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.
The 2008 USEF/Markel Young Horse Nationals was literally a whirlwind weekend for the Hilltop Team with trainers Michael Bragdell riding Selten HW (Sandro Hit - Hohenstein) to the Four Year-Old Grand Champion and Chris Hickey riding Cabana Boy (Contucci - Bordeaux) to successfully defend his National Champion title, this time in the Six Year Old division.
Carola Koppelmann and Comic Hilltop FRH won the 2006 Nurnberger Burgpokal at CDI-W Frankfurt last weekend with a winning score of 74.10% in the final round. The Nurnberg Burgpokal is the German National Championships for horses in the small tour (Prix St. George) and is only open to 7 – 9 year-old horses.
Hilltop Articles & Interviews
Kristi Nunnink's default expression is a smile. It doesn't matter how hard she's working, what level she's riding or how the horse under her is performing -- her mouth curls faintly upward, unforced. It may just be a coincidence of facial structure, or it may be a product of years of habit. But either way, the expression fits her, because Nunnink may very well be the happiest rider at Rolex Kentucky. At 48, she's heading to her first CCI**** with her horse of a lifetime.
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.