The time training in Europe proved valuable for Chris and his horses this fall. He finished up a 3 month stay in Denmark with shows at Heslegaard Riding Club and the Blue Hors Dressage Festival. In Heslegaard, Douglas Hilltop won the Intermediaire II and Grand Prix, and placed 2nd in the Grand Prix Special. Scoring over 70% in both the Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Special, the piaffe/passage tours were particular highlights for Douglas. He’s gained a lot of strength and confidence over this fall. Witness Hilltop competed in his first official Grand Prix in Heslegaard as well and finished 8th with a 64%. The hard movements of the test come easily for Witness so he just needs further time to solidify putting the whole test together. We’re very excited for the promise he shows.
At the Blue Hors Dressage Festival, Cece Stewart’s young Ronaldo showed off his exceptional paces and earned 3rd with a 70% on the first day and 6th on the second day with a 67% in the Prix St. Georges. Witness contested the Intermediaire II and finished on a 64.9%. Douglas also used the Intermediaire II as a warm-up, where he was 5th, and then went on to again score 70% in the Grand Prix to place 3rd. “The new facility at Blue Hors is amazing and while this was a national show, it gave an international feeling.”
Just two days later Chris, Kirby (groom extraordinaire), and all the horses flew back to the States. They’ve safely arrived in Florida and look forward to a little downtime before the competition season really begins down there. (Nov 2013)
Each year breeders eagerly await the release of the World Breeding Federation’s Sire Rankings and this year we see a number of the stallions within the Hilltop Farm Stallion Line-up breaking into these prestigious rankings. In the dressage standings, Negro (Ferro-Variant) reaches the Top Ten standings for the first year thanks to the international success of Valegro, Nintendo, Numberto, Netto, and Unico G. Quite Easy (Quidam de Revel-Landgraf I) shows up on both the Show Jumping (ranked 78th) and Eventing (ranked 41st) Top 100 Lists. Eventing breeders will also be happy to see Jaguar Mail (Hand in Glove xx – Laudanum xx) move up to the 15th place with top offspring such as Pin Up Mai, Risotto Mail, and Quatmandou contributing to his rankings. Ramiro B (Calvani-Wendekreis) is in 34th place with 12 offspring competing internationally, including Ballynoe Castle RM. Hilltop Farm’s Riverman (Redfort-Landego) earns his first appearance on these ranking lists with R-Star of course leading the pack in offspring points. (Nov 2013)
|Negro||Ramiro B||Quite Easy|
As a sport horse breeder or owner, Hilltop Farm is interested in hearing your thoughts on Sport Horse Breeding in the North America. The information provided in the following survey will assist Hilltop Farm, and our sponsors, in better assisting clients in the future. All participants will be entered in a drawing to win one of many prizes graciously donated by Purina Mills, Hulsebos Saddlery, Select Breeder Services, and Hilltop Farm. Prizes aren't just for breeders - twenty respondents will win Purina Prize Packs worth up to $100, fifteen winners will receive Hilltop Farm apparel, and one lucky winner will receive a beautiful snaffle bridle made by Hulsebos Saddlery. Planning to breed your mare in the 2014 season? You'll be excited about the next two prizes! Select Breeder Services has donated one shipping/distribution fee that can be applied for a shipment of any frozen semen stored with them. Last but not least, the grand prize winner will receive a free breeding to a Hilltop-owned stallion. Click here to take the survey. Thank your for your participation in your survey. We're eager to hear your thoughts on Sport Horse breeding in North America. (October 2013)
The final standings of the USDF Horse of the Year and All-Breeds Awards have been officially announced and Team Hilltop is happy to be celebrating another successful year. We are most excited that Jane and Hilltop Farm have been named as USDF Dressage Breeder of the Year! What a wonderful honor and recognition for the depth of Hilltop’s own breeding program.
Horses ridden by Chris and ridden/handled by Michael received numerous awards for 2013. Chris piloted Qredit Hilltop to 3rd place for FEI 5 Year Olds in both HOY and GOV All Breeds. Witness Hilltop placed 11th nationally for Intermediaire II HOY and 4th for KWPN All Breeds at Intermediaire II, and Douglas Hilltop finished 28th for HOY at Grand Prix. In-hand, Denver HTF placed 2nd for Yearling Colts in the DSHB HOY.
