2016 US Dressage Finals
What better end to the 2016 show season but to wrap it up with the US Dressage Finals in Lexington, KY. Now in its 4th year, this show just gets better and better thanks to an experienced staff, enthusiastic volunteers, and generous supporters. Thank you ALL who make this show happen!
Michael took three horses to the Finals this year and came home with Top 10 finishes for all three. Qredit Hilltop (Quaterback-Dream of Glory) placed 7th in Friday’s Intermediate I Championship and 9th in Saturday’s Intermediate Freestyle Championship. Unfortunately, over the course of the show he was developing a cough and was feeling a bit under the weather by Sunday so we had to scratch the Prix St. Georges Championship. He traveled home safely and is getting a bit of time off while the cough resolves. Sternlicht Hilltop (Soliman de Hus-Rascalino) placed 2nd in his warm-up class on Thursday and won the Third Level Open Championship on Friday. This is Ziggy’s second trip to the Finals and his second National Championship! Lara & Mitch Mitchelson’s Faberge Blue (Contango-Democraat) and Michael made the most of their 80s pop music and captured the Third Level Freestyle Open on Saturday. You can’t help but smile as you watch this pair together and the music fits perfectly. All three horses were born here in the US too, which makes their wins even more significant. Congratulations to their breeders as well – Judy Yancey, Rachel Ehrlich, and Marie Emrey!
2016 USDF Regional Championships
This year, we made the choice to travel to Saugerties, NY for the USDF Region 8 Finals. The venue is fantastic at the HITS showgrounds and the NEDA team, as always, run a wonderful show. Jess Fay started things out in a great way with a 4th place for Beth Gildea’s Elizabeth’s Elan in their open Training Level test with a 68.6%. Enya’s Championship class was later that same day and her 65.4% put her in the middle of the standings. We’re very happy with how well this 4-year old filly handled the big environment of the Saugerties venue.
On Friday, Michael started off the morning with a Third Level class for Faberge Blue and Sternlicht. Faberge’s 69.69% put him in a strong 2nd place, just ahead of Sternlicht with a 69.09%. Next came the VERY large Prix St. Georges Championship for both Michael and Jess. Jess and her own Veraki finished in the top half of the class with a 64%. Michael rode Kaja Brix’s Feuerbach to 5th place with a 67.368%, and Qredit was Reserve Champion with a 69.9%.
In Saturday’s Intermediate 1 Final, Jess rode Veraki to a strong finish of 67.5 and earned a wildcard score for Nationals. Qredit was Reserve Champion in the same division with a 73.5%. In a huge Third Level Championship (the class ran all day!), Michael finished 3rd with Sternlicht and 5th with Faberge Blue. Both horses scored over 71% and earned wildcards for Nationals.
On Sunday, the freestyles wrapped up the show. Qredit finished 3rd in the Intermediate Freestyle with a 71%. What a great show he had! Lara & Mitch Mitchelson’s Faberge Blue ended the show perfectly with a win in the Third Level Freestyle with a 73.367%. Congratulations to all the competitors and thank you to the massive number of volunteers who made this show such a success.
2016 Dressage at Devon
All of us here at Team Hilltop enjoyed another successful year at Dressage at Devon 2016. With the help of King Santacruz, Quinnten and Michael presented a number of Hilltop-sired or client-owned horses to top placings over the course of the week. Despite the usual small bit of rainy weather, we were happy to catch up with clients, friends, and even welcome a few new faces into the Hilltop barns. Devon has consistently been a perfect setting for one of the final big shows of the year, and we extend our gratitude to show management and the volunteers for making all of it possible.
We congratulate all of our owners and clients on their successes at Devon!
