Both Chris Hickey and Michael Bragdell attended PVDA’s 48th Annual Spring Dressage Show at Morven Park on May 18th and 19th. Chris and Qredit started off their show season well, winning both Saturday and Sunday’s FEI 5 Year Old classes and scoring a 7.98 and an 8.18. We look forward to seeing them compete again next weekend at the New Jersey Horse Park.
Michael had another very successful show with two of horses. Michael and Rock Solid Warmblood’s Hemmingway were once again High Score of the Show and High Score First Level with their score of 77.742%including a perfect 10 for his freewalk in Sunday’s First Level Test 3. Judge Charlotte Trentleman commented that Hemmingway is an “awesome horse!” Michael and Iris Aberbach’s gelding Boxster A were High Score for both Third and Fourth Level with scores in the 70’s and Michael was very pleased to have received several 9’s throughout the tests. (May 2013)
On May 15th we popped over to Blue Goose for a recognized show. We love the convenience of these local shows, and apparently so do a lot of other people as the show was packed and ran from 8AM to 8PM! Maryanna and Wendell Haymon’s horses both showed very well. Michael Bragdell competed in the Intermediaire II with Don Principe, finishing 2nd with a score of 64.2%. Chris Hickey rode Doctor Wendell MF in First Level Test 3 and won with the convincing score of 71.9%. (May 2013)
From Horse International, 2013
The dramatic view at Hilltop Farm is as beautiful as its magnificent horses, but the facility's scenic side in a relatively rural section of Maryland is just one of the many things that make it unique, the word most often used by people describing this one-of-a-kind property. Read Article...
Team Hilltop had a fantastic weekend at the CDCTA’s Dressage at Morven Park on May 4th and 5th in Leesburg, Virginia. Michael Bragdell and Rock Solid Warmbloods’ 5-year old Oldenburg stallion Hemmingway won all 4 of their classes with scores ranging from 74.730% to 78.276% and received a 9 for gaits in multiple tests. Their 78.276% in Sunday’s First Level Test One earned them both High Score at First Level and High Score of the Show. Michael also competed aboard Iris Aberbach’s 9-year old Hanoverian gelding Boxster A, winning all four of his classes as well, including their first outing at 4th Level with a score of 67.714 in Fourth Level Test One. Michael and Boxster were also awarded High Score for 3rd Level for scoring a 73.158 in Sunday's Third Level Test One. Michael’s student, Brenda Mendenhall, also attended the show with her Hanoverian gelding Rendezvous HTF. Brenda and Rendezvous made their debut at First Level with a winning 67.414% in Saturday’s AA First Level Test One. (May 2013)
We ended the Florida season on a high note with Witness’s selection for one of two USA Teams to compete in the Wellington Nations Cup. This format is the only one of its kind in the US, and this year the teams were comprised of both small and large tour competitors. Chris, along with teammates Susie Dutta, Justin Hardin, and Cesar Parra, put in strong performances over the weekend and earned the Team Silver Medal. Individually, Chris and Witness were 7th in the Prix St. Georges and 6th in both the Intermediaire I & Freestyle. In the Open show, Douglas won Friday’s Open Grand Prix with a score of 64.574% and Cece Stewart’s Ronaldo commandingly won Thursday’s Fourth Level Test 1 with a 74%. What a great weekend to end our Florida show season! (May 2013)
What a weekend at Rolex! Congratulations to R-Star and all her connections, including rider/owner Kristi Nunnink and breeder Charlotte Wrather. R-Star (Riverman x Marisol/Corofino) finished 8th in this prestigious event. Watching Kristi develop R-Star over the past few years has been a real thrill and R-Star is an excellent example of the quality in breeding available here in the US. Congratulations also to Catherine Witt, Don Hill's co-owner. Her lovely and talented horse Seacookie TSF just finished 2nd with rider William Fox-Pitt. (May 2013)
|Michael Bragdell and Boxster A|
The VADA/NOVA Spring Show typically marks our first recognized show up north and Michael Bragdell took a trailer load of horses over to Leesburg, VA for the weekend. He started out the show with scores over 70% and wins at Third Level on Iris Aberbach’s gelding Boxster A (Bugatti-Weltbekannt). Hemmingway didn’t have his best weekend, as the crowded warm-up and windy days provided a bit too much distraction on his first recognized outing this year. But, he finished 3rd and 2nd in the FEI Young Horse tests and his trot work and connection were highlights in the work. Don Principe and Michael had their first outings this spring at Intermediaire II and won both their classes with scores of 66% & 69%. Don Principe was thrilled to be back out in the show ring and we’re looking forward to watching Michael’s development with him this season. (April 2013)
As a warm-up for the competition over at the Global Dressage show grounds next weekend, Chris took Douglas over to White Fences on Saturday, April 6th. Staying relaxed and focused throughout the test, Chris was very pleased with Douglas and the overall score of 68.5%. It was the exact type of ride he wanted on this weekend. (April 2013)
It was the perfect spring day for a horse show on March 30th and Michael enjoyed his first outing of the year at the nearby Blue Goose Stables. Boxster A (Bugatti-Weltbekannt), owned by Iris Aberbach, showed excellent consistency in his Third Level Test 1, earning multiple scores of 8 and an overall 75.395%. Hemmingway enjoyed his first show since last year’s National Championships in Chicago. The FEI Five-Year old test seemed easy for him and he earned an overall 8.18, including highlights of 8.5 for trot and general impression. (April 2013)
