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Hilltop Farm Purchases Sternlicht GGF

Sternlicht GGF
Photo by Bill Alphin

Jane MacElree and Hilltop Farm are excited to announce their purchase of the recently licensed, three-year old Hanoverian stallionSternlicht GGF (Soliman de Hus-Rascalino).   The charismatic black stallion was bred by Rachel Ehrlich of Massachusetts and is the second stallion from her well-established breeding program to be approved by the American Hanoverian Society.  Rachel was also the breeder of Donarweiss GGF.  "It was important to us to find another top US-bred prospect for us to develop," says Jane MacElree.  "Sternlicht has all the qualities we were looking for as a breeding stallion and a future competition horse."

Sternlicht has already had great success in-hand.  In 2011 he won his Yearling Colts class at Dressage at Devon with a score of 85%.  He earned multiple Championships as a two-year old and Reserve Champion for USDF Horse of the Year honors and Champion for All-Breeds awards with a median score over 82%.  

Sternlicht GGFSternlicht is by the popular young stallion Soliman de Hus (Sandro Hit-Donnerhall). Soliman de Hus was winner of his 30-day test and is currently winning at Prix St. Georges. Sternlicht is out of the Elite mare Rhapsody GGF, by Rascalino.  She is an eighth generation Elite/SPS Mare and her dam is a full sister to the Champion mare SPS Wisconsin.

“We've been closely watching Sternlicht's development since he was a weanling and he has never failed to impress us,” says Natalie DiBerardinis, Hilltop Farm’s Breeding Manager. “His pedigree offers a new outcross for many daughters of our current stallions.  This is an important consideration for us as we continually evaluate our stallion line-up.” (October 2013)

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Dressage at Devon 2013

Dressage at Devon always marks the start of fall for Hilltop Farm and we look forward to it all year long. This year’s Devon was a bit smaller for us with Chris being in Europe training and showing, but it was no less exciting or successful! Once again we had a great team of Michael Bragdell, King Garcia and Brendan Curtis to handle all of the horses at the breed show for Hilltop.

Wraina and Rhea
Wraina and Rhea

The boys got the ball rolling on Tuesday. Denver HTF (Donarweiss–Royal Prince) won the yearling colts class with a score of 79.1% and later that evening placed 2nd in the GAIG/USDF Colt Final. Paula Byrum’s colt Rex Roland BHF (Royal Prince–Domiro) placed 2nd to Denver in the Yearling Colts class with a 78.6%, came in 3rd in the Devon Colt Championship and won the GAIG/ USDF Colt Final.  Cha Ching HTF (Contucci–Cordoba) won the 2 Year Old Colts/Geldings class with a score of 77.9 and went on to win the Devon Colt Championship.  Kimberly Kobryn Callaway’s yearling Roberto Cavalli CF (Royal Prince-Davignon) placed 3rd in his age class and was 6th in GAIG/ USDF Colt Final.
Not to be outdone, the girls also did well on Tuesday. In a very large Yearling Filly class of over 20 entries Mary LaBanca’s Briljant G (Bugatti-Babar) placed 3rd with a 76.7% (which actually tied for 2nd), followed closely by Maryanna Haymon’s Dansuse MF (Don Principe- Fuerst Heinrich) in 4th  and Quinzy HTF (Qredit–Cordoba) in 6th. In the Fillies of 2013, Bruce Griffin handled Charlotte Creek Farm’s beautiful filly Qalypso CCF (Qredit –Enrico Caruso) to 4th place.  Melissa Stubenberg’s filly Rhea (Royal Prince- Obadiah) placed 5th and Paulette Ziegler’s flashy bay filly Royal Odessa (Royal Prince- Chardonay) placed 7th. Beaucoup D’Amis (Bugatti - Contucci) owned by Trisha DeRosa place 3rd in the Two Year Old Fillies, while Deborah Dalseg’s 3-year old Rosalie KIS (Rosall – Brentano II) placed 4th with a 77.7% in her class. In the GAIG/USDF Filly Final, Beth Gildea’s Elizabeth’s Elan (Quite Easy – Calimero) came home with a 7th place, followed by Rosalie KIS in 8th.

Royal Odessa
Royal Odessa

On Wednesday both the beautiful weather and the success in the show ring continued. Maryanna Haymon’s mare Duet MF (Don Principe–Rotspon) placed 1st in the Yeld Mares, scoring an impressive 80.55%. Later in the day, Brendan went on to handle Duet  to 2nd place in the Mare Championship and to capture the Mature Horse Championship. Raj Mahal HTF (Royal Prince–Donnerhall) placed 2nd in the Yeld Mares and Michael handled Leslie Feakins’ mare Regalia (Royal Prince-Cor Noir), who had been bred by Hilltop Farm, to a win in the Broodmares class. Maryanna’s grey mare Diamond Girl MF (Don Principe–Royal Diamond) also showed strongly in the Broodmare class, placing 2nd.  In the group classes, the Get of Sire class was won by Don Principe offspring with a fabulous overall score of 80% and Hilltop placed 2nd in the tough Breeder’s Group Class with a score of 79.8%. To top off the day, both Cha Ching and Denver took home Born in the USA Awards.

Quester Sun
Quester Sun

On Thursday, the Breed Show wrapped up with the Individual Breed Classes. Cha Ching HTF won blue again, placing 1st in the AHS 2 Year Old and Younger Class with Denver HTF, Quinzy HTF, Agata Rekucka’s Quester Sun (Qredit -Contucci) and Rex Roland BHF placing 4th, 6th, 7th and 8th respectively. Melissa Stubenberg’s 2013 chestnut filly Rhea won the ISR/ Oldenburg NA Class with a score of 78.3%

A large part of the excitement of Devon is the wonderful, historic venue itself.  This is truly a show experience like no other and we encourage everyone to come as owners, participants, or spectators.  There were other wonderful results through the weekend with offspring by our stallions and we’ll highlight those next week.  Thank you to the volunteers, officials, and sponsors who make this show possible.  Thank you also to everyone who joined us this year at Dressage at Devon. We hope to see you here again next year! (October 2013)

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January 10, 1983 - June 25, 2013

On June 25th Parabol was humanely euthanized at Hilltop Farm due to declining health and age-related complications.  While our hearts our heavy with this loss, we choose to focus instead on the thirty remarkable years Parabol had. 

Parabol was the Champion of his 100-day Performance Test with the outstanding overall score of 140.38 points.  A successful jumper in Germany, Parabol easily transitioned to the dressage arena after his purchase by Jane MacElree.  He was the 1991 USDF Horse of the Year at Third Level and a Top Ten Finalist for the 1995 Pan-Am Selection Trials before developing into a successful Grand Prix horse with both Scott & Susanne Hassler. Approved by multiple breeding associations, Parabol’s influence has been significant and he has an approved stallion, multiple Premium/Elite mares, and high-level competitors in dressage, hunters, and show jumping to his credit.

