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Maryland Horse Industry Board to Honor Nation’s Top Dressage Sire on Monday

Don Principe, a 15-year-old Hanoverian stallion who stands at stud at Hilltop Farm in Cecil County

Don Principe, a 15-year-old Hanoverian stallion who stands at stud at Hilltop Farm in Cecil County


 Joanne Richart-Young  Ag Specialist Cecil County, Michael Bragdell, Trainer Hilltop Farm, Maryanna Haymon, owner Don Principe, Natalie DiBerardinis, General Manager/Breeding Manager, Hilltop Farm

Joanne Richart-Young Ag Specialist Cecil County, Michael Bragdell, Trainer Hilltop Farm, Maryanna Haymon, owner Don Principe, Natalie DiBerardinis, General Manager/Breeding Manager, Hilltop Farm

ANNAPOLIS, MD (June 20, 2014) – The Maryland Horse Industry Board (MHIB), a program within the Maryland Department of Agriculture, will present its June Touch of Class Award to Don Principe, a 15-year-old Hanoverian stallion who stands at stud at Hilltop Farm in Cecil County. The presentation will be made at a reception on Monday, June 23, at 3:30 p.m. in the Tea Barn on the grounds of the Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area in Elkton. The award will be presented by MHIB Board Members Jim Steele and Jay Griswold as well as Cecil County Executive Tari Moore and Fair Hill Area Manager Rachel Temby. This is the third time that a Hilltop stallion has been honored with a Touch of Class Award. Previous winners have included Royal Prince (2012) and Qredit (2013).

“Our equine industry is indeed fortunate to have a breeding establishment such as Hilltop Farm in our state,” said MHIB Chairman Jim Steele. “We applaud the farm’s owner, Jane McElree, and her very accomplished staff. Hilltop is considered one of the nation’s leading breeding centers and producers of champion sport horses.”

Once a remarkable competitor in international competition, Don Principe, owned by Maryanna Haymon from Columbus, NC, is currently ranked as the nation’s leading sire of dressage horses by the U.S. Equestrian Federation. Nicknamed “The Prince,” Don Principe is part of Hilltop’s Guest Stallion program. He resides at the Cecil County farm and is part of a roster of stallions that have achieved national and international success. Dressage is described as “ballet on horseback” and has a long history as an Olympic-level equestrian discipline.

Each month MHIB honors Maryland horses and people who achieve national and international recognition. The award honors the Maryland-bred mare, Touch of Class, who won two gold medals in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Since MHIB initiated the Touch of Class Awards in September, 2011, the organization has honored 53 people and 29 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules representing a variety of breeds, from 23 different equine disciplines and 14 counties, all of them national or international champions.

For more information, contact MHIB Executive Director Ross Peddicord by email at ross.peddicord@maryland.gov or by phone at 410-841-5798.

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Contact Information

If you have any questions, need additional information or would like to arrange an interview, please contact:
Jessica Hackett
Director of Communications
Telephone: 410-841-5888

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