December 3rd, 2008:

The “EQUESTRIAN” prints the following congratulations:

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December 2008:  

 The magazine SIDELINES (credit to http://sidelinesnews.com/ ) has published the following articles. The first was written by Cathy Cottrill, what a wonderful author she is, a huge thank you to her!

 The second one is an article with questions to Elizabeth Ball about her, her horses and for sure about Selten HW, we attached that too for your information, we are delighted that he has such a wonderful new mom. It's quite funny that both articles were in the same issue, neither Beth nor Irene knew that this would be printed at the same time, even better!

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November 19th, 2008:

Huge congratulations to Kris and Dormellosohn (Dormello HW), another match made in heaven! Kris just sent a picture and her year end results, we are very proud to share them with you all. What an impressive and successful result list this is, we were sure she would have lots and lots of fun with him and be able to collect the ribbons, but she far expected our expectations by taking him everywhere and show him off as often as possible and look at all these scores?! WOW, just stunning, just really, really breathtaking, what a horse, what a pair!

Hi Irene: I have been waiting for all the year end results to send you an update. I've attached a photo from the Region 8 Regional Championships also.

Year End results for Kristine A Smith DVM and Dormellosohn (Dormello HW):

USDF Year End Awards  

Training Level 

First Level 

Adult Amateur 3rd place - median 71.2%   Adult Amateur 5th place - median 69.667%
Vintage Cup 2nd place    Vintage Cup 2nd place
Dressage Horse of the Year 29th place out of  Dressage Horse of the Year 43rd place
USDF All Breed Awards - Oldenburg (GOV)

Training Level  

First Level

Open 4th place Open 5th place
AA 1st place  AA 2nd place
Vintage Cup 1st place Vintage Cup 1st place
Musical Freestyle 2nd place
USDF Regional Championships Region 8 Reserve Champion First Level Musical Freestyle
New England Dressage Association Year End Awards
AA Training Level Reserve Champion 72.8% median
AA First Level Reserve Champion 70.0% median
Musical Freestyle 1st-4th Level Champion 74.375% median

Eastern NY Dressage & CT Association Year End Awards

Training Level Recognized Show Champion 73.007% average
First Level Recognized Show Reserve Champion 73.010% average
Dressage Master Champion 74736%

I'm having lots of fun with him, hope to do as well or better next year at second level. Kris

November 16th, 2008:

The girls keep it coming! Always in the ribbons, including the BLUES!

Gold Coast Dressage in Wellington, Florida, Fall Fling show, what an exciting and successful show:

Elite Donatella HW, what a dream horse. To collect the ribbons is like clock work for her. She managed to get the first high point of the day with Michelle Gerlach on board, they broke the 70% mark and won their class at Third Level, that was Donna’s 2nd time to show 3rd level and she won both classes! Afterwards, in another class, Vivienne Wiederhold tried her best with Donna at Third Level (Vivienne’s first time showing 3rd level ever!) and they tied for 2nd and 3rd place. With this, Vivienne (17 year old girl) is now only one score away from the Bronze Medal within less then a year and with the same horse, which she even broke herself. This mare is truly amazing, showing always that she is a pro in the show ring, confident and fun to watch, no matter if the rider is a professional or a young rider trying new levels for the first time, she always gives 100%. She showed off clean flying changes, amazing extended trot, great lateral work and made us really proud. We can’t wait to see her son Sundance HW go under saddle in two years.

Elite Candidate Santina HW, what a lovely, lovely horse and she was again a STAR! This was her second horse show in her young life and she collected her first blue ribbon with a score of over 71% in Training Level. In addition, she placed in her other class at Training Level, both tests were with young rider Vivienne Wiederhold on board. This horse is always in the ribbons! They rode in 4 different rings, including a covered riding arena, where the rain came (super loud noise) and went within their test and Santina kept her cool. She was acting like she has done it often before and was super sweet to handle all the time. The many other horses, trucks, trailers, tractors, water trucks, tents, nothing really bothered her. No lunging, no fuss, we just tacked her up in front of the stall, Vivienne hopped on and off they went to the show rings. Hard to believe that a 3 year old horse can be as confident and reliable and it is fun to see her mature and progress.

November 11th, 2008:

THE AMERICAN HANOVERIAN prints the following article of Selten HW:

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November 8th, 2008:

Three classes, four ribbons (one for each class plus the High Point Champion ribbon and a saddle pad!), what a successful day!

Well, well, everything was going as planned and the hard work paid out. At the SWFDA show, Elite Donatella HW was able to shine at her 3rd level debut, being only 6 years old and with a foal in 2007, that’s quite an accomplishment. She was High Point Champion, won her class and showed off her flying changes, lateral work and her trot extensions which scored nice 8’s. As we left the show grounds in the afternoon, she even had the highest score of the whole day, what a girl. Congratulations and huge thank you to Michelle Gerlach.

