2013 in Review01.01.2014
It’s hard to believe that this is the 10th HGF Year in Review article that we’ve posted on our site. Those of you who are faithful readers of our annual reports, we hope we’ve kept your attention over the years, and that the story of our farm, its horses and people, will keep your interest for many more years to come.
We thought it would be hard to outdo 2012, but 2013 surely had its highlights!
Grandioso and Daniel Martin Dockx kicked off the year with a string of CDI wins that started with Sunshine Tour, went to Madrid, then on to a really big victory at the GP and GP Kur at the Glock Show in Treffen, Austria. At every show, the scores went higher, but the 79% in the Kur at Treffen put the pair on the map in Europe. Dani would later say, “In my career, there is now only ‘before Treffen’ and ‘after Treffen’. From there, Grandioso astonished the multi-national crowd at Aachen by finishing 8th in the GP Kur with over 78%, among only the most elite horses of America and Europe. Their performance at the European Championships was consistent with the trajectory of the year, scoring their personal best in both the Grand Prix and the Special and finishing 22nd overall. At the end of the outdoor season for 2013, Daniel and Grandioso were ranked 23rd in the world in the FEI rankings, and the pair returned to Malaga for a period of rest and to continue their work with trainer Jan Bemelmans.
In the meantime, Daniel was preparing Michigan-born Vaquero HGF for the National Young Horse Championships. Throughout the year, Vaquero was ranked 6th overall in the RFHE (Spanish Federation) rankings for 6 year olds, and 1st in the Copa ANCCE (PRE Rankings). He maintained this position following the Championships in October, and has since been put on the developing list for Spain. A last minute decision to participate in the Breeders Cup at SICAB in December resulted in the pair taking 3rd and achieving something never done before in the history of SICAB—the first American-born, and possibly foreign-born, horse to medal at the highly competitive Spanish Breeders Finals in Sevilla.
Daniel continues to work with several other HGF horses, including Bolero CXLVIII who has made considerable progress since returning to Spain in April this year. In their first national outing at PSG, they scored 70%, and have started to prepare for the Grand Prix, for which the horse shows special talent.
On the homefront, HGF horses and riders have had their share of success. HGF-sponsored Rachel Chowanec, on Lendon Gray’s Embrujado XI, was again USEF Reserve National Champion, this time at the Young Rider division. Cuatrero IV and Kerrigan Gluch were invited to both NAJYRCs and the Festival of Champions, until an unfortunate injury sidelined their year. HGF-bred horses and their riders continue to make headlines: Cindy Ramirez Smith and Carina HGF received a Gold Medal from the United States Eventing Association; Nicholas Fyffe and Fiero HGF were added to the 2014 National Futures Squad for Australia; Decoroso HGF and Decente HGF were USDF All Breeds winners with their owners and riders; and all our owners had a great year learning and showing on their horses.
This past summer, HGF in Michigan hosted over 15 charity events, impacting our community with support for various causes. Hampton Green Farm was named the 2013 “Agent of Change” by the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce, for its work for local charities. Additionally, HGF hosted perhaps our favorite event of the year for the 3rd time—the Dressage4Kids Lendon Youth Dressage Festival Midwest. This year we had almost 50 riders, a very honest and meaningful dinner speech by Nicholas Fyffe and a fantastic lecture on training for soundness by Dr. Rob Van Wessum. The EDAP program (Emerging Dressage Athlete) and the various Dressage4Kids events are growing nationally and HGF is proud to offer this opportunity to our local youth riders.
Many HGF horses found new homes this past year. One of our shining stars in the international Grand Prix circuit, HGF-bred Encanto XI, was sold to Wellington, Florida, shortly after taking second in the GPS at Sunshine Tour. Grandioso’s full brother, Grandioso VII (Adelante) was sold to a prominent breeder in Spain, and two very talented sons of Bolero were sold to an Adult Amateur and a young rider, respectively. Several foals have gone to professionals this year, as well. Nine foals were born at HGF in Michigan in 2013, coming at a time when we need to replenish our herds, especially with several of our older mares retiring. We had a strong crop of 2013 babies, from the performance bloodlines of Albero II and Remache, and we are excited to present them for sale when they are ready.
And, not least, the Global Dressage Festival finally resolved all of its legal issues with the Village of Wellington in late 2013. In addition to restoring the property’s inherent rights to be used for equestrian commercial activities, the GDF show grounds is now able to be used year-round, as will the Van Kampen Arena, designated for non-profit use for 28 days per year. The GDF is a game-changer in American dressage, and now that the series has no less than 7 CDIs, including a Nations Cup (concurrent with the Florida Youth Dressage Championships), a 5 Star, and three CDIWs, the GDF will soon establish Wellington as the Winter Dressage Capital for the world.
2014 is now here and we have so much to look forward to! Dani and Grandioso start the road to Normandy, which we hope will lead to a position again on the Spanish team for the World Equestrian Games. The D4K Winter Intensive Training (WIT) program at HGF is kicking off with the Dover Horsemanship clinic this week and our students are gearing up for international level competition this winter. USPRE will host its annual celebration in Wellington on January 21-26. (For more information, see www.usprea.com.)
The PRE horse continues to shine in the world, wherever it is given the opportunity. Young horses mature. Riders gain more skills. Magic sometimes happens. Stay tuned and we’ll see if we can do it again this year!
All the best for 2014!