Parabol’s most profound impact however was on those who worked with him daily.  In Parabol’s presence you felt the depth of character, the generous nature, and the charisma that made him a truly great horse.  It’s been an honor to have him in our care for so long and we’re grateful for each day we had with him. (June 2013)

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Royal Prince
Photo by Susan J. Stickle

Royal Prince Honored for the Fifth Consecutive Year

Royal Prince (Rohdiamant-Prince Thatch xx) offspring typically share their sire’s stamp of refined, modern type, a correct foundation, and quality movement and those attributes are well-rewarded in the breed show ring. We are excited to share the news that Royal Prince has won the USEF Dressage Breeding Sire of the Year for the FIFTH consecutive year.   The USEF Leading Sire system has become a valuable way for stallion owners to track and evaluate the success of their stallion's offspring in competitions throughout the United States. This is a remarkable achievement and couldn’t have been made possible without all the breeders who have selected Royal Prince over the years.  We’re looking forward to another great show season for all the Royal Prince offspring in 2013! (Jan 2013)

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Photo by Micki Dobson

Riverman is the Top-Ranking, US-based Showjumping Sire

Riverman (Redfort – Landego) has been a cornerstone of the Hilltop Farm stallion line up for many years.  Though is career focus was in the dressage arena, we see Riverman offspring excelling in the upper levels of almost every sport including dressage, eventing, combined driving, and most recently Riverman offspring are shining in show jumping.  We were honored to receive the news that Riverman has been selected as the USEF/PHR South Pacific Award Winner for the second consecutive year. The South Pacific award is donated by Joan Irvine Smith and named after her international Grand Prix competitor and stallion South Pacific. Each year the award is given to the top-ranked US-based jumper stallion.  Hilltop Farm is proud that Riverman has been honored with this prestigious award and would like to thank all of the breeders who chose to breed to Riverman over the years.  His achievements as a sire could not have been made possible without you!  (Jan 2013)

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Photo by Angela Pritchard

Qredit Wins the 70-Day Stallion Test

What a way to end the year!  The 2012 North American Stallion Test just finished this weekend and we couldn't be more pleased with the results for Qredit when he finished as the Dressage Champion & Overall Champion at the the 2012 70-Day North American Stallion Test! He earned a 135.93 for his Dressage Index (1st), 113.16 for a Jumping Index (6th), and 126.59 Overall (1st). 

The team at Silver Creek did an excellent job caring for the stallions and we were impressed with the training program that Harald Hoffmann, the Training Director, had designed to prep each stallion in the best possible way for the finals. Natascha Feld was Qredit's rider throughout the testing and did an exemplary job showing him off.  We are grateful to everyone at the testing who made this such a positive experience.  Thank you!

This year there was an overall high-quality of stallions in the testing, including some phenomenal jumpers.  Bon Balou was Jumper Champion and Bliss MF was Overall Reserve Champion. The final Testing Days were exciting to watch and it was especially noteworthy that many of the stallions attending were bred in North America.  Congratulations to all of the owners and breeders of these stallions.  It will be exciting to watch them and their offspring in the coming years.

Qredit was presented at the conclusion of the test for Hanoverian approval and we are very happy to report that he is now approved with the AHS and the Hanoverian Verband, opening up further options for our breeders.  (November 2012)

Qredit Qredit  
Photo by Angela Pritchard Photo by Angela Pritchard  



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Dressage at Devon 2012

Dressage at Devon is always a favorite time of the year for staff and clients at Hilltop Farm.  At the historic showgrounds we have the rare opportunity to watch everything from foals through International Grand Prix horses and celebrate the development and link between breeding and sport.  We had beautiful weather this year almost ending the week rain free, a rarity for Dressage at Devon.  We were so fortunate this year to have Brendan Curtis and King Garcia join the Hilltop Team for the week.  Their handling skills are exceptional and combined with Michael Bragdell, we were able to handle over 30 horses throughout the show.  Ripken HTF (Riverman – Royal Prince) started off the week for Team Hilltop with a 3rd Place finish in the Suitable to Become a Dressage Horse 3 Year Old class under Chris Hickey’s ride.  Cha Ching HTF (Contucci – Cordoba) got off to a great start at Devon, winning the Yearling Colts/Geldings class and going on to place 3rd in the Colt Championship.  Cha Ching HTF later was the recipient of a Born in the USA Award.   The Royal Prince mare, Raj Mahal HTF (Royal Prince – Donnerhall) had a strong third place finish in the large 4 Year Old and Older Broodmares class and ended the week with a win in the Hanoverian 3-Year and Older class.  Raj Mahal’s Donarweiss colt, Denver HTF (Donarweiss – Royal Prince) was unfazed by the busy Devon atmosphere and earned a 6th place finish in the Colts of 2012 and took home the Reserve Championship ribbon in USDF/GAIG Foal Championship.  Last but not least for the Hilltop Farm owned horses is Witness Hilltop.  Witness Hilltop and Chris Hickey's wins of the Prix St. Georges and the Intermediaire I Freestyle made for an excellent way to end the show!  

Denver Riesling
Denver HTF Riesling CCF


Joining the Hilltop Farm owned horses were many horses in Hilltop’s Raising and Training Departments. The barn seemed to be filled with “D” and “R” names with many Donarweiss, Don Principe, and Royal Prince offspring joining us this year at Devon. The 2012 Donarweiss colt, Delenmeyer (Donarweiss – Weltmeyer), owned and bred by Karen Detmering, had a great first show experience, ending his week with a 6th place finish in the Hanoverian 2-Year and Under class.  In her second year at Devon, the yearling filly Dior CCF (Donarweiss – Enrico Caruso), owned and  bred by Chris Roseberry, finished in 5th place in the Yearling Fillies class and ended her week with a 2nd Place Finish in the ISR/Oldenburg N.A. IBC.  Diva Modena (Donarweiss – Gluckspiel), owned by Tracy Bright, showed well in her first Devon experience earning two 4th place ribbons for the 4 Year Old and Older Maiden Mares and the USDF/GAIG Mare Championship.  The four-year old Don Principe stallion, Doctor Wendell MF (Don Principe – Sandro Hit), owned and bred by Marydell Farms, finished 8th in the very competitive 4 Year Old and Older Stallions class. Riesling CCF (Royal Prince – Enrico Caruso), owned and bred by Chris Roseberry, had a great week earning a 4th place in the 3 Year Old Colts and Geldings and a 2nd place in the 3 Year Old Colts and Gelding Materiale for which he received a Born in the USA award.  Full sibling to Riesling CCF, Rosé CCF showed in Materiale 3 Year Old Fillies earning a 4th place and ISR/Oldenburg N.A. IBC earning a 3rd place finish.  The pretty Quite Easy filly, Elizabeth’s Elan (Quite Easy – Calimero) finished in 9th place in the Fillies of 2012 class.  Bahia Breeze (Benetton Dream – Banditentraum) joined Hilltop again this year for her third year at Devon. This year Bahia received 5th place ribbon in the 3-Year Old Fillies class and in the Hanoverian 3-Years and Older IBC. Rosalie KIS (Rosall – Brentano II) finished the week with a great finish in the GOV IBC – earning a 2nd place ribbon and a score of 80.1%.  Last but not least, Sakima KS (Sinatra Song – Brentano II) showed his sensible nature handling the electric atmosphere of Devon like a veteran. Sakima earned a 2nd place finish in the large Suitable to Become a Dressage Horse 4 Year Old class.  Sakima also earned a 9th place ribbon in the Four Year Old and Older Stallion/Gelding Under Saddle and a 7th place ribbon in the USDF Materiale 4 & 5 Year Old Stallions/Geldings.  As always, it was a pleasure to share all the exciting moments of Dressage at Devon with all our clients and we start planning for next year. (October 2012)

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Hemmingway & Qredit on Top at the USEF National Championships

Hemmingway and Michael Bragdell

The Lamplight Equestrian Center showgrounds were an exceptional stage for the USEF Young Horse National Championships this past weekend and we could not be happier with the performances of Hemmingway (Hofrat - Archipel) and Qredit Hilltop (Quaterback - Dream of Glory). These two US-bred stallions put in solid performances in the warm-up class, but really stepped up in the Four-Year Old Championship class with some of their best tests to-date and they finished being named Champion and Reserve Champion for the USEF Four-Year Old division.  Hemmingway, owned by Rock Solid Warmbloods, bred by Angela Barilar, and ridden by Michael Bragdell, earned an overall score of 8.26 and high praise from the judges including "you make us forget we are watching a 4-year old". 

Qredit Hilltop
Qredit Hilltop and Chris Hickey

Qredit, owned by Hilltop Farm, bred by Judy Yancey, and ridden by Christopher Hickey, gave Hemmingway and Michael a run for their money finishing closely behind them with an overall score of 8.22. To develop both of these horses from youngsters to the National Championships is a wonderful feeling and just the start of their success as both performance horses and breeding stallions.

