|ChaChing HTF (Contucci - Cordoba)|
Devon is always a favorite time of the year for staff and clients at Hilltop Farm. Despite the rainy weather, this year proved to have many enjoyable and exciting moments to share. For the Hilltop Team the breed show was the highlight of the week with Hilltop Farm owned and bred colt Cha Ching HTF (Contucci - Cordoba) making a clean sweep of his classes. Cha Ching HTF not only won the Colts of 2011 and the Foal Championship but also the USDF/GAIG Foal Championship earning scores up to 83.300%. The 2011 filly Dior CCF (Donarweiss - Enrico Caruso), owned by Chris Roseberry, also was quite successful. Dior CCF earned a 3rd in the Fillies of 2011 as well as receiving Reserve Champion in the USDF/GAIG Foal Championship and winning the ISR/Oldenburg 2 and Under Class.
Yearling colt Sternlicht GGF (Soliman de Hus - Rascalino), owned and bred by Rachel Erhlich, showcased his future potential earning the 85.1% and the high score of the show in the Yearling Colts and Geldings class. Sternlicht GGF went on to earn a 3rd place in the Colt and Gelding Championship. Yearling filly Rosalie KIS (Rosall - Brentano II) took 4th in the USDF/GAIG Filly Championship and won the IBC Oldenburg class on Thursday. Baxter CCF (Bugatti - Enrico Caruso) took third to Roaslie KIS in the Oldenburg class.
Two year old filly Bahia Breeze (Bennetton Dream - Banditentraum) also had a successful weekend earning two second place ribbons. The first was a second place in the 2 Year Old Fillies class, the second in the USDF/GAIG Filly Championship. Radiance COF (Royal Prince - Contucci), also a two year old filly, ended her week at Devon on a very good note with a 78.900% and the win in the Hanoverian age 2 and under on Thursday. Bellatesse HTF (Bugatti - Cordoba), bred by Hilltop Farm and owned by Kris Schuler, placed 5th in the USDF/GAIG Filly Championship with a 76.950%. Akinori (Enrico Caruso - Schonfeld) ended Devon week on a high note for her owner Chris Roseberry. Akinori won the Warmblood of Trakehner Origin class with a 78.800%.
|Doctor Wendell MF (Don Principe - Sandro Hit)|
Three year old stallion Doctor Wendell MF (Don Principe - Sandro Hit), owned and bred by Marydell Farm, had an excellent week. The young stallion took first place in the Three Year Old Colts and Geldings class with an 81.8%. He went on to become the Colt/Gelding Champion and Reserve Young Horse Champion. Under saddle, Doctor Wendell took 2nd place in the 3 Year Old Colts and Gelding Materiale class with Michael Bragdell. Three year old filly Laurel (Longchamp - Pointmaker) earned a 4th place in Suitable to Become a Dressage Horse 3yrs Old and a second in Materiale 3yr Old Fillies with rider Kayla Johnson, qualifing her for the Materiale Championship. Four year old gelding Felix (Sir Sinclair - Ferro) took 1st in Suitable to Become a Dressage Horse 4yr Old and a 2nd in Materiale 4 & 5yr Old Colts and Geldings. Felix went on to win the Materiale Championship with rider Michael Bragdell.
|Don Hill (Don Gregory - Hill Hawk xx)|
Hilltop guest stallions Don Hill (Don Gregory - Hill Hawk xx) and De Feiner Star (DeLaurentis - Feiner Stern) showed with great results. Don Hill, owned by Virginia Leary, won the 4 Year and Older Stallions and went on to be the Devon Stallion Champion. De Feiner Star won both the Four Year and Older Stallions Under Saddle and USEF Materiale 4 & 5 year old Colts and Geldings. Later that day De Feiner Star went on to be Reserve Champion in the Materiale Championship. The following day, De Feiner Star earned a fourth place in the USEF Young Horse Test for 5yr Olds.
Capping off the excitement of the breed show portion of Devon was EM Rheporter's (Royal Prince - Weltmeyer) big win. Owned and bred by Rolling Stone Farm and Mo Swanson, EM Rheporter won the Mature Horse Championship and the Devon Grand Championship. Congratulations Mo!
The performance show completed the Devon experience with many great performances by Hilltop trainers and horses. Hilltop owned and bred four year olds Balissa HTF (Bugatti -Contucci) and Ripley HTF (Royal Prince - Riverman) competed in the USEF Test for 4yr Olds. The pair took a clean sweep of Thursday's class with Ripley HTF in first with a score of 85.800% and Balissa HTF in second. The following day Ripley HTF earned a second in the class and Balissa a fourth and Ripley was Reserve Champion for the entire Young Horse division.