Elite candidate Santina HW had a debut too. This was her very first horse show and our 17 year old daughter was in the saddle of this 3 year old sweet girl. With enough power and stamina to show off but super safe nonetheless, it was really fun to watch the two. They placed 2nd and 3rd in Training Level, congratulations to Vivienne Wiederhold for a job well done and thanks to Michelle for coaching and training them.

October 2008

Copyright and Newsletter, Hilltop Farm Inc: It's been a whirlwind here at Hilltop Farm recently with excellent results at Dressage at Devon and USDF Regional Championships. 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%. In the FEI Dressage Test for Six Year-Olds, Cabana Boy (Contucci -  Bordeaux) and Chris Hickey won with a 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.


October 15th, 2008:

Hi Irene,

Just an update on Cameron. He has had a very good show season.....all at USDF recognized shows. This weekend, we were at another recognized show in Raeford, NC where he won two large classes.....a Training 2 class with at 73.9 and a Training 3 class with a 76%. The 76% was the high score of the show!

He is such a kind boy.....always nuzzling your neck, etc. We just love him!

Best to you!

October 11th, 2008:

Sandjour Hit: Highpoint of the day!

We are just back from the horse show in Fort Myers, Florida. It was great to see all friends and horses again and to see how much they have improved within the last months of competition summer break in our extremely hot area. One especially caught my eye, he was even prettier then in the videos and has filled out nicely and was super attractive. Sandjour Hit developed extremely nice and what a fancy mover he is - he scored solid 8’s for gaits in both of his tests.

Huge congratulations for Holly and her boy, a job well done, keep up the good work!!! She just sent the following e-mail:

Hi Irene: Thank you so much for being at our first show. Sunny was a star. He got the highest score of the day, 71%, and 65% in his second test. Two blue ribbons our first time out and before a very well respected Judge in Joan Humphrey. I so appreciate you and Vivienne being there for me. You have been so supportive of our progress. Your help is inmeasurable (if that is a word). Holly


October 8th, 2008:

Hannahlea HW was the Super Star at the Oklahoma Hanoverian (AHS) mare inspection and she won her mare performance test as well as the inspection itself and was declared CHAMPION MARE!

This is the 3rd horse imported by HW Farm whom can claim this valuable title within just 3 years!

She is a super lovely girl whom got lots and lots of 8’s and the judges and the audience absolutely adored her. She was well behaved, showed off her super rideability, scoring an 8.5 (!!!!) and was even taped for the TV showing off her Champion ribbons. Amanda Bailey did an outstanding job to prepare her properly for this important day in a mares life in all disciplines. She showed outstanding in the jump chute, in hand as well as under saddle.

A huge thank you to Amanda, you go girl!!!

They are a match made in heaven and we’d love to see Amanda and Hannah in the future together as well, sadly Hannahlea HW is for sale as we can’t keep them all and somebody else will be the lucky person to buy and show her as well as to breed her now or later. ET comes to mind with a mare like her, she is out of a super strong dam line and all her family is very successful.

What a day – what a mare and yes, what did we say? Good breeding always shows!


October 8th, 2008:

Hannah is absolutely lovely and a joy to ride.  Mare performance test was indoor but Amanda graciously rode her for me in the outdoor where she is even more gorgeous in the full sunlight.  It was a pleasure to meet one of your super stars in person.

Hannahlea HW - Champion Mare
AHS Inspections -
Woodridge Farm
October 8 scoring 8.5 Rideability on her Mare Performance Test.  Hannahlea is available for purchase. "It's a joy to ride this mare"

Check out http://Dressage.com --- center column :)  Updated your ad page, too.

October 7th, 2008:

We are very proud to report, that Santina HW fulfilled all requirements to become a Hanoverian Elite Candidate. A huge thank you goes to all whom made it possible. To Vivienne Wiederhold whom rode her over the year and to Maya Sniadecky whom prepared her excellent for the mare performance test as well as for the mare inspection. Thanks go also out to all helpers and a really well organized inspection site in Ocala, Florida. Santina HW was super well behaved, being just 3 years old and started this year, she acted like a pro. She did everything she was asked for, including free jumping, showing in hand on the triangle and going under saddle for the performance test. She was a star, never blinked an eye and always focused on her rider/handler. What a mare! We have huge hopes for her future carrier. Maya also reported that Santina HW loved to hack out and go in the fields and that she had a ton of fun with her. She will be suitable for the amateur and professional alike, a super combination of bloodlines, looks and brains. Santina HW is out of a very strong damline and sired by Sandro Hit, her grand dam is also the dam of Donatella HW, another really sensational mare.

The judges said: ”This is what everybody should be striving to breed!”

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 Good breeding always shows.


October 6th, 2008:

Hey Irene!

