John Mason of Spring, TX, was presented with the eleventh annual “Region 9 Teaching Excellence Award” at the 2019 Region 9 Championships. He received the $5,000 award for demonstrating adherence to sound dressage principles and the ability to communicate these principles so that students develop themselves and their horses in a logical, progressive and humane way up through the levels.
John has been the head trainer at Tex-Over Farms in Conroe, Texas, since 2013. He is a licensed Bereiter, USDF Bronze and Silver Medalist, US Dressage Finals Champion at Training Level Open and Reserve Champion at First Level Open, and has received Houston Dressage Society’s year-end awards at every level from Training to Intermediare I.
Meg Flemming, who established the award at TDF in 2009, presented the award to John. She said, “John has spent his relatively short career dedicated to learning, training and teaching. He made the decision to pursue his dressage education by going to Germany to train with Johann Zagers for four years, analogous to going to university. He has a strong sense of adhering to the German principle of training and teaching, and these principles are clearly evident in his teaching.”
John shared, “I am incredibly grateful to The Dressage Foundation for presenting me with this award. My training philosophy is to train horses and their riders in a way that is competitive for the modern sport while maintaining a happy and healthy horse and rider. Being able to enjoy the sport and grow together in partnership with the horse is, and always will be, the most important aspect of my training. It’s an honor to be recognized for my enthusiasm in working with riders and their horses to achieve their goals.”
John plans to use the $5,000 award for continuing education opportunities such as clinics, young horse symposiums and the FEI Trainers Conference.
Dressage instructors are nominated by students or peers, and then submit an application that is reviewed by a prominent Selection Committee. In addition to being a USDF Region 9 member in good standing and a Region 9 resident, the recipient must also demonstrate adherence to sound dressage principles and have a reputation for honesty, integrity, and community service.
Click here for more information about the Region 9 Teaching Excellence Award
Photo by Susan Stickle