Bugatti Hilltop and Michael Bragdell competed in their first CDI competition at Prix St. Georges while at Devon. Michael and Bugatti earned a very respectable 10th place. Chris Hickey and Witness Hilltop (Hamlet - Burggraff) made for a great end of Devon week. Witness earned a second in the Prix St Georges, 2nd in the Intermediare I, and finished off the weekend with a 2nd in the Intermediare Freestyle. As always, it was a pleasure to share all the exciting moments of Dressage at Devon with all our clients and friends....now we start planning for next year. (September 2011)
It is with great sadness that we share the passing of the Hanoverian stallion Tiamo Trocadero (Trapper-Darling). Tiamo Trocadero lived at Hilltop Farm from 2006 to 2008 and stood in our Guest Stallion Program for two seasons. Tiamo had an outstanding International dressage record which included being named an Alternate for the 2000 Olympic Games for the British Dressage Team. We continue to cheer on the Tiamo offspring as they follow in their sire’s hoofprints and can dream that we will see some of his greatness in each of them. (February 2011)
|Photo by www.equestrianphoto.nl|
The New Year is off to an exciting start for Hilltop Farm with Jane’s decision to purchase a young FEI horse for Head Trainer Christopher Hickey to compete. Chris’s show string includes of course Douglas Hilltop, recent winner of the Grand Prix Special in Wellington, as well as a number of very promising homebred youngsters, but with the passing of Cabana Boy last fall there was a gap left between the age groups.
Dirk Fiechter has found many horses for Chris and his students including Regent (Chris’s 2007 Pan Am Gold Medal partner) and Piet (who later sold to Ulla Salzgeber), and was the first person Chris contacted to help him with this search. Witness (Hamlet-Burggraaf), an 8-year old gelding owned by Luc and Jonna Schelstraete and breeder Rene Franssen, was the clear standout from Chris’s recent trip to see horses with Dirk. Under Jonna, Witness has shown through the comparable of Fourth Level and was recently 2nd at the Moorland Championship in Hengelo. It’s interesting to note that Witness’s breeder Rene Franssen also bred Leslie Morse’s Kingston.
Chris comments, “I’m happy to have found such a quality horse that’s had one rider so far in his career. He has a wonderful temperament, enjoys his job, and is eager to learn. This is due to the wonderful job Jonna has done developing and showing this horse to this point.” Chris feels that Witness shows a lot of potential for the demanding FEI exercises and is looking forward to developing Witness into a top FEI mount. Jane is excitedly awaiting Witness’s arrival in the US, “I can’t wait to meet him!” (February 2011)
It’s official – the USEF Sire Rankings have been tabulated for the year and we are very proud to announce that for the 2nd year in a row Riverman is the Eventing Sire of the Year and for the 3rd year in a row Royal Prince is the Dressage Breeding Sire of the Year! Congratulations to all the owners and breeders whose offspring contributed to these wins. (December 2010)
Festrausch (Florestan-Carprilli) has been an important part of the stallion line-up at Hilltop Farm since his purchase in 2000. His bloodlines, incredible movement, and elegant type stood him apart, and it is the movement and character that he passes to his offspring that have made many of his breeders very loyal to him over the years. Devon winners, USDF All-Breeds winners, an Approved Stallion and many Premium Mares and Foals have all proven his success as a sire.
There is now an exciting new development in Festrausch's career that we wanted to share. In mid-October, Festrausch moved to Cazenovia College in New York to stand at stud and to continue the education of Cazenovia's Equine Business Management students. We've had a wonderful association with Cazenovia for many years through their internship programs and Hilltop Farm appreciates the quality of education they are providing to our future professionals. Their facility is top-notch and with the retirement of their current stallion, we knew they needed an exceptional stallion to bring additional focus and opportunities to their program.
Professor Carol Buckhout and Farm Operations Manager Stefani Watson have both spent time at Hilltop with Festrausch and we have the highest comfort level with them taking over the care of this special stallion. Festrausch was greeted by over 25 students upon his arrival at Cazenovia and is clearly loving being the 'big man on campus.'
Hilltop Farm remains committed to all of Festrausch's breeders and his offspring. Our Breeders Support Programs, website, etc. are all still available to owners of Festrausch offspring. Hilltop Farm is retaining an inventory of frozen semen for Festrausch's breeders to honor any rebreeds in the 2011 season and will continue to offer for sale proven frozen semen on this exceptional stallion for a limited time. Cazenovia will continue to offer Festrausch at stud for the public through cooled semen.
Thank you for your belief and commitment to Festrausch these past years. We look forward to his continued success under Cazenovia's care. (November 2010)
Despite some rain Devon was, as it always is, a great way to wind down the season. We had a wonderful time with our friends and clients and were proud to represent so many lovely horses.
The fillies started Tuesday strongly with Bahia Breeze winning the yearling filly class and Radiance COF (Royal Prince/Contucci) finishing 3rd and Bellatesse HTF (Bugatti/Cordoba) finishing 7th in this very competitive, high-scoring class. In the 3 yr old fillies class Contucci was well represented by Caris’s 2nd place and Cordialle’s 4th place. Riesling (Royal Prince/Enrico Caruso) was 2nd yearling colts class with an 80.8% while Dylan (Donarweiss/Riverman), Bucardi (Bugatti/Scimitar), and Artistik all finished in the top 10 ribbons. The foals finished the day strongly with Royal Tradition (Royal Prince/Puritano) and Quoi de Neuf (Quite Easy/Sendgraf) finishing 1st & 2nd in the colts of 2010 class. Royal Tradition went on to be named Champion Foal (Quoi de Neuf was 3rd) and was Reserve Champion in the USDF Foal Championship.