Hope you are doing well! Riccie is fabulous, he is currently ranked fourth in the nation in the Amateur Owner 18-35 hunter division. This year he has qualified for all of the big national horse shows, Devon, PA National, Washington, and the Syracuse Invitational Sporthorse Tournament! He is such a good boy and has been Champion or Reserve at most of my horse shows this year. I still cant believe he is only 6 years old, most of the horses he is competing against are a bit older and have been competing at this level for a couple of years. For his first year at this level he could not be doing any better, he has such a great brain and takes great care of me! I will send some pics soon! Also, I love Hannahlea HW, she is so nice!!

Talk with you soon!


Hi Irene,

I just wanted to let you know that I got a wonderful surprise yesterday. I found out that Faulkner was Third Level Open Champion of the Kentucky show that he attended a couple of weeks ago. It was his first time to show in a year, and his first time at this Level. I just wanted to take this time to thank-you once again for finding me such an amazing horse who is well on his way to being the FEI horse of my dreams! 



September26th, 2008:



Just about 2 weeks after being the WINNER at the Young Horse Dressage Championships in Kentucky, Selten HW was able to WOW the judges at Devon 2008! With super scores, this fancy black horse won both of his USEF 4 yo classes. He was well behaved as usual, showed himself willing and 100% rideable with a smiling Michael Bragdell in the saddle. Congratulations to this super team and to Beth whom consistently supports the boys.



2008 U.S. Young Horse Championships

Selten HW, Winsor and Cabana Boy Win 2008 U.S. Young Horse Championships

September 18, 2008

Selten HW, Winsor and Cabana Boy captured the title of U.S. young Horse Champion at the 2008 U.S. Young Horse Championships in Lexington, Kentucky, September 12-14, 2008. 112075.jpg (29558 bytes)

In the final day of competition with fierce winds gushing around 50 miles an hour, it were Nicole Bellah and Winsor who prevailed by winning the five-year-old championship division while Christopher Hickey and U.S.-bred Cabana Boy swept the six-year-old division of the 2008 U.S. Young Horse Dressage Championships.

Claiming the title in the four-year-old division were Michael Bragdell and Selten HW, besting 19 other horses

to win with a score of 8.56. 112004.jpg (29481 bytes)

Bragdell and Selten HW came into this competition in first place after qualifying. Bragdell decided to ride in the optional warm up class the day before the championship, which helped him and Selten HW get a feel for the arena along with the overall show environment— ultimately they placed first in the class.

“I was pretty confident that he would be okay with all the stuff but you never know— it’s a four-year-old,” said Bragdell.

Selten HW (by Sandro Hit out of MS High Princess by Hohenstein) is a black Hanoverian stallion owned by Cadence, LLC., and was bred in the U.S. by Irene Hoeflich-Wiederhold. Selten HW has been at Hilltop Farm since he was a yearling and Bragdell, who is a trainer at Hilltop, started him when he was three years old. Though lightly shown, Selten HW’s accomplishments have been big, including starting off his show career with a Reserve Champion at the Devon Horse Show when he was only two years old.

“He’s such a super horse,” said Bragdell. “He just goes in there, the winds blowing… I felt the wind gust kind of grab a hold of me and he still is just clucking along like nothing. That’s the part I love about him—the trainability. He just goes wherever I point him.”

Bragdell described Selten HW’s personality as very easy going and he knew the horse was special when he sat his first canter on him.

“His canter is unbelievable,” said Bragdell. “I guess it takes you away. It’s truly an incredible feeling.”

Bragdell hopes to build on Selten HW’s success and return to the Young Horse Dressage Championship next year to compete in the five-year-old division.

More Coverage and Interviews on this championship at Dressagedaily.com

Related Links
Scores of the 2008 U.S. Young Horse Championships
Guenter Seidel and U II Win the 2008 US Developing Horse Championship




September 15th, 2008:


Huge congratulations to Selten HW, he scored perfect 9’s for trot and canter, 8’s for walk and submission and an 8.8 for general impression. All combined results in the winning score of 8.56! He was the only horse in the competition of nationals best 19 horses in the four year old class, scoring 9’s on trot and canter. We are so proud to have bred this boy and thankful that he is in super hands with Hilltop Farms Inc. and we’d like to thank them for the continued support and phenomenal education this horse receives on a regular basis.

 Selten HW was bred and raised at HW Farm in Cape Coral. After his first year he got included in the stallion herd at Hilltop from there on. Michael Bragdell broke him and rides him since and it is amazing to see these two compete.

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On the Scene - 2008 Markel/USEF National Young Horse Dressage Championships and Developing Horse Championship

From Across the Nation America's Finest Young Horses Come to Kentucky
By Jeannie Blancq Putney for DressageDaily

The nation’s top young horses from California to Massachusetts have gathered at the Kentucky Horse Park home of the 2010 Alltech World Equestrian Games for the Markel/USEF National Young Horse Championships and the USEF National Developing Horse Dressage Championship.  For some it was an arduous journey but well worth the honor of being invited.  One family left their farm in Florida with Hurricane Ike bearing down on them. 

