Team Knollwood is back at home after a highly successful week at the UPHA National Championship American Royal Horse Show.
The home team prepared riders for the future, running the 2020 finals of the Knollwood Challenge, while the show horse team was in KC, competing at the national championships.
Hard work paid off for Knollwood Kids, and we’d like to share their stories and successes of 2020.
In no particular order,
Heather started riding at Knollwood as an 8 year old, and quickly became a real Knollwood Kid. She’s been a Tuesday night helper since we can remember, and has been seriously involved in the Knockouts for years, currently serving as a board member.
A great example of the value of academy showing, Heather didn’t enjoy fantastic success at that level, mostly because she just kept growing and moving her center of gravity. Always gracious whether winning or losing, Heather has always been an example of true sportsmanship to those around her.
Heather made the move to the show horse world in her 13 year old year when her parents leased CH Fine By Me to show in the Pleasure Equitation division. Heather answered the challenge, finishing second and third in several finals that year.
After leasing again last season, Heather’s family purchased the accomplished Reedan’s Why Not to take her to the next level of competition. These two have quickly become a team, and Carol loves him so much that she told Scott she's going to marry him.
Heather and Samson have enjoyed a spectacular season, and finished with a Reserve National Championship in the Senior UPHA Challenge Cup Final, and a 4th place finish in the USEF Medal Final.
Another true Knollwood Kid, and legendary Tuesday helper, Margit started riding at Knollwood around age 8 as well. Owner of a fantastic vocabulary and a quirky sense of humor, Margit was quickly entertaining everyone as she rose through the ranks.
Margit finished her academy career showing Just As Unique (Sadie) for a season under the guidance of Scott and Carol. This year, her family leased Rosewood’s Homecoming Dance (Robert) to take Margit to the show horse world.
While learning the ways of the show horse, a legendary gaited pleasure horse became available, and Margit’s parents purchased CH Ken Follett (Charlie) for their daughter to show. Margit and Charlie have become a team in short order, and headed to their first horse show shortly after joining forces.
Margit always possessed a need for speed, so trotting and racking down the rail are perfect for her. She’s excelling at it, with several successful shows under her belt in the first season. Team Charlie won its qualifier and championship at Futurity and Mane Event, were second in both at St Louis, and were 4th and 5th in the National Championship at the Royal.
What are they going to do next year?
After watching his sister Victoria ride, seven year old Richie decided he wanted to try a few lessons. It quickly became apparent that he had been a horse in a former life, and he quickly fell in love with the process.
Years later, you’ll frequently find Richie helping with lessons at the barn, spending time listening in the arena, or hanging out with Tink and Sophie.
Richie’s walk and trot academy career was fast as he wowed all of us with the horsemanship he displayed. As an 8 year old, Richie was showing Heist and Chip in deep, deep academy classes.
Richie’s parents presented him with the gift of a lifetime when they purchased legendary Miss Mheiry Mac to be Richie’s walk and trot equitation partner. This team lit up the ring as she taught him all about mares and show horses.
Richie and Tink were reserve in the 2017 Walk and Trot UPHA Challenge Cup National Final, and have notable success in the Country Pleasure division as well, after several of Richie’s famous growth spurts.
In 2020 alone, they enjoyed wins at Bridlespur and Summerfun after being Reserve National Champions at the Royal in 2019.
For the past 2 seasons, Richie’s parents have leased the beautiful CH-EQ Royal Tryst (Sophie) from the Becker family. Tink taught Richie well, and he has become a team with this talented mare.
In 2020, Richie made the initial cut in the Good Hands national final in a pool of riders 17 and under, and finished the season winning the Junior UPHA Challenge Cup National Final.
In his spare time this summer, Richie also showed future lesson star Garden of Roses (Willis) to a Monarch national championship in the single bit division, and showed Impressive Asset (Fergie) to some strong ribbons in the Show Pleasure division!
Finn travels to Knollwood a couple of times a month from Denver to train with Scott and Carol. She started riding near home, and her parents decided to sacrifice time to allow Finn to work with Knollwood.
Knollwood has become a second home for Finn, whether she’s in center ring, helping with academy riders at shows, or hanging out with other Knollwood Kids.
