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Corinne F. Gray Award

D4K Festival

Corinne F. Gray Award

The Corinne F. Gray Memorial Award is given annually in honor of a woman who spent her life trying to help children and adults alike enjoy all aspects of horse care, competition, and companionship.  Her life revolved around Pony Club, eventing, dressage, hunters, jumpers and trail riding as an organizer, judge, committee member and writer.  The honoree is typically announced at Saturday's dinner at Lendon's Youth Dressage Festival.

Corinne Fentress Gray was born in 1914 in Canyon, Texas.  Her first riders were on her donkey "Speed".  She grew up in Richmond, Virginia, where horses were always a part of her life.  After attending Sweet Briar and Radcliffe Colleges, she married S. Braley Gray and moved to Old Town, Maine, with her horse Happy Landings.  He was an aptly named steed, since the citizens of Old Town often called her husband to report that Happy was trotting through town once again without his rider.  Happy was known to the children there as the "piggy-back" horse, since they had never seen adults ride horses.  Horses were meant to pull logs in the woods and work the farms.

Mrs. Gray's four children all started riding by sitting in front of their mother on Happy.  As they grew older, she searched for a way to include educated riding in their lives.  In 1957 she started the Penobscot Pony Club and from there the equestrian life of the Gray family mushroomed.  The family moved to Puckerbrush Farm in the mid '60s and developed it into Maine's major center for Pony Club, eventing, dressage, hunters, jumpers and just plain fun for all.

Mrs. Gray also started taking in her "summer daughters and sons," a program that developed into a major working-student program.  Nancy Later, Beth Clarke, Chris Hickey, and Rob Stevenson were just a few who participated.

Mrs. Gray gave much of her time to the developing equestrian programs in the US.  She was a hunter/jumper judge and on the advisory board of NEDA and the USET.  She was one of the selectors for the USET Three-Day Team.  She was active in many ways with the USPC, including judging, acting as a national examiner, serving on committees, etc.  

While her two daughters became well-known in international competitions, Mrs. Gray was happiest taking a group of youngsters with their horses on an overnight camping trip, telling ghost stories and being certain that everyone had a great time and loved their equines.  Some of Mrs. Gray's happiest moments were spent doing night check for the family's horses and taking moonlight bareback rides in the fresh Maine snow, both of which she was doing up until she died in her mid-70s.

The Corinne Gray Award is presented by her children, Braley, Alexander, Marshall and Lendon, to someone who exemplifies the ideals demonstrated by Mrs. Gray, a tireless and selfless volunteer hoping everyone of every age, ability, and background would love spending time with horses.


Recipients include:

  • Amanda Gifford
  • Joy Black
  • Carole Baker
  • Debbie DelGiorno
  • Sharon McDonald
  • Bonnie Stetson
  • Ellen Rosengard
  • Jeff Kurtz
  • Susan Sieber
  • Patrice Brice Estess
  • Alice Peterson and Marie Banks
  • Molly Lane
  • Margaret Freeman
  • The Davis Family
  • Laura Akin
  • Elizabeth Clarke
  • Theresa Davidson
  • Ann Pereira
  • Martha Servey
  • Fern Feldman and the NEJYRC Committee