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Courtney Budd Mooney

Courtney is a life-long rider who trained with Lendon Gray for most of her youth years, from age 15 through about 20 at Lendon's then home-base at Sunnyfield Farm in Bedford, New York.  Courtney continued to ride with Lendon periodically whenever the opportunity arose in the years since.  Courtney is mom to two daughters, ages four (with her first Youth Dressage Festival under her belt!) and 1.5, and manages Omnichannel Marketing for BMW of North America.  Courtney currently has one special horse with several ties to Dressage4Kids - he was rescued at a few days old by long-time friends she met at Lendon's.  Lendon helped Courtney with him quite a bit in her early years of showing him, and he's attended the Youth Dressage Festival twice (so far!), lent to the lovely daughter of another Gleneden/D4K Grad, Evelynn Schwarz.  The wonderful rescue organization that saved Courtney's horse, SquirrelWood Equine Sanctuary, continues to be operated by Lendon's former stable managers, Beth Hyman and Diane Butler, and she is a member of the 501(c)(3)'s Board of Directors.  Courtney squeezes in very early morning rides around her work and school chauffeuring schedule and is hoping to be back in the show ring with Shrimp in 2024.  She's ridden continuously for her entire life, and while her riding life and dreams look different than they did 25 years ago, her love for riding, horses, dressage, and the way she identifies herself first as a rider remains unchanged.  Courtney loves all things outdoorsy, animal-related and literary - she loves to hike with her family and their wonderful dog and she loves to read good novels.  She just finished James Joyce's Ulysses, and, left to her own devices, would earn at least a few recreational advanced degrees in different flavors of literature. 

Courtney has been involved in Dressage4Kids since the very first Youth Dressage Festival in 1999.  Courtney rode in the first 3 Festivals.  She was a member of the very first gold-medal team ("Gleeful Gleneden" or "Lendon's Little Loves") with Jessica Rizzi, Jessica Baum, and Catherine Pereira; won the 4th Level Division in the show's second year; and was second the following year.  She has been part of the D4K Committee and a show volunteer since 2019 and only regrets not getting involved sooner!  The organization has been extremely close to her heart since those early days as a competitor and as a student at Lendon's during its formative days. 

Courtney continues to be involved in Dressage4Kids through the Committee, as a volunteer at the show manning the Awards area, and offering as much support to the team as possible!  She has lent her horse to be shown by a competitor in need of a mount for the past 2 Festivals, and she has recruited her husband and a few very game friends to volunteer at the show.  She has also experienced YDF as the mom of a first-time leadliner!  Lastly, she attended D4K Unmounted Programs (formerly WEP) for a number of years.

When asked what motivates her most about Dressage4Kids, Courtney writes, "Everything - I deeply love the focus on horsemanship and sportsmanship at the heart of all D4K programs, the many ways D4K opens the doors of dressage to kids, the creation and development of so many rich educational opportunities covering so many facets of the sport, and the pairing of horses with so much to give with deserving riders."