One made the cross-country trip from California and camped out along the way.  Some are first-timers.  One is an Olympic athlete.  One of the interesting tidbits this year—the fifth year of the Young Horse program—is the number of horses that are U.S. bred.  Another is the number of competitors who have competed in this program multiple years, some with the same horse, allowing them to see true progress in the development of the nation’s strongest young equine talent.


On the Scene - 2008 Markel/USEF National Young Horse Dressage Championships and Developing Horse Championship

Michael Bragdell and Selten HW Win Markel/USEF National Dressage Four-Year-Old Young Horse Championship
By Jeannie Blancq Putney for DressageDaily

On a hot and sticky day that would have made it hard for any youngster to keep their composure, 16 of the nation’s top young horses showed us how it was done at the four-year-old finale.  Two of the first four riders of the day, Michael Bragdell and Emily Gershberg walked away with the champion and reserve champion titles respectively. 

Emily came into this championship ranked first and Michael, ranked second.  Both riders have ridden with Chris Hickey who enjoyed a proud moment today.  Michael’s mount, Selten HW, is a Hanoverian stallion by Sandro Hit out of MS High princess by Hohenstein, owned by Cadence, LLC and was bred in the U.S. by Irene Hoeflich-Wiederhold.  Michael’s winning score of 8.56 was evident by the judge’s highly complimentary feedback even before they gave their collective marks.  “He is just so long-legged,” they said.  “It looks like he has spider legs.  He is so balanced and so much off the ground.  We are sitting here, and you make it look so easy.  He seems to have a workmanlike brain and a lot of personality.  Today that personality was for good and not evil.  We all know what stallions can be like.”

Selten HW received 9s for his walk and canter and 8.8 for his overall impression.  The two have been a pair for a year since Michael started with him as a three-year-old.  Michael’s first year in the championship was last year when he competed in the five-year-old class.  Michael describes Selten as easygoing and kind of like a big child and says he knew Selten was special when he first sat his canter.  “It’s truly an incredible feeling.”

Originally from Sweden, Michael is a Hilltop employee who started out as a working student.



Michael Bragdell and Selten HW Win the Four-Year-Old Division in the 2008 Markel/USEF National Young Horse Dressage Championships presented by Collecting Gaits Farm

Release: September 13 2008

Lexington, KY – In the second day of competition at the 2008 Markel/United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) National Young Horse Dressage Championships presented by Collecting Gaits Farm, claiming the title in the four-year-old division was Michael Bragdell and Selten HW, besting 19 other horses to win with a score of 8.56.

Bragdell and Selten HW came into this competition in first place after qualifying. Bragdell decided to ride in the optional warm up class the day before the championship, which helped him and Selten HW get a feel for the arena along with the overall show environment— ultimately they placed first in the class.

“I was pretty confident that he would be okay with all the stuff but you never know— it’s a four-year-old,” said Bragdell.

Selten HW (Sandro Hit x MS High Princess by Hohenstein) is a black Hanoverian stallion owned by Cadence, LLC., and was bred in the U.S. by Irene Hoeflich-Wiederhold. Selten HW has been at Hilltop Farm since he was a yearling and Bragdell, who is a trainer at Hilltop, started him when he was three years old. Though lightly shown, Selten HW’s accomplishments have been big, including starting off his show career with a Reserve Champion at the Devon Horse Show when he was only two years old.

“He’s such a super horse,” said Bragdell. “He just goes in there, the winds blowing… I felt the wind gust kind of grab a hold of me and he still is just clucking along like nothing. That’s the part I love about him—the trainability. He just goes wherever I point him.”

Bragdell described Selten HW’s personality as very easy going and he knew the horse was special when he sat his first canter on him.

“His canter is unbelievable,” said Bragdell. “I guess it takes you away. It’s truly an incredible feeling.”

Bragdell hopes to build on Selten HW’s success and return to the Young Horse Dressage Championship next year to compete in the five-year-old division.

Hi Irene,

You'll probably remember I was the one who bought Chiccolino off of you a couple years ago. I have always felt bad that I never gave you a testimonial. We were just in the process of moving and I was finishing school and things just seem to slip by. So after two years Chico as he's known at the barn has been one of the best young horses I have ever worked with. He has been competing second level this year and has been getting scores in the high 60's low 70's we just competed in our provincial championships and regional championships which he was open champion for both. What's been really nice about training him, he is the first 6yr old I have ever been able to go on vacation for two weeks come back and go riding outside and he is just happy to work and never does anything goofy or scary.

I hope all is going well!


