Meet Our Trainer

Masako “Mas” Niwa is a skilled horsewoman and trainer with close to three decades of experience in both the Hunter/Jumper and Eventing/Dressage equestrian disciplines. She began riding when she was 10 years old, and has become a well-established and highly-respected  figure in the equestrian world with a wealth of connections that will take the Knox riding program to new levels.

Born in Japan, Mas, and her family moved to New York when she was 5 years old and settled on Long Island in Port Washington. She graduated from Paul D. Schreiber High School, then attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she studied Animal Science and was a team member on the University’s nationally ranked IHSA (Intercollegiate Horse Show Association) Team for 4 years. During her time at UMass Amherst, Mas received her equestrian state teaching license through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and began instructing college riders at the University farm.

Masako Niwa

Masako Niwa

Equestrian Director & Head Trainer

In addition to her role as a university trainer, Mas successfully competed in eventing, where she was able to fine-tune her technical skills in both dressage and jumping. She trained under her team coach, Jerry Schurink, and also took internships during the summer months at a breeding farm, where she learned to breed, break, and train horses for jumping and eventing. After receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science from UMass Amherst, Mas took her education and years of training and competing back to Long Island and began a fruitful career teaching young riders.

Mas’s unique approach to training has led countless young equestrians from across the country to experience the highest levels of success in the sport. A versatile instructor who is always in tune with the needs of her students and their mounts, Mas has been able to combine her dressage experience with her instruction to create a more effective seat and rider. As a result, her students have had much success, winning top ribbons at nationally  recognized horse shows, including Maclay Finals, Devon, WEF, Capital Challenge, Hampton Classic, The National Horse Show in Harrisburg, PA, and The Kentucky National Horse Show. 

Mas recognizes the importance of setting and attaining one’s goals as a rider, and works hard to customize a training program for each individual to assist them in doing so. After graduating high school, her students have moved on to ride in the NCEA (National Collegiate Equestrian Association) for Division I college teams or IHSA (Intercollegiate Horse Show Association) club teams for their colleges. Above all, Mas values preserving the art of communicating with horses and promoting the importance of teamwork in all aspects of the sport. Mas has also trained and produced multiple nationally recognized “Horse(s) of the Year” through USEF (United States Equestrian Federation) in both the Children’s Hunter and Junior Jumper divisions. 

Inspired by the School’s formidable Equestrian history, Mas is eager to join Knox in continuing its legacy of excellence. In addition to running a Varsity, JV and Club Team here at Knox, Mas will be hosting monthly clinics on campus for our riders with world class equestrians, including Irish Olympic Equestrian Team Silver Medalist Declan McGarry, and Grand Prix Rider and Junior Star of the Animal Planet series “HorsePower” Chelsea Moss. 

To contact Masako Niwa, please call (631) 704-8668, or email