• One Leads to the Other

    Posted by Ann Wilt


    Some of our show horses are heading to Louisville for the World’s Championship Horse Show, and at the home office, we’re preparing for our first ever outdoor Knollwood Academy show.


    The two shows may seem very different, but they actually rely on each other.

    Riding at the World's Championship Horse Show is an accomplishment that few will ever attain. It takes years of dedication to training and learning, hours spent learning how a horse's mind works, countless saddle sores, and a fierce inner drive to ride with the best.


    That feeling of riding down the ramp into Freedom Hall starts right here at the Knollwood Show. Our home shows offer the most inexperienced rider the chance to feel the excitement of riding a horse into competition all by yourself. The best lesson horses in the world safely introduce riders to sportsmanship, competition, and the all important lesson of learning how to lose so you can be a gracious winner.

    It takes real team effort to get to Louisville level. Academy instructors fan the flame of the youngest 'horse kids', parents support the riders and guide them througn the ups and downs of horse life, older, more experienced riders mentor the 'up and comers', and we're proud to say that this is a way of life at Knollwood. You'll see our champion riders fighting over who gets to help the academy stars at the big shows.


    Trainers and instructors will take the rider to the top, but we at Knollwood always remember how these champions got there. It's the years of 'building the base' on our incredible group of lesson horses, the summers of pattern camps, the years showing in big academy classes to learn how to be seen in the ring. And it's the hours spent listening to Scott and Carol share their world class knowledge that has taken many riders to World Championships. Cumulatively, all those elements provide the pathway to Louisville and it all starts while building the base on the lesson horses.


    So, while it may seem that the two shows next weekend are worlds apart, they actually work together.

    Here is some inside information about our latest adventure.

    First of all, we’ve never done this before. We’ll be feeling our way through some processes, so please be patient as we learn along with you. We have plans on how we think things will go, but if improvements can be made along the way, we will do so.  While the new outdoor environment will create some uncertainties, we are certain that it will be a blast.

    Shirt packets are ready for pick up in the school barn lounge. You'll find your back number, your shirt for the show, and an order blank for lunch. We'll distribute personalized class schedules soon so you know in advance exactly which classes you're showing in!


    The show will start at 11:00 AM on both Saturday and Sunday, August 22 and 23.


    Saturday’s show will take place in the BIG outdoor ring, and will feature classes for our walk, trot, and canter riders and for our walk and trot riders who are 11 years old and up. We’ll finish the performance with a games session featuring some of our experienced riders.  You won’t want to miss the fun!


    Sunday’s show will take place in our smaller outdoor ring, and will feature our newer show ring stars.  Our walk and trot riders who are 10 and under, our maiden riders who are showing for the first time, and our leadliners will be the Sunday stars.

    Parents and friends are welcome to bring chairs, blankets, and coolers with drinks for the show.


    The Knockouts will not be hosting a traditional concession stand, but are offering pre-ordered lunches featuring touchless pick up. You can place your orders through Wednesday, August 19 at 1:00 PM. All proceeds will go to the Knockouts, so they can continue to make contributions to those in need.


    The Knockouts have also organized a fundraising basket raffle with some great items. We are still looking for a few donations, so please check the sign up sheets on the school barn tack room door!  Again, all proceeds will benefit the Knockouts.


    We are thrilled to welcome a Knollwood Kid, and homegrown Triple Crown winner to judge all events.

    Haley Berget will be presiding over both days of the show, and will feel right at home in the arenas where she spent so many hours learning her skills.


    As a reminder, masks are required inside the barns, and we ask that everyone maintain proper social distancing at the show. If you’re closer than six feet to someone, please mask up so we can all stay safe. Of course, our outdoor handwashing stations will be ready for you, too!



    That World Championship Horse Show thing?

    Richie and Finn are making the trip to Freedom Hall with their horses.

    Richie will be showing Sophie in 12 year old equitation, and will show Tink in 13 and under Country pleasure, while Finn will show Leila in 16 year old equitation and Frankie in Show Pleasure for riders aged 14-17.


    They both hope to advance to their equitation and pleasure championship rounds, and we wish them the best at this unique edition of the show.

    The tradition and history of the show will continue, even in this most unusual of years.

    We’ll be sure to update everyone with their accomplishments!


    Finally, we only have three academy shows left this season!