Maryanna Haymon’s Don Principe placed 1st for AHS All Breeds Awards at Intermediaire II and 20th for HOY Intermediaire II. Don Principe’s consistency is definitely his trademark! Chris rode Maryanna’s younger stallion Doctor Wendell MF to 7th place for HOY FEI 5 Year Olds. Cece Stewart’s gelding Ronaldo finished 2nd for Fourth Level HOY and 1st for the North American Danish Warmblood Association All-Breeds at Fourth Level, while her Hilltop-bred gelding Pacino placed 27th for HOY at Grand Prix and 1st for ISR/ Old NA All Breeds at Grand Prix. Hemmingway, owned by Rock Solid Warmbloods, placed 3rd for First Level HOY, 1st for GOV All-Breeds at First Level and 4th for GOV All-Breeds FEI 5-Year Olds. Iris Aberbach’s Bugatti gelding Boxster A finished 14th for HOY Third Level and 3rd for AHS All-Breeds. Paula Byrum’s Rex Roland BHF ended the year 3rd for Yearling Colts in the DSHB’s HOY, while Elizabeth’s Elan owned by Beth Gildea and Briljant G owned Mary LaBanca finished 13th and 15th for Yearling Fillies.
Donarweiss and Genay Vaughn also had a stellar year out in California. The pair finished 3rd for Jr/YR HOY, 1st for AHS Jr/YR All Breeds and 3rd for AHS All-Breeds Open all at Intermediaire II.
We’ll be sharing the many USDF Year-End successes of the offspring by our stallions in another post. (Oct ober 2013).
On October 26-27, Chris took Cece Stewart’s Ronaldo (Romanov-Don Schufro) to the local riding club show in Silkeborg. This show had classes ranging from a First Level equivalent up through Prix St. Georges level. Less than 15 minutes from Morten Thomsen’s, Chris just drove over and showed off the van. Ronaldo did his first regular Prix St. Georges and Chris was thrilled with the test and the score of 70% which earned second place. On Sunday, he showed in a Danish National test, similar to the PSG, and Ronaldo was first with a 72%. Despite the rain and the late show time (the class ran from 7-9:45pm), Ronaldo “was super- to tack up and lead into show from the street in the rain and in the dark! He’s a super show horse!” Only two more shows remain before Chris heads back to the states. (October 2013)
Chris continues to stay busy in Europe and reports that the horses are all benefiting greatly from the training time with Morten Thomsen. Morten’s been able to travel with Chris to the latest shows, and that insight is particularly important for this stage with Chris’s horses. While the rest of the Hilltop Team were busy winning at Dressage at Devon, Chris took Douglas to compete in Vallensbaek, Denmark south of Copenhagen. With an overall score of 69%, they won the Grand Prix. This competition was also the site for the Nordic Para Equestrian Championships which Chris particularly enjoyed watching. “I’ve never been able to watch any of the Para competitions; the riding was at an excellent level and inspiring to watch!”
The next show Chris attended was at the Ikast Riding Club. This show had very good competition, including four Grand Prix horses from Andreas Helgstrand’s stable as well as two Grand Prix horses from Blu Hors. Most of these shows don’t offer the GP Special or Freestyle, so many people do the Intermediaire II as well as the Grand Prix. On Saturday, Douglas was fourth in the Intermediaire II with a 69.5% and on Sunday he moved up to third place with a 70.7%. Chris says, “Douglas continues to become more relaxed in the ring and show his quality.”
