Posted by Ann Wilt

 We’re back from the IASPHA show in Gurnee where Team Knollwood had a marvelous time. We enjoyed deep, competitive classes, exhibitor parties each night, and even had a blizzard thrown in for fun.

With eight show horses and eight academy/’B’ horses at the show, we learned some valuable lessons and were reminded of some enduring classics.

 

Horses Aren’t A Phase.

Jeni Burton grew up riding, but put her show dreams on hold to support her two kids, Keegan and Parker so they could enjoy showing as they grew up.  Both Keegan and Parker are accomplished riders, and Parker even enjoyed a few seasons on the ‘A’ circuit, leasing several show horses.  She’s currently working in the barn when she’s not attending college or working one of her several other jobs.

So, Jeni’s no longer supporting her kids’ riding dreams, and returned to the show ring after 20 years on Michael, officially known as Finding Neverland. Jeni enjoyed an exciting warm up, and went on to win her 5 gaited pleasure qualifier.  She returned on Saturday night to win the championship as well.

It’s true, horses are NOT a phase.  They’re a life long joy.

Being A Show Horse Isn’t A Phase, Either. 

Freaky Links is a legend. He’s shown since 2003, and has wins at all the major shows, including Louisville.

For this season, Jordan has the pleasure of showing this ageless show horse, and their first show was a joy to watch. Freaky was ready to show in the big classes, and was willing to show his extra gears in the three gaited pleasure class. Judging from Jordan’s ear to ear smile, we think they both had a fabulous time.

Jordan is off to the University of Wisconsin in the fall, and we’re sure this will be a summer to remember!

 

There’s Always A Division For Great Teams.

So, Richie and Tink (Ms Mheirry Mac) have enjoyed great success the past couple of seasons in the 10 and under walk trot equitation division.

Richie is now 11, and has grown a lot.  These two have a special bond, and wanted to stay together, so the dynamic duo has entered the Country Pleasure division. Tink is pretty excited about the whole extended trot thing. 

These two entered the ring on Friday night after a little excitement about Richie’s new suit which had just arrived that morning. They looked great, and Tink was ready to take on the world. They tuned it down a little bit for their championship, and won the class. Not too shabby for their entrance to a new division!

 

IASPHA Is Perfect For New Teams.

The arena at Fields and Fences is big, with nice long straightaways, and our riders moving up from the academy division have all shown there.

McKailey made her show horse debut with Tura Lura Lura, known around the barn as Maddie.  McKailey and Maddie turned in some strong rides and rode to strong ribbons.

 

Maria made her debut with new partner Irish Victory, known at home as Murphy. Sporting a new show outfit, Maria rode the pretty gelding to some great ribbons in the show pleasure division.

 

Last year’s 13 and under pleasure equitation star Heather has moved to the senior division with a new partner, Impressive Asset.  Known around Knollwood as Fergie, she’s a very flashy character. She and Heather looked great in their qualifier and championship, winning both classes.  And, Fergie will be teaching Heather lessons this season. Many lessons.

 

 

Amanda and Smyth, officially known as Bells A Poppin', showed for the first time in both Country Pleasure and in Equitation. Amanda did a fantastic job with firey Smyth, making her look easy.  She even guided her through an equitation pattern and finished second in the UPHA Challenge Cup Qualifier!

 

It All Starts In Academy.

All seven of our show riders at IASPHA came up through our academy program, and are all quite familiar with the Fields and Fences facility.

Academy taught them valuable lessons of how to show, how to control emotions, and the importance of horsemanship in a safe setting with the best lesson horses in the world.

Our 15 riders in the IASPHA academy division made us proud. They’ve worked hard in the off season, and it showed in their classes at the show. They used the ring like pros, maintained strong positions, and learned a lot of lessons as well.  There’s no substitute for the show ring to learn how to show, and we’re thrilled so many riders are joining us for the journey.

And the horses? They were magnificent as usual.

 

Coming Up?

We’re off to the UPHA Chapter 10 show in Woodstock Illinois next weekend. Please join us at Beyond Stable Farm to cheer us on!

The Knollwood Spring Show is coming up fast in May 4-5. The show will start at 1:00 both days, and we can hardly wait!

Please consider donating to gift baskets, or helping with a shift at the concession stand. All proceeds benefit the Knollwood Knockouts.

You can sign up to help at the concession stand here!

We’re also supporting Saddlebred Rescue with our popular ‘Songs for Saddlebreds.’ For only $5, we’ll play the song of your choice during the class of your choice. Last season, we donated $450 to the rescue from our three shows!

Our food drive for the Food Pantry of Waukesha County also starts on show weekend, and will run through the beginning of June. More information will come soon!

Our spring street clean up will take place on Saturday, May 11 at 1:00. It’s a great way to meet fellow Knockouts, and earn your club service hours.  We’ll enjoy a Knockout meeting and refreshments at 2:30.

We have 2 openings left for the Mother’s Day ride on Saturday, May 11 at 5:30.  For only $40, the rider in your house can show their Mom why they love riding so much by serving as their helper in an introductory group lesson.

 

See you at the barn!