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Indiana Alumni Magazine, September/October 2000

Noon Does OK in this Corral

When Nadeem Noon, BS’86, gets up on his high horse, people really pay attention. After all, he seems to come out a winner at just about everything he tries on the back of a horse, including a first place finish in June at the Bromont (Quebec) International Three-Day Event. 

On his first attempt at a three-day event, Noon, coach of the IU equestrian club team, won the one-star division, or preliminary level, on Greystone V.  “Eventing” is a general term covering three-day competition and a shortened version called horse trials.  The one-or-two-day trials include dressage, cross country, and a stadium course.  In the three-day event, the cross country section is more complex and demanding, requiring four phases of competition.  The sport is based on the old military tests for cavalry horses.

Noon’s students consider his victory at Bromont nothing short of incredible.  The teacher and competitor takes it all somewhat more in stride.  “It’s a major accomplishment for me,” he says.  “To win something new to you is really quite a different test.” 

Horsing around is nothing new to Noon.  He grew up on a farm in Pakistan where Thoroughbred horses were raised and citrus fruit was grown.  He got into riding seriously when he went to school in England at age 14.  He participated in eventing and show jumping there before coming to IU, where he joined the equestrian team.

“The coach encouraged me to do western riding,” he recalls.  “I had never taken lessons or seen any western riding.  But I was a great fan of western movies, so I went into the class and just pretended to be a cross between John Wayne and Clint Eastwood.”

Predictably, he won the only western event he ever tried.

After graduating from IU, Noon returned to Pakistan, where he played polo and was involved in show jumping.  Bored with the lack of competitive variety, he came back to the United States where his Bloomington contacts urged him to train horses in Monroe County.  Since 1988, Noon has operated Up N’ Over Stables with his wife, Sherry.

About a year ago, he had the good fortune to be noticed at local shows by Patricia Grimm of Terre Haute.  She offered to sponsor Noon to train and compete on her horse, Irish-bred Greystone V.

The 17-hands-high horse is a great competitor but does have a mind of his own, Noon says.  “We’ve had to learn how to give and take a little bit,” he says.  “He thinks he knows how things should be done, and we have to renegotiate quite frequently.”

Even so, international coaches tell him the 9-year-old Greystone has what it takes to compete at the top level.  Noon’s next step is to compete in the two-star, or intermediate level and then try a three-star event next spring.

From there, he hopes to move to the four-star level and represent Pakistan in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece.

Bloomington Herald-Times

Trainer hopes to take horse to Olympics 
               Pair could qualify for equestrian events at 2004
               Olympic Games in Athens 

By John Meunier,
Herald-Times Staff Writer

As Nadeem Noon took the reins of a powerful, gray horse from Sarah Birch, a twinkle came to his eye and a smile to his face. “He’s a bit belligerent,” he warned his visitors. “He knows he’s a star.”

Noon mounted Greystone V, an Irish-bred sporting horse, and the pair put on a short display of power and grace on a jumping course at Noon’s Monroe County stables. “I love that horse,” said Birch, one of Noon’s riding dents, in the hanging silence between the horse’s leap over a two-post jump and his landing in the soft soil of  the course. 

After three weeks of rest, Greystone is just returning to training for what Noon hopes will be an Olympic appearance in Athens, Greece, in 2004.  The rest comes after Noon rode Greystone to victory in a international three-day event in Canada earlier this month. After 15 years of riding seriously, it was the first competition Noon had ever entered at that level. “This is the first time that I have been lucky enough to have a horse who has         definite Olympic possibility,” Noon said.

Greystone is owned by Patricia Grimm of Terre Haute, who approached Noon at  a competition and offered to sponsor him. Grimm bought Greystone after Noon found the horse in Virginia, fresh off the boat from England.

Noon — a Pakistani citizen who coaches the Indiana University equestrian club team — said it takes four to five years to develop a talented horse into a Olympic contender. “It involves listening to the horse and judging when it is ready to take the step up to the next level,” Noon said. “It is very much a team thing between the horse and I, so
we’re definitely going to have  to put in the miles.”

