• Knollwood's Fall Adventures Continue

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    Even as this strange year of 2020 is swirling all around us, we're still managing to have fun safely. We thank all of our customers and their families for their diligent mask wearing at the barn so we can look forward to more safe fun at Knollwood.


    Catch up on all of the latest adventures of Team Knollwood!

    IASPHA Fall Adventures

    The venue may have changed, but the atmosphere and fun surely did not. The IASPHA Fall Show was a sell out, and the  first at Beyond Stable Farm in Woodstock. Always well run and organized, these shows are a pleasure to attend.

    Both show horse and academy classes were big, with nice horses and riders in the ring. Sunday’s academy performance was the biggest we’ve seen all season, with most classes split, and one division even had to split into three different classes!

    Team Knollwood was well represented at the event, and our academy riders really shone in great competition. We learned many lessons, enjoyed time with the best lesson horses in the world, and showed off all the hard work we’d put in at home.

    Some highlights?

    Lauren stepped up and showed future academy star Willis for the first time, coming out on top of their championship class.

    In her first year of showing in the walk trot and canter division, 11 year old Mia showed Heist for the first time, winning the second split of the championship as well as the pattern class.

    The walk and trot division held several firsts as well.

    Amelia showed lovely Sadie for the first time, and learned lessons about the mind of a show horse. She turned in really strong rides, and so appreciates all her lessons about horse alignment!

    Brooklyn showed the one and only Panic in his walk and trot debut. After winning their horsemanship class, we honestly couldn’t tell who had more fun on the victory pass, as both Brooklyn and Panic were grinning from ear to ear.

    In the show division, Erika showed Willis in the Monarch Single Bit division, winning both her qualifier and championship. Both of her rides showcased the value of academy showing as she worked the ring and always had Willis in a great spot even in a group of 10 riders.


    Holly Jolly Show 

    We have one more academy show in our 2020 campaign, the Holly Jolly show on December 5 and 6 back at Beyond Stable Farm in Woodstock, Illinois. Run by UPHA, the show features a relaxed schedule with walk, trot, and canter classes that won’t start before 1:00 PM on Saturday, and walk and trot classes that won’t start before 1:00 PM on Sunday. The show also offers novice and green classes for our newest show stars.

    Entries close on November 10, so please talk to your instructor if you’d like to join our academy finale for 2020! We’re expecting a BIG show.

    The Royal! 

    The show horses will be leaving the first week of November for their finale, the UPHA National Championship American Royal in Kansas City.  Home to National Championships and the last 2 jewels in the Triple Crown of Equitation, the Royal is a BIGGIE.

    Team Knollwood will be there with the finest horses and riders in the country, competing for titles in many, many divisions.

    There IS a live feed, but the facility owns the rights, so it must be purchased to watch it live.  We’ll update with more info as soon as it’s available.

    Woodwear 2020! 

    Woodwear for Fall 2020 is fantastic, and ready for ordering.

    This year’s must haves?

    Purple quarter zips with warm, fleecy insides, available in misses and youth sizes.

    Face masks! One size fits all, with the Knollwood Logo across the front.

    Iconic Knollwood jackets with a new addition for 2020. Jackets for this year will have #KnollwoodStrong down the left sleeve.  These are available in misses sizes, and men's are available upon request.

    Layering vest in black! Available in misses sizes, this vest is the perfect layering piece for those chilly barn days.

    Remember, orders are due November 10 with payment due with the order. Woodwear will be delivered for the holidays.


    2021 Academy Show Q and A 

    We’ve had a lot of parents inquiring early about academy showing for 2021, so we’re hosting an early meeting in the arena on Saturday, November 14 at 7:00 PM. We’ll turn up the heat, spread out our chairs, and enjoy snacks while we talk about why we love academy showing. This is a preliminary meeting geared to parents with lots of details about the process.  We plan on hosting another meeting with demonstrations in January or February that will be more kid friendly.

    Please contact your instructor if you think you might be interested in showing outside the barn next year. RSVPs are due on November 10 so we can be sure to have safe refreshments and info packets for everyone attending.


    The Holidays are Coming!

