News and Events

Hilltop News

Faberge Blue Wins Blue

Faberge Blue LJS (Contango-Democraat), owned by Mitch & Lara Mitchelson and bred by Lazy J Sporthorses, has been growing up at Hilltop since we was a weanling.  On April 19th he went to his very first schooling show and performed like a seasoned pro winning both his Training Level tests with scores over 70%. Good boy!  (April 2014)

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The Foals Continue to Arrive

It's a Foal Fest at Hilltop! We may have started a little slow, but the mares are making up for it now. On the night of April 10th, Gina Leslie's lovely Elite Mare Lexus (Liberty Gold-Armin) had her first foal, a handsome black colt by Doctor Wendell MF. Not to be outdone, Iris Aberbach's Berlinetta (Bugatti-Weltbekannt) had a beautiful filly by Ampere early morning of the 11th.  You have to love a night that sees two new foals safely on the ground!  Just a few days later on April 16th it was another colt! Congratulations to Catherine Haddad Staller on the birth of her very flashy Don Principe colt out of her maiden mare Raureif (Ramiro's Bube - DeNiro). More foals to come, but we are thrilled with the foal crop so far!  (April 2014)


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USDF Instructor Certification Final Testing

April 11-13 was a beautiful weekend at Hilltop for the USDF Instructor Certification Final Testing. This is the second time Hilltop Farm has offered this series and we continue to be impressed with the program’s focus and the faculty’s commitment.  As Michael Bragdell reflected, “The USDF Instructor Program has changed quite a lot since the first time I participated and I think the program has a lot to offer instructors of all levels.” Programs like this are very dependent on demo riders and horses and we’re grateful for all the support from the local dressage riders. Congratulations to all the newly Certified Instructors – you’ve worked hard for this!  We offer a special congratulations to our trainer Michael Bragdell who now adds the USDF Certification through Fourth Level to his credentials. Congratulations Michael! (April 2014)

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Uforia and ColtFirst Foal of the Season at Hilltop Farm

While our breeders have been sharing the most wonderful photos of their new foals, we feel like we’ve been waiting forever for the first foal of the season to be born at Hilltop.  Finally, on Monday night we welcomed a handsome colt by Qredit and out of our treasured Grand Prix mare Uforia (Negro – Fruhling).  We’ve been waiting a longtime for Uforia’s first foal and we couldn’t be more excited!  A number of mares are looking to foal soon, so we’ll look forward to many additional announcements in the coming weeks. (April 2014)

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Great Start to the Season at Morven Park

Michael Bragdell kicked off Hilltop's show season with a fantastic weekend at Morven Park.  The show by the numbers: three horses, six classes, five firsts (one second), and two High-Score awards.  Ownerer/breeder Iris Aberbach had cause to celebrate when Boxster A handily won both his Fourth Level Tests including 73.6% in Sunday’s Fourth 2. Morven Park was Qredit Hilltop’s first outing since last year’s USEF Young Horse Championships in August.  At six years old, he shows a lot of strength and maturity and easily handled his Third Level debut, winning both his tests with scores of 68-69% and was High-Score Third Level for the show. The show was also Sternlicht Hilltop’s very first outing undersaddle and he handled the environment, including a warmup filled with mares, like a seasoned pro.  Sternlicht's qualifying score of 8.5 in Sunday's USEF Four-Year Old class will put him at the top of the USEF ranking list for the Young Horse Championships in August.  Michael’s students had a great showing as well.  Congratulations to Tiffany Bragdell on her win of Saturday's Fourth 3 with a 70% on her own Fhirefighter and to Anecia Delduco who was 2nd in her first Intermediaire.  Great job everyone! (April 2014)

Photo by Pics of You Photo by Pics of You


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Van Olst Stallion Show  

Sunday April 6th marked the Open House & Stallion Show for Van Olst Horses in Den Hout.  Not to worry if you missed it though.  You can catch a summary of the presentations including Lord Leatherdale, Negro, Netto, Chippendale, Fairytale, and Everdale online. April 2014


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Donarweiss & Genay Win Grand Prix Debut

Congratulations to Genay Vaughn and Donarweiss GGF on winning both their Grand Prix tests this past weekend in California at the Golden State Dressage Festival. This was their first official Grand Prix outing, after a very successful year in the Brentina Cup division, and marks the start of what promises to be another wonderful year! (April 2014)