September 15th, 2008:

Hannahlea HW was in Kentucky at the Kentucky Horse Park and proved to be a one of a kind youngster. Easy to handle, a total blast at the show grounds, Amanda Bailey (her rider) was able to just tack her up in front of the stall and ride her down to the many show rings without blinking an eye. Many people commented on her rideability, stunning looks and movement and that it is near unbelievable, that she is only a baby. Unbothered by the new surroundings, heat, very strong winds and many more things she continued sure footed to win two of her classes as well as to secure a second and a third place all in one weekend! We were so happy to see her again and to witness how she keeps developing. Her temperament is near unflappable and she will make her future mom or dad very, very happy.

She is for sale, check her out!

Huge congratulations, hugs and many thanks to Amanda and this super star!

September 15th, 2008:

Huge congratulations to Faulkner and his owner Amanda Bailey. Faulkner was his first time out showing 3rd level and came home with THREE BLUE RIBBONS! They were in Kentucky at the Kentucky Horse Park over the weekend and he was shown by Jim Koford. We were there too and witnessed outstanding movement, lots of airtime and impressive gaits and uphill, clean flying changes. Wow, what a boy. He grew into his body, super balance, stunning looks and he developed into a real star and show stopper. He looked like a true FEI horse and we are sure he will keep going his way up the levels and we will see many more great results in the future.

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September 14th, 2008:

Congratulations to Summer, she was 2nd in a dressage horse class at First Level, scoring an 8,5 for trot, 9 for canter and 8 for walk!

Finn (Fly Away HW) and I are having a great time and I’m so in love with him.  I am so lucky to have found and purchased him, thank you!  We have been slowly showing, I’m taking it easy with him.  We recently had a really great show and got a 67% at training.  He was a very good boy!  Anyway, I hope business is well for you.  I was just looking and Hudson on your website and think he is really cute!   Talk to you soon.  Take care,


July 16th, 2008:

Selten HW, in place 2 for the 2008 USEF National Young horse Ranking List for the 2008 National Championship sponsered by Markel Insurance. He has an overall average of 8.48 as of now, first place is at 8,5, that’s really close!

July 13th, 2008

Hi Irene,

I know you think we have dropped off the earth.....but we haven't! We purchased Cameron HW (out of Contendro) from you 2 years ago....and somewhere in the process, we changed e-mail servers.....so you had no way to contact me. Anyway.....wanted to give you an update on Cameron.

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He is now six. He did quite well his first year.....then went through a "growth spurt"... and needed to "figure out his body, etc". We took him to mostly local shows and he did win end of year High Score for a series at one farm. We did not want to push him....wanted to take it at HIS pace instead of ours. We actually put him out to pasture for about 3 months.....and it was one of the best things we could have done. We started him back up last fall and he is very happy in his work. We have been to 3 USDF recognized shows this year (showing Training Level) and has won numerous classes with scores in the 70's and is frequently getting 8 on gaits. I keep show results, etc updated on our website (with pictures)....so I will give you the link.........On our farm page, the photo of the horse looking out the window is Cameron. He is a happy boy and we are very happy with him. We have just sent off to have him registered with the American Hanoverian Society (for yearend award eligibility)....and have submitted the name of Cameron OR Cameron HW.

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Just wanted to update you....


July 10th, 2008

Hi Irene,   I have been meaning to write with all my good news.

 Dani is doing great.  He had his first show debut in April right at our barn.  My trainer rode him and he was just perfect, both in the warm up and his classes.  He ended up winning both his classes easily as well as overall high-point for the show with a score of 77%.  He won a fancy halter and a great pair of MDC stirrups.  The owner of MDC stirrups sponsors the prize of a pair of these neat stirrups for the "75% club" for rides of 75% or over at selected USDF shows.   Two weeks later my trainer took him to his first away show and he again won his classes with scores above 70%.  The weather was cold and windy, and he was still a perfect gentleman...very steady and relaxed.  There was a 2 hour trailer ride to the show grounds.  He trailered beautifully, got off the trailer like he did this every day, had an uneventful lunge in the round pen in his halter and lead line, and then my trainer warmed up about 10 min under saddle before going in to ride a wonderful test.  He could not have been better.  He munched hay in the trailer all day while other horses were showing, and trailered home and back the next day for a repeat performance.  He was happy and relaxed and seems to really enjoy showing! In May, I started riding him for my lessons and am having a blast.  The first night I rode him was a Tuesday night at 6:30 after work.  That night it was cold and windy.  Up until that night, he had only been ridden in the day, and always by my trainer.  He was relaxed and wonderful for her, and I hopped on and he was just as good for me, and so easy and fun.  In fact, it was so easy and fun that I decided to show him 3 days later at a USDF show at our barn.  We got a 67+%, despite my rider errors.  I am totally hooked and in love and have been loving every ride since.  I usually ride 3 days a week, and my trainer works with him the other days.  We are entered for our next show in 2 weeks....can't wait. I knew you would be happy and proud to hear what a great boy he is.  Please pass along the good news to his breeder.  I am so grateful to have such a fun, talented, easy, and well-behaved horse.  I know he is happy too.