Wednesday was the beautiful, sunny day for the show and Conturri (Contucci/Riverman) started off the morning with 2nd place finishes in both her undersaddle classes, she then won the Maiden/Yeld Mares class with an 82.15% and finished as Reserve Champion Mare. A long, but very successful day for Conturri! Cha Cha was represented by Chiquita HTF (Contucci) and Bellatesse HTF to earn 2nd place in the Produce of Dam class. The stallions were also well presented in the Get of Sire class with Royal Prince & Contucci finishing 3rd & 4th and Donarweiss earning 6th place. Michael also handled Der Feiner Star to the Champion Stallion & Reserve Champion Mature Horse.
The rain returned on Thursday and we scratched a number of the horse, but those that stayed showed wonderful composure and put in some of their best performances of the week. In the ISR/Oldenburg 2 & under Riesling once again put in a super performance with a score of 79% to win. The Popeye fillies Piccolina and Primarosa placed 2nd & 3rd and Ruby (Royal Prince/Donnerwerth) finished in 4th place. Cordialle won the ISR/Oldenburg 3 & over class. Radiance COF finished out our showing with a beautiful run in the Hanoverian 2 & under class and an impressive score of 84% gave her the win in the class and, I believe, the high score for the entire show!
We had two very special awards that were also received by members of our team. First, Michael Bragdell received the Best Handler Award for the show and secondly, two Hilltop staff (Kristie Blaikie - one of our grooms & Brittany Callahan - my summer intern) were honored with the Sportsmanship Award for helping out another competitor when she and her horse fell while schooling. We're so proud of all our staff, but these three really deserved the recognition they received at the show.
The fun, and the rain, at Devon continued on Friday with the Performance Show. In Friday’s Prix St. Georges, Chris showed Cece Stewart’s gelding Pacino (Parabol-Cor Noir) to a 64.684% - a result we were very pleased with as it was only Pacino’s 5th PSG test ever and his first CDI! Chris’s students Lisa Lewis-Greene and Doreen Bryne also had good rides in the small tour of the CDI over the weekend and we were happy to have them stabled with us at Devon.
Rebecca Cord showed Janet Rubino’s Sombrero do Top at Fourth Level over the weekend and earned a 5th place on Sunday in the 4th 2 class. Pacino went on to win both his Fourth Level Test 2 and Fourth Level Test 3 classes on Saturday and Sunday. This Hilltop homebred has long been a favorite for many at the farm, so we are thrilled to continue to be a part of his career under Cece’s ownership. (October 2010)
It is with great sadness that Jane MacElree and Hilltop Farm share the news that on Monday, August 23rd Cabana Boy was humanely euthanized following a catastrophic injury while in turnout. Cabana Boy’s well-being, comfort, and quality of life were the focus of each discussion and decision and a team of veterinarians was consulted to discuss all possible options and outcomes.
The consummate showman with a larger than life personality, Cabana had the unique ability to draw fans wherever he went. Bred by Doug and Shannon Langer of Wisconsin, Cabana Boy was sired by Hilltop Farm’s stallion Contucci and out of Britania (Bordeaux-Weltmeyer). Hilltop Farm acquired Cabana Boy early in his yearling year and since then Cabana Boy has been unstoppable in his accomplishments including:
Site Champion of American Hanoverian Society Foal Inspection in Wisconsin
Dressage at Devon ~ Colt Champion, Young Horse Champion, Reserve Grand Champion
Champion of East Coast Selection Trials for FEI World Breeding Championships
Champion of East Coast Selection Trials for FEI World Breeding Championships
Qualified for & Competed at USEF Intermediaire I Championships
3rd Place at USEF Intermediaire I National Championships
A shining star for Hilltop Farm, US sport horse breeding, and US dressage, Cabana Boy’s loss is felt by many. He has touched us all deeply and his passing leaves an enormous hole in our hearts. Jane MacElree, Chris Hickey, and the staff at Hilltop Farm would like to express their sincere appreciation to the veterinarians at New Bolton Center who guided us through this crisis, as well as the veterinarians at Unionville Equine and Dr. Amy Rabanal who have worked closely with Cabana Boy over so many years. (September 2010)
Hilltop Farm's Christopher Hickey and Cabana Boy (Contucci-Bordeaux) attended the 2010 Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Dressage Festival of Champions on August 6-8 at the historic USET headquarters in Gladstone, NJ. At only 8 years old, this was already Cabana Boy's 2nd trip to the Championships. It was especially rewarding to have Hilltop's owner Jane MacElree and her daughters Ann and Leslie on hand to enjoy the show. Jane’s mother was very active in the early years of the USET headquarters at Gladstone, so for Jane and her family it’s especially meaningful for one of her horses to compete at the Championships there.
