, a training stable in Bedford, New York, with more than 50 horses and 100 regular students.

She has been involved in governance of the sport and continues to be active, through USDF, USEF, USET, US Pony Club, Equestrian Educational Systems, Sweet Briar College, The Dressage Foundation, and Dressage4Kids, Inc., for which she is Founder and President.

Gray is a frequent speaker, active writer for equestrian media, and has authored the book "Lessons with Lendon." She has won many awards and as an Olympic athlete was recently added to the list of Congressional Gold Medal Award winners. It is the US House of Representatives' highest civilian award.

Boomer said Lendon Gray has accepted the position for an open-ended term, without salary or benefits compensation, but with reimbursement for travel and business expenses. Gray will remain at her Bedford, New York base, supervising and working with the Foundation's two-person administrative staff, located in Lincoln, Nebraska. Over the balance of the year, John and Lynn Boomer will be hiring and training their replacements, and will remain with the Foundation until new staff members are seated firmly in their saddles. John Boomer will remain as a member of The Dressage Foundation's Board of Directors.