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.
Hilltop Farm regretfully announces the passing of a wonderful stallion and a real show jumping star. On November 13, 2002, the famous jumping stallion VIP passed away while enjoying a beautiful sunny day in his paddock. At nearly 24-years of age, VIP still came out of his stall each day with the exuberance of a 3-year old! No one would have guessed it would be his last day.
Hilltop Articles & Interviews
The dramatic view at Hilltop Farm is as beautiful as its magnificent horses, but the facility's scenic side in a relatively rural section of Maryland is just one of the many things that make it unique, the word most often used by people describing this one-of-a-kind property.
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.