Hilltop Farm Named 2013 USDF Breeder of the Year
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.
The Breeder of the Year award winner is determined on a point system, with each horse ranked in the USDF Horse of the Year, FEI, and/or USEF Young Horse Year-End awards contributing points to their breeder’s ranking. A maximum of five horses’ scores will be used in tallying each breeder’s points. The horses that contributed to Hilltop Farm earning this award were: Boccaccio IOF (Bugatti-Rubinstein), Bellatesse HTF (Bugatti-Cordoba), Con Dia (Contucci-Cor Noir), Pacino (Parabol -Cor Noir), Firenzi (Festrausch-Riverman).
Boccaccio, now owned by Marchella Richardson, had a fantastic year finishing as Second Level Horse of the Year and earning the First Level Championship and Second Level Reserve Championship at the USDF National Championships. Bellatesse, owned by Kris Schuler, finished the season as Reserve Champion Materiale Horse of the Year 4&5-YR Old Mares. Now owned by Stephanie McNutt, Con Dia earned an ISR/Oldenburg All-Breeds Award for Fourth Level Adult Amateur and Open Fourth Level; in addition to a Reserve Championship in Fourth Level Adult Amateur at the Region 1 Championships. Firenzi and owner Larry Harrison had a great year together competing at First Level. Last but not least, Cecelia Stewart’s Pacino, under Chris Hickey’s ride, finished the year as ISR/Oldenburg All-Breeds Awards Champion at Grand Prix.
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.
With each step in their careers, the Riverman offspring continue to impress us with the versatile athleticism that has allowed them to succeed at the highest levels of most every discipline. Over the years we’ve seen Riverman ranked near the top the USEF Leading Sire rankings in multiple disciplines.
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.
This weekend Michael Bragdell headed down to the CBLM Championships & VADA Fall Show in Lexington, VA. Balissa HTF (Bugatti-Contucci) tied for 1st in her Third Level Test 1 on Friday with a 66.184% and improved her score in Saturday’s Third Level Championship with a 67%.
Hilltop Articles & Interviews
Whether you are learning about showing your horse in hand or just looking for some tips, this excerpt from the 2015 USDF Sport Horse Breeders/Handlers Seminar is for you – Showing Sport Horses In Hand with Michael Bragdell.
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.
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.
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.