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Chris HickeyHilltop Farm Announces Chris Hickey's Departure

Hilltop Farm and Jane MacElree share the news that Chris Hickey, Hilltop’s Director of Training for the past seven years, will not be returning to Hilltop Farm upon the conclusion of the Florida season.  “Chris has done a wonderful job in developing the horses in competition,” says Jane.  “I’ve had a lot of fun supporting him at shows in both the US and Europe and am proud of what he’s accomplished with my horses.”  While riding Hilltop-owned horses, Chris has won three USEF National Championships, a Reserve USEF National Championship, Gold and Silver Medals in the Wellington Nations Cup, and five USDF Horse of the Year titles.  “I appreciate all that Chris has done for me and the farm and I wish him the best in his future endeavors,” says Jane.

Chris commented, "I'm very proud to have worked for Jane and I know how lucky I was to have the opportunity to work for her! She's an amazing horse woman. I wish her, Hilltop Farm, and the wonderful staff, the best for the future.”

The role of developing Hilltop’s horses in sport, including the stallions Qredit and Sternlicht, will belong now to Michael Bragdell who has been at Hilltop Farm since 1995.  “Michael’s an incredibly talented rider who really enjoys training and showing the stallions,” says Hilltop’s General Manager, Natalie DiBerardinis.  “Jane’s enthusiasm and support for Hilltop are as strong as ever.”  (March 2014)

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KWPN Licensing

International Guest Stallions were all well represented going in the Second Round viewing at the 2014 KWPN Stallion Licensing.  Especially exciting this year was the first presentation of Chippendale’s oldest offspring.  Chippendale was represented by three sons, of which two sons will advance to the stallion performance test in March.  These two offspring include Guess (Chippendale-Flemmingh), owned by Van Olst Stables, and Garava (Chippendale-Scandic), owned and bred by C. Van Etten.  Ampere was represented by two sons, of which Giovanni NB (Ampere-Lord Sinclair), owned by W.H. Ruppert, will move forward to the stallion performance test.  Two Lord Leatherdale sons, owned by Van Olst Horses, were presented and selected to attend the stallion performance test.  The first, Genesis (Lord Leatherdale-Metall) was a crowd favorite during the third phase of the selection process but in the end it was Glamourdale (Lord Leatherdale-Negro) who was named Champion of the 2014 KWPN Stallion Licensing.  The Lord Leatherdale-Negro cross has become a proven cross with three stallions, including Chippendale, Everdale, and Fairytale, already licensed with the KWPN.  (March2014)

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2013 Breeders Award Program Winners

Hilltop’s Breeders Awards Program has been in effect since 1996 and we’re happy to see the program growing each year.  This unique program was designed to honor our breeders annually for outstanding competitive success with their Hilltop Farm stallion offspring by offering Award Certificates towards future breedings to a Hilltop Farm stallion. In 2012, we opened the program up to not only breeders but also to the current owners of offspring sired by Hilltop Farm stallions.   We’re very excited to announce that Hilltop Farm is awarding over $11,000 in Breeder Awards Certificates from the 2013 show results.  A combination of 18 breeders and 17 owners received certificates this year.  While we can’t highlight all of the award winners here, we would like to congratulate all the winners and highlight a few of the winners here. 

  • Reebok (Royal Prince x EM Andromache/Arrian),finished the 2013 season with multiple USDF Region 4 Year-End Championships, earning both his breeder, Diane Vickery, and his owner/rider, Jennifer Roth, Breeder Rewards Certificates.
  • Cold Smoke (Contucci x Amie/Malichit), owned and bred by Liz Hirschland, was the USDF Region 5 Adult Amateur Intermediaire I Reserve Champion.
  • Riverside (Riverman x Isabella/Ideal) was the 2013 USHJA Zone 8 Hunter Breeding 2-Year Old Horse of the Year, earning his owner, Hailley Joyner, and his breeder, Lynn Marohn, Breeder Rewards Certificates.

