Last weekend was just so much fun.
The show horses were finishing up at the World’s Championship Horse Show in Louisville, and they were in the thick of the best competition there is. Finn and Frankie were 7th in their Show Pleasure World Championship, and Gabby and Charlie were 8th in a stacked Junior Exhibitor 5 Gaited Show Pleasure final.
Classes were crazy deep, and any ribbon won was an accomplishment for a lifetime.
We’re so proud of all our riders on their strong performances in Freedom Hall.
Meanwhile, at the home office, the Knollwood Summer Academy show was in full swing. Here are a few of our favorite stories of the weekend!
Short staffed? No problem.
Many of our usual show crew was in Louisville watching or participating in the show, so we re-organized and got the jobs done. Some great new Knollwood moms and their Knollwood Kids put gift baskets together, and manned the concession stand.
Some of our younger riders had a chance to step up and contribute in the barn, helping riders enter the ring. Without as many ‘personal assistants’ as usual and a big show to run, we created a new system to make it work, and had a blast doing it.
Thank you to everyone who leant us their creativity and positive attitude to make the show so fun for so many riders.
Our Esteemed Judge
We were beyond fortunate to have former equitation star Shelby return to judge all classes. Her well trained eye for detail and sense of fun kept the show running on a light note. Shelby offered constructive feed back to many of the riders, and was really able to personalize it as she’s ridden many of our best lesson horses in the world.
Shelby was also brave enough to join the game division riding the one and only Mark. Despite not riding in about three years, Shelby was a contender in all events, winning the ‘Slowest Canter,’ and being reserve champ in the ‘Musical Towels’ event.
She really wants Scott to know that she also won the ‘Ride a $5’ after leaving the saddle for three years. Shelby still has it!
And she donated her winnings back to the Knockouts!
Adults in Numbers
The adult division was impressive, and quite possibly the most entertaining division. With riders who have enjoyed horses their whole life to riders who have started this adventure as ‘grown-ups,’ this age group offered a little bit of everything.
Best of all? These riders seem to enjoy the experience a lot, and are very vocal in their support of each other.
Leadliners are Huge
On the other end of the spectrum, our leadline division was almost as big as the adult classes. As a testament to our hard working tiny tot instructors, these littleist Knollwood Kids looked fantastic, and many are ready to move into group lessons this fall!
First Show Adventures
Our maiden division for first time show rides was split into divisions to accommodate the number of entries. These newbies looked poised and ready to show, and they were even all on the correct diagonal. The future looks bright!
Back from Louisville!
Richie returned from the World’s Championship Horse Show late Saturday night, and was kind enough to join us at the barn to ride a demo on Sunday. His Country Pleasure mare Tink didn’t make the trip to Louisville, and was happy to see Richie and to ‘turn it on’ for the audience Sunday afternoon. There’s nothing like a beautiful Saddlebred enjoying their person and their job!
Following the ‘serious’ part of the show on Saturday, we like to take a short break and then play games on horseback. Seven brave souls joined the division last weekend, including our judge.
We had lots of laughter, lots of cheering, and lots of sore legs. It took a lot of work to end the ‘Ride a $5’ game, as there were plenty of strong legs in the arena.
Thanks to the efforts of Knockout members who volunteered their time and effort, the club raised over $1000 with their gift baskets and concession stand. We were especially thrilled to see so many new Knollwood families joining the fun of the youth group.
Special thanks to Merton Feed for sponsoring the concession stand for the show. They’re terrific partners in making all of our horses look so good.
These Unbelievable Horses
The lesson horses out did themselves this weekend.
They behaved themselves perfectly (well, maybe except for the time that Sparky tried to tell Shelby when it was time to reverse, or the time he led 3 of his friends into the line up. Early.) with both experienced and leadline riders.
Nothing deterred from their mission of being the best lesson horses in the world, and we thank them from the bottom of our hearts.
School horses start their vacation this week.
Hard working Sparky is enjoying a week off, and the rest of the boys will get a chance to rest up after a busy summer. They'd love extra treats during their vacations, so check the calendar in the school barn lounge to see who's off each week!
Here’s to sportsmanship, friendship, and horsemanship.
Save the dates for the fall show on November 9 and 10!
What’s coming up?
The show horses are heading off to Indianapolis for the All American Horse Classic. This show marks the beginning of equitation finals season with the UPHA Pleasure Challenge Cup National Final, and the Pleasure Equitation Olympic Final.
Team Knollwood will be there in numbers, and we’ll update with schedules and webcast info soon.
Our first Knockout night at Culvers is coming up this Wednesday from 5-8 PM. Enjoy some delicious treats at the Hartland Culvers, and they’ll donate a portion of the proceeds to the Knockouts.
This is a monthly event, so mark your calendars for the first Wednesday of every month through May!!
We’re ordering our timeless navy Knollwood jackets for fall show season!
Size samples are available in the school barn lounge along with order blanks. Please place your orders by September 22!
Both the academy and show horses will be heading back to State Fair Park for the Wisconsin Futurity Horse Festival. Join us September 19-22 for a terrific show right in our own backyard.
Academy classes start at 9 AM on Saturday, and we’ll be battling for State Championship titles.