USDF Region 8 Championships
This year we again traveled to the USDF Region 8 Championships in Saugerties, NY. At the large HITS facility, there were over 1600 rides scheduled over the four days of competition – a massive show! Jessica Fay has had a fantastic season with her horses and Regionals ended on a high note for the 3 mares she qualified. Quinzy HTF (Qredit-Cordoba) was 2nd in her First Level warm-up class with a 74%, placed 6th in the USDF Training Level Championship with a 69%, and finished in the top third of 39 horses in her First Level Championship ride. The 4-year old Qindle HTF (Qredit-Royal Prince) really stepped up for this big show as well. She was 2nd in her Training Level warm-up and finished 5th with a 70% in the USDF Training Level Championship. Jess finished her rides with Michelle Roberts’ homebred mare Donarsagan (Donarweiss GGF-Walstreet Kid). In just her first year of showing, Sagan has been rock solid and wrapped up her year with a 67.6% and earned 7th place in her USDF Second Level Championship.
Michael’s student Beth Custalow qualified for the USDF Regionals with her longtime partner Bvlgari (Bordeaux-Rohdiamant). The showed improvement in their tests over the weekend. Michael also had a busy show riding four horses. Witness Hilltop (Hamlet-Burggraaf) competed in the open show and put in two very strong Grand Prix tests that were rewarded with scores of 68% & 69% and he finished 3rd and 1st in large FEI Test of Choice classes. Michael and Sternlicht Hilltop (Soliman de Hus-Rascalino) competed in the Prix St Georges Championship. They had two costly mistakes, but finished 13th of 39 – not bad for a 7-year old in one of the most competitive divisions. Partnered with Kaja Brix’s Feuerbach (Florestan-Welcome), Michael won his FEI Test of Choice class on Thursday with a 69.55 and finished 4th in the USDF Intermediate I Championship. They earned the Wild Card score needed to secure a place at the US Dressage Finals in November. Our show wrapped up with Qredit Hilltop’s (Quaterback-Dream of Glory) Intermediate II Championship Test. Qredit was steady and consistent throughout the test and earned a 67.368%, was Reserve Champion, and earned a spot for the US Dressage Finals. A great end to a wonderful show. Thank you to NEDA and all the volunteers who do such a fantastic job each year.
Festrausch (Florestan-Carprilli) has been an important part of the stallion line-up at Hilltop Farm since his purchase in 2000. His bloodlines, incredible movement, and elegant type stood him apart, and it is the movement and character that he passes to his offspring that have made many of his breeders very loyal to him over the years.
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.
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.
In the second day of competition at the 2008 Markel/United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) National Young Horse Dressage Championships presented by Collecting Gaits Farm, claiming the title in the four-year-old division was Michael Bragdell and Selten HW besting 19 other horses to win with a score of 8.56.