    Next week’s blog will be about gifts for Knollwood Kids. If you have any items you’d like details on, please talk to Ann.

    If you’re interested in purchasing stirrups, just catch up with Ann, and she can order the Knollwood approved leathers and irons for the horse kid in your house!


    See you soon at the barn, or at the in-gate.


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  • Mane Event, Home Events, and Fun!

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    All of Team Knollwood is home after a very successful Mane Event horse show.

    Some Highlights?

    Our equitation riders shone in the deepest competition in the country.


    Four of our riders made the first cut in the Good Hands final, the first of the ‘Big Three’ finals comprising the coveted Triple Crown of Equitation. Finn and Heather battled into the top 10, with Finn finishing a strong third, and Heather a fantastic 7th.


    Not to be outdone by the Knollwood Kids, Allison returned to the equitation division after a highly successful juvenile career there, and won the Adult Good Hands Final on Ava.


    Proving that equitation is the base for a successful riding career, Allison also showed her Mom Kim’s new horse Joe in Show Pleasure and finished a strong third in the championship after finishing second in their qualifier.

    Kim and Allison enjoyed a ‘Mother Daughter’ weekend, with Kim showing Maddie in the Open English Pleasure division. Is there a better way to spend a weekend?



    Margit and Charlie keep marching on together in this, their first season together. Winning both their qualifier and championship unanimously, you can see the value of all those academy shows in Margit’s riding education. She can find her way around the ring like a pro.



    Payton and Rescue Riddle added another chapter to their Cinderella story by winning their USEF Medal qualifier at Mane Event. From the kill pen to most beautiful show ring in the country is a tribute to the Duerrs who took a chance on him, and to everyone who helped him get here. Thank you for saving this great soul.


    The show horses are now prepping for the UPHA National Championship American Royal in Kansas City on November 9 – 13. The Royal is home to many national championships as well as the last of the Big Three finals that make up the Triple Crown, the UPHA Challenge Cup National Finals, and the biggie, the USEF  Saddle Seat Medal Final.


    What’s coming up?

    IASPHA Fall Show

    Academy horses are off to Beyond Stable Farm this weekend for the IASPHA Fall Show. It’s a new location for this show, and we’re looking forward to enjoying the hospitality of Amy and staff.

    And, the show is a sell out!!

    Riders joining us, don’t forget to turn in your Covid release forms by Thursday evening if you’d like us to have your wristband waiting for you.


    Order Woodwear!

    Embroidered size samples have arrived for the fashion ‘must have’ of the season, the purple ¼ zip pullover. Available in youth and misses sizes, it’s perfect for gift giving.

    We’re also offering our classic embroidered Knollwood jacket in misses sizes, with an update for 2020. The latest version of the jackets will now say #Knollwoodstrong down the left sleeve.

    We can also order these in mens sizes if requested!

    We’re also ordering really warm vests in misses sizes, and the fashion accessory of 2020, Knollwood Face Masks!

    Please place and pay for your order by November 10 to ensure holiday delivery.


    Knollwood Challenge Final 2020

    Friday, November 13 at 6:00

    While the most accomplished equitation stars are battling it out at the American Royal, our stars of the show ring will be competing at home in the 2020 finals of the Knollwood Challenge.

    Because of the current Covid climate, we’re limiting the event to riders and their parents. If there’s enough interest, we’ll FB live broadcast the event.


    Academy Showing Information Session

    Saturday, November 14 at 7:00

    We’ve been hearing so much interest in academy showing next season that we’ve decided to get together for an early information session. This preliminary meeting will present an overview of the process, including different levels of shows, clothing requirements, what if offers for riders’ developments, and basically, why we believe in it so strongly. And, we have a whole lot of fun!

    If you think you might be interested, please talk to your instructor to see if this might be for you and your rider. RSVP’s are due by November 10.


    Holly Jolly Academy Show

    December 5 – 6

    The academy team is returning to Beyond Stable Farm in Woodstock for UPHA’s Holly Jolly Show.   We’ve never shown in December before, and we’re looking forward to another new 2020 experience!

    The facility is expecting another sell out, so please get your entries in soon to make sure we can get enough stalls.