Breed Show Results:
Stenager’s Welina (Wilkens – Sandro Hit), Owned by Nancy Radtke
- Dressage at Devon Grand Champion
- Champion Mature Horse
- Champion Mare
- GAIG/USDFBC East Coast Final Mare Champion
- Winner of 4 Years Old & Older Maiden Mares
- Winner of Danish IBC
Finery (Furstenball – Diamond Hit), Owned by Anne Howard & Bred by Otto Langemeyer
- Dressage at Devon Reserve Grand Champion
- Reserve Champion Mature Horse
- Champion Stallion
- Winner of 4 Years Old & Older Stallions
Royal Celeste FH (Royal Classic – Diamond Hit), Owned/Bred by Eliza Rutherford & Leased by Quinnten Alston & Jonathan Clark
- Champion Young Horse
- Champion Filly
- Winner of Three Year Old Fillies
- Born in the USA for Three Year Old Fillies
- Overall High Score of Breed Show
Diamond Quinn (Diamond Hit – Quaterback), Owned/Bred by Susan Graham White and Deborah Bly
- Reserve Champion Young Horse
- Champion Colt
- Winner of Yearling Colts/Geldings
- Born in the USA for Yearling Colts/Geldings
Debonair MF (Doctor Wendell MF – Rotspon), Owned/Bred by Marydell Farm
- Three Year Old Colts/Geldings ~ 2nd Place
Dhanube (Destano – Londonderry), Owned/Bred by Mo Swanson
- Three Year Old Fillies ~ 5th Place
- GAIG/USDF East Coast Filly Final ~ 3rd Place
Qindle HTF (Qredit – Royal Prince), Owned/Bred by Hilltop Farm, Inc.
- Three Year Old Fillies ~ 6th Place
- Three Year Old Fillies Materiale ~ 6th Place
- USDF/GAIG Three Year Old Materiale Championship ~ 5th Place
Dancar MF (Don Principe – Furst Heinrich), Owned/Bred by Marydell Farm
- Winner of Two Year Old Colts/Geldings
- Colt Championship ~ 3rd Place
- Born in the USA for Two Year Old Colts/Geldings
Doc Marten SPF (Doctor Wendell MF – Liberty Gold), Owned by Karen Schumaker & Bred by Gina Leslie
- Two Year Old Colts/Geldings ~ 3rd Place
- GAIG/USDF East Coast Colt/Gelding Final ~ 9th Place
- Hanoverian 2-Years & Under IBC ~ 8th Place
Coach (Contucci – Benetton Dream), Owned/Bred by Michelle Ryan Schwartz
- Two Year Old Colts/Geldings ~ 4th Place
- GAIG/USDF East Coast Colt/Gelding Final ~ 5th Place
- Hanoverian 2-Years & Under IBC ~ 2nd Place
Radar (Rapture R – Weltmeyer), Owned/Bred by Roberta Falk
- Two Year Old Colts/Geldings ~ 7th Place
- GAIG/USDF East Coast Colt/Gelding Final ~ 10th Place
Jamaica A (Ampère – Bugatti Hilltop), Owned/Bred by Iris Aberbach
- Winner of Two Year Old Fillies
- Born in the USA for Two Year Old Fillies
- GAIG/USDF East Coast Filly Final ~ 4th Place
Rayna May (Rienzi – Donnerhall), Owned/Bred by Angie Haskins
- Two Year Old Fillies ~ 3rd Place
- GAIG/USDF East Coast Filly Final ~ 10th Place
- Hanoverian 2-Years & Under IBC ~ 7th Place
Kevelaer (Wamberto – Gribaldi), Owned/Bred by Gavin Parfitt & Isabel Barzun
- Yearling Colts/Geldings ~ 2nd Place
- GAIG/USDF East Coast Colt/Gelding Final ~ 8th Place
- KWPN-NA IBC ~ 4th Place
Dionysus MF (Doctor Wendell MF – Rotspon), Owned/Bred by Marydell Farm
- Yearling Colts/Geldings ~ 3rd Place
Stetson HTF (Sternlicht – Negro), Owned/Bred by Hilltop Farm, Inc.
- Yearling Colts/Geldings ~ 4th Place
- GAIG/USDF East Coast Colt/Gelding Final ~ 4th Place
- Hanoverian 2-Years & Under IBC ~ 4th Place
Sonata MF (Sir Donnerhall – Don Principe), Owned/Bred by Marydell Farm
- Reserve Champion Filly
- Winner of Yearling Fillies
- Born in the USA for Yearling Fillies
Kinettic (Netto – Donarweiss), Owned by Nancy Twenhafel & Bred by Michelle Roberts
- Yearling Fillies ~ 2nd Place
- GAIG/USDF East Coast Filly Final ~ 6th Place
- KWPN-NA IBC ~ 7th Place
Red October (Rotspon – Wallstreet Kid), Owned/Bred by Michelle Roberts
- Yearling Fillies ~ 3rd Place
- GAIG/USDF East Coast Filly Final ~ 5th Place
Calliope HTF (Contucci – Royal Prince), Owned by Beth Custalow & Bred by Hilltop Farm, Inc.
