7 comments / Posted by Ann Wilt

Knollwood lost one of it’s grandest members when CH CH-EQ Brookhill’s Passion Punch was laid to rest yesterday.

A legend in the show ring, Leila has a long history at Knollwood with many, many accomplishments.

Bred by the O’Brien Family Trust, Leila entered the world on May 17, 2004, and was destined for the spotlight. Always big, physically gifted and an intellectual in her own right, she and Scott were a match made in heaven.

One of her earliest trainers used to work her in a western saddle because Leila was so good at bucking her off.  This same trainer would come to the ring to watch Leila complete patterns at shows because she had a hard time believing it was the same horse who liked to dump her in the past.

Kerry purchased the firey mare in 2013, and had a colorful and successful show career in the amateur park division. Leila loved to do things her way, and she and Scott had many, many discussions about just how things would be done.

She was gifted and beautiful, and started her habit of ‘talking’ the entire time she was in the lineup.

Did we say she was big and powerful? Carol said she was the only horse she’d ever seen buck Scott off. She did it in the warm up ring at Midwest, with Scott landing on his feet facing the queen. Carol said it was such a physical feat on Leila’s part that she couldn’t stop watching.

While Kerry was out on maternity leave, Scott started to equitate Leila, and the rest is history. Many of Leila’s former trainers didn’t think it could be done, but Scott worked his ‘mare magic’ on Leila, and put Haley on her to see where it would go.

In 2018, Haley and Leila won:

  The UPHA Senior Challenge Cup Final

  The ASHA National Championship of Pleasure Equitation

  The Saddle and Bridle Pleasure Equitation Medallion Final

  The Good Hands National Final

  The UPHA Senior Challenge Cup Final

  The USEF Medal Final.


The Cooper Family purchased Leila for Finn to show in equitation, and they became a historic team. During their time together, the beautiful tall blonde rider matched Leila step for step and enjoyed great success.

Finn and Leila were third in the Senior Challenge Cup National Final in 2020, and in the Good Hands Final the same year.

In 2021, this polished duo were Reserve World Champions in 17 year old equitation, and were Reserve World’s Grand Champions in the Equitation World Championship.

They were also 3rd in the USEF Medal National Final, and 4th in the UPHA Challenge Cup Senior Final.

Finn owned Leila until her last days, and loved her dearly.




The Dallens leased Leila for Richie when he entered the senior equitation division in 2022. They hit it off immediately, and really came into their own at Lexington with a 3rd place finish in their age group, and 5th in the equitation grand championship.

At Louisville, the duo were named Reserve World’s Champions of 14 year old equitation, and finished 4th of 22 riders in the senior World’s Grand Championship of equitation. 

At the Royal, Richie and Leila were 3rd in the UPHA Senior Challenge Cup Final, in his first year of competition in the senior division.


In 2023, Knollwood Kid Amelia leased Leila, and had the privilege of showing her at FASH to two great red ribbons.

Amelia is grateful to the Coopers for giving her the chance to show Leila, one of the greatest equitation partners ever. 


Leila was not an easy horse, but was so very smart and talented. Scott spent countless hours and days working with her to bring her around, and she became a legendary equitation partner for a number of Knollwood Kids.

Peace to you, Queen Leila, and to everyone who loved you, appreciated you, and learned from you.

You were royalty through and through.


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  • Posted On June 27, 2023 by Bonnie smith

    So very sorry for your loss🙏
    Her legacy will continue in the hands and seats of those who were privileged to ride her💔

  • Posted On June 27, 2023 by Lynda Freseth

    I am so sorry to hear of this grand mare’s passing. Scott and Carol, I am so sorry for your loss. The time and consistent effort that bind these horses with their humans is a bond that can never be broken and is hard to lose. I am so sorry. She touched so many lives. I will miss her vocal declaration of the end of a segment and beginning of another of her patterns. You will be missed!

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