July 08th, 2008

Hi Irene :  I am so excited to tell you that Sunny (Sandjour Hit) had his show debut yesterday in the 4 year old  FEI Young Horse class among some very stiff competition in Gainesville , Florida and the Summer Sizzler I.    He got an overall score of 70% with an 8.5 on his walk and kudos from Judges Sue Madden Mandas and Nancy Harris as to his future as a Dressage Horse Star.  He was shown by Maya Sniadecky .  Sunny just turned 4 in June and this was his very first out.   He now returns home to me to continue his schooling and prep for the 5 year old test next year.  Thank you for sending me such a wonderful and talented horse.  Holly

June 25th, 2008, info from the Hilltop Farm Newsletter:

Selten HW (Sandro Hit - Hohenstein), owned by Cadence LLC, is currently ranked 3rd in the Nation for Four Year Olds with Michael Bragdell and just received an amazing 85% in his Training Level Test 4 class this past weekend. 

June 24th, 2008:

Hi Irene, guess what!!! Our boy (Selten HW) got an 85% at a show today with a couple of 10's and multiple nines... Michael is doing such a great job with Selten, who is nothing less than spectacular.

Hope you're well,


June 16th, 2008:

Nicole writes: WEF- Dressage in Wellington. I ventured to Wellington for the first time ever to participate in the dressage show. What a place! I had no idea how busy it was....the sheer volume of horses in such a small area was a little overwhelming. Not to mention the show jumping going on all around the dressage rings! Thankfully my horses were well-behaved but we saw more than one get excused from the ring. I took my new horse "Prince Charming" that I have had about a month and did my very first 4th level tests. (Wow - those are some long tests to remember!). He placed 6th and 7th but only because of the comments "more forward". This I know.... but until I can sit to his HUGE trot we have to make do. He was awesome - very attentive in the ring and all business. I was pleased with the horses and how they did among some very good competition.

June 11th, 2008:

Hannahlea HW’s half brother by Don Frederico, out of her dam River Queen (Rotspon/Weltmeyer) just won the show in Beedenbostel and got accepted to go to the Elite-Foal Auction in Verden. This foal is a dream in type and movement, just like the Sir Donnerhall foal from last year, whom won the show in Wittingen. This is a fabulous bloodline and strong damline in addition to super stallions and a lucky and well educated hand by the breeder whom always picks the right matches.

Congratulations to Torben to this successful offspring again and again. You rock!

June 10th, 2008: Huge congratulations to Beth, Hilltop Farms and Selten HW!

 Hi Irene, just got news of Selten HW winning both his classes this past weekend - he's now qualified for Kentucky!  He got 9's on his trot and canter, and 8.7 on walk, etc., overall I think was around 8.6 or 8.7.  I'm so pleased with Michael's riding, and feel fortunate that Chris Hickey is looking after them as well.  I'll try to go to Ky. for the championships, to cheer them on! 

I've been busy getting qualified and ready for the Int. 1 champs... it turns out I get to take both my horses!  So, I'm putting together an other Kur, a little last minute!  I'll ride it for the first time this weekend, at a local show, then the following weekend is the big finals... It's all really fun!

  X Beth

May 13th, 2008, e-mail from Nicole, congratulations to this team:


We did our last show here in Florida and Phatman (Prince Charming) was awesome. The first day he was a little tense and placed 2nd in the 4th level 1 test. On Sunday he was great, scoring 62% in the 4th level test 2, winning the class and the second place was on a 55%! We have one more show in June at 4th level, then we try our first PSG.

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Quote from Hilltop’s website:

Spring Dressage at Morven Park

Trainer Michael Bragdell got Hilltop’s regular show season off to a running start this weekend at VADA/ Nova’s Spring Dressage Competition in Leesburg, Virginia. He came home with several wins, including two first place finishes on Selten-HW, Cadence LLC’s young stallion, in the USEF Four Year Old Test. Michael and Selten scored a 8.2 on Sunday and an impressive 8.7 on Saturday, receiving comments such as “super horse”, “active, expressive” and “impressively talented” from Judges Betsy Berry, Lorraine MacDonald and Brenda Minor.

April 25th, 2008:

 The April Center Line of SWFDA prints the following article about the Young Riders Clinic with Anne Gribbons and Steffen Peters in Wellington, Vivienne Wiederhold and Donatella HW were participating and had a lot of fun! Read here about their experiences:

April 21st, 2008:

 Huge congratulations go out to our homebred Champion stallion “Selten HW” and his new owner as well as his rider and the training barn Hilltop. We could not be more happy and thrilled with their success, great work and amazing accomplishments.

Selten HW ranks officially in FIRST PLACE of the 2008 USEF National Young Horse List, four–year–old–division with an overall score of 8.18!