    Holiday Gifts

    It’s never too early to think about the perfect gifts for the horse person in your life!

    We’ll publish a blog soon with links to our favorite equipment for Knollwood Kids of all ages.

    Please talk to Ann by December 1 if you’d like her to order stirrups for your rider.




    See you soon at the barn, or at the in-gate!


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  • It's Time For Mane Event, And So Much More!

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    Team Knollwood’s horses are resting up in Springfield, Illinois, waiting for the 2020 Mane Event to begin. Held in one of the most beautiful arenas for horse showing in the country, the show is a favorite of trainers and exhibitors alike.

    Plus, it’s home to the first of the ‘Big Three’ equitation finals, The Good Hands.

    And, you can catch all the action here, on SeeHorse Video, for FREE! If you’re really a show geek, and you know who you are, you can even review entries here.


    This year’s Good Hands competition promises to be one for the ages. Seventeen of the nation’s top equitation stars are entered and all are coached by the best in the business. This competition is crazy deep.

    Knollwood is proud to be well represented by (in alphabetical order) Finn, Heather, Laney, Payton, and Richie.


    Preliminary rounds will be held Friday morning at 9:30 AM. Riders who make it through phase I will return to the arena Saturday evening at 6:00 PM for railwork and a pattern for phase II. The top 10 and awards ceremony will take place immediately after phase II.


    There’s even an adult division, and Knollwood’s own Allison will be competing for the final. A juvenile equitation star back in the day, Allison is back in the division on her animated mare, Ava.


    Mane Event is so much more than just the Good Hands finals though. The four day show features fantastic show horses and ponies in all divisions, and Team Knollwood will be in the thick of it.

    Margit will continue her exciting inaugural suit year, showing Robert in the 3 gaited show pleasure division, and the one and only Charlie in 5 Gaited Show Pleasure.

    Allison’s mom Kim will be showing Maddie in Country Pleasure, and Alison will show her new horse, Joe, in 3 Gaited Show Pleasure.

    The Honkamp family will be there with both Rudi in the Hunt classes and Hershey in the 3 Gaited Show Pleasure ones.

    Linda will be showing Parker in the amateur 5 Gaited division, and Richie will show Fergie in Show Pleasure as well.


    In the Cinderella story of the year, Payton and Rescue Riddle will continue their adventure together, too!

    Best of luck to everyone showing at this wonderful show!


    Meanwhile, at the Home Office…


    The school barn refreshing has begun. Frank of Molett Painting LLC has started painting in the lounge for color testing. We’re looking forward to some great changes!!


    The lesson horses and a few show horses are heading to the last IASPHA show of the year next weekend. Nineteen academy stars will compete at Beyond Stable farm against other academy riders from around the Midwest, and it’s a SELL OUT! We can hardly wait.


    The 2020 Knollwood Challenge Finals are coming up on Friday, November 13 at 6:00 PM, with Terri Anne Ullman judging the affair. We’ll host a qualifying class for both the walk and trot division and the walk, trot, and canter division before the two final classes.

    Haven’t qualified yet? Sign up with your instructor for a qualifying class for only $40. If you finish first or second, you’re in the finals with a chance to win a custom shirt from DeRegnaucourt!

    Riders already qualified for the final, don’t forget to pay your entry fee of $45.

    Due to Covid, we’re limiting the audience for the evening to riders and their parents. If there’s enough interest, we’ll Facebook Live the finals.


    We’re heading to Beyond Stable Farm for our last academy show of the crazy 2020 season on December 5-6. The show is expected to be another sell out, like the IASPHA show next weekend, so we’ll be turning in stall counts soon. If you’re planning on joining the adventure, please be sure to get your entry form and deposit in now to be included in our count!



    See you soon at the barn, or at the in-gate!

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  • Tales From Last Weekend

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    Last weekend’s academy show offered something for every Knollwood Kid. From our newest leadline riders to our most experienced pattern riders, we can safely say that everyone had a grand time.

    Here are some of our favorite stories:


    The Knollwood Suite

    For the first time ever,  customers were able to bid on a special viewing suite for their day at the show.  The suite offered a covered, screened area with comfy chairs, a cooler of beverages, free raffle tickets, a free photo from Hanna Agathen Photography, and even warm blankets.