Also in the 4-Year Old Championship, Dilona (Lord Leatherdale - Kennedy) and Anna Marek took third place with an excellent score of 8.2.  Dilona's sire Lord Leatherdale joined Hilltop Farm's International Stallion program in 2011 and we are very excited to see some of his older offspring now competing in the United States.  In the 5-Year Old Championship Boccaccio IOF (Bugatti - Rubinstein I) finished in 5th place. Boccaccio is owned by Marchella Richardson and was bred by Hilltop Farm and started by Michael Bragdell. Calimar (Contucci - Martini), another US-bred representative, earned an 8th place finish in the Developing Horse Grand Prix Championship. It is especially rewarding to see Calimar, owned and ridden by Claire Darnell, succeeding at this level. Claire started Calimar as a junior rider and has brought him successfully up the ranks, including competing in the USEF Intermediaire I Championships last year. (August 2012)

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WitnessTeam USA Wins Wellington CDIO3* Nations Cup

It was an absolute perfect finish to our Florida show season when Chris and Witness were invited to be on Team USA for the first ever CDIO3* Nations Cup competition in Wellington, Florida.  Chris and Witness started the weekend out strong with a 2nd place finish in Friday’s Prix St. Georges, but they really shone in the Freestyle under the lights on Saturday night.  With the high-score of the night with a 71.425%, Chris and Witness’s score was instrumental in the team competition and led Team USA to the Gold Medal win over the European  team.  Chris was excited by the win and by the entire experience. "I'm very happy with Witness.  He showed himself well even in the electric night time atmosphere of the wonderful new show grounds! I am proud of him and so happy that Jane was there to enjoy the team feeling we got from this wonderful experience! I had a lot of fun with my teammates as well!"

Also on Saturday night the Global Dressage Festival had a Parade of Champions for the High-Score winners from the entire season.  Balissa HTF was Reserve High-Score at First Level for the entire show series this year.  Since Chris was preparing Witness for the Freestyle, Jane went into the ring for the walk around with the other winners to collect Balissa’s ribbon & trophy.  Jane was ecstatic with her award! (April 2012)

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Riverman Wins USEF South Pacific Award

The influence of a stallion is marked not only by the stallion's success but most importantly by the success of his offspring.  Riverman's (Redfort x Alexis III/Landego) offspring set him apart as truly an exceptional sire as they continue to excel in the dressage, eventing, hunter, and jumper rings at all levels of competition.  This year Riverman has been honored as the USEF/PHR South Pacific Sire.  The South Pacific award is donated by Joan Irvine Smith after her international Grand Prix competitor and stallion South Pacific. It is given annually to the leading US-based jumper stallion.  Hilltop Farm is very excited that Riverman has been honored with this prestigious award and would like to thank all of the breeders who chose to breed to Riverman over the years.  His achievements as a sire could not have been made possible without you! (Jan 2012)

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Hilltop’s 20th Anniversary Celebration

It’s hard to believe that it really has been 20 years already.  When Jane MacElree first purchased the stallions Cabaret and Nureyev, she had no idea of what would evolve in the coming years, but what a journey it has been!  On October 29th Jane, the Hilltop staff, and many of our friends, family, and clients celebrated our 20th Anniversary with a wonderful party at the farm.  An unexpected, early winter snow storm affected travel for people from Virginia to New England that had been planning on coming, but there were still almost 200 people in attendance.  Now that’s dedication!  Door prize drawings from Oxford Feed & Lumber, Unionville Equine, Smartpak, the Mill of Bel Air, Select Breeders Services, Hulsebos Saddles, and of course Hilltop Farm made for some very lucky attendees!  The highlight of the day was of course the Stallion Presentation.  We were fortunate that Laroche, De Feiner Star, and Don Hill were all able to still attend given the weather, but it was an excellent opportunity for breeders to see these Guest Stallions in person.  Video highlights of Donarweiss with his new rider Genay Vaughn, as well as clips for the Van Olst and Haras de Brullemail stallions brought together our complete line-up.  Thank you all for your continued support over these 20 years.  We are looking forward to what the future will bring. (November 2011)

Hemmingway De Feiner Star Bugatti
Hemmingway De Feiner Star Bugatti


Contucci Riverman
Contucci Riverman

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Dressage at Devon 2011 

ChaChing HTF (Contucci - Cordoba)

Devon is always a favorite time of the year for staff and clients at Hilltop Farm.  Despite the rainy weather, this year proved to have many enjoyable and exciting moments to share.  For the Hilltop Team the breed show was the highlight of the week with Hilltop Farm owned and bred colt Cha Ching HTF (Contucci - Cordoba) making a clean sweep of his classes.  Cha Ching HTF not only won the Colts of 2011 and the Foal Championship but also the USDF/GAIG Foal Championship earning scores up to 83.300%.  The 2011 filly Dior CCF (Donarweiss - Enrico Caruso), owned by Chris Roseberry, also was quite successful.  Dior CCF earned a 3rd in the Fillies of 2011 as well as receiving Reserve Champion in the USDF/GAIG Foal Championship and winning the ISR/Oldenburg 2 and Under Class.

Yearling colt Sternlicht GGF (Soliman de Hus - Rascalino), owned and bred by Rachel Erhlich, showcased his future potential earning the 85.1% and the high score of the show in the Yearling Colts and Geldings class.  Sternlicht GGF went on to earn a 3rd place in the Colt and Gelding Championship.  Yearling filly Rosalie KIS (Rosall - Brentano II) took 4th in the USDF/GAIG Filly Championship and won the IBC Oldenburg class on Thursday.  Baxter CCF (Bugatti - Enrico Caruso) took third to Roaslie KIS in the Oldenburg class.

Two year old filly Bahia Breeze (Bennetton Dream - Banditentraum) also had a successful weekend earning two second place ribbons.  The first was a second place in the 2 Year Old Fillies class, the second in the USDF/GAIG Filly Championship.  Radiance COF (Royal Prince - Contucci), also a two year old filly, ended her week at Devon on a very good note with a 78.900% and the win in the Hanoverian age 2 and under on Thursday.  Bellatesse HTF (Bugatti - Cordoba), bred by Hilltop Farm and owned by Kris Schuler, placed 5th in the USDF/GAIG Filly Championship with a 76.950%. Akinori (Enrico Caruso - Schonfeld) ended Devon week on a high note for her owner Chris Roseberry.  Akinori won the Warmblood of Trakehner Origin class with a 78.800%. 

Doctor Wendell
Doctor Wendell MF (Don Principe - Sandro Hit)

Three year old stallion Doctor Wendell MF (Don Principe - Sandro Hit), owned and bred by Marydell Farm, had an excellent week.  The young stallion took first place in the Three Year Old Colts and Geldings class with an 81.8%.  He went on to become the Colt/Gelding Champion and Reserve Young Horse Champion.  Under saddle, Doctor Wendell took 2nd place in the 3 Year Old Colts and Gelding Materiale class with Michael Bragdell.  Three year old filly Laurel (Longchamp - Pointmaker) earned a 4th place in Suitable to Become a Dressage Horse 3yrs Old and a second in Materiale 3yr Old Fillies with rider Kayla Johnson, qualifing her for the Materiale Championship.  Four year old gelding Felix (Sir Sinclair - Ferro) took 1st in Suitable to Become a Dressage Horse 4yr Old and a 2nd in Materiale 4 & 5yr Old Colts and Geldings.  Felix went on to win the Materiale Championship with rider Michael Bragdell.

