0 comments / Posted by Ann Wilt

After enjoying one of the strongest and deepest World’s Championship Horse Shows in memory, it’s time to celebrate the art of equitation as we start Finals Season.


Equitation Finals are chances for equitation riders to compete against the best riders in the country as they compete for National Titles. Riders qualify to compete at the finals by qualifying at a class during the show season.

Following the 2 finals being held at the All American Horse Classic this weekend, the season continues at the St Louis Charity Horse Show at the end of September with the ASHA National Championship of Pleasure Equitation as well as the Saddle and Bridle Pleasure Equitation Medallion Final.

Riders of both Pleasure Equitation and Trimmed Equitation horses will then meet at the Mane Event Show at the Illinois State Fairgrounds at the end of October for the first and oldest of the ‘Big Three’ finals, the Good Hands.


The season ends at the UPHA National Championship American Royal with the last 2 events of the equitation triple crown, the UPHA Challenge Cup and the USEF Saddle Seat Medal Final. These 2 are ‘Open’ events, so pleasure equitation and trimmed equitation horses are eligible to compete.

Riders have been working hard all season, and some recently graduated 17 year olds have taken gap years from college to allow themselves to focus on their last ‘final season.’


The season starts this weekend at the All American Horse Classic in Indianapolis.  This show, held at the historic Indiana State Fairgrounds, is home to the UPHA Pleasure Challenge Cup Finals as well as the Pleasure Equitation Olympics.

Finals Season 2018 will start with the Pleasure Equitation Olympics, sponsored by the Illinois American Saddlebred Pleasure Horse Association (IASPHA).  Riders must earn a minimum of 15 points competing in pleasure equitation points throughout the season to be eligible for the finals.

Riders will compete on the rail, and then the judges will select 10 riders to complete individual work.  Later in the day, an awards ceremony will be held to honor gold, silver, and bronze medals for the first, second, and third place riders.

Team Knollwood will be well represented in the final, with Hanna and Heather competing in the Junior Division, while our riders in the senior division will be Ainsley, Amanda, Emma, Haley, and Matthew.


The UPHA Pleasure Challenge Cup final started in 1992 to promote pleasure equitation. Riders who have placed either first of second in a qualifying class during the season are eligible to compete in the finals in Indy. In each qualifier across the country, riders compete on the rail before they all complete the mandatory workout of:  "Trot a serpentine consisting of four half circles to the opposite end of the ring. Return down either rail at a show trot." 

 Showmanship is paramount, and the final is judged 60% on railwork, and 40% on the individual workout. Judges are asked to select patterns that highlight showmanship as opposed to intricacy.

The event is divided into two age divisions, the junior final for riders 13 and under, and the senior division for riders aged 14-17.

Team Knollwood will be in the thick of this competition as well, with all seven of our riders competing for the National Title.


Best of luck to everyone competing this weekend!



If you can’t make it to Indy, you can watch all the action on SeeHorseVideo.com.


Don’t forget our Open House is coming up on September 15 from  11-3.  Please bring your friends who might be interested in lessons to enjoy a free mini lesson, paint Forest, and enjoy a tour of the farm.  New customers who purchase lessons at the Open House will receive a discount, too!




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