Chris and Cabana Boy started off the weekend with a third place in the FEI Prix St. Georges with an overall score of 68% and a fourth in Intermediate I on Saturday. Sunday's competition was Cabana Boy's strongest over the weekend. It is readily apparent that he enjoys his freestyle music - a combination of Beach Boys' & Beatles' music that the crowd loved. Chris and Cabana Boy earned a 2nd in the Freestyle and a 3rd overall for the weekend's standings. Congratulations! (August 2010)
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). What a wonderful Christmas present for Hilltop’s owner Jane MacElree! A related congratulations goes out to Dr. Elizabeth Callahan who is the USEF Eventing Breeder of the Year, based all on successes of her Hilltop-sired offspring. Dr. Callahan’s exceptional breeding program has produced such horses as Slate River and Balmoral and this honor is well deserved. (December 2009)
The Dressage at Devon Breed Show was held this year September 22nd thru 24th. Team Hilltop was again in attendance including a new handler, Jonas Johnsson, who traveled from Sweden to work with us.
The highlight of this year’s show was the yearling colt Perfect Qredit (Quaterback-Dream of Glory) owned by Michelle and Chris Coursin and bred by Judy Yancey. Qredit was undefeated throughout the show, winning the Yearling Colt class, the GOV class, the Colt Championship, the Young Horse Championship and the Grand Championship. Qredit also brought home the Born In The USA Award for Yearling Colts and Geldings. Qredit has lived at Hilltop Farm since he was a weanling and it is a pleasure to develop him for his owners with such fantastic results.
Boccaccio IOF (Bugatti-Rubinstein), owned by Marcia Richardson of TN and bred by Hilltop Farm, won the USDF/ GAIG Colt Championship East Coast Final on Tuesday night with an 80.5%. He also placed 3rd in the 2 Year Old Colts and Geldings Class and 5th in the Hanoverian 2 and Under IBC. Boccaccio along with Balissa represented Bugatti in the Get of Sire class earning him a 3rd place finish. Balissa HTF (Bugatti-Contucci) owned and bred by Hilltop finished 4th overall in the 2 Year Old Fillies and 4th in the USDF/ GAIG Filly Championship East Coast Final. Balissa’s score in the 2 Year Old class also earned her the Born In The USA Award for her age group. Another strong showing in the Two Year Old Fillies class was produced by Martina Thiel-Poblotzki’s Cordialle (Contucci x Cordelia) who earned a 7th place.
Two Royal Prince colts, BW-Rafael (Royal Prince-A Jungle Prince) owned and bred by Blue Waters Farm and R London Calling CCF (Royal Prince-Enrico Caruso) owned by Chris Roseberry, placed one and two respectively in Thursday’s ISR/ Oldenburg 2 and Under class. BW-Rafael also helped Royal Prince earn a 7th place in the Get of Sire class.
Cindy Lindsay’s striking chestnut gelding Ritzmaucher (Regazzoni-Banter), bred by Oldenburg Farm, placed 6th in the Two Year Old Colts and Geldings class to wrap-up his successful show season. Kris Schuler’s lovely mare EM Diotima took 8th in the Broodmares 4 & older class. Emily Covington put in a lovely ride on BW-Corabelle (Contucci-A Jungle Prince) for 5th in the 5 Year Old Mare Materiale.
This year’s foal crop also stepped up to the plate with Bellatesse HTF (Bugatti-Cordoba) owned by Kris Schuler and bred by Hilltop placing 3rd in the fillies of 2009 with a score of 79.4%. Rafaella CF (Royal Prince-Anamour) owned and bred by Kim Callaway followed close behind for a 4th place finish in the same class. Ripken HTF (Riverman-Royal Prince) owned and bred Hilltop Farm finished 4th in the colts of 2009 with a 79.9% and Blue Waters Farm’s BW-Royal Splendor (Royal Prince-A Jungle Prince) was 8th in the same class.
Costello HTF (Comic Hilltop FRH-Rubinstein) bred by Hilltop Farm and recently purchased by Marijo McLachlan placed 6th in the Hanoverian 2 and Under Class, followed closely by Caris (Contucci-Donnerhall), bred and owned by Roberta Falk, in 7th. Fontyn (Fred Astair-Maurice) owned and bred by Kate Palmquist placed 9th in the class as well as 6th in the Yearling Fillies with a score of 78.8%. For owner Carolyn Steppe, this was her first trip to Devon and her yearling filly Danika (by Donarweiss) rewarded her with their first ever ribbon at Devon – a 10th in the large Yearling Fillies class.
Hilltop Farm also presented several of Summit Sporthorses’ ponies throughout the week. Die Feine Lady won the Westfalen IBC and placed 4th in the 4 Years and Older Yeld Mares. Right behind Lady in the Westfalen class was Die Chanel, placing 2nd. Popstar, a yearling filly by Popeye and out of a Fascination daughter, won the ISR Sport Pony class and placed 8th in the Yearling Fillies with a score of 77.7%. The boys also did well, with Pogo placing 5th in the 2 Year Old Colts and Sajama placing 4th in the ISR Sport Pony Class.