On March 22nd through the 24th, the White Fences Equestrian Center hosted back to back shows in Loxahatchee, FL. Chris Hickey rode Marydell Farms’ young stallion Doctor Wendell MF to wins in Friday’s Young Horse Test of Choice Class with a 7.8 under and Saturday’s FEI 5-Year Old Finale Test with a score of 7.78. We look forward to seeing more from this developing partnership! On Sunday, Chris competed aboard Cece Stewart’s Danish gelding Ronaldo and handily won the 4th 1 Open class, scoring a 75.429% under judge Kristi Wysocki. (April 2013)
We’ve always known Popeye loves to jump and combined with his dressage work, eventing has been a fun and exciting new challenge for this talented pony. While in Aiken this winter, Popeye has competed in three events so far and has finished on his dressage score in all of them! Always going clean in both cross country and stadium, rider Chris Talley has been having some wonderful trips with Popeye. At the Full Gallop Farm Horse Trial Popeye’s score even tied for first, but the tie was broken off of the cross-country time. We’re so happy to see Popeye enjoying a new job but can’t wait to have him back at Hilltop for another breeding season. He’ll return here the beginning of April to be available for visitors and will be offered via cooled semen through July 15th. Early/late breeders can take advantage of his well-proven frozen semen as well. (March 2013)
Chris Hickey chose the mid-March WEF Dressage Classic as the show to debut Cece Stewart’s seven-year old Danish Warmblood gelding Ronaldo (Romanov-Don Schufro) at Fourth Level. Competing in Friday’s Fourth Level Test 1, the pair placed second with an impressive score of 77%! Great things are certainly in store for this talented young horse and what a treat for Cece to be there and share in the excitement. Chris also competed Douglas Hilltop at Grand Prix both Saturday and Sunday. The first day Douglas showed a little too much enthusiasm for being back out showing, but he settled well on Sunday and put in a clean test that had better relaxation for a score of 66.489% and placed 2nd. (March 2013)
It was a beautiful, sunny weekend down in Florida – the best sort of weather for a horse show! Witness Hilltop (Hamlet-Burggraaff) confidently won the Intermediaire II on Friday, March 8th at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center. He scored a 66.842% and Chris was particularly pleased with his changes and pirouettes. On Saturday, Douglas Hilltop (Dr. Jackson-Walt Disney) won the Open Grand Prix with a 68.298% - a fantastic start for him this season with good relaxation and harmony throughout the test. (March 2013)
Chris had a light schedule this past weekend at the Palm Beach Dressage Derby, only showing one horse on Sunday. Pacino (Parabol-Cor Noir) continues to gain confidence in the Grand Prix and placed 3rd in the FEI Test of Choice class with a score of 66.277%. We’re very proud of the way he has developed and we’re grateful to owner Cece Stewart for allowing Chris the time to develop him up the levels. (March 2013)
The show season in Florida is starting to heat up and Chris enjoyed a great weekend over in Loxahatchee on February 23-24th. Doctor Wendell MF had his second outing with Chris and in Saturday’s FEI Five-Year Old Test and placed third with a good score of 7.7. Chris felt that he misjudged the warm-up time by about 10 minutes and lost a little brilliance by the time he was in the ring, but was really pleased with Doc’s effort. Owner Maryanna Haymon was on-hand to cheer Doc on as well. Pacino, owned by Cece Stewart, won his second official Grand Prix outing with a score of 67.8%. He’s gaining confidence throughout the test and always tries so hard to please. (Feb 2013)
On February 2nd, Michael took El Donnti (Contucci-Donnerhall) for his first schooling show outing. Despite temperatures in the low 30’s, Donnti showed good maturity and his normal, sensible behavior. Riding Training Level Test 1, Michael and Donnti earned a score of 74.375%, including an 8.5 on gaits and the comment of “tremendous potential” from the judge. (Feb 2013)
The Equestrian Aid Foundation’s Charity Event Who Reins Supreme was held on February 1st. Dressage, jumper, hunter, and polo players took to the action competed against each other on borrowed reining horses. Chris took part for the first time and we think he’s got a possible second career in the making! Here’s a short clip of his ride. Chris’s team finished 3rd overall, and most importantly it helped raise funds for the charity. (Feb 2013)
We’re excited to announce the first foal of the year by the Hilltop stallions --- a charming, bright chestnut colt by Don Principe and out of the lovely mare SPS Faconable (Fuerst Heinrich-Calypso II). Faconable, along with her sisters won the coveted Herwart von der Decken Prize in both 2007 & 2009. Congratulations to Hof Bruning and Marydell Farm on this handsome colt. (Jan 2013)
It’s hard to believe that it has been 23 years since Hilltop Farm imported Parabol, and now we are celebrating his 30th Birthday. As many great horses do, Parabol holds a special place in the heart of everyone that has had the honor to work with him. Just to name a few of Parabol’s many accomplishments: Parabol received the title of Reserve Champion Stallion of his licensing and was ridden by a junior rider to top honors in the Show Jumping arena before his importation. Within a year of his importation, Parabol was named the USDF Third Level Horse of the Year. In 1995, Parabol was a top ten finalist for the Pan American Team. Parabol continued his training through the Grand Prix level and continued to teach new riders into his mid-20’s. Now retired, Parabol still maintains his role as a farm favorite and monitors the farm activities from his corner window. Happy Birthday Parabol! (Jan 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)
|Photo by Angela Pritchard|
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)
|Photo by Angela Pritchard||Photo by Angela Pritchard|