• Change is Good

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    Team Knollwood may have created a new tradition last weekend when we hosted our first ever outdoor in-barn show. This crazy year of 2020 has all of us of thinking in creative ways, and we really wanted to have a horse show that everyone could attend, so we changed things up and moved to the great ourdoors. And boy, did the weather cooperate!

    Spectators made themselves comfortable on lawn chairs and blankets. Some even came prepared with umbrellas and pop up tents. Everyone we able to remain comfortably distant and still find shade when is was desired.

    It takes a lot of great minds and hard work to reinvent an event of this size, and we have a lot of people to thank for their efforts and creativity.


    Our riders embraced the outdoor show in both arenas. On Saturday, showmanship was on full display in the wide open spaces of the big outdoor ring. Pattern classes were HUGE, with 12 competitors in the 13 and under WTC division.  The riders got the chance to use every but of space in the Patternland arena.


    Our younger riders on Sunday were not outdone by the bigger people.  Zoe and Jilly had their horses showing off the rail, and it looked like greats Sparky and Picasso really enjoyed it.





    Our judge for the weekend did a fabulous job with the riders all weekend. Having grown up in these arenas, Haley was on top of the whole affair.  She texted results to announcer Jeni who was announcing from a remote location on Saturday to help the show run smoothly, too.



    Sunday families were treated to a demo of Heather riding Fergie, officially known as Impressive Asset.  This exciting mare has been shown in Park, Pleasure, and Equitation divisions, and loved the crowd noise from the enthusiastic audience.  Customers new to the saddlebred world were especially thrilled to see this stunning example of a show horse with an accomplished Knollwood Kid aboard.



    Knollwood parents are just the best. The change of venue was no problem for this group as they created a tent city outside with pop ups. Thanks to these dedicated parents, the show featured pre-orderable lunches with touch free pick up, gift baskets, and even silent auction items.  Thanks to their hard work, the Knockouts made over $1000!



    Announcer Jeni and her ring crew rolled with the new arrangements as they went along.  Used to being in center ring, Jeni found herself under a tent on Saturday, and outside the ring on Sunday as well. Thanks to the wonders of technology, she and Haley texted results back and forth.

    Jeni was also a rider in the show, competing in the pattern and gaming divisions. Knollwood Kids Maiya, Tess, and Addi took over the microphone in her absence, and may have broadcasting careers ahead of them!



    Hanna signed up to help at the show, and ended up being our official show photographer. This Knollwood Kid has proofs available here where you can purchase digital images of the weekend.


    We know we brag about the helpers a lot, but they really outdid themselves this time.  They designed the show prep areas, devised an outdoor tack change system, and stayed cool, calm, and collected while taking great care of horses and riders.

    Bet you didn’t even know that they were bathing horses on the show barn wash rack DURING the show to keep them cool, did you?

    This is an amazing group of horse kids, and we are beyond fortunate to have them in our program.


    OK, we brag about our lesson horses a lot, too, but how can we not? These boys performed flawlessly in 2 different show arenas with new scenery in the form of people, umbrellas, and tents. There was a sizeable Sunday crowd, so fans of the riders were right up along the rail, but it was no trouble for our professional boys.


    These marvelous horses brought countless smiles to their riders and fans this weekend and we just can’t thank them enough. But we’ll sure try!




    We had such a good time, that we’re going outdoors again with a show in October. We are unsure whether we’ll be able to show indoors in November as originally planned, so we’ll show in both outdoor arenas on October 3 and 4. We’ll use the same format, with walk trot and canter riders and our 11 and older walk trot riders showing in the big outdoor on Saturday, with the 10 and under walk trot riders, the maiden riders, and the leadline riders showing in the little outdoor ring on Sunday.

    We’ll be using the long sleeved tees we purchased for the spring show that we had to Covid cancel, so they’ll say ‘Knollwood Spring 2020 In-Barn Show.’ In our spirit of retooling things to make them work out these days, we’re holding a contest to see who can alter their shirt to eliminate the date in the most fun way. It’s time to get your creative juices flowing.

    Entries are being accepted starting on Thursday, so get your entries in soon for horse selection.


    Other News?

    Finn and Richie both rode to terrific ribbons at the World Championship Horse Show in Louisville, and will be competing for World Grand Championship titles on Thursday and Friday.



    The Wisconsin Futurity Horse Show is coming up fast at Wisconsin State Fair Park on September 16-19.  The show will culminate Saturday afternoon with the state academy championships which will be overseen by a three judge panel. We’re looking forward to a wonderful weekend of horse showing, and a HUGE academy turnout for the Saturday afternoon festivities.


    Emma Utoft Photography is coming to the farm for photo shoots on Saturday, September 26. Please contact her at 815-742-0838 to set up a time for your session. Academy riders, we’ll be hosting a session for our annual group shot, so please keep the afternoon free!



