Chris Hickey Gets New Hilltop Farm Grand Prix Mount, Aiming for WEG 2010

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Chris Hickey with 2007 Pan American Games gold medal team. © 2007 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Chris Hickey with 2007 Pan American Games gold medal team. © 2007 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

COLORA, Maryland, May 21–Chris Hickey, double Pan American Games gold medalist, has a new Grand Prix mount that he plans to campaign for a place on the U.S. team at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky.

The nine-year-old, 16.3-hand bay gelding named Douglas was bought by Hilltop Farm of Colora, Maryland, where Hickey has been the trainer since January, 2007. He won the U.S. Equestrian Federation five- and six-year-old championships on Cabana Boy, and is at currently the top ranked horse for the 2009 USEF National Developing Horse sponsored by Dutta Corp. and Performance Sales International.

Hickey’s 2007 Pan Am individual and team gold mount, Regent, is being turned over to the owner, Brenna Kucinski, of Amherst, Massachusett,. to compete. Regent was selected by Hickey as a young horse with the agreement to train the horse to Grand Prix when Kucinscki would then compete him. Kucinski and Regent will travel to Hilltop for coaching as well as receive training when Hickey conducts his regular clinics in western Massachusetts. The decision to make the change came after Hickey scored 73 per cent in the freestyle at a German show.

“I’m very excited about the new horse,” Hickey, 41, said of the sale arranged by his longtime trainer Ulla Salzgeber, one of the top German trainers and riders.

He said that during his frequent visits to compete Regent in Germany over the past winter, he had seen Douglas in his first Grand Prix, that also was the first Grand Prix for the rider, a young professional who has been a student of Salzgeber’s for many years.

Douglas, by Dr. Jackson out of a Walt Disney mare, “is a perfect match” for Hickey.

“He’s very forward going, elegant type who tries to do his job,” he said.

He will spend the next several months getting to know the horse and plans to compete Intermediaire II and Grand Prix this fall.

“The sky’s the limit with him,” Hickey said.

“I don’t want to make any claims or say anything to jinx things, but he was bought with the intention to become a (USA) Team horse.”

Salzgeber, who is competing at the Exquis World Dressage Masters in Munich this weekend told dressage-news.com she was excited for Hickey to have the opportunity to compete a horse that she thinks has a very big future.