Don Hill
Don Hill (Don Gregory - Hill Hawk xx)

Hilltop guest stallions Don Hill (Don Gregory - Hill Hawk xx) and De Feiner Star (DeLaurentis - Feiner Stern) showed with great results. Don Hill, owned by Virginia Leary, won the 4 Year and Older Stallions and went on to be the Devon Stallion Champion.  De Feiner Star won both the Four Year and Older Stallions Under Saddle and USEF Materiale 4 & 5 year old Colts and Geldings.  Later that day De Feiner Star went on to be Reserve Champion in the Materiale Championship.  The following day, De Feiner Star earned a fourth place in the USEF Young Horse Test for 5yr Olds. 

Capping off the excitement of the breed show portion of Devon was EM Rheporter's (Royal Prince - Weltmeyer) big win.  Owned and bred by Rolling Stone Farm and Mo Swanson, EM Rheporter  won the Mature Horse Championship and the Devon Grand Championship.  Congratulations Mo!

Ribbons and AwardsThe performance show completed the Devon experience with many great performances by Hilltop trainers and horses.  Hilltop owned and bred four year olds Balissa HTF (Bugatti -Contucci) and Ripley HTF (Royal Prince Riverman)  competed in the USEF Test for 4yr Olds.  The pair took a clean sweep of Thursday's class with Ripley HTF in first with a score of 85.800% and Balissa HTF in second.  The following day Ripley HTF earned a second in the class and Balissa a fourth and Ripley was Reserve Champion for the entire Young Horse division.

Bugatti Hilltop and Michael Bragdell competed in their first CDI competition at Prix St. Georges while at Devon.  Michael and Bugatti earned a very respectable 10th place. Chris Hickey and Witness Hilltop (Hamlet - Burggraff) made for a great end of Devon week.  Witness earned a second in the Prix St Georges, 2nd in the Intermediare I, and finished off the weekend with a 2nd in the Intermediare Freestyle.  As always, it was a pleasure to share all the exciting moments of Dressage at Devon with all our clients and we start planning for next year. (September 2011)

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Tiamo TrocaderoTiamo Trocadero (1987-2011)

It is with great sadness that we share the passing of the Hanoverian stallion Tiamo Trocadero (Trapper-Darling).  Tiamo Trocadero lived at Hilltop Farm from 2006 to 2008 and stood in our Guest Stallion Program for two seasons.  Tiamo had an outstanding International dressage record which included being named an Alternate for the 2000 Olympic Games for the British Dressage Team.  We continue to cheer on the Tiamo offspring as they follow in their sire’s hoofprints and can dream that we will see some of his greatness in each of them. (February 2011)

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A Promising New Talent for Hilltop Farm

The New Year is off to an exciting start for Hilltop Farm with Jane’s decision to purchase a young FEI horse for Head Trainer Christopher Hickey to compete.  Chris’s show string includes of course Douglas Hilltop, recent winner of the Grand Prix Special in Wellington, as well as a number of very promising homebred youngsters, but with the passing of Cabana Boy last fall there was a gap left between the age groups.

Dirk Fiechter has found many horses for Chris and his students including Regent (Chris’s 2007 Pan Am Gold Medal partner) and Piet (who later sold to Ulla Salzgeber), and was the first person Chris contacted to help him with this search.  Witness (Hamlet-Burggraaf), an 8-year old gelding owned by Luc and Jonna Schelstraete and breeder Rene Franssen, was the clear standout from Chris’s recent trip to see horses with Dirk.  Under Jonna, Witness has shown through the comparable of Fourth Level and was recently 2nd at the Moorland Championship in Hengelo.  It’s interesting to note that Witness’s breeder Rene Franssen also bred Leslie Morse’s Kingston.

Chris comments, “I’m happy to have found such a quality horse that’s had one rider so far in his career.  He has a wonderful temperament, enjoys his job, and is eager to learn. This is due to the wonderful job Jonna has done developing and showing this horse to this point.”  Chris feels that Witness shows a lot of potential for the demanding FEI exercises and is looking forward to developing Witness into a top FEI mount.  Jane is excitedly awaiting Witness’s arrival in the US, “I can’t wait to meet him!” (February 2011)

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Royal PrinceRoyal Prince & Riverman Win USEF Sire of Year Awards

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. (December 2010)

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FestrauschFestrausch Moves to Cazenovia

Festrausch (Florestan-Carprilli) has been an important part of the stallion line-up at Hilltop Farm since his purchase in 2000.  His bloodlines, incredible movement, and elegant type stood him apart, and it is the movement and character that he passes to his offspring that have made many of his breeders very loyal to him over the years.  Devon winners, USDF All-Breeds winners, an Approved Stallion and many Premium Mares and Foals have all proven his success as a sire.

There is now an exciting new development in Festrausch's career that we wanted to share.  In mid-October, Festrausch moved to Cazenovia College in New York to stand at stud and to continue the education of Cazenovia's Equine Business Management students.   We've had a wonderful association with Cazenovia for many years through their internship programs and Hilltop Farm appreciates the quality of education they are providing to our future professionals.  Their facility is top-notch and with the retirement of their current stallion, we knew they needed an exceptional stallion to bring additional focus and opportunities to their program. 

Professor Carol Buckhout and Farm Operations Manager Stefani Watson have both spent time at Hilltop with Festrausch and we have the highest comfort level with them taking over the care of this special stallion.  Festrausch was greeted by over 25 students upon his arrival at Cazenovia and is clearly loving being the 'big man on campus.'

Hilltop Farm remains committed to all of Festrausch's breeders and his offspring.  Our Breeders Support Programs, website, etc. are all still available to owners of Festrausch offspring.  Hilltop Farm is retaining an inventory of frozen semen for Festrausch's breeders to honor any rebreeds in the 2011 season and will continue to offer for sale proven frozen semen on this exceptional stallion for a limited time.  Cazenovia will continue to offer Festrausch at stud for the public through cooled semen.

Thank you for your belief and commitment to Festrausch these past years.  We look forward to his continued success under Cazenovia's care.   (November 2010)

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Dressage at Devon 2010

Despite some rain Devon was, as it always is, a great way to wind down the season. We had a wonderful time with our friends and clients and were proud to represent so many lovely horses.

Royal Tradition
Royal Tradition

The fillies started Tuesday strongly with Bahia Breeze winning the yearling filly class and Radiance COF (Royal Prince/Contucci) finishing 3rd and Bellatesse HTF (Bugatti/Cordoba) finishing 7th in this very competitive, high-scoring class.  In the 3 yr old fillies class Contucci was well represented by Caris’s 2nd place and Cordialle’s 4th place. Riesling (Royal Prince/Enrico Caruso) was 2nd yearling colts class with an 80.8% while Dylan (Donarweiss/Riverman), Bucardi (Bugatti/Scimitar), and Artistik all finished in the top 10 ribbons.  The foals finished the day strongly with Royal Tradition (Royal Prince/Puritano) and Quoi de Neuf (Quite Easy/Sendgraf) finishing 1st & 2nd in the colts of 2010 class.  Royal Tradition went on to be named Champion Foal (Quoi de Neuf was 3rd) and was Reserve Champion in the USDF Foal Championship.


Wednesday was the beautiful, sunny day for the show and Conturri (Contucci/Riverman) started off the morning with 2nd place finishes in both her undersaddle classes, she then won the Maiden/Yeld Mares class with an 82.15% and finished as Reserve Champion Mare.  A long, but very successful day for Conturri!  Cha Cha was represented by Chiquita HTF (Contucci) and Bellatesse HTF to earn 2nd place in the Produce of Dam class.  The stallions were also well presented in the Get of Sire class with Royal Prince & Contucci finishing 3rd & 4th and Donarweiss earning 6th place.  Michael also handled Der Feiner Star to the Champion Stallion & Reserve Champion Mature Horse.

The rain returned on Thursday and we scratched a number of the horse, but those that stayed showed wonderful composure and put in some of their best performances of the week.  In the ISR/Oldenburg 2 & under Riesling once again put in a super performance with a score of 79% to win.  The Popeye fillies Piccolina and Primarosa placed 2nd & 3rd and Ruby (Royal Prince/Donnerwerth) finished in 4th place.  Cordialle won the ISR/Oldenburg 3 & over class.  Radiance COF finished out our showing with a beautiful run in the Hanoverian 2 & under class and an impressive score of 84% gave her the win in the class and, I believe, the high score for the entire show!