|Mr & Mrs Dieter Wulf and Chris Hickey|
This past weekend’s show in Guxhagen, Germany will probably be the most memorable show of the trip as it shows what a small world the horse world really is! We heard of this show from Holga Finken, a friend of Morten’s. Holga’s long-time groom Wera welcomed Chris and Kirby at the show and asked immediately after Contucci! She had been with Holga when Contucci was a young horse and this Guxhagen venue was the site of his very first show! As Kirby commented, “Contucci obvoiously made quite an impression on her for her to remember him eighteen years later!” Later in the barns, Chris met a young woman from Brazil. It turns out she had scribed at the ‘07 Pan Am Games when Chris competed. She’d also attened Lendon Gray’s Youth Festival many years ago and had ridden Dwight – a former horse of Chris’s. The weekend of special meetings continued when Dieter Wulf and his wife introduced themselves. This wonderful couple sold us Contucci all those years ago! It was very gratifying to tell them what an impact he has made on US sport horse breeding and how he is enjoying his retirement at Hilltop Farm.
This show had many well-known German professionals competing, including Dorothee Schneider, Tomas Wagner, and Holga Finken. Douglas had a few small mistakes in the Intermediaire II and was fourth with a 67%, but he moved up to third place in the Grand Prix with a 69.4% - despite Chris accidently doing eleven 2-tempis instead of the required nine. Douglas’s high-scores are coming in the piaffe, passage, and transitions – frequently earning 8’s and he received a 9 at this show on one piaffe. Witness also showed in the Intermediaire II. His changes were real highlights, but a few green mistakes kept his score to a 64%.
At the conclusion of the show, Chris was introduced to Klaus Storbeck one of the judges’ in the Grand Prix. Imagine Chris’s surprise when he learned that Klaus was Contucci’s breeder! (October 2013)
In addition to the success Hilltop Farm had at Devon, many breeders and owners of offspring bred through Hilltop Farm had some wonderful results as well. Below includes a more comprehensive list of those accomplishments.
- Quinntessential (Qredit – Riverman) Bred and owned by Emily Allen: 11th ISR/Oldenburg NA IBC
- Deo Valente (Donarweiss – Leonberg) Bred and owned by Cathi Jensen Bunker: 3rd 4 Year Old and Older Stallions, 3rd Stallion Championship, 2nd 4 Year Old Stallions/ Geldings US, 1st RSPI IBC
- Royal Tourmalet SPF ( Royal Prince – Armin) Bred by Gina Leslie, Owned by Joanna Gray Randle: 7th 2 Year Old Colts and Geldings
- Qrush on Me (Qredit – LeSanto) Bred and owned by Jennifer Hoffman: 7th Colts of 2013
- CCS Legolas (Don Principe) Bred by Melyni Worth, owned by Maureane Hoffman: 2nd 3 Year Old Colt/ Gelding Materiale, 1st Knabstrupper
- Dhouble Scoop (Don Principe – Lancet) Bred by Maurine Swanson, owned by Ellen Kettler: 2nd 5 Year Old Suitable to Become a Dressage Horse
- Rheadora CF (Royal Prince – Tantris) Bred and owned by Kimberly Callaway: 8th 2 Year Old Fillies
- Bulgari CF (Bugatti – Anamour) Bred and owned by Kimberly Callaway: 8th 3 Year Old Colts/ Geldings, 8th 3 Year Old Colt/ Gelding Materiale
- Contessa HHF (Contucci – Weltmeyer) Bred and owned by Christine Kropf: 9th AHS 2 Year Old and Younger IBC
- Picasso LG (Popeye ) Bred and owned by Barbara McKnew: 3rd JR/ YR Handler, 2nd North American Sportpony IBC
- Danka Schoene RRS (Donarweiss) Bred and owned by Melinda Walton: 6th 3 Year Old Colt/ Gelding Materiale, 7th AHS 3 Year Old and Older IBC
- Benedict CF (Bugatti – Anamour) Bred by Kimberly Callaway, owned by Mary Ann Reich: 5th 2 Year Old Colts/ Geldings
- Bellatesse HTF (Bugatti – Cordoba) Bred by Hilltop Farm, owned by Kris Schuler: 3rd 4 Year Old and Older Mares US; 2nd USEF 4 Year Old Test Thursday, 1st 4 USEF 4 Year Old Test Friday
- Prolonging the Magic (Parabol – Tambourin) Bred and owned by Silene White: 15th 2 Year Old Fillies, 4th Westfalen IBC
Congratulations all of our breeders and owners that competed at Dressage at Devon! (October 2013)
|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 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)
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|
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.