We cheered on other offspring by our stallions from the sidelines as well. In the Suitable to Become a Dressage Horse class, we saw Susan Desimpel’s Currituck (Contucci-Cabaret) and Jessica Liverman’s Regalia (Royal Prince-Cor Noir) finish in 9th and 10th place respectively. Currituck also placed 5th in the Stallion/Gelding Materiale class and 3rd in the ISR/Oldenburg 3 & older IBC. Karen Day’s Rivoli II (Riverman-Carthago) won the Stallions 4 & Older class, full-sister Understated was 2nd in the 5 Year Old Materiale class, and they earned Karen a 6th in the Breeders Group class. Laurie Cameron’s UMA Corwin CBF (by Cor Noir) was 3rd in the 5 Year Old Mare Materiale.
On a special note, Hilltop’s Michael Bragdell was presented with the John JP Perry Memorial Perpetual Trophy on Saturday night. This award is given to a person who demonstrates sportsmanship and is a true ambassador for the equestrian sports.
Dressage at Devon Performance Show: Cabana Boy (Contucci-Bordeaux) made his first appearance in the Devon CDI with excellent results. Finishing 2nd in the Prix St. Georges, 3rd in the Intermediaire I, and 2nd in the Intermediaire Freestyle, Cabana continued to prove he is a top-quality FEI horse who will be a strong international contender. Cabana Boy was also the highest-scoring US-bred horse in the entire CDI competition. Jen Huber, a long-time student of Chris’s, took her young horse Vito to Devon for the first time and earned a 3rd in Fourth Level Test 2 and a 2nd in Fourth Level Test 3. (September 2009)
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. “We are so proud that a Hilltop horse made history by being the first US bred and owned horse to win three of the National Championships in a row” said Chris.
This year’s Championships were held at the beautifully landscaped Lamplight Equestrian Center in Illinois. The first day of competition was the Developing Horse Qualifying Test which counted for 40% of the overall score. Chris and Cabana won, earning a 72.895%. They then went on to win Sunday’s Developing Horse Championship test with a score of 73.810%. (August 2009)
Dreams do come true! Jane MacElree, owner of Hilltop Farm, has always wanted an international Grand Prix horse to represent Hilltop Farm in competition. While spending time competing in Germany this winter, Hilltop Farm's Head Trainer Chris Hickey, found the ideal candidate. Douglas S (Dr Jackson - Walt Disney) is a 9 year old, 16.3 hand Badden Wurttemberg gelding who had shown at the FEI levels under owner Alexandra Sessler.
"I knew from the first ride that Douglas was the horse for me. He gives a wonderful feeling and has so much expression to be developed. He takes the training well even though he is an electric type horse," say Hickey. "I feel lucky to have found a horse that is trained in the same system that I use. Alex and I both ride with Ulla Salzgeber and this makes the transition to a new rider so much easier for the horse."
Ulla was actually the first to share the news of Hilltop Farm's new purchase when she spoke with reporters after the Exquis World Dressage Masters show in Munich, Germany. "The horse is extraordinarily good and they will make an excellent team."
Jane met Douglas as he arrived at Hilltop Farm from quarantine. "Watching Chris and Douglas during their first ride at the farm gave me goosebumps. It is thrilling to have Douglas in our barn and we are looking forward to a wonderful future with him. The sky's the limit." (Posted June 2009)
The United States Equestrian Federation gives awards to the top placing sires, breeders, and owners based upon their offspring show records over the past year at USEF recognized shows. For the 2008 show season, Hilltop Farm stallions once again proved their consistency as Leading Sires in the US.
Royal Prince’s offspring brought their sire top honors in the Dressage Breeding division with over 200 points above the second place stallion. Daughter Rhodora, the 2008 Champion Filly & Champion Young Horse of Dressage at Devon, certainly contributed to this win, but was only one of many successful Royal Prince offspring showing on the line in 2008. While Royal Prince (Rohdiamant – Prince Thatch xx) continues his own competitive career, we are thrilled to see his earliest foal crops living up to our expectations of them.
Hilltop thanks all the offspring owners and breeders who played such a huge role in this year’s many successes! (Posted February 2009)
With thirteen championship ribbons, consistent winners in the performance classes, and Reserve Grand Champion of the Breed Show, Dressage at Devon proved once again to be as exciting as always for Hilltop Farm, clients, and offspring.
One of the young stars of the competition was undoubtedly Hilltop’s Chiquita HTF (Contucci – Cordoba), who started Tuesday morning with a win in the Fillies of 2008 class and continued on to win the inaugural foal championship, took 2nd in the Filly Championship, and claimed the USDF East Coast Filly Final with a score of over 85%. One of the Dressage at Devon judges, William Solyntjes, an “S” dressage judge and “r” sport horse breeding judge, states, “She is one who could hold her own against the more mature horses. She has really, really good conformation, natural suppleness in her back, a well set neck and lots of confidence.” Her dam, Hilltop Cha Cha (Cordoba – Weltmeyer), not letting her youngster outdo her, proceeded to take 2nd in her Four Year-Old and Older Broodmare class with a score of 84%, 2nd in the Mare Championship, Champion of the USDF East Coast Mare Final, Reserve Champion Mature Horse, and Reserve Grand Champion of Devon.
