Chris Hickey Gets New Hilltop Farm Competition Horse
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COLORA, Maryland, Feb. 3–Christopher Hickey will be competing Witness, an-eight-year-old gelding acquired by Hilltop Farm, Inc. where he is the head trainer.
Witness (Hamlet-Burggraaf) will join Douglas Hilltop, recent winner of the Grand Prix Special in Wellington, as well as a number of homebred youngsters. With the death of Cabana Boy last fall, Hilltop said there was a gap between the age groups.
Witness was found for Hilltop by Dirk Fiechter, who has found many horses for Chris and his students including Regent, Chris’s 2007 Pan American Games team and individual gold medal mount, and Piet, later sold to Ulla Salzgeber.
Witness was owned by Luc and Jonna Schelstraete, based in The Netherlands, and breeder Rene Franssen, who was also the breeder of Leslie Morse’s Kingston.
Under Jonna, Witness has shown through the comparable of U.S. Fourth Level and was recently second at the Moorland Championship in Hengelo in Holland.
“I’m happy to have found such a quality horse that’s had one rider so far in his career,” Chris said. “He has a wonderful temperament, enjoys his job, and is eager to learn. This is due to the wonderful job Jonna has done developing and showing this horse to this point.”
Chris feels that Witness shows a lot of potential for the demanding FEI exercises and is looking forward to developing Witness into a top FEI mount. He did not say whether he would seek to qualify the horse for the Pan Am Games which is at small tour and scheduled for Guadalajara, Mexico, in October.
Jane McElree, Hilltop Farm’s owner, said: “I can’t wait to meet him!”