Hilltop Farm Welcomes a New Assistant Trainer
It’s an official welcome! Hilltop Farm has hired a new Assistant Trainer – Jessica Fay. Originally from Maine, Jessica grew up with horses on her family’s small warmblood breeding farm. Jessica raised, started, and sold a number of young homebreds. As a teen she competed in lower level eventing and show jumping.
Jessica originally joined the Hilltop team for a year and a half in 2006 as a working student with Michael Bragdell. It was here that she developed her love of dressage and confirmed her desire to continue starting, training and developing young horses. After completing her Bachelors in Kinesiology at the University of Massachusetts Jessica spent the summer of 2011 working again with Michael and with Chris Hickey. She returned to UMass that fall where she entered the Masters Program in Kinesiology. During this time she continued to train her homebred Oldenburg mare, Veraki (by Riverman) and rode at Brenna Kucinski’s farm. In the summer of 2013 Jessica successfully made her FEI debut aboard Brenna’s wonderful Pan-Am winner Regent. Jessica then had the opportunity to further her training abilities by working as the assistant trainer/barn manager for Grand Prix trainer and competitor, Sharon McCusker. With Sharon’s support Jessica finished her USDF Bronze and Silver Medals aboard her own mare, Veraki, in 2014.
Jessica has now completed her Masters Program at UMASS and returns to Hilltop as our new Assistant Trainer. Her passion for young horse education, and her knowledge of kinesiology provide a unique foundation for developing today’s sporthorses.
Thank you to all who joined us to celebrate 15 wonderful years at Hilltop Farm! Over 350 people attended this colorful afternoon celebration on Saturday, October 28. We so appreciate the rave reviews over our main event, the music-filled presentation of our stallion line-up and their offspring. We also appreciate everyone’s time, support, and good wishes. Friends and customers traveled as far as from Chicago, Kansas, and South Carolina to celebrate with us.
It’s official – the USEF Sire Rankings have been tabulated for the year and we are very proud to announce that for the 2nd year in a row Riverman is the Eventing Sire of the Year and for the 3rd year in a row Royal Prince is the Dressage Breeding Sire of the Year! Congratulations to all the owners and breeders whose offspring contributed to these wins.
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.
In the second day of competition at the 2008 Markel/United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) National Young Horse Dressage Championships presented by Collecting Gaits Farm, claiming the title in the four-year-old division was Michael Bragdell and Selten HW besting 19 other horses to win with a score of 8.56.