HGF Year in Review 201011.08.2009
HGF Year in Review 2010
It’s been a year of unexpected changes at Hampton Green Farm since our last Year-in-Review. At the beginning of 2010 we were very pleased with the course we were on, and could not have imagined the events that would take place throughout the year to alter the direction of the farm and business. And yet, looking back over what has been a challenging year, we can see new doors open to us, new relationships and new roads to explore. Hampton Green Farm will continue to breed and campaign top-quality PRE horses for Dressage, while we welcome the new challenges that come with change.
On a number of levels, 2010 was a year of loss for HGF. We lost two beloved horses to colic—Cantora, mother of Encanto and Ibiza; and Mejorano, a promising small tour horse for HGF prior to an irreparable suspensory ligament tear in 2007. However, the event that shook our world, as well as the entire Dressage world, was the injury to US Olympian Courtney King-Dye, who sustained head trauma in early March in a fall on a client’s young horse. Courtney had been training HGF’s Grandioso III for the past two years, hoping to qualify him in 2010 for the Team Selection Trials for the World Equestrian Games. She was preparing him for his first Grand Prix at the Palm Beach Derby the weekend of her accident. Courtney remained unconscious for close to a month and then, beating all expectations, awoke with full mental capacities. Within a few months, she was able to help the US Team as they prepared for the WEG in Kentucky and to teach her assistant rider Jen Marchand and HGF’s Maria Lithander on their horses. Her physical healing, however, has taken more time and she is hoping to begin to ride competitive horses by the end of next year. Grandioso remained in condition and light work at HGF while we waited and hoped for Courtney’s full recovery. Now that 2011 is approaching, Grandioso will need to go to a rider who will campaign him with sites on the London Olympic Games. Courtney is involved in the decision of who should ride Grandioso for the next 18 months, and HGF expects to announce his new rider in early 2011.
Another circumstance that shaped the direction of HGF this year was the continued recession and its impact on horse sales, particularly sales of horses younger than 4 years old. Continued economic uncertainty prompted our decision to hold a “Top Ten” Herd Reduction Sale in August, where 10 of our best young horses under 3--with excellent bloodlines, movement, temperament and radiographs--were sold at auction for bargain prices. The sale brought in buyers from all sectors of the horse community—from young riders and amateurs to professionals—and we ended up selling 14 horses during the month of August. What appeared to be a bust for the bottom line actually turned into a highly successful marketing event for HGF. Since the sale, our phones have been ringing regularly for young horses, we ended the year with over 20 sales and we’ve been able to return to prices of former years. Additionally, Olympian Robert Dover’s purchase of HGF Fiero has resulted in a new level of interest in our young horses from professional riders (the performance of Spain’s Fuego before an American audience also played a part…), and we are excited to hear of Robert’s progress with Fiero on his doversworld.com blog. (See also www.hamptongreenauctions.com.)
We’ve also made changes to our riding staff, and this has widened our horizons now to Spain and eventually Europe, we hope. The young horses, who had been competed by Maria Lithander at the lower levels with notable success in Wellington and Michigan, have now begun their FEI training in Spain with Daniel Martin Dockx. The original plan was for Courtney and her team to take over the training of these horses once they were ready for the work of the Prix St. George. With all factors considered, we chose Daniel to train them for the upper levels, which also will allow these horses to begin their international careers in Spain. HGF’s name in Spain is well recognized, thanks to Dani’s work with HGF’s Encanto, which has brought him national titles and top accolades, and we felt that the environment there would be more conducive to train and compete Idolo Americano and Adelante. Additionally, this past fall we welcomed Mica Mabragana to our riding staff. Mica is a talented young trainer and long-time student of Lendon Gray who rides for Argentina. She will be stabled with her clients at HGF in Wellington this winter and campaigning Idilio II for qualification for the Pan Am Games next October. She also will be continuing Cuatrero’s training for the time being.
Looking forward, we will continue our monthly clinic series with Lendon Gray, who will be based at Hampton Green Farm all winter, as we also maintain our close relationship with Courtney during her rehabilitation. We will be reporting on our horses who are showing at the upper levels this year with hopes of international championship competition, and we will continue to bring along the best PREs in the United States for Dressage—both at home and in Europe.
2010 Highlights and Awards:
First Level through Intermediare II— 11 First Places, 4 Second Places
FEI in 2010: 6 First Places, 2 Second Places
Region Two Championships:
Reserve Champion, Second Level, Idolo Americano
Fifth Place, First Level, Bolero CXLVIII
Fifth Place, Prix St. George, Idilio II
Sixth Place, Intermediare I, Idilio II
USDF All Breeds Awards:
Champion, Prix St. George, Open--Idilio II, median score 67.105
Champion, First Level, Open--Bolero CXLVIII, median score 70.00
United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Leading Dressage Owners for 2010:
National Ranking #34 (out of 7677)
Many thanks to all of our staff and riders who helped make these successes possible for us,
and best wishes to all for a safe and happy 2011!
and best wishes to all for a safe and happy 2011!