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The 2018 version of the Madison Classic Horse Show is a memory now, and what a time Team Knollwood had. The show was a sell out with some of the best horses in the country in attendance, classes were full of quality horses and riders, and we were right in the thick of it.  Here are our favorite stories of the action-packed weekend.


Versatility Is Rewarded

We often mention Allison as a perfect example of how valuable a juvenile equitation career can be for an adult amateur exhibitor. By showing in the equitation division, riders learn the most efficient way to ride and feel a horse, and this knowledge can be applied to many horses in many divisions.

So at Madison, Allison showed Rudi again in the Western Country Pleasure Division, and won two classes.

The decision was made for Allison to show her own horse, CH I’m Royalty Too in the Amateur Park division instead of the 5 Gaited Division.  Allison made her adjustments, and she and Roy rode to third in their qualifier and came back to win their championship class.

Truly, you just never know where this equitation thing might take you!



Three Generations Cheering  

Gabby and Charlie have been on a winning streak and most recently they were reserve champions at the UPHA Chapter 5 Show in Kansas City. Gabby comes from a long line of Saddlebred enthusiasts including her Grandmother, Nance. Nance is quite a rider in her won right, having showed the legendary Park horse Fury to many, many wins.

Nance made the trip from Florida to watch Gabby show Charlie in Madison, and was treated to seeing the team win both their Junior Exhibitor 5 Gaited Pleasure qualifier and championship.


She Stole Her Mom’s Horse!

Bubbly  Payton also comes from a family of horse lovers. Her mom owns Dos Equis, and has shown him very successfully in the pleasure division. Payton is fortunate to show Undulata’s Crystal Illusionist in the Junior Exhibitor 3 Gaited division, and does a fabulous job with him.

Scott and Carol wanted to try Payton on ‘Dos’ as they think he may make a crackerjack equitation horse. To date, Payton and Dos have won every class in which they've competed, and won both the 13 and Under Show Pleasure qualifier and championship at Madison. She also campaigned ‘Eli’ to great ribbons in a most competitive Juvenile 3 Gaited division.

This kid can ride, and we think it might be a while before Nicole gets her horse back.


Mia and Maiya, Video Stars

Academy walk and trot stars Mia and Maiya are not camera shy. They enjoy staging a ‘picture of the day’ every Tuesday after their rides, and are rarely at a loss for words or creative ideas. Assistant trainer and technology whiz Lin thought videos may be in order, and this trio went to Madison to create ‘Mia and Maiya Take Madison.’  They interviewed some fantastic horsemen, the show management, a famous exhibitor who rode at Knollwood as a kid and now works for the ASHA, and of course, Scott and Carol.  The video is in the editing process, and we hope to share it with you soon.


Haley. Just Haley.

Haley started riding with us as a wee one. Talent was evident in the early stages of her academy shows, and she moved up quickly to the show horse world. She proceeded to win 13 and under finals, and now has risen to the top of the senior equitation division.

Like fellow Knollwood rider Ainsley, Haley is also a member of the United State Saddle Seat World Cup team and will compete against the world in July.

Like many other Knollwood riders, Haley has had the chance to show some horses for other trainers. This weekend, Haley had the opportunity of her young life, showing Kalarama’s out of the Ordinary to the championship in Juvenile Park and Take Back the Night the blues in both the Limit Show Pleasure qualifier and the Limit/Junior Show Pleasure Championship. Both horses are trained by Hollow Haven Farm in Oconomowoc.

She also had a chance to show a horse for Fairview Farm when she rode Put Me In Coach to a strong second place ribbon in a deep, deep Juvenile 3 Gaited qualifier.

In addition to her catch riding, Haley showed Leila to a win in the UPHA Challenge Cup and a 4th in a very competitive USEF Medal qualifier. Well known for her horsemanship skills, Haley is guiding Leila through her first year in the equitation division, and they are both enjoying the process.


Our Newest Stars

Emma, Heather, and Jordan all traveled to their second show out of the academy division, and what a show they had. They did us proud. Again.

Emma turned in strong riders on Fergie, and executed a beautiful pattern in the Pleasure Equitation Championship to finish third.


Heather and Tucker are turning into a force to be reckoned with. This charismatic pair came out on top of their age group qualifier, the Saddle and Bridle Pleasure Equitation Medallion qualifier, and the Pleasure Equitation Championship.


Jordan and Maddie were in some deep, deep classes this weekend, and were right in the thick of the battle. This elegant pair ribboned in every class, and each ride was stronger than the last.


Academy in Numbers.

Big Numbers.

Held on Memorial Day weekend with people heading to their cabins or picnics, the Madison Classic has never hosted a huge academy division. Until now.

The 14 and Over division was seventeen riders strong, leading management to split both the qualifier and championship. The walk and trot division was no different, with the 10 and under walk and trot championship split into two deep, large groups of riders.

Team Knollwood was well represented with eight riders in the 14 and over walk, trot, and canter division. These riders were at various stages of their showing educations, and they all rode to the best of their current abilities. We’re proud of all of them, and a couple stories stand out.

Korinne moved up and showed Sadie, officially known as Just as Unique while Zada continued Joey’s education with a visit to a BIG show.

It was Erika’s day.

Teamed with the one and only CH Callaway’s Don’t Panic for the first time, we couldn’t tell who was having more fun, Erika or Panic.  This team won all three of their classes, and Panic made sure each victory was a little faster than the previous one. Not too bad for Erika’s first show of the season, and her first show in the tough senior division.



The 10 and Under walk and trot division was stacked.

Our five riders worked the ring and battled for good spots to show their horses in heavy traffic. They managed the ring well, and really shone in the pattern portion of the equitation championships. In the split 10 and Under championships, both Mia and Maiya rode to reserve championships, and all five of our riders received ribbons.

These big classes allow riders to learn important lessons about placement and showmanship. It’s one thing to practice it at home, and totally different to do it at a show with all the distractions and other riders who may use the ring differently. We’re so proud of our riders who performed beyond our expectations yet again.



We Are Grateful.


Shows like this don’t happen without a lot of ‘behind the curtain’ people.

We’d like to thank everyone who worked so hard to make sure horses and riders looked fabulous in the ring. Special thanks to Laura and Sue - bun makers to the stars, to Abbie, Hanna, and Brenda for helping with the best lesson horses in the world. And a big shout out to Bubbles who graduated from high school on Friday night, showed on Saturday morning, and stayed for the afternoon helping put up academy horses. Thank you!


Next Up?

The academy and ‘B’ horses are off to Beyond Stable Farm in Woodstock, Illinois for the Prairie State Classic Horse show on Thursday night. Originally a Morgan show, it now features classes for Saddlebreds as well, and it offers a full schedule of academy classes spread over both Saturday and Sunday.


Our show horses will be home until they head out to the first of the ‘big’ shows of the season, Midwest Charity. The 77th edition of Midwest will feature the best in the Saddlebred and Equitation world, and Team Knollwood will be there with numbers. We’ll update you with webcasting information as soon as it’s available.


Till then, See You At the Barn!




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