Team Knollwood returned Sunday from the UPHA National Championship American Royal Horse Show, and it was a heck of a show. Actually, the whole season was pretty spectacular.
The Royal featured some milestones for Team Knollwood, and lots of adventures. We had some riders age out of divisions, some riders were horse shopping, and most of all, they all turned in wonderful rides.
Our favorite stories?
Laney Ages Out.
Laney competed in as a junior exhibitor for the last time at the Royal.
She comes from a family of horsewomen, and started her show career in the Arabian divisions. Laney arrived at Knollwood about four years ago, and has been working tirelessly since.
Laney showed Robert, Rosewood’s Homecoming Dance, for her first season in the pleasure equitation. After a successful first season, Laney’s family purchased Aaron, officially known as Seven Oaks Heir Man. Laney and Aaron rose to the challenge and competed at the top of the division, and finished this season by finishing in the top 10 of the USEF National Medal Final.
Laney has also been fortunate to show Far Away Garfield, owned by the Kingsbury family, at several shows this fall. His owner, Bella, is concentrating on her college studies, and loaned Garfield to Laney while she’s busy with school.
Other highlights of this season include winning the Saddle and Bridle Senior Pleasure Equitation Medallion Final, winning the Senior Pleasure Equitation Championship at Midwest, being named the reserve champion of the UPHA Pleasure Challenge Cup National Final, finishing third in the ASHBA National Championship of Pleasure Equitation, and taking home the bronze medal in the Pleasure Equitation Olympics.
Laney finished her high school studies online to spend more time riding, and is on her way to Colorado State University in January. Horses are in Laney’s DNA, so we’ll be seeing her showing when time allows.
Finn Finishes her Equitation Career
Finn has been showing horses since 2008 when she made her leadline debut at Arizona Futurity in the academy leadline division. She’s been making trips to Knollwood from her home in Colorado since 2017.
Known for her cool, confident demeanor, Finn has been a fixture in the equitation division for the last 13 years. She’s been successful since she started showing her first horse, Callaway’s Sportscaster, and has continued throughout her career, culminating in her partnership with CH-EQ Brookhill’s Passion Punch.
In 2021, Finn won the Saddle Seat Equitation championship at Midwest, and was named the Reserve World Champion in 17 year old riders at Louisville, and earned the Reserve World’s Grand Champion Equitation Rider title as well.
In the previous 4 years, Finn has earned an unbelievable 9 top 10 awards in the ‘Big Three’ equitation finals.
In 2021, Finn rode to 8th in the Good Hands Final, 4th in the UPHA Senior Challenge Cup Final, and 3rd in the USEF Medal Final.
In her spare time at the show, Finn also showed Admiral Able, known to all as ‘Shane,’ to great ribbons in the Junior Exhibitor 5 gaited division.
Finn is currently studying at the University of Michigan, and we expect to see her showing horses for many years to come.
Richie ‘Graduates’ in Style
Richie finished his Junior Equitation career with a bang at the Royal.
Since the beginning of his show career, Kansas City has been friendly to Richie. He won his first national title there in 2017 when he and Miss Mheirry Mac were crowned Reserve National Champion in the UPHA Walk Trot Challenge Cup.
Richie has enjoyed an exciting 13 and under career with both Tink and now with CH-EQ Royal Tryst.
Last year at the Royal, Sophie and Richie won the UPHA Junior Challenge Cup National Final, so when he returned to KC this year, the dynamic duo rode up to the Senior Challenge Cup, as you can only win a final one time. Richie and Sophie made the initial cut in the final among much more experienced riders.
This time around, Richie had the opportunity to show another horse as well as Sophie so he could show in more classes. Jessie Richardson who owns Evermore Farm in Kentucky grew up a Knollwood Kid and is now a successful trainer, offered the use of equitation star Amanyara to allow Richie to compete in the Junior National Championship.
Richie showed the beautiful and talented mare in the qualifier for riders aged 13 and under, and won it unanimously, and then went on to unanimously win the national championship.
In addition to his equitation expertise, Richie has also show a road pony for Rick Wallen Stables, and has been showing Fergie, officially known as Impressive Asset, in the competitive show pleasure division.
Payton Becomes a Senior
Since starting her showing career at the Colorado Fall Charity Show’s academy division, Payton has been a horse girl. In fact, she rides like she may have been born on a horse.
Payton enjoyed great success in her first year in the senior equitation division as she and her boys Eli and Riddle certainly made their mark in 2021.
Payton won the 14-17 pleasure equitation qualifier at Lexington, and were named Reserve Champions of Senior Pleasure Eq, she and Eli were the Reserve World Champion 14 year old equitation team at Louisville, she was the Silver Medalist in the Pleasure Equitation Olympics, and finished third in the UPHA Pleasure Challenge Cup National Final. At St Louis, Payton finished third in the Saddle and Bridle Pleasure Equitation Medallion Final, and was the Reserve National Champion in the ASHBA Pleasure Equitation Final.
Payton made the initial cut in the Good Hands Final and the USEF Medal Final, and finished third in the Senior National Championship of Saddle Seat Equitation.
We can hardly wait to see what the future holds for P!
Heather and Sammy finished a brilliant 4th in the USEF Medal Final, with a first place vote.
Margit showed both Charlie and Robert to good ribbons in some crazy good classes.
Tori and Frankie keep progressing, and made some wonderful rides in the deepest of competition.
Haley and Allen, officially known as Americana’s Standing Ovation, showed in the highly competitive amateur gaited division, and finished 4th in their qualifier and 6th in their championship!
Congratulations to everyone on a terrific show!
What’s coming next?
This weekend, the academy team is heading to their last show of the 2021 season when they travel to the UPHA Fall Academy Show. Join us Friday night and Saturday morning at Beyond Stable Farm!
There’s still time to sign up for holiday photo shoots to benefit the Knockouts. Knollwood Kid Hanna will lend her expertise on Sunday, November 21 and 28. You can sign up here for the 21st or here for the 28th.
Knockouts Holiday Service Project
This year, the Knockouts are adopting four families for the holiday season. Officers are finalizing wish lists for each family, and will have them posted by Sunday. They’ve assembled teams for each family based on the day of week you ride.
Please consider helping our neighbors who are struggling this season with a donation. The Knockouts will then wrap the gifts at Parents’ Night Out on December 4.
Parents’ Night Out
Saturday, December 4
Join the Knockout officers for a night of fun at the barn.Games, dinner, and a gift wrapping party will complete the evening. It’s only $25 per member, and you can sign up in the school barn lounge.
Knockout’s Holiday Party
Saturday, December 11
It’s back! All members and their families are invited to enjoy the scavenger hunt. Pizza, and the election of club officers for 2022.
Please sign up in the school barn lounge so we can be sure to have enough food for everyone!
Not yet a member? Your instructor would love to help you sign up.
Stirrups for Christmas?
Please talk to Ann by December 7 if you’d like her to order stirrups for the rider in your house.
Instructors will be setting up meetings in December to review enrollments and to start planning show season 2022!
We’ll be closed December 24 and 25, as well as December 31 and January 1. All lessons will be credited to your account.