Florida Season Summary for Hilltop
Two months can go by remarkably fast! Michael Bragdell took eight horses down for winter training and showing options in Florida this year and we can hardly believe their season is already done. We keep our time in Florida shorter to allow the stallions to come home for the start of breeding season. Special highlights of this winter show season included Iris Aberbach’s Boxster A (Bugatti-Weltbekannt) earning the FEI High-Score Award at Global Dressage 3, Mitch & Lara Mitchelson’s Faberge Blue (Contango-Democraat) move up to the Developing Prix St. Georges with consistent top placings, Hilltop’s Sternlicht (Soliman de Hus-Rascalino) earning all scores of 73-78% in his FEI 7-year old and Prix St. Georges classes, and Bvlgari’s (Bordeaux-Rohdiamant) win of the Fourth Level AA class at Global 6 with owner Beth Custalow. All four of these talented horses are US-bred too!
The other horses with Michael used the training time to prepare for their moves up later in the spring. All have left Florida early this morning and we’re anxious to get everyone safely home. Thank you to Lady Jean Ranch for sharing your beautiful facility with us, to Brookledge Horse Vans who we trust to take us to/from Florida each year, and to all the owners who took part in this Florida experience.
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.
Each year the United States Dressage Federation honors one breeder as the USDF Dressage Breeder of the Year and we are very excited to share that Hilltop Farm was the recipient for this award in 2013.
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.
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.