Always beautiful on a horse, Finn is fortunate to own the legendary equitation star, CH-EQ Brookhill’s Passion Punch. (Layla) Some of you may remember Haley and Layla winning the Triple Crown of equitation in 2018, right before Finn became her owner.
Finn and this game, strong, and beautiful mare have enjoyed great success, and they were rock stars in this crazy 2020 season, finishing in the Top 10 of all three big finals.
Finn was third in both the Good Hands, and the UPHA Senior Challenge Cup, and was 10th in the USEF Medal Final.
And as a bonus, Finn also gets to ride her firey, beautiful pleasure horse Nuttin’ But a Lady (Frankie). Only Finn could ride her in equitation at the Royal and win her age group qualifier!
We think that Payton may actually be a horse masquerading as a young lady.
Also a ‘long hauler,’ Payton travels from Colorado to Knollwood a couple times a month to train with Carol and Scott.
Coming from generations of horsewomen, Payton also had a strong beginning back home. Mom Nicole made the leap and sacrifice of time to help Payton reach the next level with Knollwood.
A well-rounded horse person, Payton shows Dos Equis in 13 and under equitation and had several great moments in 2020. These two finished third in the ASHA Pleasure Equitation National Championship, which was a 17 and under final, and then they had to compete in the senior division of the Saddle and Bridle Pleasure Equitation Medallion Final because they had won the junior division last year. Team Payton rode against the older riders and finished third.
They finished their 2020 season with a great 6th place finish in the Junior UPHA Challenge Cup National Final.
Payton also has the opportunity to show Undulata’s Crystal Illusionist (Eli) in the Junior Exhibitor 3 Gaited division. These two are a personality match, and have enjoyed great success this year, with wins at Summerfun and Futurity, and finished with good ribbons in Kansas City.
The story of the year?
It’s Payton and Riddle.
Nicole rescued him from a kill pen, helped him at home, and then brought him to Knollwood thinking he might make a nice lesson horse.
Little did anyone know what Riddle had in store.
Payton showed him for the first time at Wisconsin Futurity, finishing second in his first ever show classes, and went to the Monarch National Championship show where he won his Open Pleasure qualifier and championship.
Riddle then made the trip to Kansas City and became an equitation horse. Payton showed him in her age group, and in the Junior National Championship, where they came in 4th.
Great thanks to the Duerrs and to everyone who had a part in preparing Riddle for the bright future waiting for him.
Another Knollwood Kid coming from generations of horsewomen, Laney started her career in the Arabian world. Laney travels a few times a week from northern Illinois for her ‘Knollwood time.’
When Laney decided to go all-in to the equitation world, she moved to Knollwood for the journey. Last season, Laney leased Rosewood’s Homecoming Dance and competed in the tough midwestern Pleasure Equitation division with great success. In her first year of competition, Laney ribboned at Louisville, and finished in the Top 10 of the UPHA Pleasure Challenge Cup final.
In the off season, Laney’s family purchased Seven Oaks Heir Man (Aaron) for the 2020 campaign. They enjoyed a great season, making the cut in both the Good Hands and the Senior UPHA Challenge Cup Finals.
The Knollwood Challenge Final,
Nothing in 2020 is going as usual, so we reinvented the Knollwood Challenge Final. Open only to riders and their parents, and held as an independent event instead of a finale at our fall show, the event was a success.
Academy riders have qualified at the Knollwood shows this season by finishing first or second for the chance to ride in the final. We even held one last qualifier on Friday night before the final.
Terri Anne Ullman of Winsome Farm judged all events, and was very impressed with the riders.
Winners of both finals received a custom deRegnaucourt show shirt, and the winner of the walk, trot, and canter final also received a 3 month subscription to RIchfield Video.
Topping the tough field of walk, trot, and canter riders was Mia on Vaughn, officially known as He Plays The Blues, with Addison reserve on Cashew, offically known as Captain Kaos.
Mia guided 4-year-old Vaughn through a tricky pattern with patient horsemanship that everyone enjoyed watching.
In the walk and trot division, Brooklyn captured the title with a strong ride on Baxter, AKA A Champagne Toast. Riding right on her heels was Tessa on the one and only Klem.
Congratulations to all of our competitors who made the final a joy to watch.
Who knows where these future stars will ride to???
Team Knollwood is beyond proud of all these accomplishments.