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March 24th, 2008, The Center Line (SWFDA) printed the following article written and submitted by Lisa Braren:

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Synopsis of the  Wellington 2008 Junior/Young Rider Clinic
Submitted by:  Lisa Braren and Vivienne Wiederhold – 3/11/08

Stillpoint Farm in Wellington, Florida, High Meadow Farm, in White Fences, Loxahatchee, Florida, and Dr. Cetty Weiss, along with a long list of fantastic sponsors, played host to a weekend of fun and educational experiences for eighteen fortunate up and coming teenage dressage riders.  “O” judge, FEI rider, and trainer, Anne Gribbons, and FEI competitor and trainer, Steffen Peters, were on hand to orchestrate the training sessions.  Other guest clinicians included Dr. Gordan, Kathy Connelly, Dr. Steve Engles D.V.M., Mrs. Roberta Williams, and Mary Phelps.  Our own Vivienne Wiederhold aboard her magnificent mare, EM Donatella HW, was one of the participants.

The participants were showered with gifts and parties.  A welcome party, a going away get together, souvenirs of hats, polo shirts, saddle pads, tickets to Challenge of the Americas, all helped promote friendship and fun amidst the education and hard work.  Participants were treated to mini in-services in addition to their private training sessions. These included Kathy Connelly teaching methods of long lining, watching a chiropractic adjustment, learning about equine nutrition from a Purina spokesperson, and Mary Phelps’ biography of DressageDaily encouraging horse career opportunities.  Attending the Challenge of the Americas in support of breast cancer awareness and finding a cure was particularly amazing.  Not only was it truly enjoyable, but it was an education just to see that even top professionals have difficulties with their horses!  Everybody makes mistakes and has training obstacles to overcome – even at huge public performances.  (A favorite saying of ours is that the only difference between an amateur and a professional is that the professional knows how to cover their mistakes better!  And – it’s true!)

The purpose of a clinic is to boost the horse and rider team ahead – give some additional goals for them to go back with their regular trainer and work on achieving little by little at home - refine particular movements, and/or help overcome a hurdle.  It may serve to reaffirm that you are definitely on the right track.  Additionally, the participants hopefully hear educational focus and training advice that aligns with what they have been studying or trying to accomplish in perhaps a slightly different way.  This allows for the same information explained from a different vantage point to hopefully make such an impression that the rider experiences that “ah ha” “light-bulb” “now I get it” moment.  In other words, if you as the rider are listening to the same opinion from your trainer, the judge at a horse show, and a clinician, you can be pretty sure that whatever it is, it does need your immediate and undivided attention.  Conversely, it is almost impossible, no matter how experienced with numerous pedagogical credentials the clinician or judge has, for them to be one hundred percent correct and on the money every time.  It is most difficult to assess a whole picture of a horse and rider team from two rides at a show or clinic, and that is something that the participant and their regular trainer have to critique afterwards and either refine their training focus, or realize that that particular point was only valid at that one particular moment in time on that day and not a reoccurring deficit.  Every horse, and every rider, can not be at the top of their game for thousands of reasons on a daily basis, and this needs to be taken into consideration.  Hopefully, the learning opportunity presented by a clinic will energize and excite the participants to desire and strive for continuous improvement.

Clinic participants need to understand all of this so that their experience at clinics is a positive one.  They also need to know that there are many do’s and don’ts that are considered “politically correct clinic etiquette.”  The following is a partial list to help.

DO arrive on time – in fact, schedule yourself so that you will have ample time to warm up and be ready for your ride. 

  • DO  NOT be late.
  • DO be a team player and support your fellow participants.
  • DO NOT object if the clinician runs late.  After all – you will want the clinician to give you their full attention and help during your ride, too, even if that means running over your allotted time.
  • DO wear lovely clean breeches and tucked in shirts with gloves and a helmet each day. 
  • DO used sponsored saddle pads and shirts
  • DO NOT wear show attire – it is not considered proper.
  • DO be sure that your horse is meticulously cleaned, groomed and braided.  Clinicians consider it a compliment to their expertise for the horse to enter the ring braided.
  • DO be sure that your horse has clean saddle pads for each ride and that all the tack is clean.
  • DO be ready to work and concentrate very hard.
  • DO greet the clinician when you enter the ring with a proper salutation.
  • DO NOT talk too much, however.  The clinician will ask questions about you and your horse’s background…answer appropriately, brief, and to the point.
  • DO NOT argue with the clinician. 
  • DO try your very best for the full lesson even if the work is hard or different than what you are used to doing.
  • DO ask questions if you do not understand something.
  • DO understand that there will be auditors who will hear both your strengths and weaknesses publically stated
  • DO video tape your rides so that you can watch them over again and learn from them.  Often, you are so busy concentrating, you may miss something.
  • DO ask questions about opinions on future training goals when the session is over.
  • DO be sure to appropriately thank the clinician as you leave the ring.
  • DO be sure to cool out your equine friend and partner properly and thoroughly, and massage him/her with appropriate brace and/or liniment as the work load of a clinic is usually more than what is experienced during a normal training session.
  • DO be sure to hand walk your equine friend and partner in between sessions, and/or arrange for turn out if possible.
  • DO be sure to thoroughly clean your stall and space in the barn.
  • DO be sure to dispose of manure the way that facility requires.
  • DO be sure to follow all the rules of the host facility.
  • DO NOT borrow anything with out asking – of course, being sure to immediately return it.
  • DO be sure to leave everything the way you found it – or even better.
  • DO NOT leave the premises without thanking everyone involved.
  • DO be sure that all bills are paid in full prior to your leaving.
  • DO remember to conduct yourself at all times as a respectful, responsible, humble, person of fine character because the overall impression you make on others is important and has a lasting effect.
  • (NOTE – a written thank you note to the organizers and clinician afterwards is a nice touch!)