Hilltop always looks forward to hearing updates and show results on all of the stallion’s offspring.  If you haven’t shared a recent update on your Hilltop Farm offspring, we’d love to hear from you.   Here’s to another wonderful show season in 2014!  (February 2014)

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QuinntenWelcome Quinnten Alston

Everyone here at Hilltop Farm is excited to share the news that Quinnten Alston has joined our team as our new Stallion Handler and Breed Show Handler.  Quinnten joins us after five wonderful years with Rolling Stone Farm.  While working for Mo & Jim Swanson, he handled their homebred mare Rheporter (Royal Prince-Weltmeyer) to the Grand Championship of Dressage at Devon and earned the coveted Best Handler Award at the same show in 2011.  Quinnten’s presented a number of stallions and mares at their licensings and breed shows throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and the influence of his mentor, Bob Orton, is clearly evident in his quiet, confident presentations.

I have been so lucky to have had nothing but the utmost support from Mo Swanson and her husband Jim at Rolling Stone Farm. Along with helping to establish my name in the Sport Horse industry, the Swansons have also undoubtedly helped to reshape and redefine who I am as a person through some of my most important years.  This support only continues as I start to transition into this next phase of my life. I am enthusiastic about building new relationships as part of Team Hilltop and meeting new friends and clients.” ~ Quinnten Alston

Quinnten’s enthusiasm for breeding and developing young horses is an ideal fit for us at Hilltop and we’re all looking forward to the new opportunities Quinnten’s addition offers.  Here’s to a wonderful 2014! (January 2014)

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Hilltop Stallions Lead USEF Sire Rankings

Don Principe
Don Principe

Each year we look forward to the release of the USEF Sire of the Year rankings.  The USEF Leading Sire system has become a valuable way for stallion owners, breeders, and trainers to evaluate the success of a stallion's offspring in many different venues from competitions throughout the United States.  This year, we pleased to see many of the Hilltop stallions receiving high rankings in multiple disciplines.  The results were especially exciting for Marydell Farm’s Don Principe (Donnerhall – Prince Thatch xx) and Hilltop Farm’s Riverman (Redfort-Landego).  Don Principe finished the year as the leading USEF Dressage Breeding Sire, an accomplishment that narrowly eluded him in 2010 when he finished Reserve Champion.  With superb showings by his offspring at shows such as Dressage at Lexington and Dressage at Devon, we are not at all surprised that he earned this honor this season.   Another highlight for Don Principe was a 9th place ranking in the Hunter Breeding division.  Riverman offspring, yet again, highlighted the wonderful athletic versatility their sire offers, taking Riverman to a top-25 ranking in four different disciplines.  Riverman was awarded the Reserve Champion USEF Eventing Sire of the Year, only a few points behind this year’s winner.  Riverman also finished 20th in the Jumper Sire Rankings and was the highest ranked US-based jumper stallion; for which he was honored with the USEF South Pacific Award.  In the Hunter Breeding and Hunter divisions, Riverman finished 24th and 13th respectively.


Another cornerstone in the Hilltop Farm line-up, Contucci (Caprimond – Lungau) also earned multiple top-25 finishes.  Contucci finished the year ranked 21st in the Hunter Sire rankings, 6th in Eventing Sire rankings, 23rd in Dressage Breeding Sire rankings and last but not least 5th in Dressage Sire rankings.  The dressage arena is where Contucci offspring truly shine and we were thrilled to see this reflected in the sire standings where he was the highest ranked US-based sire.  With many of the oldest Royal Prince (Rohdiamant – Prince Thatch xx) offspring now competing under saddle, we saw a large shift in Royal Prince’s Dressage Sire rankings boosting him to 16th place overall.  Royal Prince offspring continue to do well at Dressage Breeding venues as well, earning him a 5th place ranking.  With only two foal crops on the ground, the Hilltop stallion Qredit (Quaterback – Dream of Glory) finished the year ranked 11th in Dressage Breeding.   Bugatti (Bergamon – Rubinstein I) received a 20th ranking in Dressage Sires and a 13th in Dressage Breeding Sires. Last but not least for the US stallions, Donarweiss GGF (De Niro – Hohenstein) finished 15th in the Dressage Breeding Sires and 24th in the Eventing Sires. 

Utrillo Van De Heffinck

International dressage stallions Negro and Ampere received strong rankings with a limited number of offspring competing here in the states.  Negro (Ferro – Variant) tied with Bugatti for a 20th place finish in Dressage rankings; while Ampere(Rousseau – Flemmingh), earned an impressive 4th place finish in Dressage Breeding Sires.  International jumper stallions Utrillo Van De Heffinck (Clinton – Heartbreaker), Ramiro B (Calvani – Wendekreis), and Quite Easy (Quidam de Revel –Landgraf I) also received top finishes.  Ramiro B ranked 14th in the Eventing Sire rankings, Quite Easy was not far behind him in 20th place.  Quite Easy also earned an 8th place finish in the Hunter Sire rankings.  Utrillo Van De Heffinck offspring truly showcased their sire’s beautiful type and jumping ability to rank him as the 4th place Hunter Sire of 2013.

Hilltop Farm would like to thank all of our breeders and owners who have confidently chosen to breed to Hilltop Farm stallions; as well as the current owners who have their offspring out competing. Your breeding and competition efforts are truly appreciated and these accomplishments could not have been possible without your efforts!  (January 2014)

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Photo by Micki Dobson

Riverman is Top US Jumper Sire

Hilltop Farm is excited to share the news that Riverman (Redfort - Landego) is once again being honored with the USEF South Pacific Award, which is given annually to the leading US-based jumper sire based on the success of their offspring in USEF competitions.  The South Pacific award is donated by Joan Irvine Smith and is named after her international Grand Prix competitor and sire South Pacific. This is the third consecutive year that Riverman has earned this title!  (January 2014)

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Don Principe is USEF Sire of the Year

Don PrincipeHilltop Farm is proud to share the news that Don Principe (Donnerhall-Prince Thatch xx-Durkheim), owned by Marydell Farms and bred by Adelheid Bruening, has been named the USEF Dressage Breeding Sire of the Year for 2013. The USEF Leading Sire system has become a valuable way for stallion owners, breeders, and trainers to evaluate the success of a stallion's offspring in many different venues from competitions throughout the United States.  With top results throughout the season by offspring such as Danseuse MF (Don Principe-Fuerst Heinrich), Dinah Shore MF (Don Principe-Rotspon), and CCS Legolas (Don Principe-Falkenhorst), Don Principe was the clear champion this year.

Don Principe also finished 9th on the Hunter Breeding Sire rankings and despite a fairly young group offspring competing undersaddle ranked in the top 50 for USEF Dressage Sires.  Both Hilltop Farm and Marydell Farm, would like to thank all the Don Principe breeders and owners who have confidently chosen to breed to Don Principe as well as the current owners who have their Don Principe offspring out competing. Your breeding and competition efforts are truly appreciated and this accomplishment could not have been possible without your efforts! (December 2013)

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KWPN First Round of Stallion Selection

The first round of viewings took place this past week for the KWPN Stallion Selection.  Excellent results were achieved for stallions currently in Hilltop Farm’s International Frozen Semen Program.  Especially exciting was the first presentation for the oldest offspring of Chippendale – with an outstanding result of three sons being selected to proceed.  We'll be watching for all of the below stallions in ’s-Hertogenbosch where the second round will take place.


  • GO ON (Ampere-Flemmingh-Damiro), BREEDER: K. VAN DE SCHEER, OWNER: P.A.C. REESINK
  • GIOVANNI NB (Ampere-Lord Sinclair-Le Mexico), BREEDER: M.A. EIGENRAAM, OWNER: W.H. RUPPERT


  • GUESS (Chippendale-Flemmingh-Ferro), BREEDER: TH. EN J. DEENEN, OWNER: VAN OLST HORSES
  • GARAVA (Chippendale-Scandic-Negro), BREEDER/OWNER: C. VAN ETTEN4

Lord Leatherdale:

  • GENESIS (Lord Leatherdale-Metall-Ulster),  BREEDER: A.J.W. & J.P. GERRITS-VELTMAAT, OWNER: W.L. PLAIZIER


  • GENIUS (Negro-Lord Leatherdale-Clavecimbel), BREEDER: FAM. VAN RAAMSDONK, OWNER: VAN OLST HORSES 

(December 2013)

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DenverDenver HTF is Reserve Champion for AHS Year-End Awards

We just received the happy news that our yearling gelding, Denver HTF (Donarweiss GGF-Raj Mahal HTF/Royal Prince) is Reserve Champion with the American Hanoverian Society for their Younger Colts & Geldings Division.  With an overall score of 78.8%, Denver was incredibly consistent throughout the season, including winning his age-group class at Dressage at Devon.  He is a 2nd-generation homebred for Hilltop Farm and is dam is now an Elite Mare with the AHS. (December 2013)

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2013 WBFSH Sire Rankings 

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
Negro Ramiro B Quite Easy


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