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.
With great sadness, we must announce that our beautiful Holsteiner stallion Cor Noir was put down November 3, 2003 for humane reasons. Cor Noir gave tremendous quality to our Hilltop Farm breeding program, producing our top broodmares and the foundation for so much of our success today.
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.
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.