We had two very special awards that were also received by members of our team.  First, Michael Bragdell received the Best Handler Award for the show and secondly, two Hilltop staff (Kristie Blaikie - one of our grooms & Brittany Callahan - my summer intern) were honored with the Sportsmanship Award for helping out another competitor when she and her horse fell while schooling.  We're so proud of all our staff, but these three really deserved the recognition they received at the show.

The fun, and the rain, at Devon continued on Friday with the Performance Show.  In Friday’s Prix St. Georges, Chris showed Cece Stewart’s gelding Pacino (Parabol-Cor Noir) to a 64.684% - a result we were very pleased with as it was only Pacino’s 5th PSG test ever and his first CDI!  Chris’s students Lisa Lewis-Greene and Doreen Bryne also had good rides in the small tour of the CDI over the weekend and we were happy to have them stabled with us at Devon.

Rebecca Cord showed Janet Rubino’s Sombrero do Top at Fourth Level over the weekend and earned a 5th place on Sunday in the 4th 2 class. Pacino went on to win both his Fourth Level Test 2 and Fourth Level Test 3 classes on Saturday and Sunday.  This Hilltop homebred has long been a favorite for many at the farm, so we are thrilled to continue to be a part of his career under Cece’s ownership. (October 2010)

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Cabana BoyCabana Boy ~ Goodbye to a Champion

It is with great sadness that Jane MacElree and Hilltop Farm share the news that on Monday, August 23rd Cabana Boy was humanely euthanized following a catastrophic injury while in turnout.  Cabana Boy’s well-being, comfort, and quality of life were the focus of each discussion and decision and a team of veterinarians was consulted to discuss all possible options and outcomes.

The consummate showman with a larger than life personality, Cabana had the unique ability to draw fans wherever he went.  Bred by Doug and Shannon Langer of Wisconsin, Cabana Boy was sired by Hilltop Farm’s stallion Contucci and out of Britania (Bordeaux-Weltmeyer).  Hilltop Farm acquired Cabana Boy early in his yearling year and since then Cabana Boy has been unstoppable in his accomplishments including:


Site Champion of American Hanoverian Society Foal Inspection in Wisconsin


Dressage at Devon ~ Colt Champion, Young Horse Champion, Reserve Grand Champion


Champion of East Coast Selection Trials for FEI World Breeding Championships
Represented the US at the FEI World Breeding Championships in Verden, GER
USEF/Markel FEI 5-Year Old National Champion
USDF Horse of the Year ~ FEI 5-Year Olds
USDF All-Breeds (AHS) Champion ~ FEI 5-Year Olds


Champion of East Coast Selection Trials for FEI World Breeding Championships
USEF/Markel FEI 6-Year Old National Champion
USDF Region 1 ~ 3rd Level Champion
USDF Horse of the Year ~ FEI 6-Year Olds
USDF Reserve Champion ~ Third Level Open
USDF All-Breeds (AHS) Champion ~ FEI 6-Year Olds & Third Level


Qualified for & Competed at USEF Intermediaire I Championships
USEF Developing Horse National Champion
Dressage at Devon ~ Highest Scoring US-bred in CDI competition
USDF Horse of the Year Standings ~ ranked 7th for Prix St. Georges & 14th for Intermediaire I
USDF All-Breeds (AHS) Champion ~ Prix St. Georges & Intermediaire I


3rd Place at USEF Intermediaire I National Championships


A shining star for Hilltop Farm, US sport horse breeding, and US dressage, Cabana Boy’s loss is felt by many.  He has touched us all deeply and his passing leaves an enormous hole in our hearts. Jane MacElree, Chris Hickey, and the staff at Hilltop Farm would like to express their sincere appreciation to the veterinarians at New Bolton Center who guided us through this crisis, as well as the veterinarians at Unionville Equine and Dr. Amy Rabanal who have worked closely with Cabana Boy over so many years.  (September 2010)

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Cabana Boy and Chris HickeyIntermediaire I National Championships

Hilltop Farm's Christopher Hickey and Cabana Boy (Contucci-Bordeaux) attended the 2010 Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Dressage Festival of Champions on August 6-8 at the historic USET headquarters in Gladstone, NJ.  At only 8 years old, this was already Cabana Boy's 2nd trip to the Championships.  It was especially rewarding to have Hilltop's owner Jane MacElree and her daughters Ann and Leslie on hand to enjoy the show.  Jane’s mother was very active in the early years of the USET headquarters at Gladstone, so for Jane and her family it’s especially meaningful for one of her horses to compete at the Championships there.

Chris and Cabana Boy started off the weekend with a third place in the FEI Prix St. Georges with an overall score of 68% and a fourth in Intermediate I on Saturday.  Sunday's competition was Cabana Boy's strongest over the weekend.  It is readily apparent that he enjoys his freestyle music - a combination of Beach Boys' & Beatles' music that the crowd loved. Chris and Cabana Boy earned a 2nd in the Freestyle and a 3rd overall for the weekend's standings. Congratulations! (August 2010)

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RivermanHilltop Stallions Lead USEF Rankings

Hilltop Farm is thrilled that three of our stallions have been named USEF Leading Sires of the Year for 2009.  Contucci (Caprimond-Lungau) is the Dressage Sire of the Year; Riverman (Redfort-Landego) is the Eventing Sire of the Year; and for the second year in a row, Royal Prince (Rohdiamant-Prince Thatch xx) is the Dressage Breeding Sire of the Year (and Bugatti was ranked second in this category).  What a wonderful Christmas present for Hilltop’s owner Jane MacElree!  A related congratulations goes out to Dr. Elizabeth Callahan who is the USEF Eventing Breeder of the Year, based all on successes of her Hilltop-sired offspring.  Dr. Callahan’s exceptional breeding program has produced such horses as Slate River and Balmoral and this honor is well deserved. (December 2009)

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Dressage at Devon 2009

The Dressage at Devon Breed Show was held this year September 22nd thru 24th. Team Hilltop was again in attendance including a new handler, Jonas Johnsson, who traveled from Sweden to work with us.

 Perfect QreditThe highlight of this year’s show was the yearling colt Perfect Qredit (Quaterback-Dream of Glory) owned by Michelle and Chris Coursin and bred by Judy Yancey.  Qredit was undefeated throughout the show, winning the Yearling Colt class, the GOV class, the Colt Championship, the Young Horse Championship and the Grand Championship. Qredit also brought home the Born In The USA Award for Yearling Colts and Geldings.  Qredit has lived at Hilltop Farm since he was a weanling and it is a pleasure to develop him for his owners with such fantastic results. 

CordialleBoccaccio IOF (Bugatti-Rubinstein), owned by Marcia Richardson of TN and bred by Hilltop Farm, won the USDF/ GAIG Colt Championship East Coast Final on Tuesday night with an 80.5%. He also placed 3rd in the 2 Year Old Colts and Geldings Class and 5th in the Hanoverian 2 and Under IBC. Boccaccio along with Balissa represented Bugatti in the Get of Sire class earning him a 3rd place finish. Balissa HTF (Bugatti-Contucci) owned and bred by Hilltop finished 4th overall in the 2 Year Old Fillies and 4th in the USDF/ GAIG Filly Championship East Coast Final. Balissa’s score in the 2 Year Old class also earned her the Born In The USA Award for her age group.  Another strong showing in the Two Year Old Fillies class was produced by Martina Thiel-Poblotzki’s Cordialle (Contucci x Cordelia) who earned a 7th place. 