     If you’re planning on attending, please get your entry forms in soon. We’re expecting big shows, and would like to get a handle on horses as soon as it’s possible. What a great time we’re going to have!!!



    What’s coming up?

    Photo Shoots With Emma Utoft

    Saturday afternoon, September 26

    Emma will be at the farm for photo shoots with your favorite horse(s). You can contact her at 815-742-0838 to arrange a time and package.

    We’ll also be doing our annual academy show picture, so please save the date if you’ve shown away from home this season!


    Fall Street Clean Up

    Saturday, October 10 at 1:00 PM

    Join the Knockouts as they clean up Oakwood and Nagawicka Roads.

    It’s a great way to meet more Knockouts, and to beautify the neighborhood at the same time! Stay for the Knockout meeting at 2:30 PM!

    Thanks for joining our adventures of Knollwood Summer 2020.

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

    Read more

  • 'Reset Week,' And More!

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    Knollwood is in the middle of our annual ‘reset week’ when Scott and Carol bring in their Louisville riders for an intensive week of prep for the World’s Championship Horse Show.

     Of course, this year is a little different with only Finn and Richie traveling to Freedom Hall, but many show riders are coming to the farm to prep for all the Fall shows and equitation finals.


    It’s also a week when the school horses relax between camp sessions, and academy staff catches up on scheduling, horse shows, all the tasks that fall to the side when you’re teaching many lessons.

    We’re fortunate to say that we’ve been busy. Really busy.

    Camps have been full, private lessons are rocking, and our newly introduced Mini-Camps and ‘Welcome to Knollwood’ sessions have exceeded expectations. 

    Team Knollwood staff members all love their jobs, but we certainly can’t take sole credit for the booming lesson program. In addition to having the best school horses in the world, we have a secret ingredient:


    It’s the helpers who make it happen.

    We are beyond grateful for the exceptional group of riders who serve as helpers at all levels in our lesson program.

    After 12 weeks of shutdown, we reopened around June 1, and the helpers were some of the first Knollwood Kids back in the barn. They quickly learned how to sanitize reins, brushes, and all the door hardware.

    They helped design a new system which involved each helper serving as a personal assistant to an instructor for their work day. Each helper brought horses to the arena for lessons, and returned them to the barn as the riders met their steeds in the arena and returned to their cars.

    These riders delivered treats to horses from the kids who missed them, gave the kids updates on all their favorite horses, and kept up with the care of the best lesson horses in the world.

    When we reopened for new customers on July 1, the helpers reached another level. They greeted our new riders, (and there are plenty of them!)  and embraced our new Sunday afternoon Mini-Camps, and Monday Welcome to Knollwood sessions. 


    All of our camp sessions are full, so the helpers learned to show their friendliness even in masks. They spend the day in masks, and help the riders do the same.

    All the while, our senior helpers are mentoring new helpers to learn the skills needed to advance, and taking care of our priceless lesson horses, including those in our senior living community.  Of course, they continue to further their education as well, serving as show techs when the academy horses hit the road for shows, and continue their show careers either on their own horses, or on the best lesson horses in the world.


    Simply put, we can’t do this without this unbelievable group of riders. They make Knollwood what it is, a friendly, welcoming place full of horse loving people.  Our helpers share their passion for horses and Knollwood with everyone that walks in the door.

    We are beyond grateful.




    What’s coming up?

    August 8-9

    ASAW Summer Showcase Show

    Ozaukee County Fairgrounds

    Come watch the academy horses compete against other midwestern lesson programs on Saturday and Sunday afternoon!





    August 15

    Knockout Meeting 4:30 PM

    Parent’s Night Out  5:00 PM to 8:00 PM

    Come for the meeting, stay for the fun. The Knockouts will meet at 4:30 PM, and then you can stay for dinner, fun and games, and a water fight if the weather cooperates. PNO is only $20, and is limited to the first 15 people who sign up so we can maintain social distancing.






    August 22-23

    Knollwood Show

    Starts at 11 AM both days in the outdoor arenas

    Our walk, trot, and canter riders and the walk trot riders aged 11 and up will show in the big outdoor ring. Please bring chairs or blankets and set up in the pasture to watch the show. Feel free to bring your coolers and picnics as well.

    Our 10 and under riders, maiden riders, and leadline riders will show in the small outdoor ring on Sunday. Again, please bring your chairs and picnics.

    We will have boxed lunches available for pre-order, and touchless pickup on show day.