    Congrats to Jada’s family who enjoyed the suite on Saturday, and to Brae’s family for winning the suite on Sunday. All proceeds went directly to the Knockouts!



    Knollwood Kids are known far and wide for their pattern riding ability. Actually, some of us have even been called ‘pattern geeks,’ which we take as a compliment.

    Riders' skills were on full display on both Saturday and Sunday as riders of varying levels competed in both walk-trot and walk trot and canter classes.

    In addition to the regular pattern classes, we had four riders advance to the Knollwood Challenge Finals, which will be held on Friday, November 13 at 6:00 PM.

    Congratulations to all our pattern riders on a job well done.


    Memories Captured

    Knollwood Kid Hanna captured the show through her camera lens on both days of the show. Hanna knows her way around a show ring, and took some great arena shots as well as candid pics from around the farm.  In fact, most of the pics in this blog are Hanna's. You can view and purchase her pictures here.



    Knollwood parents are a special group. Led by super organizer and Knockout President Mom Lisa, parents put together beautiful gift baskets, made lunches for pickup at the show, set up the concession stand, tents for the baskets, erected the suites, and even did some landscaping to make the entrance to the viewing area a little easier.

    Our show ring staffs are super heroes as well. Our ringmasters kept order in the ring through wind, rain, and sun, handed out ribbons, ran the gate, and set up victory passes. Announcer Wendy kept everyone well informed and entertained from her tent.


    Young Rock Stars

    Our youngest walk and trot divisions were the most popular of the show. With three splits of 8 and under walk trot and two splits of maiden riders, these classes were so good they were difficult for Judge Ainsley to sort out.

    Our leadline division was so popular that we had to add a walk only division!

    The classes showcased our youngest riders, and they all looked fantastic, trotting with their Knollwood Kid mentors.  Our future looks very bright!


    Judge Ainsley

    Life long Knollwood Kid Ainsley presided over both days of the show, and it required all of her well honed decision making skills. Ainsley pretty much grew up in the show ring, and really enjoyed spending the weekend at her home away from home.


    After the regular performance on Saturday, World Champion Rider Ainsley and her World Champion sister Sydney participated in the games division of the show. We had a blast watching these two compete in relay games, ride a $5, and musical towels.

    The laughter was contagious!


    Amelia’s Skill and Generosity

    Speaking of games, 9-year-old Amelia beat the world champions and people with much longer legs to win the Ride a $5 event. Amelia and Pony Frank were not to be denied, and won a total of $70, which they donated back to the Knollwood Knockouts.  Thank you, Amelia!!!


    Pony Frank Gives In

    Pony Frank has always refused to participate in shows when they were held inside. Maybe he knows something we don’t know, or maybe he’s just being a pony, which is way more likely. In any event, Little Frank participated in the show, and was a perfect gentleman.

    No more show weekends off for Pony Frank!


    Knollwood Helpers

    We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: We couldn’t do it without these amazing horse girls. The helpers assisted the mostly self sufficient riders on Saturday, and took care of inexperienced walk and trot riders on Sunday.

    Taking care of riders on Sunday means that each helper  changes tack, adjusts stirrups, offers pep talks and encouragement, explains schedules and patterns, locates riders for their classes, and makes sure the right riders enter for the correct classes.

    They are organized, knowledgeable, and kind, and we are grateful for each and every one of them.


    Best Lesson Horses in the World.


    Again, you’ve probably heard us say this a million times, but these are the best lesson horses in the world.

    The boys showed in two different arenas in two different climates with many different riders, and they all behaved like little choir boys.

    They took care of their riders, challenged some, and looked like they enjoyed the extra attention that horse shows provide for them.

    We owe each one of them dinner and a movie after we get through these crazy times.



    What’s Coming Up?


    Knockouts Street Clean Up and Pumpkin Farm Outing

    This Saturday at 1:30 PM

    Join your Knockout friends as they clean up Oakwood and Nagawicka Roads. After the clean up, everyone is invited to travel to Schuett Farm where you’ll enjoy pumpkins, a corn maze, and a hay ride. 