Two Royal Prince colts, BW-Rafael (Royal Prince-A Jungle Prince) owned and bred by Blue Waters Farm and R London Calling CCF (Royal Prince-Enrico Caruso) owned by Chris Roseberry, placed one and two respectively in Thursday’s ISR/ Oldenburg 2 and Under class.   BW-Rafael also helped Royal Prince earn a 7th place in the Get of Sire class. 

Cindy Lindsay’s striking chestnut gelding Ritzmaucher (Regazzoni-Banter), bred by Oldenburg Farm, placed 6th in the Two Year Old Colts and Geldings class to wrap-up his successful show season.  Kris Schuler’s lovely mare EM Diotima took 8th in the Broodmares 4 & older class.  Emily Covington put in a lovely ride on BW-Corabelle (Contucci-A Jungle Prince) for 5th in the 5 Year Old Mare Materiale. 

RafaellaThis year’s foal crop also stepped up to the plate with Bellatesse HTF (Bugatti-Cordoba) owned by Kris Schuler and bred by Hilltop placing 3rd in the fillies of 2009 with a score of 79.4%. Rafaella CF (Royal Prince-Anamour) owned and bred by Kim Callaway followed close behind for a 4th place finish in the same class. Ripken HTF (Riverman-Royal Prince) owned and bred Hilltop Farm finished 4th in the colts of 2009 with a 79.9% and Blue Waters Farm’s BW-Royal Splendor (Royal Prince-A Jungle Prince) was 8th in the same class. 

Costello HTF (Comic Hilltop FRH-Rubinstein) bred by Hilltop Farm and recently purchased by Marijo McLachlan placed 6th in the Hanoverian 2 and Under Class, followed closely by Caris (Contucci-Donnerhall), bred and owned by Roberta Falk, in 7th. Fontyn (Fred Astair-Maurice) owned and bred by Kate Palmquist placed 9th in the class as well as 6th in the Yearling Fillies with a score of 78.8%. For owner Carolyn Steppe, this was her first trip to Devon and her yearling filly Danika (by Donarweiss) rewarded her with their first ever ribbon at Devon – a 10th in the large Yearling Fillies class. 

SajamaHilltop Farm also presented several of Summit Sporthorses’ ponies throughout the week. Die Feine Lady won the Westfalen IBC and placed 4th in the 4 Years and Older Yeld Mares. Right behind Lady in the Westfalen class was Die Chanel, placing 2nd. Popstar, a yearling filly by Popeye and out of a Fascination daughter, won the ISR Sport Pony class and placed 8th in the Yearling Fillies with a score of 77.7%. The boys also did well, with Pogo placing 5th in the 2 Year Old Colts and Sajama placing 4th in the ISR Sport Pony Class.  

We cheered on other offspring by our stallions from the sidelines as well.  In the Suitable to Become a Dressage Horse class, we saw Susan Desimpel’s Currituck (Contucci-Cabaret) and Jessica Liverman’s Regalia (Royal Prince-Cor Noir) finish in 9th and 10th place respectively.  Currituck also placed 5th in the Stallion/Gelding Materiale class and 3rd in the ISR/Oldenburg 3 & older IBC.  Karen Day’s Rivoli II (Riverman-Carthago) won the Stallions 4 & Older class, full-sister Understated was 2nd in the 5 Year Old Materiale class, and they earned Karen a 6th in the Breeders Group class.  Laurie Cameron’s UMA Corwin CBF (by Cor Noir) was 3rd in the 5 Year Old Mare Materiale.

On a special note, Hilltop’s Michael Bragdell was presented with the John JP Perry Memorial Perpetual Trophy on Saturday night. This award is given to a person who demonstrates sportsmanship and is a true ambassador for the equestrian sports.

Dressage at Devon Performance Show: Cabana Boy (Contucci-Bordeaux) made his first appearance in the Devon CDI with excellent results.  Finishing 2nd in the Prix St. Georges, 3rd in the Intermediaire I, and 2nd in the Intermediaire Freestyle, Cabana continued to prove he is a top-quality FEI horse who will be a strong international contender.  Cabana Boy was also the highest-scoring US-bred horse in the entire CDI competition.  Jen Huber, a long-time student of Chris’s, took her young horse Vito to Devon for the first time and earned a 3rd in Fourth Level Test 2 and a 2nd in Fourth Level Test 3.   (September 2009)

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National Developing Horse Dressage Championship

YH NationalsYH NationalsChris Hickey and Cabana Boy added another national title to their resume by winning the 2009 USEF National Developing Horse Dressage Championship on August 21-23. The past two years, Chris and Cabana had traveled to Kentucky to compete in and win the 5 Year Old and 6 Year Old National Young Horse Dressage Championships, making them the first pair to win all three. “We are so proud that a Hilltop horse made history by being the first US bred and owned horse to win three of the National Championships in a row” said Chris.

This year’s Championships were held at the beautifully landscaped Lamplight Equestrian Center in Illinois. The first day of competition was the Developing Horse Qualifying Test which counted for 40% of the overall score. Chris and Cabana won, earning a 72.895%. They then went on to win Sunday’s Developing Horse Championship test with a score of 73.810%. (August 2009)

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DouglasNew Grand Prix Horse for Hilltop Farm

Dreams do come true!  Jane MacElree, owner of Hilltop Farm, has always wanted an international Grand Prix horse to represent Hilltop Farm in competition.  While spending time competing in Germany this winter, Hilltop Farm's Head Trainer Chris Hickey, found the ideal candidate.  Douglas S (Dr Jackson - Walt Disney) is a 9 year old, 16.3 hand Badden Wurttemberg gelding who had shown at the FEI levels under owner Alexandra Sessler. 

"I knew from the first ride that Douglas was the horse for me.  He gives a wonderful feeling and has so much expression to be developed.  He takes the training well even though he is an electric type horse," say Hickey. "I feel lucky to have found a horse that is trained in the same system that I use.  Alex and I both ride with Ulla Salzgeber and this makes the transition to a new rider so much easier for the horse."   

Ulla was actually the first to share the news of Hilltop Farm's new purchase when she spoke with reporters after the Exquis World Dressage Masters show in Munich, Germany. "The horse is extraordinarily good and they will make an excellent team."
Jane met Douglas as he arrived at Hilltop Farm from quarantine.  "Watching Chris and Douglas during their first ride at the farm gave me goosebumps.  It is thrilling to have Douglas in our barn and we are looking forward to a wonderful future with him.  The sky's the limit." (Posted June 2009)

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Royal PrinceRoyal Prince is Dressage Breeding Sire of the Year

The United States Equestrian Federation gives awards to the top placing sires, breeders, and owners based upon their offspring show records over the past year at USEF recognized shows.  For the 2008 show season, Hilltop Farm stallions once again proved their consistency as Leading Sires in the US.

Royal Prince’s offspring brought their sire top honors in the Dressage Breeding division with over 200 points above the second place stallion. Daughter Rhodora, the 2008 Champion Filly & Champion Young Horse of Dressage at Devon, certainly contributed to this win, but was only one of many successful Royal Prince offspring showing on the line in 2008. While Royal Prince (Rohdiamant – Prince Thatch xx) continues his own competitive career, we are thrilled to see his earliest foal crops living up to our expectations of them. 

Hilltop thanks all the offspring owners and breeders who played such a huge role in this year’s many successes! (Posted February 2009)

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Dressage at Devon 2008

Chiquita HTFWith thirteen championship ribbons, consistent winners in the performance classes, and Reserve Grand Champion of the Breed Show, Dressage at Devon proved once again to be as exciting as always for Hilltop Farm, clients, and offspring.

