Well, after a week of adventures across the Midwest, everyone is present and accounted for at Knollwood.
Where should we start?
How about the beginning ...
Scott started transporting show horses to the 76th annual Midwest Charity Horse Show last Friday. The show is the first 'big' show of the season where southern barns meet midwestern competitors for the first time. Team Knollwood had 2 loads of horses traveling to the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, so Scott returned home and left again at 6AM on Saturday with the final load of competitors.
Let's back up a little here ... On Thursday, Scott transported 9 horses to Highland Ridge Stable where they'd stay while our major show barn project was under way during the horse show. More about that later ...
So, at 7AM on Saturday, Gary and his crew arrived and started taking up the old asphalt aisleways in the show barn. The miracle workers had the asphalt up and gravel down by mid afternoon. We actually had to kick them out of the barn at 5:30 so we could use the arena for a special event.
Did we mention that we built a gazebo on the same day? After Gary and company were kicked out of the show barn, they helped the builders in the big outdoor ring put the finishing touched on the new structure in 'patternland.'
And the 'special event?' It was Haley's 16th birthday party! She and our other equitation riders traveling to Midwest were pretty much Knollwood residents during the week, prepping for the big show. They were ready for some horse fun that didn't involve precision, so the games were fairly entertaining. Everyone stayed on, Finn learned how much Sundance likes to play games, Ainsley was a force to be reckoned with even on Pony Frank, and birthday girl Haley was a power blocker on Picasso, especially when she could stop him. Oh, and we have to work on some rule changes for 'hat snatch.'
Gary and company returned on Sunday, so the aisle would be ready for concrete pouring on Monday. With organized precision, he scheduled trucks around our camp schedule so our first sessions of TIny Tot and Academy Pattern Camps could go off without a hitch.
They had the concrete completely poured by 1:00, and pretty much finished by 3. With Coleen and Amanda pitching in to finish, they had the aisle in tip top shape, ready for horses to return to their stalls by Friday.
And our two camps? We had a ball!
Tiny Tot campers worked in the little outdoor ring while our advanced riders enjoyed the space of the big outdoor arena, known to all as simply 'Patternland.'
These 8 were immersed in the horse show mindset with patterns galore and railwork taught with the assistance of the one and only Forest. Of course, they also found time for lots of fun. modifying rules of games, attempting to keep leg wraps from tangling in the laundry, and being the first ever people to nap on the new cool concrete aisles.
Meanwhile at Midwest, the show started Tuesday in the newly constructed arena. With the old coliseum needing renovations, this year's show was held in the modified make up ring, and many think it was actually cooler than the old traditional building, even in the Springfield heat.
The Knollwood riders proved once again that hard work does really pay.
Our performance riders riders had some great rides, tried some new things, and earned some nice ribbons in deep classes.
Ainsley and Millie had a blast in some great classes. The junior exhibitor 5 gaited division in the 14-17 age group is stacked with big time show horses, and Team Ainsley were rockstars.
After some great performances in the show pleasure division this season, Gabby and Jerry tried the junior exhibitor park division at Midwest, and had a blast in some incredibly deep classes.
Parker and Smith continue to come together as a team, and earned some nice ribbons in big classes.
All three generations of Honkamps enjoyed Midwest 2017.
Susan used to time in Springfield to get some lessons in on Rudy, She and Carol are getting him ready to show, and welcomed the chance for lessons in a show setting.
Susan's daughter Kerri showed her breathtaking Park mare Leila to a reserve championship in the Open Park championship after Scott qualified her earlier in the show.
Susan's niece Payton is enjoying a successful season with Rosewood's Homecoming Dance, AKA Robert. Last year's equitation mount for Haley is making a name for himself in the show pleasure division with Payton. They won their limit rider class, and earned a third place ribbon the in championship with a first place vote.
Our equitation riders did us proud. Again.
Lora and Sophie were on fire, winning the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship as well as the Good Hands qualifier.
Finn pretty much ruled the 13 and under division, winning the Pleasure Equitation championship for riders 13 and under, the UPHA Pleasure Challenge Cup, and the Saddle and Bridle Pleasure Equitation Medallion.
After successfully showing Pistol in the hunt division, Frannie decided to try adult equitation, and won the grown up Challenge Cup class. Sarah and Fergie were 5th.
Madison was the winner of the Pleasure Equitation Championship for riders 14-17 with Haley 4th and Matthew 6th. She was also reserve in her age group.
Haley was reserve in the Good Hands qualifier, and Matthew won the UPHA Challenge Cup for riders 14-17.
We'll all enjoy a relatively quiet week at home,with no major construction projects planned.
Camps are in full swing this week, with 13 riders enjoying a session of 'classic' Knollwood summer 2017. Next week, we're hosting another sold out week of Tiny Tot camp as well an another week of traditional summer riding school. We still have a few spots open, so contact us at www.KnollwoodFarmLTD.com for details.
Show horses are off to Oshkosh early next week for one of our favorite shows, the Oshkosh Charity Horse Show. Academy horses will follow later in the week for a lively performance Saturday morning at 9.
We're looking forward to a fun filled show, and hope you can join us!