Rhodora HTF (Royal Prince – Contucci) also proved to be a highlight of the competition, earning 2nd in her Yearling Fillies class with a score of 82.6%, winning the Filly and Young Horse Championship titles, and taking Reserve Champion to Chiquita in the USDF East Coast Filly Final. Also owned by Hilltop Farm, Conturri (Contucci – Riverman) won the Four Year-Old Maiden Mare class with a score of 82.5% and proceeded to win her Hanoverian Three Year-Old and Older breed class on Thursday.
Chiquita HTF, Rhodora HTF, and Conturri received the Born in the USA awards for their respective age groups, with Chiquita taking Reserve overall. Additionally, Rhodora and Conturri won the Mid-Atlantic Hanoverian Breeder’s Club awards for Young and Mature Horse divisions respectively.
The Devon group classes as well as Hanoverian breed class were especially exciting as Hilltop took 1st in the Breeder’s group with an incredible 87.2% and also won the Produce of Dam class with Rivita’s offspring. For the Hanoverian Two Year-Old and Under class, Conturri’s full brother, Constantine (Contucci – Riverman) took 1st , while the exciting momentum continued as Kim Brown’s Caiais (Contucci – Andros), who took 3rd in her Fillies of 2008 class with a score of 82%, claimed 2nd in the Hanoverian class, and Hilltop’s Ripley took 4th.
Thursday was the start of the performance classes, where Selten HW (Sandro Hit –Hohenstein) and Michael Bragdell, still on their victory streak from Young Horse Nationals, commandingly won the USEF 4 Year-Old Test on Thursday and Friday with the consistent score of 81%. Also ridden by Michael, James Bond’s mare Helene (Hohenstein – Weltruhm) won the Four Year-Old Mares Under Saddle Materiale. In the FEI Dressage Test for Six Year-Olds, Cabana Boy (Contucci - Bordeaux) and Chris Hickey continued their success to win with the top score of 83% on both Thursday and Friday. Additionally, both Cabana Boy and Selten HW won the North American Breeders Futurity for their respective age groups. Chris also showed Bugatti Hilltop (Bergamon – Rubinstein I) at Prix St. Georges and took 2nd with a score of 68.5% and scored 66.4% in his Intermediaire I test thus wrapping up a very successful weekend for Hilltop Farm. (Posted September 2008)
|Photo © Megan Nichols|
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. Even despite the hurricane-like weather in Lexington, KY, both horse and rider combinations won all their classes, and Chris coached numerous students to awards in the Young Horse Championships and the coinciding MSEDA Championship I & II as well.
Selten HW, owned by Cadence LLC and bred in the U.S. by Irene Hoeflich-Wiederhold, secured his championship class with a score of 8.56 while winning his warm up class with a score of 8.38. Michael states "For a young horse, he handled the environment incredibly well. He has such a great work ethic and trainability." Highlights of the championship class include receiving 9's for Selten's trot and canter and an 8.8 for overall impression. "I feel very fortunate for the opportunity to ride such a fabulous young horse," Michael states, "I couldn't have done it without the support of Hilltop and Selten's owner Elizabeth Ball."
Commandingly winning their preliminary class with the score of 8.86, Chris and Cabana Boy secured their second National Championship title with an overall score of 8.644, and earned scores of 9.5 for the walk and trot between the two classes with an 8.5 for general impression. Chris comments, "Under awful conditions on Sunday, Cabana showed he is a great competition horse to go out and do his job so successfully."
In addition to the outstanding success of Hilltop trainers and horses, numerous students of Chris Hickey won awards as well. Chris' student Nicole Bellah took the Five Year-Old Championship on her horse Winsor (San Remo - Julia Mariner) bred in Holland by PPW Janssen with an overall score of 8.028. Taking Reserve Champion in the Four Year-Olds was Emily Gershberg and her horse Zatino H (Sir Sinclair - Equador) bred by J.A. de Haas in Holland.
"I am very proud at the success of our young horses with Champion and Reserve in the Four Year-Olds, Champion Five Year-Old, and Champion Six Year-Old. It means so much to me that my students have high success." Chris states. (Posted September 2008)
The February 1st issue of the Chronicle of the Horse had some exciting news - Hilltop Farm's Chris Hickey was selected as their Dressage Horseman of the Year. With the move to Hilltop Farm, capturing the USEF National Intermediare I Championships, two Gold Medals at the Pan American Games, competing at the World Championships for Young Horse, the USEF National Championship for FEI Five Year Olds, and many other high-scores and championships it has been quite a year. Congratulations Chris! (Posted February 2008)
The favorites going into this year's Markel/USEF National Championship, Chris Hickey and Cabana Boy didn't disappoint. After awarding a "9" on submission, judge Hilda Gurney said, “Our general impression, of course, is that he has super talent for collection and for the FEI. You ask a lot of extension and collection both, showing good transitions, and you get a lot in response. We were impressed. ” They were impressed enough to award the pair on 8.480 score over the two day competition, which clinched the National Championship for Chis and Cabana.