Vivienne and Donatella rode beautifully and represented themselves admirably.  They performed as if they had vast experience at attending clinics, and showed themselves to be of fine character and ability.  They earned the numerous accolades they received from their clinician, Anne Gribbons, and can be so very proud of themselves.  Mrs. Gribbon’s assessment of Donatella is that she is an exceptionally smart mare, nice big size, with wonderful gaits, and definitely has the ability to “go all the way.”  (FEI – here they come!)  She noticed immediately that Donatella is very willing and tries to do everything right.  Mrs. Gribbons also complimented Vivienne about her riding talent and ability.  She also remarked that Vivienne had such nice long legs - just perfect for riding dressage. This introduction into the upper echelon of the dressage world was productive, and a smashing success.

A very special thank you to the wonderful sponsors for their support of the future of dressage – our junior and young riders!

  • Weiss Family Chiropractic Center
  • Karen Offield Farms in support of the Equestrian Aid Foundation
  • Renee Isler in support of Paige Finnegan and Tokyo
  • HWFarm.com/Horse Sales LLC
  • Sal Massage
  • Two Swans Farm
  • Stillpoint Farm
  • Sho Clothes
  • DressageDaily.com
  • Mary Phelps/ Markel Equine Insurance
  • Purina
  • Sidelines Magazine


March 11th, 2008: 
More news from EM Donatella HW’s famous brother. Congratulations to the owners and rider, what a great job, keep up the good work!

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February 25th, 2008.

This sign just came in the mail, looks good! In addition, Donna and Vivienne were at another recognized horse show in Fox Lea, Venice on February 23rd 2008 and rocked again. They won their 2 First Level classes and collected their scores for the Bronze Medal and they were 2nd in Second Level again. So 3 times out for Second Level and 3 x Second place? Yeah! As we left late in the day, they had collected the second highest score of all competitors until then. What a great team and you could clearly see, that they had fun together.

Congratulations to EM Donatella HW, Vivienne Wiederhold and their trainer Bob Braren as well as a huge thank you to all friends whom welcomed us so warmly again at the show grounds.

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Feb 11th, 2008:

 2008, The American Hanoverian Society displays  EM Donatella HW (Don Frederico/Weltmeyer),  in their Breeder’s Guide, Stallion Directory, Mare Book. She is a New Elite Mare through foaling out Sundance HW.

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Feb 6th, 2008

  An angel was born: Shakira HW   - Our second and last Sandro Hit daughter out of SPS High Princess (Hohenstein/Donnerhall/Bolero).  We hoped for another girl and full sibling to Sagenhaft HW, Selten HW, Skywalker HW, Soraya HW - yeah! Refined, elegant black/bay filly with a small/pretty head by the famous Sandro Hit, born February 6th, 2008 at our farm in Cape Coral, Florida.

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Feb 2nd and 3rd, 2008:

 Picture this:  How about a debut at second level with two scores above a 69% in two separate rides with two different judges!?  Ride a horse that earns 8’s on both gaits and impulsion!  Add to this a rider who just turned seventeen who receives an 8 for seat and position!  This is something that all dressage riders dream about – but it was reality for Vivienne Wiederhold and her lovely mare, EM Donatella HW at the American Dressage Concourse at Fox Lea Farm in Venice, Florida, on February 2nd and 3rd, 2008.  Congratulations to them for their fantastic and beautiful rides and two second place finishes their first time out at second level!

January 9th, 2008:

Hi!  Things are GREAT!  We are definitely learning to sit a BIG TROT with lots of ease and grace...attached is a recent clinic that I attended and they were so impressed with Roman, his appearance, his demeanor and thought he/we "looked" exactly as a dressage pair should look....and can you believe it, our photo made the front page of their Newsletter!!!  He's won his classes in 4th level 4th Test in Houston with Blue Ribbons...obviously with my trainer aboard, so way trained better than myself and I'm learning everyday on him!  I can't thank you enough and would highly recommend any amateur to purchase through you as your knowledge and expertise in helping me pick out Roman was wonderful...not to mention he was of the highest quality!
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Thanks so much!


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