USDF Region 1 Championships
It’s been a fantastic show season here at Hilltop Farm and everyone has been looking forward to the USDF Region 1 Championships in Lexington, VA. The temperatures were brisk (to say the least), but the sunny sky and fall foliage made for beautiful horse show weather. Beth Custalow had a strong finish to her season with her wonderful gelding Bvlgari (Bordeaux-Rohdiamant) competing in the Third Level AA Championship and winning their first Fourth Level Test 1 with a score of 64.459%. Hilltop’s assistant trainer Jessica Fay finished out a strong season with Cha Ching HTF (Contucci-Cordoba) in the Training Level Open Championship. Tiffany Bragdell showed her own Bellatae (Bugatti-Grusus) to a 7th place finish in the Third Level Open Championship and earned a wildcard score of 68.333% and showed Lesley Feakins’ sport pony Wicked Games (Wicked Courtjester-Nieuwmoeds Patrick) to a 67.927% and 6th place in the Second Level Open Championship and a 70.147% and 5th place in the First Level Open Championship. Congratulations Tiffany on qualifying both of your horses for the USDF National Championships!
Michael Bragdell, Hilltop’s head trainer, had a packed weekend competing horses from First Level through Grand Prix. Faberge Blue (Contango-Democraat), owned by Mitch & Lara Mitchelson and bred by Marie Emrey/Lazy J Sporthorses, wrapped up a fantastic season with a 3rd place in Saturday’s First Level Test 3 and a 12th place in Sunday’s huge First Level Open Championship. Iris Aberbach’s Boxster A (Bugatti-Weltbekannt) showed off his maturity and was Reserve Champion in the Prix St. Georges with a 74.211% and was Champion at Intermediaire I with a 71.842%. Qredit Hilltop (Quaterback-Dream of Glory) was 2nd in Thursday’s Prix St. Georges and placed 5th in the Prix St. Georges Open Championship with a score of 72.171%, well above the wildcard score he needed to earn his trip to Kentucky. Witness Hilltop (Hamlet-Burggraaf) was Champion at Intermediaire II with a 68.092% and was Reserve Champion at Grand Prix with a 66.533%. Not to be outdone, Sternlicht Hilltop (Soliman de Hus-Rascalino) wrapped up the weekend as the last ride in Ring 3 and what a ride it was! Scoring a 76.397% he won the First Level Open Championship and the Horse of Course sponsored High-Score Award.
History in the Making
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.
The favorites going into this year's Markel/USEF National Championship, Chris Hickey and Cabana Boy didn't disappoint. After awarding a "9" on submission, judge Hilda Gurney said, “Our general impression, of course, is that he has super talent for collection and for the FEI.