Posted by Ann Wilt

Team Knollwood may have created a new tradition last weekend when we hosted our first ever outdoor in-barn show. This crazy year of 2020 has all of us of thinking in creative ways, and we really wanted to have a horse show that everyone could attend, so we changed things up and moved to the great ourdoors. And boy, did the weather cooperate!

Spectators made themselves comfortable on lawn chairs and blankets. Some even came prepared with umbrellas and pop up tents. Everyone we able to remain comfortably distant and still find shade when is was desired.

It takes a lot of great minds and hard work to reinvent an event of this size, and we have a lot of people to thank for their efforts and creativity.

 

Our riders embraced the outdoor show in both arenas. On Saturday, showmanship was on full display in the wide open spaces of the big outdoor ring. Pattern classes were HUGE, with 12 competitors in the 13 and under WTC division.  The riders got the chance to use every but of space in the Patternland arena.

 

Our younger riders on Sunday were not outdone by the bigger people.  Zoe and Jilly had their horses showing off the rail, and it looked like greats Sparky and Picasso really enjoyed it.

 

 

 

 

Our judge for the weekend did a fabulous job with the riders all weekend. Having grown up in these arenas, Haley was on top of the whole affair.  She texted results to announcer Jeni who was announcing from a remote location on Saturday to help the show run smoothly, too.

 

 

Sunday families were treated to a demo of Heather riding Fergie, officially known as Impressive Asset.  This exciting mare has been shown in Park, Pleasure, and Equitation divisions, and loved the crowd noise from the enthusiastic audience.  Customers new to the saddlebred world were especially thrilled to see this stunning example of a show horse with an accomplished Knollwood Kid aboard.

 

 

Knollwood parents are just the best. The change of venue was no problem for this group as they created a tent city outside with pop ups. Thanks to these dedicated parents, the show featured pre-orderable lunches with touch free pick up, gift baskets, and even silent auction items.  Thanks to their hard work, the Knockouts made over $1000!

 

 

Announcer Jeni and her ring crew rolled with the new arrangements as they went along.  Used to being in center ring, Jeni found herself under a tent on Saturday, and outside the ring on Sunday as well. Thanks to the wonders of technology, she and Haley texted results back and forth.

Jeni was also a rider in the show, competing in the pattern and gaming divisions. Knollwood Kids Maiya, Tess, and Addi took over the microphone in her absence, and may have broadcasting careers ahead of them!

 

 

Hanna signed up to help at the show, and ended up being our official show photographer. This Knollwood Kid has proofs available here where you can purchase digital images of the weekend.

 

We know we brag about the helpers a lot, but they really outdid themselves this time.  They designed the show prep areas, devised an outdoor tack change system, and stayed cool, calm, and collected while taking great care of horses and riders.

Bet you didn’t even know that they were bathing horses on the show barn wash rack DURING the show to keep them cool, did you?

This is an amazing group of horse kids, and we are beyond fortunate to have them in our program.

 

OK, we brag about our lesson horses a lot, too, but how can we not? These boys performed flawlessly in 2 different show arenas with new scenery in the form of people, umbrellas, and tents. There was a sizeable Sunday crowd, so fans of the riders were right up along the rail, but it was no trouble for our professional boys.

 

These marvelous horses brought countless smiles to their riders and fans this weekend and we just can’t thank them enough. But we’ll sure try!

 

 

 

We had such a good time, that we’re going outdoors again with a show in October. We are unsure whether we’ll be able to show indoors in November as originally planned, so we’ll show in both outdoor arenas on October 3 and 4. We’ll use the same format, with walk trot and canter riders and our 11 and older walk trot riders showing in the big outdoor on Saturday, with the 10 and under walk trot riders, the maiden riders, and the leadline riders showing in the little outdoor ring on Sunday.

We’ll be using the long sleeved tees we purchased for the spring show that we had to Covid cancel, so they’ll say ‘Knollwood Spring 2020 In-Barn Show.’ In our spirit of retooling things to make them work out these days, we’re holding a contest to see who can alter their shirt to eliminate the date in the most fun way. It’s time to get your creative juices flowing.

Entries are being accepted starting on Thursday, so get your entries in soon for horse selection.

 

Other News?

Finn and Richie both rode to terrific ribbons at the World Championship Horse Show in Louisville, and will be competing for World Grand Championship titles on Thursday and Friday.

 

 

The Wisconsin Futurity Horse Show is coming up fast at Wisconsin State Fair Park on September 16-19.  The show will culminate Saturday afternoon with the state academy championships which will be overseen by a three judge panel. We’re looking forward to a wonderful weekend of horse showing, and a HUGE academy turnout for the Saturday afternoon festivities.

 

Emma Utoft Photography is coming to the farm for photo shoots on Saturday, September 26. Please contact her at 815-742-0838 to set up a time for your session. Academy riders, we’ll be hosting a session for our annual group shot, so please keep the afternoon free!

 

 

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