USEF/Markel Young Horse Championships
The horses arrived in great shape out in Chicago, with Sternlicht coming all the way from Hilltop and Jim Koford and Doctor Wendell MF (Don Principe-Sandro Hit) joining us from Kentucky. The show management does an excellent job with this Championship and it’s become one of our favorite shows. Despite substantial rain over the weekend, the Lamplight Equestrian Center looked wonderful and the footing drained well.
Sternlicht’s first test on Thursday showed some brilliant moments and the scope that he offers, but also showed his need for more strength in balancing those gaits throughout the entire test. It was a good first day within a strong group of four year-olds. That same day, Doctor Wendell MF and Jim Koford used the Third 2 for a quick warm-up. It was a great decision and earned a 70% for this newly established pair.
Day two of the show started out with Duet, another Don Principe offspring, and Doctor Wendell MF in the FEI Six Year-Old Preliminary Test. With Brendan Curtis, Duet put in a harmonious, fluid test early in the class. Jim Koford and Doctor Wendell pulled out all the stops just a few horses later and were rewarded with an 8.06.
Saturday at Lamplight brought lots of rain and thunderstorms that delayed the start of the 4yr old final by almost 2 hrs. Unfazed by the interruption to warm-up, Sternlicht laid down a very solid test with a more consistent balance and beautiful harmony with Michael. His score did improve on Thursday’s test and moved him up to 8th place overall in the final rankings. We are very happy with his effort and the positive buzz he generated amongst many at the show.
Sunday brought the finals for the FEI Six Year Old division. Doc and Jim presented another test filled with energy and expression. The walk was again a highlight score and they earned an overall 7.92. They finished in fifth for the overall standings — an achievement of which we are very proud. It highlights how quickly Jim and Doc have formed such a great partnership as well since they have only been together from July after Doc completed his cooled semen season here at Hilltop. To cap off the weekend, Doc also showed in a Third 3 test and won with a 74%.
Having Sternlicht’s breeder, Rachel Ehrlich, present for the week made this first trip to Nationals with Sternlicht very memorable. This show really does an excellent job of promoting the breeders and recognizing US-bred offspring and is an excellent model that hopefully other disciplines will follow.
Thank you to all who joined us to celebrate 15 wonderful years at Hilltop Farm! Over 350 people attended this colorful afternoon celebration on Saturday, October 28. We so appreciate the rave reviews over our main event, the music-filled presentation of our stallion line-up and their offspring. We also appreciate everyone’s time, support, and good wishes. Friends and customers traveled as far as from Chicago, Kansas, and South Carolina to celebrate with us.
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
Wisconsin breeders work on one foal at a time. Shannon (a competitive dressage rider) and Doug Langer, DVD, (a partner of the Wisconsin Equine Clinic and Hospital) have bred Hanoverians for 10 years at their Maple Run Farm in Helenville, Wisconsin. They arrived on the international stage when their homebred Cabana Boy represented the United States at the 2007 World Young Horse Championships.
The dramatic view at Hilltop Farm is as beautiful as its magnificent horses, but the facility's scenic side in a relatively rural section of Maryland is just one of the many things that make it unique, the word most often used by people describing this one-of-a-kind property.