One of the young stars of the competition was undoubtedly Hilltop’s Chiquita HTF (Contucci – Cordoba), who started Tuesday morning with a win in the Fillies of 2008 class and continued on to win the inaugural foal championship,  took 2nd in the Filly Championship, and claimed the USDF East Coast Filly Final with a score of over 85%. One of the Dressage at Devon judges, William Solyntjes, an “S” dressage judge and “r” sport horse breeding judge, states, “She is one who could hold her own against the more mature horses. She has really, really good conformation, natural suppleness in her back, a well set neck and lots of confidence.” Her dam, Hilltop Cha Cha (Cordoba – Weltmeyer), not letting her youngster outdo her, proceeded to take 2nd in her Four Year-Old and Older Broodmare class with a score of 84%, 2nd in the Mare Championship, Champion of the USDF East Coast Mare Final, Reserve Champion Mature Horse, and Reserve Grand Champion of Devon.

Rhodora HTF (Royal Prince – Contucci) also proved to be a highlight of the competition, earning 2nd in her Yearling Fillies class with a score of 82.6%, winning the Filly and Young Horse Championship titles, and taking Reserve Champion to Chiquita in the USDF East Coast Filly Final. Also owned by Hilltop Farm, Conturri (Contucci – Riverman) won the Four Year-Old Maiden Mare class with a score of 82.5% and proceeded to win her Hanoverian Three Year-Old and Older breed class on Thursday.

Chiquita HTF, Rhodora HTF, and Conturri received the Born in the USA awards for their respective age groups, with Chiquita taking Reserve overall. Additionally, Rhodora and Conturri won the Mid-Atlantic Hanoverian Breeder’s Club awards for Young and Mature Horse divisions respectively.

Devon RibbonsThe Devon group classes as well as Hanoverian breed class were especially exciting as Hilltop took 1st in the Breeder’s group with an incredible 87.2% and also won the Produce of Dam class with Rivita’s offspring. For the Hanoverian Two Year-Old and Under class, Conturri’s full brother, Constantine (Contucci – Riverman) took 1st , while the exciting momentum continued as Kim Brown’s Caiais (Contucci – Andros), who took 3rd in her Fillies of 2008 class with a score of 82%, claimed 2nd in the Hanoverian class, and Hilltop’s Ripley took 4th.

Thursday was the start of the performance classes, where Selten HW (Sandro Hit –Hohenstein) and Michael Bragdell, still on their victory streak from Young Horse Nationals, commandingly won the USEF 4 Year-Old Test on Thursday and Friday with the consistent score of 81%. Also ridden by Michael, James Bond’s mare Helene (Hohenstein – Weltruhm) won the Four Year-Old Mares Under Saddle Materiale. In the FEI Dressage Test for Six Year-Olds, Cabana Boy (Contucci -  Bordeaux) and Chris Hickey continued their success to win with the top score of 83% on both Thursday and Friday. Additionally, both Cabana Boy and Selten HW won the North American Breeders Futurity for their respective age groups. Chris also showed Bugatti Hilltop (Bergamon – Rubinstein I) at Prix St. Georges and took 2nd with a score of 68.5% and scored 66.4% in his Intermediaire I test thus wrapping up a very successful weekend for Hilltop Farm. (Posted September 2008)

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2008 USEF/MARKEL Young Horse Championships

Photo © Megan Nichols

The 2008 USEF/Markel Young Horse Nationals was literally a whirlwind weekend for the Hilltop Team with trainers Michael Bragdell riding Selten HW (Sandro Hit - Hohenstein) to the Four Year-Old Grand Champion and Chris Hickey riding Cabana Boy (Contucci - Bordeaux) to successfully defend his National Champion title, this time in the Six Year Old division. Even despite the hurricane-like weather in Lexington, KY, both horse and rider combinations won all their classes, and Chris coached numerous students to awards in the Young Horse Championships and the coinciding MSEDA Championship I & II as well.
Selten HW, owned by Cadence LLC and bred in the U.S. by Irene Hoeflich-Wiederhold, secured his championship class with a score of 8.56 while winning his warm up class with a score of 8.38. Michael states "For a young horse, he handled the environment incredibly well. He has such a great work ethic and trainability." Highlights of the championship class include receiving 9's for Selten's trot and canter and an 8.8 for overall impression. "I feel very fortunate for the opportunity to ride such a fabulous young horse," Michael states, "I couldn't have done it without the support of Hilltop and Selten's owner Elizabeth Ball."
Commandingly winning their preliminary class with the score of 8.86, Chris and Cabana Boy secured their second National Championship title with an overall score of 8.644, and earned scores of 9.5 for the walk and trot between the two classes with an 8.5 for general impression. Chris comments, "Under awful conditions on Sunday, Cabana showed he is a great competition horse to go out and do his job so successfully."
In addition to the outstanding success of Hilltop trainers and horses, numerous students of Chris Hickey won awards as well. Chris' student Nicole Bellah took the Five Year-Old Championship on her horse Winsor (San Remo - Julia Mariner) bred in Holland by PPW Janssen with an overall score of 8.028. Taking Reserve Champion in the Four Year-Olds was Emily Gershberg and her horse Zatino H (Sir Sinclair - Equador) bred by J.A. de Haas in Holland.
"I am very proud at the success of our young horses with Champion and Reserve in the Four Year-Olds, Champion Five Year-Old, and Champion Six Year-Old. It means so much to me that my students have high success." Chris states. (Posted September 2008)

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Chris Hickey - COTH Dressage Horseman of the Year

The February 1st issue of the Chronicle of the Horse had some exciting news - Hilltop Farm's Chris Hickey was selected as their Dressage Horseman of the Year. With the move to Hilltop Farm, capturing the USEF National Intermediare I Championships, two Gold Medals at the Pan American Games, competing at the World Championships for Young Horse, the USEF National Championship for FEI Five Year Olds, and many other high-scores and championships it has been quite a year. Congratulations Chris! (Posted February 2008)

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Chris Hickey & Cabana Boy Win 2007 Markel/USEF National Championship

1The 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. You ask a lot of extension and collection both, showing good transitions, and you get a lot in response. We were impressed. ” They were impressed enough to award the pair on 8.480 score over the two day competition, which clinched the National Championship for Chis and Cabana.

Bred by Doug and Shannon Langer, Cabana Boy (Contucci x Britianna), was purchased by Hilltop Farm as a youngster to represent his sire Contucci. Cabana Boy has always exceeded our expectations - from Reserve Grand Champion of Dressage at Devon, to representing the US at the FEI World Horse Championships, and most recently with this win in Kentucky.

Michael Bragdell rode the Hilltop-bred gelding Rochefort (Regazzoni x Primavera), owned now by Beth Springer, to a 10th place finish in the FEI 5 Year Olds as well. The elegant pair continues to put in harmonious performances. Team Hilltop was all excited to watch Michael in his first US Championship and we are very pleased with the results. Judges comments included "Well presented and accurately ridden." We are looking forward to Dressage at Devon where Michael will show both Rochefort, and his younger full-brother, Rendezvous. (Posted September 2007)

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Double Gold at the Pan-Am Games for Chris Hickey

Photo by Gwen Poulin

Chris Hickey and Regent (owned by Brenna Kucinski) will be returning to Hilltop Farm with two Gold Medals! They just completed their freestyle with a score of 72.100 and an ecstatic and emotional Chris has called with the great news – they are the 2007 Pan-American Games Individual Gold Medalists. Lauren Sammis claimed the Individual Silver Medal with Sagacious HF, and Katie Poulin-Neff and Brillant Too finished in 6th Place overall.

On Sunday, Chris, Lauren and Katie, captured the Team Gold Medal. The Pan-Am Games marked the first time for all these riders to compete internationally for the US and we expect to see them on many future US Teams.

Special congratulations to Regent’s owner Brenna, who’s always believed in the exceptional talent of this horse and to Chris, we couldn’t be any prouder! Our congratulations also to Lauren and Katie and the support teams of owners, grooms, vets, farriers, friends and more, behind them!

