So, in these crazy times, we're a little behind.
Today, let's celebrate the Knollwood Kids who started their college careers this year!
Tessa grew up a Knollwood Kid, riding with us since she was 10. From her very first lesson, Tess exuded a calm presence around horses, and they have all loved her since her first lesson.
Tessa’s calm demeanor comes with an inner strength that drives her to succeed in everything she does. She’s been an important helper and counselor since she was old enough, and has kind words for all of our new riders, even when it can be a little challenging. She’s at her best with timid beginners who always leave with a smile on their faces after a session with Tessa.
When she wasn’t at the farm, Tessa attended a challenging high school that prepares its students for careers in the medical professions. To give herself a leg up, Tessa earned her CNA, and has been working at several health care facilities to gain important experience before college.
Tess is a true student of the sport. Her sportsmanship is constant, and she is always there to cheer on other riders and offer an encouraging word. As anyone who’s been involved with horses knows, not everything goes as you hope all the time, and Tessa has certainly had her challenging rides. True to form, she moves on and learns from each experience with a horse with grace.
Did we mention that Tessa is beautiful on a horse? Her specialty is riding and showing academy horses that have plenty of ‘gas in the tank.’ She finished her junior exhibitor academy career with top ribbons on Murphy last season.
Tessa is currently studying at the University of Minnesota’s School of Nursing. She’s loving the Twin Cities, and visited us over the holidays. We know she’ll be a great nurse.
Knollwood Kid Bela started in 2009 at our summer riding school.
While growing up in Philadelphia, Bella summered at her family’s home on Oconomowoc Lake. She couldn’t get enough of horses and Knollwood during those summers.
Bella started year round training with Scott and Carol with an eye on the show ring. Commuting to Knollwood from Pennsylvania meant some action packed weekends and summer days with lots of lessons.
In 2018, Bella’s grandparents purchased the beautiful Far Away Garfield for Bella to show in the Country Pleasure division. This grand gelding and red haired Bella were a perfect combination.
The following year, Team Bella purchased the exciting 5 gaited star Showdown for even more adventures. He’s a big powerful gaited horse, and has provided plenty of exciting rides.
Bella and her family were generous this past fall when they loaned Garfield to Laney so she could compete in more classes during her final fall season. Bella was hitting the books her first semester of college, and chose not to show in the fall.
Bella graduated from AIM Academy in Philadelphia, and is currently studying Psychology at the University of Kentucky. She hopes to become an Occupational Therapist.
Bella is a member of the UK Equestrian Team, and is a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.
Bella adds 'Knollwood always felt like a second home and it taught me so many skills that make me who I am today. I'm so grateful for that.'
Knollwood Kid Laney is a third generation horsewoman. Her passion for horses started in the Arabian divisions, as did her show career.
She made the switch and started with Scott lessons at Knollwood in 2018. The rest is history.
Laney started her Saddlebred show journey when she leased Rosewood’s Homecoming Dance, known around the barn as Robert. She and Robert bonded immediately, and even won their first class.
In her first year of competition, Laney even ribboned at the World’s Championship Horse Show and at the National Championship American Royal.
After her initial show season, Laney’s family purchased Aaron, officially known as Seven Oaks Heir Man, for Laney to continue her education. From the beginning, this expressive gelding and Laney formed a mutual admiration society, and they learned all about each other during the 2020 season.
2021 was Laney’s breakout season. In addition to Aaron, Laney was fortunate to also show Far Away Garfield in some of her classes. The Kingsbury family generously loaned the grand gelding while their granddaughter was studying at the University of Kentucky.
Laney had a grand year. After winning her pleasure equitation championship at Midwest, Laney finished reserve national champion in the UPHA Pleasure Challenge Cup Finals, and was the bronze medalist in the senior division of the Pleasure Equitation Olympic Final.
She continued to St. Louis where she won the Saddle and Bridle Pleasure Equitation Medallion National Final in the senior division, and finished third in the ASHA National Championship of Pleasure Equitation.
To cap off an amazing junior exhibitor career, Laney finished in the top 10 of the prestigious USEF Medal Final.
Laney’s secret to success? Laney will ride ANY horse at ANY time to learn everything she can. She never stops learning. She even home schooled her final year of high school so she could devote more time to riding, and she started college second semester so she could concentrate on the fall equitation finals.
Laney is currently studying Equine Science at Colorado State University, and would like to continue to vet school. Laney will be a horse person forever.
Laney's mom Jen adds, 'We chose Knollwood initially because of their reputation of producing some of the best equitation riders in the industry. After some lessons, we realized it was a natural fit.
We love the magic between Scott and Carol. They are so different in their teaching styles but at the same time everything is complementary to the other. When you're riding with Knollwood, there is always a team of supporters in the stands to cheer for you, or hugs waiting for you when you come out of the ring.