    See you soon at the farm, or at the in-gate!

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  • It's Almost Show Time

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    It’s almost Knollwood show time, and we're so excited to move the festivities ourside!


    But first, let’s just catch up on what’s happening at Knollwood this week.

     Our last session of Tiny Tot camp finished up today with 9 new riders learning all about horses. They played many games, spent time with our fantastic beginner horses, and learned to walk and trot.  They even finished their three-day session with a show for their parents and friends.  The campers, instructors, and marvelous helpers made lots of memories with these new riding stars.


    We’re finishing up our last week of invitational camp. Held for our academy show riders, these intensive weeks offer in-depth riding with focus on show ring strategy and patterns. Today, we enjoyed a pattern challenge, and blew off some steam in the afternoon with games on horseback with the school horses.


    Horses are leaving for the World’s Championship Horse Show in Louisville later today. Like all things in 2020, the event will have a COVID-19 security feel, but it’s still Freedom Hall with some of the best horses and riders in attendance.  We wish everyone a safe and enjoyable week in Louisville, and we’ll be sure to provide updates with schedules for Finn and Richie!


    Next week, we’re finishing our camp season with a final sold out week of summer riding school, We’re welcoming 15 new Knollwood Kids to learn all about horses and riding while they’re enjoying time with the best lesson horses in the world.

    We’ve had an absolute ball this summer as we pivoted in this most unusual year. We learned about masks, sanitizing reins and surfaces, and washed our hands countless times a day.  The magic of kids and horses was still in the air, even if we had to look for the smiles in campers’ eyes over their masks.


    Huge thanks to our counselors and helpers who made all the changes fun, kept everyone safe, and kept the fun rolling in these most unusual days.  It all made Knollwood Summer 2020 a wonderful experience for plenty of kids!


    Show Time

    Let’s celebrate all things Knollwood in the great outdoors.

    It’s our first time moving the show outside, so we ask for your patience as we work out some kinks. We think we know how things are going to go, but it's 2020, so anything can happen.   We’re great at pivoting, and hope you enjoy watching us learn from new challenges! It’s sure to be entertaining.


    The Details:

    Pre-ordered food orders will be ready for pick up on the deck outside the show barn. Chef Lisa and her crew are offering almost touchless pick up for your safety.

    Love the show shirts?

    We purchased some extras, and they can be yours for only $25.  They come in youth sizes S-XL, or misses S-L. We have a couple of men’s sizes available, too.

    Lisa and her staff will have them available on the show barn deck on show weekend, and they can be purchased with cash, checks made out to Knollwood Farm, or a credit card.

    Sizes are limited, so be sure to snag yours while you can!



    The show starts at 11:00 AM both days.

    Saturday’s performance featuring our walk, trot, and canter riders as well as our walk trot riders who are 11 or older who will compete in the big outdoor ring.

    Families are encouraged to bring their own chairs or blankets and set up around the outside of the arena. You are welcome to bring your own coolers as well to enjoy the spectacle. For safety reasons, please do not stand along the rail, and please set your chairs up behind the path worn by the pasture horses along the rail.

    We plan on changing horses between classes just outside the show barn, and we ask that spectators give us room there for safety’s sake. Horses will be moving in and out, so please keep the path clear.



    Sunday’s 11:00 AM performance featuring our younger walk and trot riders as well as our maiden and leadline stars. It will be held in the small outdoor ring, and spectators are again welcome to bring their own seating. We ask that you set up in the shade of the trees along the north rail, or in the sun next to the barn.

    We’ll be changing horses in the driveway, so we’ll keep a path clear to the arena.



    Please Help!

    COVID-19 Policy Reminder

    Please respect your fellow Knollwood friends by socially distancing this weekend. If you come inside, or have to be close to others, masks ARE required.


    In addition,

    if you or anyone in your household is experiencing:

    Fever greater than 99.1

    Persistent cough


    Sore throat

    Runny nose

    Body/muscle aches

    Shortness of breath

    Please do not come to the barn until you have been cleared of COVID-19 risk.

    We take the health of our staff, customers, and friends very seriously, and we ask that you help us keep everyone safe and healthy.


    We look forward to seeing you and can’t wait for the first ever outside Knollwood Academy Show!!!

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  • One Leads to the Other

    Posted by Ann Wilt


    Some of our show horses are heading to Louisville for the World’s Championship Horse Show, and at the home office, we’re preparing for our first ever outdoor Knollwood Academy show.


    The two shows may seem very different, but they actually rely on each other.

    Riding at the World's Championship Horse Show is an accomplishment that few will ever attain. It takes years of dedication to training and learning, hours spent learning how a horse's mind works, countless saddle sores, and a fierce inner drive to ride with the best.