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.
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)
It’s hard to believe that August has already come and gone and yet another breeding season is over. With many exciting new additions to the Stallion Line-Up and lots of new breeders from across the country, this has been a truly special year and one of our biggest seasons ever. We’re thrilled with the high demand for so many of the stallions in the line-up; we’ve never had to close so many of the stallion’s books so early in the season. We’d like to thank all of the breeders and veterinarians for making this year a great one! We’re currently working on plans for the 2014 Line-Up and hope to hear from many of you in the upcoming months. Here’s hoping for many happy and healthy foals next spring. (September 2013)
After only a week in Denmark, Chris and Douglas Hilltop (Dr Jackson – Walt Disney) have already attended their first show. The pair kicked their European trip with the Danish Derby at Heste Sport Riding Club, earning a 66.7% and 3rd place in the Grand Prix. What a great way to start off their time in Europe! (September 2013)
The flashy black Lord Leatherdale son, Everdale (Lord Leatherdale – Negro), continues to impress breeders and judges. In August, Everdale and rider Severo Jurado Lopez commandingly won the four year old division of the 2013 PAVO Cup. The young stallion was tied for the lead with a score of 88.5 after the completion of the Semi-Finals held Tuesday, August 13th, dominating a field of no less than 92 other horses. Two days later Everdale and Lopez returned for the finals, quickly distancing themselves with a score of 94 in the first part of the finals. Everdale went on to earn a score of 10 under judge guest rider Anna Sophie Fiebelkorn, securing his win of the PAVO cup with an impressive final score of 382.5. Congratulations to owners Van Olst Horses on developing this talented stallion in such a positive way. We’re honored to be able to offer this special young stallion to North American breeders and can’t wait for the arrival of his first US foal crop in the spring of 2014! (September 2014)
The Lamplight Equestrian Center is always a beautiful venue for the USEF/Markel Young Horse National Championships. We look forward to the chance to catch up with other breeders, riders, and trainers from across the country. This year we were honored to take the three very special US-bred stallions to compete in the 5-Year Old Championships.
|Qredit and Chris Hickey||Hemmingway and Michael Bragdell|
Bred by Judy Yancey and owned by Hilltop Farm, Qredit (Quaterback – Dream of Glory) put in two very harmonious performances under Chris Hickey’s ride to finish with an overall score of 8.480 and in 4th place. The judge especially complimented his swinging back and quiet connection. His walk was awarded a 9 on both days! This was Qredit’s second trip to Young Horse Nationals; last year he was Reserve Champion of the 4-Year-Old division.
|Doctor Wendell MF||Grooms: Shelly Walker and Natalie Wolfer|
On his first trip to nationals, the flashy black stallion Doctor Wendell MF (Don Principe – Sandro Hit), owned and bred by Marydell Farm, put forward two strong performances under Hickey’s ride. Doctor Wendell finished 8th in the preliminary test and moved up to 6th place in the final and overall standings. The quality of his canter was a highlight each day along with his natural forwardness.
Last year’s National Champion, Hemmingway (Hofrat – Archipel) delivered consistent tests throughout the week. It wasn't Hemmingway’s strongest scores, but he earned especially positive comments on his elasticity and ground cover. We’re very happy with his overall development and look forward to showing him at the Regional Championships in October. Hemmingway is owned by Bob Jackson and Theresa Schnell and was bred by Angela Barilar.
Also qualified for the 5-Year Old Championships was Lord Leatherdale mare Dilona (Lord Leatherdale – Kennedy), owned by AJ Stapleton and ridden by Anna Marek. Dilona and Marek left with a 7th place finish. In the 6-Year Olds, Boccaccio IOF (Bugatti – Rubinstein I), owned by Marchella Richardson and ridden by Debbie Hill, put forth another consistent effort finishing 6th in the championship against a very competitive group. Boccaccio was bred by Hilltop Farm. (September 2013)
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)
|Photo by Susan J. Stickle|
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)
|Photo by Micki Dobson|
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)