top of page
  • Writer's pictureM4E

Northern Pines Farm Collects WEF Circuit Championship

Updated: Aug 8, 2023

Celebrating Circuit Sales and Championships

River Bliss earned the championship in the Three and Four-Year-Old Pre-Green Hunters with Nick Pongracz aboard, pictured with Melissa Hirt (right) and Abbey Roelofs. Photo Kind Media

Wellington, FL – April 9, 2023 – Northern Pines Farm and trainer Melissa Hirt closed out the 2023 Winter Equestrian Festival with the Parade of Circuit Champions in the International Ring at Wellington International with River Bliss earning the Circuit Championship in the Pre-Green Three and Four-Year-Old Hunters. With Nick Pongracz of Brantford, Ontario, in the irons, the three-year-old, Oldenburg mare collected five tricolor ribbons during the circuit.

River Bliss with Nick Pongracz. Photo Kind Media

River Bliss is by Bliss MF out of River Lilly, bred by Hirt of Maple City, Michigan. Hirt held the number four spot in 2022 for USEF’s Leading Hunter Breeders. Northern Pines Farm has a large collection of young horses from yearlings to four-year-olds, on 48 acres located just 40 minutes from the Traverse City horse shows. She breaks and trains them in-house and takes them on the road when they are ready to start showing.

Casanova Z and Martien Van Der Hoeven.

Hirt also breeds to her stud, Casanova Z, a coming seven-year-old Zangersheide by Cornet Obolensky, currently shown by Martien Van Der Hoeven of Spring, Texas.

With several other Bliss babies almost ready to make their debut, Hirt is looking forward to seeing them step into the ring.

“I’m optimistic the rest of them will be as easy as River Bliss,” said Hirt. “I have a few more really great movers I’m looking forward to bringing along. I enjoy watching them grow up and be successful in the show ring.”

Congratulations also to Northern Pines' riders on a great circuit, earning top ribbons in multiple divisions.

Sales, Leases, and Consignments

Northern Pines Farm always has an extensive list of quality horses for sale and lease for all budgets and divisions. They are accepting horses on consignment during the Traverse City circuit to sell or lease. Looking for 3' hunters up to 1.30m jumpers, let their expertise and connections help sell your stock.

Stalls Available at Traverse City

The Northern Pines Annex Farm has stalls available during the Traverse City Horse Shows.

Northern Pines has a limited number of stalls available for layovers at their location a mile from the horse show with a ring, jumps, and turnout. Contact Melissa Hirt for stall availability at 231-920-5212 or

Stalls are available at the Maple City location with an indoor arena, outdoor arena, paddocks, and pastures. The complete turn-key facility is also for sale. Contact Robert Murray at 231-392-8686 for details.

Horses for lease and sale will be available during the Traverse City Circuit. Let us know what you need!

Congratulations on your successes with Northern Pines Farm stock!

Mackinac Bliss (bred by Hirt) and Sarah Sheffer - Champion Young Hunters WEC

Ehrin Rhitmiller and Erin Resler Galsterer with Masterpiece (imported by Hirt) winning in the Young Hunters.

Emma Williams and Fox Meadow Farm with Sir Poldi - Zone Champions 14 & Under and Zone Horse of the Year.

Empyrean with Abbey Roelofs at WEF and with Ehrin Rhitmiller at WEC Ocala.

Congrats to Traci Knudson on her purchase of Karot! Thanks to Galway Farm and Ashland Farm for the match!

Congrats to Chase Miller on the purchase of Nashville for the Junior Hunters! Special thanks to Beacon Hill.

Congrats Alyssa Baychuk and Roc Paper Scissors in the Low Children's Hunters!

Congrats to Liston Johnson and Rutledge for the Junior Hunters. Special thanks to Galway Farm and Patty Roberts for the assistance.

Congrats also goes to:

Emma Brosius and Buena Vista Farm, Meagan Murray, on your lease of My Pride Z.

Greysen St. John on your purchase of Levello.

The Conway Family on the lease of Ravello.

See you all in the winner's circle!!

About Northern Pines Farm

Melissa Hirt is a native of suburban Chicago and moved to Leelanau County in 1995, completing construction of her Northern Pines equine dream in 2000. Today, Melissa's horses are winning numerous top honors at the zone, regional, and national levels through her experienced training and remarkable skill of matching riders and horses to create impressive teams.

Northern Pines Farm boasts 32 stalls with spacious heated viewing room, large indoor and outdoor arenas and 15 paddocks set in the beautiful countryside of Maple City, Michigan. Amenities include Theraplate and treadmill along with a roomy wash stall with heat lamp. The farm has a location next to the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival show facility in Traverse City as well as their Wellington location.

For more information on Northern Pines Farm please visit www.Northernpinesfarmllc.comor "Like" them onFacebook. #LoveWhereYouRide

Northern Pines Farm

7347 S. Stachnik Road

Maple City, MI 49664

Northern Pines Farm (South)

14903 Paddock Dr.

Wellington, Florida


Photos may only be used in relation to this release.

For more news subscribe to and "like" us on Facebook.


bottom of page