    September 16-19

    Wisconsin Futurity Horse Festival

    Wisconsin State Fair Park

    Enjoy a wonderful horse show, and sleep in your own bed! The show features beautiful show horses, equitation riders, and a full schedule of academy classes.

    We're expecting a huge academy turnout, so please get your entry forms in soon so we can plan for a big day.

    New this year, the academy classes will close out the show on Saturday afternoon.

    You won’t want to miss it!




    September 26

    Photo shoots at Knollwood with Emma Utoft

    More details are coming soon, and we DO plan on an academy group shot, so please save the date!


    We're looking forward to fun full steam ahead, and we hope you can join all the festivities.

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

    Read more

  • Summer Adventures!!

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    Let's face it, we do summer adventures really well.

    Last weekend, the academy and ‘B’ horses traveled to Roscoe Illinois for the Mid America Signature Show. In addition, Carol, Lin, and Hazel brought some of the ‘A’ show horses and had a ‘girl’s weekend’ at the show.

    We enjoyed wonderful hospitality from the Mid America Horse Show Association, a beautiful big outdoor ring, and a sunny warm horse show weekend.

    Highlights of the weekend included Richie and Tink turning in some amazing rides as they prep for Louisville, and spending time with the Honkamp ladies and their horses. 

    Our academy riders turned in great rides with especially stiff competition in the 13 and under WTC division. The Novice divisions in both WTC and WT were tough, with Addison finishing at the top on Saturday with Jules reserve, and Thea winning WT with Adrienne second.  We’re so proud of all our riders!


    This weekend, we’re off to Gurnee for the IASPHA Summer Show. 

    It’s ‘ladies weekend’ again for the show barn, while the academy and ‘B’ horses will be there to compete at one of our favorite shows.


    The following weekend, we’re off to the Ozaukee County Fairgrounds for the ASAW Summer Showcase. This outdoor show features both academy and ‘B’ classes, and we’ll be there competing in both divisions.


    Knollwood Kids, don’t forget to sign up for Parents’ Night out!

    Saturday, August 15 is all for barn fun as we hold a Knockout meeting at 4:30 followed by 3 hours of fun and games.  Weather permitting, we’ll hold a water fight after dinner, so be sure to bring a towel and wear clothes that you don’t mind getting wet.

    The cost is only $20, and you can sign up in the school barn lounge.


    Our ‘old school;’ Knollwood show is coming up fast on August 22 and 23!

    Please bring your chairs or blankets to sit on, and your coolers of beverages to enjoy the show.

    Horse assignment sheets will be up soon in the school barn lounge for all our riders.

    The show will start at 11 AM on both days, with Saturday hosting ALL the walk , trot, and canter classes.  We’ve also scheduled the 11 and over walk and trot classes so the riders can experience showing in the BIG outdoor ring. We’ll finish the afternoon with a games session.

    The Sunday session will move to the little outdoor ring, and will showcase our walk and trot riders aged 10 and under, as well as our leadline stars.

    If the weather doesn’t cooperate, we’ll host the show the following weekend, August 29 and 30.


    Since we don’t be having a traditional concession stand, please be sure to sign up to donate raffle items. Basket lists are located on the tack room door in the school barn.

    Presidential Mother Lisa is organized pre-order box lunches for the weekend, and they’ll even feature touchless pickup.  Please stay tuned for ordering information.

    We hope you can join us for PNO, and the summer show.

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




    Read more

  • Congratulations, Margit!

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    In a famous Knollwood tradition, when a Knollwood Kid receives a horse, they are instructed to tell everyone who congratulates them,

    ‘Thank you very much. I’m a very lucky young lady/young man, and I have the best parents in the world.’


    Well, we’re happy to say that Margit will be saying that for a very long time.

    The Rhode family has purchased CH Ken Follett for Margit to show in the 5 Gaited Show Pleasure division and will start showing the one and only Charlie this season.

    Knollwood has been beyond fortunate to have had this grand horse in the barn since 2017 when Nance Marsden purchased him for her granddaughter Gabby. Now referred to as a dynamic duo, Gabby and Charlie clicked, and they have won championships all over the country.

    Gabby is off to college this fall, and her studies at the University of Minnesota at Rochester will take up most of her time, so the Rhodes quickly purchased this grand horse.

    Margit has grown up a Knollwood Kid, progressing through the academy program. After showing ‘regular’ academy for a few years, she stepped up last season and showed Sadie in academy under the direction of Carol.

