Hilltop News

A rainy weekend at Morven Park couldn’t keep our spirits down!  One of our last ‘regular’ shows of the season, the VADA/NOVA Fall show not only served as a final qualifier, but also as a fall warm-up for horses that will be headed to Regionals.  Michael started the show with Iris Aberbach’s wonderful gelding Boxster A.   The pair placed 2nd in Saturday’s Inter I with a score of 66.7%.  Sternlicht Hilltop is certainly happy to be out showing again this fall and put in an inspiring test to win the large First Level Test 3 class with a 79% on Saturday.  Michael’s 3rd ride in 3 hours was with Witness Hilltop and they won the Inter II with a score of 69%.  Michael could finally catch some breakfast after all of that!  In Third Level Test 3, Tiffany Bragdell placed 2nd in the open division with her own Bellatae with a 67% and Beth Custalow was 2nd in the amateur division with her Bvlgari with a 65%.  Finishing the day, was our 3-yr old mare Quinzy HTF (Qredit-Cordoba).  This was Quinzy’s first show and Jess Fay was thrilled with how she handled the busy warm-up and splashing through all the puddles.  She was 2nd in the Materiale class which included older mares.

Sunday morning began with Witness winning the Grand Prix with a 66.5%.  Boxster produced a focused, harmonious Prix St. Georges test to earn a 70% and 2nd place.  Michael finished his rides with Sternlicht, and had another win in First Level Test 3 with a 76%.  Tiffany and Bellatae improved their Sunday score to 68% and were 2nd place in the Third Level 3 open, while Beth and Bvlgari were 1st for adult amateur’s with a 63.8%.  Finishing out the weekend, was Jess Fay riding Quinzy.  Quinzy was super today despite the 40mph winds and won the Materiale class.  A great outing for all!

Stallion News

Hilltop Archives


What a way to end the year! The 2012 North American Stallion Test just finished this weekend and we couldn't be more pleased with the results for Qredit when he finished as the Dressage Champion & Overall Champion at the the 2012 70-Day North American Stallion Test!

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Hilltop Articles & Interviews


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.

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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.

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Recent News

2017 Dressage at Devon: Another Dressage at Devon is in the books for Team Hilltop. Once again, we welcomed back King Santacruz to join Michael Bragdell in handling a number of Hilltop-sired and client-owned horses for Hilltop Farm. Thank you to Michael and King for a superb job with all the horses and to all the Hilltop staff both at home and at the show that pull this off year after year! >>>

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. >>>

Dunmovin Dressage: Well the rain may have gotten us totally soaked, but it was still a great show at Dunmovin. Jess Fay took two horses out for their first dressage shows with super results. >>>

Foal Announcements

Riverman Foal Announcements: 07-06-2017: Congratulations to Kathy LaCroix of Aberdeen, MD on the birth of her new Riverman filly! Arriving on June 16th to her TB mare Twilight Reign, Kathy says her new foal took her time coming, 361 days before she made her grand entrance but she was well worth the wait. >>>

Vallado Foal Announcements: 06-06-17: Congratulations to Eric Taddeo of Warwick, NY on the arrival of his new Vallado foal, born to his mare Star in the month of May! >>>

Donarweiss Foal Announcements: 07-25-16: Michelle James of Airdrie, AB is thrilled to announce the arrival of her new Donarweiss filly! Daydream arrived to Michelle’s CWBHA mare Twice Gold on May 13th and Michelle says she is absolutely stunning and will be calling her Dreamy for short. Congratulations! >>>