by Katherine O. Rizzo (first published in the February 2023 Equiery)
Maryland-breds topped several sport horse lists around the country this year from Cleveland Bays to Quarter Horses and many other breeds, Maryland continues to produce champion level horses for all sorts of disciplines.
Marcia Brody of Magnific Sporthorses in Middletown had two homebreds make it into the top 10 for national awards with the U.S. Eventing Association (USEA). The four-year-old Magnific C’Imagination (Cimarron x Magnific Fashion) finished the year ranked sixth nationally for the U.S. Event Horse Futurity finals. This gelding is owned by Julie Pifer.
At the USEA’s Future Event Horse East Coast Championships, Brody’s own Magnific Coco Chanel (Magnific Cimon x Duckling) won the Two-Year-Old championship. The filly was handled by Martin Douzant for the year-end competition. She also earned special distinction as the FEH National High Scoring Two-Year-Old.
Maryland Horse Council member Didi Callahan of Cool Na Arena Sporthorses in Oxford has been producing top eventing sport horses for several years with some homebreds competing up through the five-star level. In 2022, five of her homebreds finished the season with notable results.
Cape Fear (Crumble x Sweet City Woman) won the FEH West Coast Yearling Championship earning the highest score in the history of the West Coast FEH championships. Cape Fear also earned the highest score nationally for all FEH yearlings.
Here in Maryland, Utah Beach (Ulmar Mail x Avalon) was named the FEH East Coast Three-Year-Old champion and also earned the highest score nationally for FEH three-year-olds. His full brother, Union City earned the Reserve Championship for the East Coast Young Event Horse Four-Year-Old championships. He was also named the 2022 U.S. Event Horse Futurity overall winner.
Quantum Leap (Quite Capitol x Report to Sloopyxx), owned and ridden by Doug Payne, finished out the season as the USEF National 5* Champion. The pair finished third at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event and also ninth at the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill.
In the American Quarter Horse world, Dana Grafft of Reiners Rule in Frederick had two horses earn national top 10 rankings and one qualified for the annual Run For A Million in Las Vegas, NV.
Commanding The Storm, a four-year-old stallion, qualified for the Non Pro division in the Run For A Million with Grafft as his breeder, owner and rider.
GoinCommandoInTheSno qualified for the National Reined Cow Horse Association Open Two Rein Qualifier for the NRCHA Celebration of Champions World Show. The World Show will take place this month in San Antonio, TX. Rebecca Lipka rode for the qualifier and Jennifer Hohmann will be riding in the finals.
Maryland Horse Council member Hilltop Farm, Inc. in Colora had a fantastic season with several Maryland-breds in the sport of dressage.
Louisville HTF (Lord Leatherdale-Negro), owned/bred by Hilltop Farm and ridden by Michael Bragdell, won the First Level Open Championship at the U.S. Dressage Finals in November 2022 in Lexington, Kentucky.
Qennett HTF (Qredit-Negro), owned/ridden by Erin Bonneville and bred by Hilltop Farm, was Reserve Champion for Intermediate I and also third in the Intermediate Freestyle at the U.S. Dressage Finals as well.
In addition, several stallions currently standing or previously stood at Hilltop earned Top 20 rankings on various U.S. Equestrian Federation breeding year-end lists as part of USEF’s Sire Awards. Topping the USEF Eventing Sires list for 2022 was Riverman, who has earned this top ranking six other times. Bugatti was ranked 19th on the Eventing list.
Contucci and Olivi tied for fifth on the USEF Dressage Breeding Sires list. Contucci also was ranked 14th for USEF Dressage Sires. Pikko del Cerro HU earned seventh on the USEF Dressage Breeding Sires list with Louisville being ranked 12th, Qredit 13th and Popeye 17th. Qredit also earned a 12th place ranking on the USEF Dressage Sires list and fifth on the USEF Driving Sires list.
Royal Prince was ranked 10th on the USEF Dressage Sires list and Sternlicht 13th on the USEF Half Arabian Sires list.