    Margit’s family has leased Robert, officially known as Rosewood’s Homecoming Dance, for her to show this season in the pleasure and equitation divisions. Thanks to her academy education, Margit knows how to use the show ring like a pro, and has already been quite successful with Robert.



    Margit is a Knollwood Kid through and through. She’s a camp counselor, as she’s fantastic with kids.  You cannot rattle Margit. She’s kind to all the riders, has am amazing vocabulary, and a fabulous sense of humor.  This kid is wise beyond her years.


    We can hardly wait to see Margit trotting and racking down the rail on Charlie.

    This is the start of a brilliant adventure!

    Read more

  • We're Having A Ball!

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    Knollwood Summer is in full swing, and we’re having a ball.

    The Car Wash!!

    Last weekend, the Knockouts held one of their favorite fundraisers of the year, their annual car wash and brat shack event at the Piggly Wiggly in Hartland. We were the first group to hold such an event since the COVID-19 pandemic started, and we were very popular.


    The event was full of adventures, starting with one outdoor water system that was broken and another that was not operational. No worries though with our amazing club president Erika. She tracked down another outlet at the far end of the strip mall and secured permission for its use.  Two fantastic Knockout moms ran home for additional hose, and we were in business with a car wash. Our newest hashtag is #nevertellaknollwoodkiditcantbedone!

    Add to that buckets that had been stuck together since last July, a slight incendiary event with the grill, washing a top down convertible VERY carefully and a customer serenading Lisa, and you get just a little sample of the fun filled afternoon.

    Great thanks to Lisa and Erika for getting this pulled together, and to all the Knockouts and parents who volunteered their time and senses of humor for the afternoon.

    The hard working Knockouts raised more than $800 for the club in a mere four hours of fun.

    Reinvented Knollwood Summer Show

    Our Knollwood Summer Show is coming together quickly.

    First of all, we’re thrilled to welcome Knollwood’s latest Triple Crown of Equitation winner Haley Berget to judge both days. Haley grew up a Knollwood Kid, and rose to legend status by winning the three big finals in 2018.

    Since we’re going to be enjoying the great outdoors, we’ll start the show at 11 AM on both days.  Our walk trot canter riders of all ages and the walk trot riders aged 11 and up will show in the BIG outdoor ring on Saturday.

    Our 10 and under walk trot riders, maiden riders, and lead line starts will show in the little outdoor ring on Sunday.


    We’re inviting spectators to bring their own chairs or blankets and spread out in the pasture overlooking the ring.  Coolers and picnics are welcomed as well. A reminder that Knollwood's safety protocols include wearing a mask when you're not able to socially distance outside at the farm and at all times if you need to go inside.


    Hazel will be most disappointed that we won’t be hosting a traditional concession stand, but will be selling water and soda in a socially distanced manner.

    Lisa will be making boxed lunches for preorder and touchless pickup on show day.  You will also be able to preorder beverages for pickup.

    We’ll provide this info to you around August 1 so you can place your orders, and will have a limited number of boxed lunches available for purchase on show day as well.

    There will be a small raffle, too.


    Coming Up?

    July 24-26

    Mid-America Signature Show

    We’re  off to the Mid-America Signature Show in Roscoe, Illinois this weekend. We’ll be showing in the great outdoors, and we can hardly wait.


    July 31 – Aug 2

    IASPHA Summer Show


    The following weekend,we’re off to Gurnee, Illinois for the IASPHA Summer Show.


    August 8-9

    ASAW Summer Showcase

    We’ll be showing at the ASAW Summer Showcase in Cedarburg. The fairgrounds are park-like, with plenty of room to social distance. We’re looking forward to three new riders making their show ring debut!


    August 15

    Knockout Meeting and Parents’ Night Out

    The Summer Knockout meeting will be held outside at 4:30 PM, followed by Parents’ Night Out.  For only $20, your Knollwood Kid can enjoy three hours of non-riding fun while parents enjoy peace and quiet for a few hours. We’re planning a water fight after dinner, so please send towels, dry clothes, and water throwing equipment. No water balloons, please.


    August 22-23

    Rain dates August 29-30

    Knollwood Summer Show


    We’re going old school!

    Join us for our first ever all outside show!


    We’re so excited that our schedule is starting to fill up.  Keep wearing those masks so we can continue.


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

    Read more