Three-day eventing requires the horse and rider to demonstrate skill, endurance and courage in series of             competitions — dressage, cross country and show jumping. The event Noon won earlier this month in Canada was a one-star event. Olympic-level competitions are four stars. Noon’s next goal is a two-star competition in Pennsylvania in October. He said he  is confident Greystone has the potential to reach the four-star level.

Noon grew up on a horse and citrus farm in Pakistan, but his interest in eventing  started while he was a university student in England. He studied marketing in the early 1980s at IU, where he founded the university’s  equestrian club. It was during his return to Pakistan, where he ran the Punjab Riding Academy,  that he met his wife, Sherry — a Terre Haute native. The two now run Up-N-Over Stables near Ellettsville.  In addition to competing, Noon teaches about 40 students and boards horses.

In all his years of riding and caring for horses, he said, he’s never had a horse like Greystone.  Although he must meet international and American standards to get his shot at the Olympics four years from now, he said he should not have too much difficulty getting on the Pakistani Olympic team.  “They are very strong in polo, but I had never heard of anyone competing in any of  the Olympic disciplines,” Noon said. “I’m pretty much the only guy.”


From Karen Brigg’s article A Change Of Luck:  Stuart Black Wins Bromont CCI**  June, 2000

In the CCI* division, history was made when Nadeem Noon, representing Pakistan, won the first three-day event he had ever attempted, aboard the big Irish-bred, Greystone V.  This was not only very probably the first international three-day ever won by a Pakistani, but likely the first ever *entered* by someone of that nationality, at least in North America! Noon comes from a polo background and formerly ran the Punjab Riding Academy along with his brothers (also accomplished polo players), but emigrated to the United States some 12 years ago, and now runs Up N’ Over Stables in Bloomington, Indiana, along with his American wife, Sherry.  He got hooked on eventing, he says, while he was at university in Surrey, England, and happened to attend the Badminton Horse Trials.  “The only thing they had in Pakistan was polo and a little showjumping,” he explained, “and once my students and I had won that show three years in a row, I thought it was time to move on.”  A stint at Indiana University had introduced him to the American Midwest, and his return there in the late 1980’s has resulted in a thriving boarding and training business with 40 stalls and an indoor arena. 

Greystone V is owned by Patricia Grimm, “a grandmother who used to be involved in Saddlebreds,” Noon said. “I guess she had watched me with my students at the local shows and liked the way we treated our horses and our clients.  She just walked up to me one day and offered to sponsor me, which was an extraordinary chance.  I looked around for a suitable horse, and found Greystone at Peter Green’s barn, where he had arrived from England only a couple of days before.  He had done two preliminary events in the UK, and one Intermediate, and Peter thought he would suit me, though he was still quite green.”  Noon has been partnered with the burly gray for “not quite a year”, and has been receiving help from Australian Team member Phillip Dutton, who travels to Indiana twice a year to give clinics in Bloomington. 

Noon’s victory in the one-star was by the slimmest of margins;  he and American Corinne Ashton (aboard Dobbin), were tied for third going into the stadium jumping phase and both produced clear rounds, while first- and second-placed Virginia Jenkins (with Always A Lady) and Peter Green (with Esperer), both dropped rails to move them down in the standings.  Noon’s closer-to-optimum time on cross-country clinched the win for him.  He now plans to move the horse up to Intermediate and hopes to qualify for the Radnor CCI** in the fall. 

From FEI News June 8, 2000


Nadeem Noon of Pakistan, with his horse Greystone V, celebrated the first victory of Pakistan in an international Three Day Event by winning CCI* Bromont (CAN).

In the one-star division, Nadeem Noon representing Pakistan in his first Three Day Event took home the win with 59.8 points. He was tying with American Corinne Ashton on Dobbin, but Noon and the aptly named Greystone had been closest to the optimum time during the cross-country phase, thus giving him the win. 

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