Bred by Doug and Shannon Langer, Cabana Boy (Contucci x Britianna), was purchased by Hilltop Farm as a youngster to represent his sire Contucci. Cabana Boy has always exceeded our expectations - from Reserve Grand Champion of Dressage at Devon, to representing the US at the FEI World Horse Championships, and most recently with this win in Kentucky.
Michael Bragdell rode the Hilltop-bred gelding Rochefort (Regazzoni x Primavera), owned now by Beth Springer, to a 10th place finish in the FEI 5 Year Olds as well. The elegant pair continues to put in harmonious performances. Team Hilltop was all excited to watch Michael in his first US Championship and we are very pleased with the results. Judges comments included "Well presented and accurately ridden." We are looking forward to Dressage at Devon where Michael will show both Rochefort, and his younger full-brother, Rendezvous. (Posted September 2007)
|Photo by Gwen Poulin|
Chris Hickey and Regent (owned by Brenna Kucinski) will be returning to Hilltop Farm with two Gold Medals! They just completed their freestyle with a score of 72.100 and an ecstatic and emotional Chris has called with the great news – they are the 2007 Pan-American Games Individual Gold Medalists. Lauren Sammis claimed the Individual Silver Medal with Sagacious HF, and Katie Poulin-Neff and Brillant Too finished in 6th Place overall.
On Sunday, Chris, Lauren and Katie, captured the Team Gold Medal. The Pan-Am Games marked the first time for all these riders to compete internationally for the US and we expect to see them on many future US Teams.
Special congratulations to Regent’s owner Brenna, who’s always believed in the exceptional talent of this horse and to Chris, we couldn’t be any prouder! Our congratulations also to Lauren and Katie and the support teams of owners, grooms, vets, farriers, friends and more, behind them!
More details will be coming, but we wanted to share this fantastic news immediately. Chris sends his thanks to all of you for your support and encouragement! (Posted July 2007)
Chris Hickey and Regent Win Intermediare I National Championship Leading the US Team to the Pan-American Games in Brazil
|Photo by Phoebe Porter|
Chris Hickey’s always had great confidence in Brenna Kucinski’s Regent and this weekend six years of hardwork and trust culminated in winning the 2007 USEF Intermediare I National Championship and the highest overall score for the Pan-American Games Selection Trials. Their freestyle on Sunday was a hit! The powerful techno music matched Regent’s rhythm perfectly and their demanding choreography was justly rewarded by the officials with a final score of 74.5%, including a “9” for difficulty from the judge at C. Joining Chris and Regent on the US Team will be Lauren Sammis and Sagacious, Katherine Poulin-Neff on Brillant Too, and Susan Dutta on Pik L. The Pan Am Games will take place in Brazil July 14-29.
Click here to watch Chris and Regent's winning freestyle. (Posted June 2007)
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. Additionally, this prestigious competition is only open to horses that have won a qualifier during the season. The reserve champion was the Trakehner stallion Kaiserkult TSF who scored 73.35% under Dorthee Schneider. Third place was Helen Langehanenberg and the 7-year-old mare Responsible with a 71.85%.
Our partners in Comic, the FRH (Verein zur Förderung des Reitsports auf hannoverschen Pferden e.V), the organization which secures top talent for Germany's future sport and promotes this talent under her best riders, and Johannes Brinkmann, Comic’s breeder, are all thrilled by the success of Comic Hilltop FRH and Carola Koppelmann. We all look forward to the future success of this champion pair. Limited frozen semen is available for U.S. breeders. Contact our office today for more information on this exciting stallion! (Posted January 2007)
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. It is indeed the teamwork between Hilltop and our customers that has brought such good energy to our efforts over these past 15 years. (Posted November 2006)
The USEF has recently announced their 2005 Champions! Hilltop Farm’s Elite Hanoverian stallion Contucci has earned the title 2005 USEF Leading Sire Dressage Breeding. Further, Jane MacElree/ Hilltop Farm has been awarded the 2005 USEF Leading Owner Dressage Breeding title from the success of the Hilltop bred youngsters in sport. We celebrate these titles and look forward to further success in the 2006 season! (Posted April 2006)
November 16, 2005
Any who has endured the loss of a horse can understand the sorrow and despair that descends like a shroud over everyone involved. Any who has witnessed a horse struggle through serious illness can understand how emotional it is to watch horses fight for their lives and how much respect such horses earn amongst their caregivers. Our guest stallion from New Zealand, the Australian Thoroughbred Heroicity was such a horse. He fought hard for his life over several weeks in the hospital when he was struck with a severe case of anterior enteritis, a severe inflammation of his stomach and duodenum. His recovery was nearly miraculous but not completely surprising, given his tremendous will to survive.