- Yearling Fillies ~ 6th Place
Davina GGF (Dancier – Rascalino), Owned by Renee Weedon & Bred by Rachel Ehrlich
- Yearling Fillies ~ 7th Place
- Hanoverian 2-Years & Under IBC ~ 5th Place
Laertes (Florianus II – Gribaldi), Owned/Bred by Gavin Parfitt & Isabel Barzun
- Colts/Geldings of Current Year ~ 8th Place
Savannah HTF (Sternlicht – Royal Prince), Owned/Bred by Hilltop Farm, Inc.
- Fillies of Current Year ~ 3rd Place
Rockelle (Rotspon – Wolkentanz), Owned/Bred by Jovee Farm
- Fillies of Current Year ~ 4th Place
- Champion GAIG/USDF East Coast Foal of Current Year
EM Raj Mahal HTF (Royal Prince – Donnerhall), Owned/Bred by Hilltop Farm, Inc.
- Winner of 4 Year Old & Older Broodmares
- Produce of Dam ~ 3rd Place
EM Bahia Breeze (Benetton Dream – Banditentraum), Owned by Michelle Ryan-Schwartz
- Winner of 4 Year Old & Older Yeld Mares
- GAIG/USDF East Coast Mare Final ~ 3rd Place
- Hanoverian 3-Years & Older IBC ~ 2nd Place
Shcooter (Shakespeare RSF – Royal Prince), Owned/Bred by Mo Swanson
- 4-Year Old & Older Maiden Mares ~ 5th Place
Whii (Wild Dance – Di Caprio), Owned/Bred by Mo Swanson
- 4-Year Old & Older Maiden Mares ~ 9th Place
Shavane (Shakespeare RSF – Royal Prince), Owned/Bred by Mo Swanson
- Reserve Champion Stallion
- 4-Years Old & Older Stallions ~ 2nd Place
Doctor Wendell MF (Don Principe – Sandro Hit)
- Winner of Get of Sire Class
- 2nd – Breeders Group
- 5th – Breeders Group
Performance Show Results:
David Bowie MF (Don Principe – Rotspon), Owned/Bred by Marydell Farm
- Thursday’s USEF 4-Year Old Test ~ 5th Place
- Friday’s USEF 4-Year Old Test ~ 4th Place
2016 Markel/USEF Young Horse Championships
Once again we made the long drive out to the beautiful Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, IL for the Markel/USEF Young Horse Championships. Michael qualified two horses for the Championships this year and we’ll start off with the youngster. David Bowie MF (Don Principe-Rotspon) is bred and owned by Marydell Farm. His walk was the highlight and earned an 8.5 and 9 from the judges! Davey finished in 10th place overall at the USEF Four-Year Old National Championships. Michael agreed with the judges comments that a growth stage made the balance a little less consistent than it was earlier in the season, but the purity of his gaits and work ethic remain 100% solid and he’s looking forward to continuing his development.
Sternlicht Hilltop (Soliman de Hus-Rascalino), owned by Hilltop Farm, had a very good showing in the Six-Year Old Preliminary class Friday morning. His overall score of 7.98 put him in a strong position going into Sunday’s Final. In the Finals, Michael was able to ask Sternlicht for more power and the connection was steadier than in the Preliminary round. The handsome pair finished in 3rd place overall with an 8.028 in the USEF Six-Year Old National Championships. Sternlicht’s breeder, Rachel Ehrlich, deserves a special mention as he was also the Top-Scoring US-Bred horse.
Thank you to Michael’s sponsors, Purina Horse Feed, Hulsebos Saddles, and Cavallo who kept Michael and Sternlicht looking and feeling their best.