Posted by Ann Wilt

Team Knollwood spent a gorgeous weekend in ‘the Rome of the West’ competing at the St Louis Charity Horse Show.  Home to national finals in western, hunt, and pleasure equitation, this show offers welcoming hospitality in a beautiful facility.  Even with all the national finals, the show has its own vibe which is more relaxed than you’d expect.

 

Here are a few of our favorite stories from St Louis...

 

Payton changed things up after her successful summer showing Dos in the pleasure division, and returned to the equitation world showing the one and only Eli, officially known as Undulata’s Crystal Illusionist. These two exude charisma galore, and performed a beautiful figure 8 to win the Good Hands qualifier and put on a strong demonstration of equitation poise to win the Medal qualifier. These two are on their way to the finals!

 

It’s so true that horse friends are the best, and we proved it again last weekend with a visit from a friend.  Abby took a break from studies at Quincy College and met her horse showing friends in St Louis.

Once a Knollwood Kid, …

 

Finn made the trip from Colorado to show in the deep equitation classes in St Louis. She and Sophie won a strong qualifying class and finished reserve in the championship. This team is really meshing, and are ready to take on the challenge of the ‘Big Three’ fall finals.

 

Ainsley’s incredible riding skills were on full display last weekend as she competed in both the pleasure equitation finals and in the 5 gaited division. She turned in convincing rides on Frankie in both the ASHA National Championship of Pleasure Equitation and the Saddle and Bridle Pleasure Equitation Senior Medallion Final. True horsemanship was displayed as she worked Frankie through the finals patterns, and even convinced her that dropping stirrups was OK. The patterns were masterful, and Ainsley was rewarded with a 7th place finish in the first final, and a 5th in the Medallion final.

Ainsley showed Millie in the Junior Exhibitor 5 Gaited division, and rode to unanimous victories in both her qualifier and championship. Ainsley is now a quick change artist, having to switch suits after her Medallion final on Saturday night to show Millie.  It’s the second year in a row that Team Millie has been the St Louis champion, too.

 

Richie and Tink are getting better and better, and were rewarded with wins in both their qualifier and championship in St Louis.  They’re heading to Mane Event next to prepare for the finals in Kansas City.  They’ll be ready for the challenge!

 

 

Hazel had a tough week. At home, she enjoys her slow mornings, often coming to the barn when she feels like it, and napping throughout the day.  

Well, in St Louis she kept horse traners’ hours, and found the schedule pretty grueling. Luckily, there were customers with friendly laps, and even a new outfit to wear at the show.

 

 

In her first year out of our academy program, Heather is amazing even us. She and Tucker have quickly become a team and have risen to the top of the pleasure equitation division.  After finishing second in the Junior Pleasure Equitation Olympics and in the UPHA Junior Pleasure Challenge Cup, these two continued their success in St Louis.

The young team rode into the ring with 16 other riders for the ASHA National Championship of Pleasure Equitation. The class list read like a ‘who’s who’ of the current pleasure equitation world, and included junior exhibitors of all ages. Heather and Tucker rose to the challenge, and finished third in this incredible national final.

The next day, Heather rode into the Saddle and Bridle Pleasure Equitation Junior Medallion Final, riding against fellow 13 and under riders this time. Team Tucker rode precise patterns to be awarded the reserve national title. 

 

 

Haley and Leila are on fire.

These two won the UPHA Senior Pleasure Challenge Cup and finished second in the Senior Pleasure Equitation Olympics at Indy, and they looked even stronger in St Louis. These two ladies rode precise patterns and were stunning on the rail to win both the ASHA National Championship of Pleasure Equitation an the Saddle and Bridle Pleasure Equitation Senior Medallion National Final.  

 

Congratulations to everyone on a great show, and great thanks to everyone who worked so hard to get the horses and riders ready for the ring!

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile, at the home office, the Knockouts were cleaning up the neighborhood with their semi-annual street clean up. Following their service project, they held a club meeting and put the finishing touches on the upcoming fall show.

 

What’s next?

It’s time to order your flowers for the Knollwood Show!

For only $12, you can show the rider in your family how proud you are of their accomplishments.  Our friends at Bank of Flowers make these especially for us, and they’re a fundraiser for the Knockouts. Prepaid orders must be received by October 14 to get the pre-sale price. Additional bouquets may be available at the show for $15.

 

Halloween on Horseback is coming up on Saturday, October 20.  Sign up with your instructor soon if you’d like to design a costume for a horse and participate in the fun. It’s only $40 and includes games on horseback after the costume judging.

Oh, and there's food. Always food.  Please bring an appetizer to share after the events. Parents are welcome to bring adult beverages, as well.

 

Our fall show features the Helper Basket Challenge.

Helpers are asking for your help in creating the best gift basket, and our judge will pick her favorite creation. The winning helper team receives a pizza party courtesy of the Knockouts.

 

 

 

 

The show horses are home until the Mane Event show at the Illinois State Fairgrounds on October 18-21. It’s a big show, and features the first of the ‘Big Three’ equitation finals, the Good Hands.  There will be a free webcast so you can watch all the excitement if you can’t make it to the show.

 

Our academy and ‘B’ horses are off to Woodstock, Illinois for the UPHA Chapter 10 Fall show this weekend. We always enjoy shows at Beyond Stable Farm, and we’re looking forward to the weekend.

 

 

Hope to see you soon at the barn or the in-gate!