More details will be coming, but we wanted to share this fantastic news immediately. Chris sends his thanks to all of you for your support and encouragement! (Posted July 2007)


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Chris Hickey and Regent Win Intermediare I National Championship Leading the US Team to the Pan-American Games in Brazil

Photo by Phoebe Porter

Chris Hickey’s always had great confidence in Brenna Kucinski’s Regent and this weekend six years of hardwork and trust culminated in winning the 2007 USEF Intermediare I National Championship and the highest overall score for the Pan-American Games Selection Trials. Their freestyle on Sunday was a hit! The powerful techno music matched Regent’s rhythm perfectly and their demanding choreography was justly rewarded by the officials with a final score of 74.5%, including a “9” for difficulty from the judge at C. Joining Chris and Regent on the US Team will be Lauren Sammis and Sagacious, Katherine Poulin-Neff on Brillant Too, and Susan Dutta on Pik L. The Pan Am Games will take place in Brazil July 14-29.

Click here to watch Chris and Regent's winning freestyle. (Posted June 2007)


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Comic Hilltop FRH - 2006 Nurnberger Burgpokal Champion

1Carola Koppelmann and Comic Hilltop FRH won the 2006 Nurnberger Burgpokal at CDI-W Frankfurt last weekend with a winning score of 74.10% in the final round. The Nurnberg Burgpokal is the German National Championships for horses in the small tour (Prix St. George) and is only open to 7 – 9 year-old horses. Additionally, this prestigious competition is only open to horses that have won a qualifier during the season. The reserve champion was the Trakehner stallion Kaiserkult TSF who scored 73.35% under Dorthee Schneider. Third place was Helen Langehanenberg and the 7-year-old mare Responsible with a 71.85%.

Our partners in Comic, the FRH (Verein zur Förderung des Reitsports auf hannoverschen Pferden e.V), the organization which secures top talent for Germany's future sport and promotes this talent under her best riders, and Johannes Brinkmann, Comic’s breeder, are all thrilled by the success of Comic Hilltop FRH and Carola Koppelmann. We all look forward to the future success of this champion pair. Limited frozen semen is available for U.S. breeders. Contact our office today for more information on this exciting stallion! (Posted January 2007)

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Hilltop Farm's 15th Anniversary Celebration

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 is indeed the teamwork between Hilltop and our customers that has brought such good energy to our efforts over these past 15 years. (Posted November 2006)


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ContucciUSEF Names Contucci as Leading Dressage Sire and Hilltop Farm as Leading Dressage Breeding!

The USEF has recently announced their 2005 Champions! Hilltop Farm’s Elite Hanoverian stallion Contucci has earned the title 2005 USEF Leading Sire Dressage Breeding. Further, Jane MacElree/ Hilltop Farm has been awarded the 2005 USEF Leading Owner Dressage Breeding title from the success of the Hilltop bred youngsters in sport. We celebrate these titles and look forward to further success in the 2006 season! (Posted April 2006)

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November 16, 2005

1Any who has endured the loss of a horse can understand the sorrow and despair that descends like a shroud over everyone involved. Any who has witnessed a horse struggle through serious illness can understand how emotional it is to watch horses fight for their lives and how much respect such horses earn amongst their caregivers. Our guest stallion from New Zealand, the Australian Thoroughbred Heroicity was such a horse. He fought hard for his life over several weeks in the hospital when he was struck with a severe case of anterior enteritis, a severe inflammation of his stomach and duodenum. His recovery was nearly miraculous but not completely surprising, given his tremendous will to survive.

With great sadness we announce that on November 16, 2005, Heroicity died of acute gastric rupture. He had endured a couple bumps in the road to his recovery and yet we were still optimistic that he would be healthy for the upcoming breeding season. It is at times like this we are reminded how truly fragile are each of these magnificent creatures. We extend our most heartfelt and deepest condolences to his owner Janice McDonald and to all who deeply loved and admired Heroicity. He earned our utmost respect and admiration, not simply by his extraordinary qualities as a stallion, but even more so by the depth of his character and the beauty of his spirit. He has enriched all our lives and is deeply missed. (Posted November 2005)

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May 17, 1987 - November 3, 2003

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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. Scott will always remember Cor Noir's focus and power under saddle…he was a stallion who every day wanted to work and loved every challenge. He had so much ability, the potential to earn a "9" in every movement of the Grand Prix. He was a tribute to his family of successful horses, his ¾ brother "Chacamo" having won the Team Gold for Germany in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

Cor Noir's legacy will live on in the foundation mares he gave our program and in his many offspring who are performing in various parts of our country. Fortunately through frozen semen, Cor Noir's influence continues to produce offspring in Australia, New Zealand, and throughout North America. We will welcome his offspring arriving next year and in the future in a very special light. (Posted November 2003)

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VIP (Joost-Abgar-Wagner) - Dutch Warmblood Stallion

February 16, 1979-November 13, 2002

1Hilltop 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. VIP had a heart attack in his field and died very suddenly. Just moments before, he was enjoying his usual gallop through his paddock, gesturing to all that he was still "King of the Hill!"

VIP enjoyed a wonderful life as a show jumper under Steve Stephens and Debbie Dolan. As a 7-year old under Steve Stephens, VIP won the AGPA Championships, one of the youngest horses in the history of the sport at that time to win such a prestigious event. He continued on under Debbie Dolan to an international career as a show jumper. VIP's wins include:

  • 1987 -- CSIO Spruce Meadows, Calgary Nations Cup
  • 1987 -- CSIO Royal International, Toronto Nations Cup
  • 1988 -- CSIO Mexico, Nations Cup (2nd place)
  • 1989 -- CSIO Rome, Nations Cup
  • 1989 -- CSIO Hickstead, England Nations Cup (2nd place)
  • 1989 -- Grand Prix of Aachen -(3rd place)
  • 1990 -- US World Equestrian Games Trials, Overall Best Score
  • 1990-1991 -- Volvo East Coast World Cup League
  • 1992 -- I Love New York Grand Prix

When VIP was retired from sport, he came to live at Hilltop Farm. We were blessed with many years of his exuberant expression and playful personality. We are grateful for VIP's offspring who are growing up in our fields and happy for those breeders who took advantage of his wonderful influence while he was with us. (Posted November 2002)

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The Ellen Scripps Davis Memorial Breeders Cup

At the Pegasus Dinner during the USA Equestrian Convention, January 11, 2002, Jane MacElree was honored with the Ellen Scripps Davis Memorial Breeders Cup for her contribution to the sporthorse industry. Jane was elected as the one of two recipients for this year’s award and is the first warmblood sporthorse breeder to be given this honor. The award recognizes breeders who consistently produce outstanding individuals for the show arena. The other recipient this year was Sheila Varian, a breeder of Arabian horses. Honorees are nominated by USA Equestrian Committee members and elected by their Executive Committee. It was a thrill to witness Jane being acknowledged within the national spotlight. She is a woman who consistently gives so much to others and provides her on-going support to bring continued growth and possibility to this industry. (Posted March 2002)

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CabaretTen weeks following a surgery that was intended to prolong and sustain the quality of life for the 19-year old Holsteiner stallion, Hilltop Farm lost their founding sire Cabaret on October 28, 1999. An arthrocentesis was performed on the right front fetlock of the stallion in order to" fuse" the fetlock and create relief for a failing suspensory apparatus. The surgery went smoothly, but post-operative complications proved to be devastating for the grand stallion who so many well remember from his years in dressage competition under rider/ trainer Scott Hassler. “We grew up together, learned together, experienced life together. From the first ride on his back to the last, he gave an incomparable honesty, everyday enthusiasm, 100% heart and soul and a tremendous love for life."  Cabaret will be most fondly remembered by those who loved him for “his humble pride, impeccable manners, and huge heart so clearly expressed through his eyes and actions." Cabaret (Cor de la Bryere-Landgraf-Consul) produced three approved sons in the US and one that stands in Germany, several prmium mares and champion offspring across the country. His influence as a breeding stallion extends across North America, to France, Germany and Australia.

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