2017 USEF Young/Developing Horse Championships
The USEF Young and Developing Horse Championships remain a highlight of our show plans every year. With only the top 15 of each age group invited to the Finals, the competition is intense yet the sense of comradery and enthusiasm is one of the best of all the shows. It’s especially educational to see many of the horses back year-after-year and watch their development up the levels. This year, Michael qualified an impressive SIX horses for the Finals! The two 4-year olds started the week off well. Carol McPhee’s SenSation HW (Sunday-Dancier) has only been with Michael since the beginning of June, but is advancing well in the work. He offered two harmonious, flowing tests which earned a 5th place in the Preliminary and a 6th place overall with a final score of 7.472. Marydell Farm’s Debonair MF (Doctor Wendell MF-Rotspon) showed a lot of composure for a young stallion. While the connection could be a bit steadier, he remains supple and swinging in his work and the walk is a real highlight. He placed 5th in the Preliminary test and moved up to 5th in the overall standings with a score of 7.692. This placing will also fulfill his sport requirements for ISR/OldenburgNA.
Competing on the same days as the 4-year olds, was the Developing Prix St. Georges division for horses ages 7 to 9 years old. Michael’s two 7-year olds have had great seasons so far and produced two solid tests each. Sternlicht Hilltop (Soliman de Hus-Rascalino), bred by Rachel Ehrlich and owned by Hilltop Farm, finished in 12th place overall with a final tally of 66.715 and was edged out by Mitch and Lara Mitchelson’s Faberge Blue (Contango-Democraat) who finished in 11th place with a 66.86%.
Qredit Hilltop (Quaterback-Dream of Glory) competed in the Developing Grand Prix division for horses ages 8 to 10 years old. At 9, he is just in his first season at this level but came through with a 6th place finish overall on a final score of 65.355%. Qredit was one of two offspring in the Developing Grand Prix by Quaterback and bred in the US by Judy Yancey. Ending the weekend on a high-note was Anne Howard’s wonderful 6-year old stallion Finery (Furstenball-Diamond Hit). While still green at this level, Finery’s quality gaits were consistently evident and he stayed well focused on Michael throughout. With an overall 7.6, he finished strongly into 3rd place for both the Preliminary and the Final tests.
It is with a broken heart that we share the news of Royal Prince’s passing this week. Late in the afternoon of January 20th Royal Prince presented an acute colic and was immediately taken to New Bolton Center. Unfortunately due to complications discovered during surgery, the only humane choice was to euthanize him.
Once again we made the long drive out to the beautiful Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, IL for the Markel/USEF Young Horse Championships. Michael qualified two horses for the Championships this year.
Hilltop Articles & Interviews
A Sport Horse Handler, whether at a show, inspection or exhibition, constantly strives for that 'magical moment' as he guides a horse in hand around the arena, often negotiating a large triangle formed from flower pots and jump poles. Together the two lift off and eat up the ground, matching stride for stride -- the horse seeming to float, to collect and extend on his own, all in perfect rhythm. The handler is as discreet as possible so that all attention focuses on the horse looking his best.
For many Warmblood enthusiasts, just the mention of the famous stallion Riverman is enough to send chills down their spines. The stunning grey Holsteiner, who currently stands at stud at Hilltop Farm in Colora, Maryland, was the Reserve Champion at his stallion licensing, and was a Verband stallion in Germany for the first part of his life.