Laney only started riding equitation when she was 15. Jen gives credit to Knollwood for giving Laney the opportunity to conquer her dreams in equitation and for making her a real horsewoman.
Jen's advice to parents? 'Enjoy the ride. TIme goes by so fast and before you know it, they'll be off to college. Winning is great, but it's the lessons our kids learn when they lose, how they deal with it, and what they learn. Those are the things that build character and will stay with them forever.'
Finn may have been a horse in a former life.
She started her show ring career in 2008 in academy leadline, and finished her junior exhibitor career last November with top four finishes in the equitation finals at the Royal.
Finn lives in Colorado.
Her parents decided to make the switch to Knollwood to help talented Finn progress in her equitation career. So, since 2017, Finn and her parents Greg and Liesl have spent lots of time on planes, and make Knollwood their second home.
Finn started out strong in her first season with Knollwood, with wins at Midwest, Lexington, and at Indy where she won the Junior UPHA Pleasure Challenge Cup and the Junior division of the Pleasure Equitation Olympics. She continued to St. Louis, where she won the 13 and under Saddle and Bridle Pleasure Equitation Medallion National Final.
The following season, she was paired with Royal Tryst, known to all as Sophie. These two blondes presented a picture of calm grace, most of the time. This game mare certainly made for some great learning experiences. She and Finn cracked the top 10 in a national equitation final for the first time, finishing 8th in the USEF Medal final.
Finn continued her riding education with regular trips to Knollwood, and learned SO much from Sophie and the show barn lesson horses along the way.
For the 2020 season, Finn’s family purchased CH-EQ Brookhill’s Passion Punch, who had just won the Triple Crown of saddle seat equitation for fellow Knollwood Kid Haley Berget.
Leila, who is probably 10 times more game than Sophie, enjoyed Finn from the start. The firey mare was balanced out by calm, cool Finn through their adventures. The new dream team finished in the top 10 of all three BIG equitation finals their first year out.
In their final year together, Finn and Leila were consistently at the top of the best equitation teams in the country. They enjoyed wins at Midwest, May Classic, and FASH before earning a Reserve World’s Grand Championship at Louisville. The dream team also finished in the Top 10 of all the Triple Crown finals.
Finn also enjoyed the opportunity to show a gaited horse this season, which she loved. Finn will be showing her very own gaited horse in 2022 after her parents purchased Riverdreams Masquerade at the American Royal.
In addition to her riding time, Finn has served as a mentor to our academy riders, helping them at shows throughout the year.
She graduated from Regis High School in Denver, and is currently studying at the University of Michigan. She’s been enjoying college life and watching Michigan football. She’s trying out lots of options, and is currently leaning to a career in business.
‘The journey with Scott and Carol and the Knollwood family has forever changed me. I have learned so much from both of you, in and out of the show ring. You’ve taught me discipline, compassion, and the meaning of hard work.
These past five years with Scott and Carol has made me a different rider, and ‘Thank You’ will never be enough.’
We applaud the contributions of these wonderful Knollwood Kids and horsewomen. We know they'll continue to do great things, and can't wait to have them back in center ring during Spring break.
What's Coming Up?
Please check out our new page on the website outlining our lesson clothing requirements. Because proper equipment and clothing are essential to riding progress, we ask all students excluding tiny tots to follow these guidelines after three months of enrollment. Please reach out to your instructor with any questions you may have.
Join us this Saturday, February 5 from 10 AM until 2 PM in the show barn lounge. We’ll have gently used apparel that Knollwood Kids have outgrown, and Jodi will be there with bling and ties. Plus, some academy moms will be there to offer personal shopping assistance.
The virtual Knockout Banquet is coming up at 7:00 PM on Saturday, February 19. If you haven’t already purchased your swag bag, or bid on a seat, make sure you do it soon! All purchased seats include a swag bag, plus the opportunity to see the banquet unfold in person. That is entertainment in itself!
All academy riders showing for the first time this year should plan on joining us on Saturday, February 26 at 7:00 PM. We’ll offer demos, and the chance to ask lots of questions of riders, parents, and staff. Plus, we’ll have refreshments!
Please sign up in the school barn lounge.
Patchwork Pony Road Show
Patchwork Pony is coming Saturday, March 12 to the Hilton Garden Suites in Oconomowoc from 8:30 AM until 4:30 PM. They have a terrific selection of academy clothes, and super equitation mom Sue will be there in the morning to help our newest show stars make their selections for the 2022 season.
KF Spring Show
It’s coming up May 13-15.
Why three days? We’re holding pattern classes and Knollwood Challenge classes on Friday night to shorten the other two performance days.
We’ll start taking entries in March.