World Equestrian Games
The World Equestrian Games is certainly the highlight competition for this season with the very best competitors in each discipline, including reining, driving, vaulting, and the para-equestrian competitions. It’s always interesting to evaluate such a wide demographic of bloodlines and this year we were very excited to see offspring, “grand-children,” and even half siblings to some of the stallions in the Hilltop Farm line-up competing at such a prestigious event.
Once again a shining star, Valegro (Negro-Gershwin) and Charlote Dujardin continue to impress with the consistency of their performances, adding another Championship and World Title to their resume. A highlight for Valegro and Charlotte at the games was their Freestyle which earned a score of 92%. The versatility we see in jumper stallion Quite Easy’s offspring was showcased with Vancouver (Quite Easy-Ahorn) and Thy’s Que Faire (Quite Easy-Ladoga) competing in Dressage and Para-Dressage respectively. Thy’s Que Faire and Denmark’s Susanne Jensby Sunesen aided the Danish team to a 5th place finish and finished 5th place individually for Grade III Para-Dressage.
Ramiro B eventing offspring, Ballynoe Castle RM (Ramiro B-Blue Laser xx) and Buck Davidson had a strong performance in dressage but, unfortunately, had to retire during the cross country phase. We look forward to seeing this competitive pair out competing again in the near future. Formerly part of the Hilltop stallion line-up, Del Piero had one offspring competing in the Para-Dressage. Del Rusch (Del Piero-World Cup) and Germany’s Carolin Schnarre helped their team secure the Bronze Team Medal and finished 7th individually for Grade IV Para-Dressage.
Other highlights to the games include Bugatti’s half-brother Santana (Sandro Hit x SPS Raffinesse/Rubinstein I) and Sweden’s Minna Telde aiding their team to a 6th place finish. The pair also earned a 23rd place finish individually. Riverman and Negro both had grand-children competing in the games. Caravella (Contango-Riverman) and Canada’s Megan Lane helped the Canadian Team earn a 9th place finish. Also on the Canadian Team, Bindro T (Obelisk-Negro) was ridden by Roberta Sheffield to a 4th place individual finish for Grade III Para-Dressage.
Hilltop Farm is thrilled that three of our stallions have been named USEF Leading Sires of the Year for 2009. Contucci (Caprimond-Lungau)is the Dressage Sire of the Year; Riverman (Redfort-Landego) is the Eventing Sire of the Year; and for the second year in a row, Royal Prince (Rohdiamant-Prince Thatch xx) is the Dressage Breeding Sire of the Year (and Bugatti was ranked second in this category).
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.
Hilltop Articles & Interviews
Whether you are learning about showing your horse in hand or just looking for some tips, this excerpt from the 2015 USDF Sport Horse Breeders/Handlers Seminar is for you – Showing Sport Horses In Hand with Michael Bragdell.
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.