2016 US Dressage Finals
What better end to the 2016 show season but to wrap it up with the US Dressage Finals in Lexington, KY. Now in its 4th year, this show just gets better and better thanks to an experienced staff, enthusiastic volunteers, and generous supporters. Thank you ALL who make this show happen!
Michael took three horses to the Finals this year and came home with Top 10 finishes for all three. Qredit Hilltop (Quaterback-Dream of Glory) placed 7th in Friday’s Intermediate I Championship and 9th in Saturday’s Intermediate Freestyle Championship. Unfortunately, over the course of the show he was developing a cough and was feeling a bit under the weather by Sunday so we had to scratch the Prix St. Georges Championship. He traveled home safely and is getting a bit of time off while the cough resolves. Sternlicht Hilltop (Soliman de Hus-Rascalino) placed 2nd in his warm-up class on Thursday and won the Third Level Open Championship on Friday. This is Ziggy’s second trip to the Finals and his second National Championship! Lara & Mitch Mitchelson’s Faberge Blue (Contango-Democraat) and Michael made the most of their 80s pop music and captured the Third Level Freestyle Open on Saturday. You can’t help but smile as you watch this pair together and the music fits perfectly. All three horses were born here in the US too, which makes their wins even more significant. Congratulations to their breeders as well – Judy Yancey, Rachel Ehrlich, and Marie Emrey!
The favorites going into this year's Markel/USEF National Championship, Chris Hickey and Cabana Boy didn't disappoint. After awarding a "9" on submission, judge Hilda Gurney said, “Our general impression, of course, is that he has super talent for collection and for the FEI.
It was an absolute perfect finish to our Florida show season when Chris and Witness were invited to be on Team USA for the first ever CDIO3* Nations Cup competition in Wellington, Florida. Chris and Witness started the weekend out strong with a 2nd place finish in Friday’s Prix St. Georges, but they really shone in the Freestyle under the lights on Saturday night.
Hilltop Articles & Interviews
Kristi Nunnink's default expression is a smile. It doesn't matter how hard she's working, what level she's riding or how the horse under her is performing -- her mouth curls faintly upward, unforced. It may just be a coincidence of facial structure, or it may be a product of years of habit. But either way, the expression fits her, because Nunnink may very well be the happiest rider at Rolex Kentucky. At 48, she's heading to her first CCI**** with her horse of a lifetime.
Whether you are learning about showing your horse in hand or just looking for some tips, this excerpt from the 2015 USDF Sport Horse Breeders/Handlers Seminar is for you – Showing Sport Horses In Hand with Michael Bragdell.