0 comments / Posted by Ann Wilt

Hearts are heavy tonight at Knollwood as we mourn the loss of a legend.

Willy passed away this evening, on his own terms.

A great man always knows when to leave.

Thanks to care from Nancy and Dr. Matt, Willy enjoyed a day outside in the sunshine, and then came in for a nap during which he crossed the rainbow bridge.

Just imagine the welcoming committee on the other side … Dudley, Forest, KC Pony,  barn cat legend Dean,  and all the others who worked with Sweet William.

Born Dakota’s Diamond Sam in April of 1987, Willy came to Knollwood in 1990, and the rest is history.

This grand gelding became possibly the best beginner lesson horse to  ever walk the earth.

With his patented jog trot, he taught literally thousands of students to post during his 31-year career.

We tried to retire him three times, but he refused the first two.


Willy was perhaps a metronome in a former life.

The speed of the jog never changed as he gave each of his riders from the tiniest to the most apprehensive adult the confidence that only he could bestow.

Not without his quirks, Willy was deathly afraid of Scott for no reason, although he warmed up to him in later years.

In his youth, Willy’s trips for shoe resets were quite a terrifying experience for the grand beginner horse.

Spray and aerosols were his nemesis. In fact, he found his quarter horse speed whenever he heard the fly spray start.

Willy, the inaugural school horse of the year in 2018, had the patience of a saint, and the heart of a ladies man. In his later days, he enjoyed his time outside with CH Miss Mheirry Mac.

We thank you Willy, for the we time spent with you.

You taught many lessons, and most of them weren’t in the arena.

There will never be another Willy.


Peace to you Willy.

You were well loved, and will be eternally missed.



Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing