If there ever was a mecca for North American sport horses, Hilltop Farm embodies it. With multiple inspections, Hilltop continues to be a public resource for breeders and riders alike. At the two-day ISR/Oldenburg NA inspection, 19 mares and 34 foals were presented alongside four stallions. “It starts with presentation and impression,” says Ekkehard Brysch and Deiter Felgendreher, the ISR/Oldenburg NA officials. “Our system is a living system of approval and sites like Hilltop have continuously, and generously allowed us to evolve the system.” Three of the four stallions were licenced, with Marydell Farm’s Doctor Wendell MF (Don Principe) winning champion stallion with an overall score of 223 points.
Also licensed was Meghan Sullivan’s Santino (San Remo); Equi Sport LLC’s Commando (Comic Hilltop). Hilltop Farm’s sires also took home top honors with their foals. Kathy LaCroix’s homebred Phoenix (Donarweiss) - scoring 8.2 for walk, 8.2 trot, 8.4 conformation and overall 8.2, earning champion colt, and Donna Z (Donarweiss), homebred by Barbara Bonk, who earned her Premium status with eight’s across the board. Salicora (Cordini), owned and bred by Laura Reick, was named champion filly with an overall 8.2. Five horses competed in the Mare Sporthorse Performance Test and all passed. Sheila O'Keefe's mare Due Process (Consul) had the high score.
Five colts and five fillies were entered into the premium book. The majority of the mares were approved for the Main Mare Book and several for the Pre-Mare Book due to pedigree restrictions.
“The key message of breeding,” notes Brysch, “is you have to improve one generation to to the next. Otherwise it’s reproduction and not breeding. We are seeing fewer premium candidates not because of the decrease in quality, but because the quality has increased so much that we can now have stricter standards.”
During break, the staff presented the lineup of ISR/Oldenburg NA approved stallions. While several, including four-year-old Rock Solid Warmbloods’ Hemmingway (Hofrat) were presented in hand, Qredit (Quaterback) and Don Principe (Donnerhall) were presented under saddle by Christopher Hickey and Michael Bragnell, as examples of training through the levels. Recently, both Hemmingway and Qredit have recently took back-to-back honors as Champion and Reserve Champion at Lamplight in the USEF Young Horse Championships Four Year Olds.