USDF National Dressage Finals
For anyone who hasn’t yet attended the USDF National Dressage Finals, you should add this to your must-do list! The Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington is a very unique and picturesque venue that sets the impressive tone from the first minute you pull in. Stabling is good, footing in the rings is excellent, and the competition management and countless volunteers make this a truly memorable event each year.
Michael Bragdell qualified four horses from to compete at the USDF Finals this year. In the very large and competitive Prix St. Georges Open Championships, Michael had back-to-back finishes with a 7th place going to Qredit Hilltop on a score of 68.684% and an 8th place to Iris Aberbach’s Boxster A with a score of 68.333%. In the Intermediaire II Open Championship, Michael piloted Witness Hilltop to a 6th place finish with a score of 65.395%. Finishing out Michael’s show was the youngster of the group, Sternlicht Hilltop. The 5-Year old stallion did not disappoint and confidently won the First Level Championships with a 74.363%. Sternlicht also won the AHS High-Scoring Hanoverian Award for the National Levels and Qredit won the OHBS (GOV) High-Scoring Award for the FEI Levels. What a way to end the year!
This weekend Michael Bragdell headed down to the CBLM Championships & VADA Fall Show in Lexington, VA. Balissa HTF (Bugatti-Contucci) tied for 1st in her Third Level Test 1 on Friday with a 66.184% and improved her score in Saturday’s Third Level Championship with a 67%.
Any 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.
Hilltop Articles & Interviews
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.
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.