Pritchard Hill

Photo courtesy of Irene Powlick
(2012 – )
Owned by Balmoral
Inducted: 2021

Photos

Photo courtesy of Al Cook
Photo courtesy of Irene Powlick
Photo courtesy of Irene Powlick
Photo courtesy of Irene Powlick
Photo courtesy of Al Cook
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Known familiarly as “Quinn” around the barn, Pritchard Hill is a 2012 Oldenburg (Quite Rubin x Stutbuch 1 Claire, Contendro I) and named after Pritchard Hill -- the most revered area in the Napa Valley to grow wine grapes. The Chappellet family loves sharing the namesake they trademarked for their grand, natural vineyard with the equally stunning horse.

Like many of the great ones, the incredibly talented gelding required some extra time to develop and truly shine. Fellow professional, Michael Savage, found the horse in Europe as a 4-year-old. Traci and Carleton Brooks partnered in ownership, and when Savage left to train on the East Coast, the young horse stayed at Balmoral to continue his training. For an entire summer, he did experience building classes in the big grass fields finding a rhythm, staying relaxed, and learning how to be a show horse. It took three full years for him to blossom. It was a long, slow process, but nothing was rushed. “The process has been about understanding the horse, letting the horse tell you and listening to him,” says Carleton Brooks, known throughout the hunter/jumper industry as “CB. “He’s really intelligent, so you have to let him learn his lessons and leave him alone until he digests it.”

This special horse is credited with beckoning CB off the retirement bench at The Capital Challenge Horse Show in 2019. He floats around the ring and calls to mind the classic type hunters of days gone by. His athleticism, coupled with a quiet, intelligent and willing attitude, is catching and has earned him a following at the rail. People stop to watch him. He looks the part with delicate, almost feminine features, coupled with a dark gleaming coat with auburn points, three matching white ankle socks, a touch of white on his muzzle and a wisp of a star in the middle of his smart face.

In January 2019, the start of Pritchard Hill’s formal show career, CB recalled when fellow professional, John Bragg, approached CB after watching CB ride him in a class, and said, ‘I’d love to ride that horse’. “I literally handed him the reins and said, ‘Get on him, he’s got another division.’” Bragg campaigned Pritchard Hill successfully through May, including Devon. After Devon, he went to the other horse shows but just to hack on the grounds with the goal of preparing for the Indoor Season --the Capital Challenge Horse Show, the Pennsylvania National Horse, the Washington International Horse Show and concluding with the National Horse Show.

CB recalls, “I took him to one horse show before the Capital Challenge and John suggested that I show him because John was going to be rushed. When we got to Capital Challenge, John asked me to show him in the first class. So, I showed him, and Jimmy Torano was standing on the rail with John, and turned to him and said, “Well, you just lost your ride.” CB marched Pritchard Hill around the division that day and then it was onto Harrisburg. Even after having spent considerable time off from competitive riding, CB rode Pritchard Hill to the 2019 Pennsylvania National Green Conformation Hunter Championship. “He is always game to give it his best crack,” said CB. “I understand him. I listen to him so that he is comfortable to perform at his best, and from there, he and I never looked back.”

In 2019, Pritchard Hill jumped to championships at the various shows where he competed. He was Thermal Desert Circuit Grand Champion, Pennsylvania National Horse Show Green Conformation Champion, and he received the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame Green Conformation Horse of the Year, Trainers Choice Award.

CB has been clearly influential to this horse’s success from the get-go, but he says, “It takes the whole team. John is definitely part of Team Pritchard Hill. He wouldn’t have gotten to where he is without John’s six months of showing him.”

Pritchard Hill continued to turn heads in 2020 and tallied numerous championship titles in the 3’9” Green Hunter and High Performance Conformation Hunter classes during five weeks at the Thermal Desert Circuit with CB and Leslie Steele in the irons. The Warmblood gelding won the $1000 West Coast Green Hunter 3’6”/3’9” Stake and the $1000 USHJA Green Hunter 3’6”/3’9” Stake during Desert Circuit IV. He kicked off his summer with 3’9” Green Hunter Championship, Green/High Performance Conformation Hunter Championship, and 3’6” Small Junior Hunter Championship titles at Showpark Summer Festival. Pritchard Hill collected two more 3’9” Green Hunter Championship titles at Showpark Racing Festival and the National Sunshine Series II to close out his impressive year. Pritchard Hill finished the year as Pacific Coast Horsemanship Association 3’9’ High Performance Hunter Champion and Green Hunter Champion. He was also the Reserve Champion USEF Horse of the Year in Points for the High Performance Conformation Hunters.

The highlight of 2020 was being inducted into the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame as the Green Conformation Hunter of the Year -- -- only to be topped by being named the 2020 USEF National Horse of the Year and being inducted into the Horse Stars Hall of Fame.