With great sadness we announce that on November 16, 2005, Heroicity died of acute gastric rupture. He had endured a couple bumps in the road to his recovery and yet we were still optimistic that he would be healthy for the upcoming breeding season. It is at times like this we are reminded how truly fragile are each of these magnificent creatures. We extend our most heartfelt and deepest condolences to his owner Janice McDonald and to all who deeply loved and admired Heroicity. He earned our utmost respect and admiration, not simply by his extraordinary qualities as a stallion, but even more so by the depth of his character and the beauty of his spirit. He has enriched all our lives and is deeply missed. (Posted November 2005)
May 17, 1987 - November 3, 2003
With great sadness, we must announce that our beautiful Holsteiner stallion Cor Noir was put down November 3, 2003 for humane reasons. Cor Noir gave tremendous quality to our Hilltop Farm breeding program, producing our top broodmares and the foundation for so much of our success today. Scott will always remember Cor Noir's focus and power under saddle…he was a stallion who every day wanted to work and loved every challenge. He had so much ability, the potential to earn a "9" in every movement of the Grand Prix. He was a tribute to his family of successful horses, his ¾ brother "Chacamo" having won the Team Gold for Germany in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
Cor Noir's legacy will live on in the foundation mares he gave our program and in his many offspring who are performing in various parts of our country. Fortunately through frozen semen, Cor Noir's influence continues to produce offspring in Australia, New Zealand, and throughout North America. We will welcome his offspring arriving next year and in the future in a very special light. (Posted November 2003)
February 16, 1979-November 13, 2002
Hilltop Farm regretfully announces the passing of a wonderful stallion and a real show jumping star. On November 13, 2002, the famous jumping stallion VIP passed away while enjoying a beautiful sunny day in his paddock. At nearly 24-years of age, VIP still came out of his stall each day with the exuberance of a 3-year old! No one would have guessed it would be his last day. VIP had a heart attack in his field and died very suddenly. Just moments before, he was enjoying his usual gallop through his paddock, gesturing to all that he was still "King of the Hill!"
VIP enjoyed a wonderful life as a show jumper under Steve Stephens and Debbie Dolan. As a 7-year old under Steve Stephens, VIP won the AGPA Championships, one of the youngest horses in the history of the sport at that time to win such a prestigious event. He continued on under Debbie Dolan to an international career as a show jumper. VIP's wins include:
- 1987 -- CSIO Spruce Meadows, Calgary Nations Cup
- 1987 -- CSIO Royal International, Toronto Nations Cup
- 1988 -- CSIO Mexico, Nations Cup (2nd place)
- 1989 -- CSIO Rome, Nations Cup
- 1989 -- CSIO Hickstead, England Nations Cup (2nd place)
- 1989 -- Grand Prix of Aachen -(3rd place)
- 1990 -- US World Equestrian Games Trials, Overall Best Score
- 1990-1991 -- Volvo East Coast World Cup League
- 1992 -- I Love New York Grand Prix
When VIP was retired from sport, he came to live at Hilltop Farm. We were blessed with many years of his exuberant expression and playful personality. We are grateful for VIP's offspring who are growing up in our fields and happy for those breeders who took advantage of his wonderful influence while he was with us. (Posted November 2002)
At the Pegasus Dinner during the USA Equestrian Convention, January 11, 2002, Jane MacElree was honored with the Ellen Scripps Davis Memorial Breeders Cup for her contribution to the sporthorse industry. Jane was elected as the one of two recipients for this year’s award and is the first warmblood sporthorse breeder to be given this honor. The award recognizes breeders who consistently produce outstanding individuals for the show arena. The other recipient this year was Sheila Varian, a breeder of Arabian horses. Honorees are nominated by USA Equestrian Committee members and elected by their Executive Committee. It was a thrill to witness Jane being acknowledged within the national spotlight. She is a woman who consistently gives so much to others and provides her on-going support to bring continued growth and possibility to this industry. (Posted March 2002)
Ten weeks following a surgery that was intended to prolong and sustain the quality of life for the 19-year old Holsteiner stallion, Hilltop Farm lost their founding sire Cabaret on October 28, 1999. An arthrocentesis was performed on the right front fetlock of the stallion in order to" fuse" the fetlock and create relief for a failing suspensory apparatus. The surgery went smoothly, but post-operative complications proved to be devastating for the grand stallion who so many well remember from his years in dressage competition under rider/ trainer Scott Hassler. “We grew up together, learned together, experienced life together. From the first ride on his back to the last, he gave an incomparable honesty, everyday enthusiasm, 100% heart and soul and a tremendous love for life." Cabaret will be most fondly remembered by those who loved him for “his humble pride, impeccable manners, and huge heart so clearly expressed through his eyes and actions." Cabaret (Cor de la Bryere-Landgraf-Consul) produced three approved sons in the US and one that stands in Germany, several prmium mares and champion offspring across the country. His influence as a breeding stallion extends across North America, to France, Germany and Australia.