    The pumpkin farm outing is only $15, parents must provide transportation, and reservations close on Thursday.

    Here’s the link to the sign-up.


    Mane Event Horse Show

    Show horses will be traveling to the Mane Event Horse Show in Springfield, Illinois on October 15-18.  The show features the first of the ‘Big Three’ equitation finals, the Good Hands. It’s also a fantastic horse show in all the other divisions.

    Team Knollwood will be there in numbers, and you can watch the livestream for free on the SeeHorse Video!



    One Last Academy Show!

    The IASPHA Show on October 24-25 is a huge academy show for us, with 12 horses traveling to Beyond Stable Farm in Woodstock, Illinois.

    Our last show of the season is The Holly Jolly show, which is being held December 5-6 also in Woodstock.

    Please get your entries in soon so we can start planning for another big outing!


    Knollwood Challenge Finals

    Because of the COVID-19 situation, we’re not holding an indoor fall show. We WILL host the finals of the Knollwood Challenge, however, on Friday, November 13.  We’ll offer one more qualifying class for both WTC and WT divisions, and proceed with the finals immediately after.

    Judge Terri Anne Ullman from Winsome Farm will preside over the finals.

    Unfortunately, COVID-19 restrictions will apply, and we’re limiting the event to riders and their families only. Those interested in seeing the event can watch on Facebook Live.


    Woodwear is Coming!


    We’re putting the finishing touches on our Woodwear for holiday giving. Samples will be arriving shortly, and we’ll start ordering right away.

    And yes, we’re ordering our classic navy jackets again! We’ve added #KnollwoodStrong down one sleeve for this year’s edition, too.


    See you at the barn, or at the in-gate!


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  • Insider Information For Show Weekend!

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    Show weekend is almost here, and we can hardly wait!

    Here are some insider tips about the upcoming show:

    If you haven’t done so already, please pick up your shirt and back number packets in the school barn lounge. Your packet also includes information from our official show photographer, Hanna Agathen. We’re looking forward to seeing her photos of all the show smiles!


     Lunch Preorders can be picked up from our friendly concession stand with a minimum of contact. Chef Lisa may have a few extra meals, so if you forgot to preorder, please inquire at the stand.                


    We’ll also be selling some #knollwoodstrong shirts for $25 as well as some clearance items at reduced prices. Check out the selection! And don’t forget to purchase your tickets for the gift baskets!


     The weather may be a little iffy on Sunday morning. We are thinking of postponing the start of the show to 1:00 PM if needed to avoid the rain. We’ll post any changes on Facebook and Instagram, and try to make contact via text or phone with everyone by Friday. 

    Keep your fingers crossed!


     Raffle donations and the final bids for the Knollwood Suites are due tomorrow. The baskets are already looking great, and the VIP Suite is a great way to view all the action.

     We have a few spots left for practice rides on Friday late afternoon. With the sun setting earlier and earlier, and the show being outside, we’re starting at 5:00 PM. Please contact your instructor if you’d like to join the event.


     We have some great used clothing in the show barn lounge! Proceeds benefit our retired lesson horse fund, and jods and boots are only $10. Please feel free to check out the selection the next time you’re at the barn. It’s a great way to stock up on show clothes at a good price, and help our older chaps as well.


     We’re so excited to welcome Ainsley to judge both days of the show. One of Knollwood’s brightest stars ever, she brings years of experience in the ring. AND, she’s staying for the game portion of the show on Saturday. Watch out, world!


     Should you have any questions during the show, be sure to ask any of our helpers. We are grateful for the parents and Knollwood Kids who make these grand events possible.


     The show barn (and thus, the big rig) will be gone this weekend at the first ever Monarch Series National Horse Show in Springfield, Illinois. Luckily, we’ll still have some of the show barn kids to help the home show run smoothly!


     Overflow parking will be allowed in the Kettle Moraine Curling Club lot directly across from the small outdoor arena. Great thanks to our neighbors!


     A final reminder, masks are required when in the barn, or when you can’t maintain social distancing. Let’s work together!



    See you at the show!



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