Team Knollwood spread out again last weekend and participated in horse shows in both Illinois and Wisconsin.
From the heights of the show horse world to the beginnings of show ring experiences, we had a blast with both ends of the spectrum.
Show horses were in Springfield at the beautiful Illinois State Fairgrounds competing at the Mane Event Show. This show is for the best in the industry, and the 2021 edition did not disappoint.
Mane Event is known for presenting the Good Hands National Equitation Final for both Junior and Senior Exhibitors as well as the USEF Medal Final for adults.
Team Knollwood had 5 riders in the junior exhibitor Good Hands, and they all did us proud. Finn, Heather, Laney, Payton, and Richie had all qualified for the right to compete by placing in a Good Hands class at a local show this season.
After the preliminary round, Finn, Heather, Payton, and Richie advanced to Phase II. Following that pattern, Finn and Heather were announced as members of the Top 10.
At the end of the event, Heather and Sammy finished in third place, and Finn and Leila received he 8th place ribbon in the final.
In the adult finals, Maria and Riddle finished third in the Good Hands, and Allison and Ava took the 5th place ribbon.
Maria showed in the Medal final as well, and finished with the championship ribbon.
Congratulations to all our equitation riders!
Next stop, Kansas City for the UPHA Challenge Cup Finals, and the USEF Medal Finale.
In addition to equitation, Mane Event features deep competition in all the show horse divisions.
Margit and her boys had quite a week. She and charismatic Charlie were unstoppable in the 5 Gaited Show Pleasure division, winning both their qualifier and championship.
Margit and Robert were a sight in the 3 Gaited Show Pleasure division, too. They finished in second place in both the qualifier and championship.
Tori and Frankie just keep getting better.
They earned a strong third place in their qualifier, and finished 6th in an action-packed championship. Congrats!
While Mane Event was finishing up, Team Knollwood gathered for day 2.5 of our Fall in-barn show.
Photo by Hanna Agathen
We had to revamp Sunday’s show and staff, as the show was rescheduled due to rain the previous weekend. Our original judge Allison was showing at Mane Event, our announcer was unavailable, many of our personal assistants were showing in Springfield, and many of our volunteers for the Knollwood village had other plans for the new weekend.
On to plan C …
Photo by Hanna Agathen
This edition featured our 10 and under walk trot riders, our maiden riders, and our novice pattern class. We enjoyed a perfect fall day in the little outdoor ring where Kelsey Nicole Farnham presided over all classes.
We’re beyond fortunate to have Kelsey step in to judge our future stars. She was the Grand Champion of Saddle Seat Equitation in her junior exhibitor days, and has a lifelong passion for all things equitation.
Now an executive and Mom of Ian, Kelsey offered inspiration and encouragement to each of the riders in the ring. We offer great thanks for her time and expertise.
Holly stepped in as announcer for the day, and offered her unique perspective. Always lighthearted and knowledgeable, Holly shared the view of a mother and grandmother of riders.
Many volunteers stepped in to man the Knollwood village of concessions, gift baskets, and merchandise sales. Thanks to everyone who pitched in.
Photo by Hanna Agathen
Our center ring crew kept the show running smoothly and safely. Great thanks to Nicole, Jodi, and Brenda.
Our personal assistants were rockstars.
We had several new, young assistants join the crew of horse managers. These Knollwood Kids each take care of a horse and all his riders for the day. They adjust stirrups, reins, and offer encouragement to their riders. Many of these kids were managing more than one horse because many riders were showing at Mane Event.
They were simply amazing.
Most of all, we owe a debt to the best lesson horses in the world. The boys were total gentlemen with many different riders, different crowds along the rail, and pesty yellow jackets coming from out of nowhere. We cannot thank them enough, but we’ll sure try.
They enjoyed a sunny Monday off from lessons, and LOTS of treats as well! It's a start.
To put it in perspective, over the course of Knollwood Fall Show days 1, 2, and 2.5, we had 369 entries head through the in-gate.
It takes a village of dedicated friends to pull off an event of this size, and we’re grateful for everyone who contributed to this great event.