Royal Prince (1999 – 2015)
“Good-night, sweet prince; And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.” ~ William Shakespeare
It is with a broken heart that we share the news of Royal Prince’s passing this week. Late in the afternoon of January 20th Royal Prince presented an acute colic and was immediately taken to New Bolton Center. Unfortunately due to complications discovered during surgery, the only humane choice was to euthanize him.
Royal Prince had a significant impact at Hilltop Farm. In 2004 with Susanne Hassler, he placed fourth at the FEI World Championships for Young Horses – the highest American finish at the Championships to this day. Royal Prince later helped Michael Bragdell earn his USDF Bronze and Silver Medals and he showed at Prix St. Georges with Chris Hickey. Royal Prince developed into one of our most prominent stallions including winning the USEF Dressage Breeding Sire of the Year Award for five consecutive years. His offspring have been consistent winners at breed shows and inspections. To date he has eight Elite Mare/Elite Mare Candidate daughters with the American Hanoverian Society and seven Premium Mares with ISR/Oldenburg. His offspring have earned USDF Horse of the Year titles, Regional Championships, and USDF All-Breeds Awards.
Most importantly, Prince was part of our family. The barn feels a bit empty without him here and while we are grateful for the years we had with him, we can’t help but feel his time here was cut far too short. For those of you with a Royal Prince offspring – go out and give them a hug. We hope they bring as much joy to your lives as Prince has brought to ours and we’ll look to them to carry on Royal Prince’s legacy for years to come.
Hilltop 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.
Chris 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.
Hilltop Articles & Interviews
A Sport Horse Handler, whether at a show, inspection or exhibition, constantly strives for that 'magical moment' as he guides a horse in hand around the arena, often negotiating a large triangle formed from flower pots and jump poles. Together the two lift off and eat up the ground, matching stride for stride -- the horse seeming to float, to collect and extend on his own, all in perfect rhythm. The handler is as discreet as possible so that all attention focuses on the horse looking his best.
The phone rings at Hilltop Farm and breeding manager Natalie DiBerardinis answers. Just as she suspected, it is a mare owner looking for advice. Which stallion would be a good match for her mare, the caller asks anxiously. With scientific advances in artificial insemination, the choices for a perfect partner have never been greater, but that doesn't mean the selection process is any simpler. DiBerardinis asks the owner a few questions about her mare and suggests she complete Hilltop's online questionnaire. After reading it, she and the caller will talk again to discuss the options.