Heather Mason and RTF Lincoln Capture Three Championship Titles at GAIG/USDF Region 8 Dressage Championships
Heather Mason had dominating performances during the 2022 Great American Insurance Group (GAIG) USDF Region 8 Dressage Championships at HITS-on-the-Hudson. She took home a total of nine championship titles, including three aboard RTF Lincoln. The impressive duo won the Grand Prix Open, Grand Prix Freestyle and Intermediate II Open Championships, paving their way to the 2022 US Dressage Finals, presented by Adequan.
Mason and RTF Lincoln kicked off the week on Thursday with a win in the Intermediate II Open with a score of 68.750%. They then went on to win the Grand Prix Open with a score of 68.424% and the Grand Prix Freestyle with a score of 72.037%. Mason always enjoys doing the freestyle with the 17-year-old Oldenburg gelding by L’Andiamo, starting the test with one-handed double pirouettes to catch the judges’ attention.
Mason has known RTF Lincoln since he was a baby, took over the ride about five years ago, and made the pair defending champions at both the regional and national levels. “He really likes to show,” she said. “He’s pretty difficult at home – he’s not very consistent at home, but he turns it on in the show ring. I just have to trust that he’ll do that, and he’s really never let me down in the ring – he’s been super!”
The Fourth Level Open and Freestyle Championships were also won by Mason, aboard New Beginnings (Nimbus-Pamela), a 9-year-old Oldenburg gelding that she bred, with scores of 70.139% and 73.467%, respectively. “He is pretty quirky on the ground,” she noted. “He has a very strong flight reflex, so he is a little difficult that way, and we have to be very careful he doesn’t get scared, but he is wonderful under saddle. I was not planning to take him to [the Finals in] Kentucky, but when you’re riding him in the ring he tries so hard. He’s just a trier, so he did very nice tests, so I think I am going to take him to Kentucky as well!”
Mason’s additional mounts will include Manuskript SCF, who won the Second Level Open and Freestyle with scores of 74.286% and 76.983%, respectively, and Shmoky Quartz, who won the First Level Open and Freestyle with scores of 75.347% and 77.350%, respectively.
aking home nine titles made the Region 8 Dressage Championships extra special for Mason, who enjoyed competing at HITS-on-the-Hudson. “I think it’s wonderful that the volunteers and the management do this, and it was a smooth-running show,” she concluded. “I love the show, and I think they did a terrific job!”
As the 2022 Region 8 Dressage Championships come to a close, HITS LLC looks forward to hosting expanded dressage competition in 2023, including the 2023 Festival of Champions on August 21-27 and the Region 2 Dressage Championships on September 21-24 at Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, IL. The 2023 Region 8 Dressage Championship will once again be held at HITS-on-the-Hudson September 21-24. HITS will also welcome horses to the Del Mar Show Park in July of 2023 and looks forward to hosting several dressage events in the coming years. For more information visit www.hitsshows.com.