Don Principe Dances at the Devon CDI
While Dressage at Devon is always a special show for Team Hilltop, this year the CDI division held particular significance for us. Michael Bragdell, Hilltop’s Trainer, competed in his first CDI Grand Prix and Freestyle with Marydell Farm’s wonderful stallion Don Principe. The Friday Grand Prix showed lots of expression and power with particularly good pirouettes. Bobbles in the changes were expensive in terms of scoring, but the overall effort earned a 62.26% and advanced Michael into Saturday’s Freestyle. Don Principe’s freestyle was designed by Marlene Whitaker and is based on the powerful music Tusk by Fleetwood Mac. This was Michael’s first freestyle ever, but he and Don Principe rose to the occasion and put down a great performance. They earned a 67.375% and finished in 10th place – an excellent start at their first CDI together. Thank you to Maryanna and Wendell Haymon for encouraging Michael and Don Principe to make this leap. Congratulations Michael – we’re so proud of you!
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.
Chris Hickey and Cabana Boy added another national title to their resume by winning the 2009 USEF National Developing Horse Dressage Championship on August 21-23. The past two years, Chris and Cabana had traveled to Kentucky to compete in and win the 5 Year Old and 6 Year Old National Young Horse Dressage Championships, making them the first pair to win all three.
Hilltop Articles & Interviews
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.
The phone rings at Hilltop Farm and breeding manager Natalie DiBerardinis answers. Just as she suspected, it is a mare owner looking for advice. Which stallion would be a good match for her mare, the caller asks anxiously. With scientific advances in artificial insemination, the choices for a perfect partner have never been greater, but that doesn't mean the selection process is any simpler. DiBerardinis asks the owner a few questions about her mare and suggests she complete Hilltop's online questionnaire. After reading it, she and the caller will talk again to discuss the options.