    That feeling of riding down the ramp into Freedom Hall starts right here at the Knollwood Show. Our home shows offer the most inexperienced rider the chance to feel the excitement of riding a horse into competition all by yourself. The best lesson horses in the world safely introduce riders to sportsmanship, competition, and the all important lesson of learning how to lose so you can be a gracious winner.

    It takes real team effort to get to Louisville level. Academy instructors fan the flame of the youngest 'horse kids', parents support the riders and guide them througn the ups and downs of horse life, older, more experienced riders mentor the 'up and comers', and we're proud to say that this is a way of life at Knollwood. You'll see our champion riders fighting over who gets to help the academy stars at the big shows.


    Trainers and instructors will take the rider to the top, but we at Knollwood always remember how these champions got there. It's the years of 'building the base' on our incredible group of lesson horses, the summers of pattern camps, the years showing in big academy classes to learn how to be seen in the ring. And it's the hours spent listening to Scott and Carol share their world class knowledge that has taken many riders to World Championships. Cumulatively, all those elements provide the pathway to Louisville and it all starts while building the base on the lesson horses.


    So, while it may seem that the two shows next weekend are worlds apart, they actually work together.

    Here is some inside information about our latest adventure.

    First of all, we’ve never done this before. We’ll be feeling our way through some processes, so please be patient as we learn along with you. We have plans on how we think things will go, but if improvements can be made along the way, we will do so.  While the new outdoor environment will create some uncertainties, we are certain that it will be a blast.

    Shirt packets are ready for pick up in the school barn lounge. You'll find your back number, your shirt for the show, and an order blank for lunch. We'll distribute personalized class schedules soon so you know in advance exactly which classes you're showing in!


    The show will start at 11:00 AM on both Saturday and Sunday, August 22 and 23.


    Saturday’s show will take place in the BIG outdoor ring, and will feature classes for our walk, trot, and canter riders and for our walk and trot riders who are 11 years old and up. We’ll finish the performance with a games session featuring some of our experienced riders.  You won’t want to miss the fun!


    Sunday’s show will take place in our smaller outdoor ring, and will feature our newer show ring stars.  Our walk and trot riders who are 10 and under, our maiden riders who are showing for the first time, and our leadliners will be the Sunday stars.

    Parents and friends are welcome to bring chairs, blankets, and coolers with drinks for the show.


    The Knockouts will not be hosting a traditional concession stand, but are offering pre-ordered lunches featuring touchless pick up. You can place your orders through Wednesday, August 19 at 1:00 PM. All proceeds will go to the Knockouts, so they can continue to make contributions to those in need.


    The Knockouts have also organized a fundraising basket raffle with some great items. We are still looking for a few donations, so please check the sign up sheets on the school barn tack room door!  Again, all proceeds will benefit the Knockouts.


    We are thrilled to welcome a Knollwood Kid, and homegrown Triple Crown winner to judge all events.

    Haley Berget will be presiding over both days of the show, and will feel right at home in the arenas where she spent so many hours learning her skills.


    As a reminder, masks are required inside the barns, and we ask that everyone maintain proper social distancing at the show. If you’re closer than six feet to someone, please mask up so we can all stay safe. Of course, our outdoor handwashing stations will be ready for you, too!



    That World Championship Horse Show thing?

    Richie and Finn are making the trip to Freedom Hall with their horses.

    Richie will be showing Sophie in 12 year old equitation, and will show Tink in 13 and under Country pleasure, while Finn will show Leila in 16 year old equitation and Frankie in Show Pleasure for riders aged 14-17.


    They both hope to advance to their equitation and pleasure championship rounds, and we wish them the best at this unique edition of the show.

    The tradition and history of the show will continue, even in this most unusual of years.

    We’ll be sure to update everyone with their accomplishments!


    Finally, we only have three academy shows left this season!

     If you’re planning on attending, please get your entry forms in soon. We’re expecting big shows, and would like to get a handle on horses as soon as it’s possible. What a great time we’re going to have!!!



    What’s coming up?

    Photo Shoots With Emma Utoft

    Saturday afternoon, September 26

    Emma will be at the farm for photo shoots with your favorite horse(s). You can contact her at 815-742-0838 to arrange a time and package.

    We’ll also be doing our annual academy show picture, so please save the date if you’ve shown away from home this season!


    Fall Street Clean Up

    Saturday, October 10 at 1:00 PM

    Join the Knockouts as they clean up Oakwood and Nagawicka Roads.

    It’s a great way to meet more Knockouts, and to beautify the neighborhood at the same time! Stay for the Knockout meeting at 2:30 PM!

    Thanks for joining our adventures of Knollwood Summer 2020.

    See you at the barn, or at the in-gate!

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  • 'Reset Week,' And More!

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    Knollwood is in the middle of our annual ‘reset week’ when Scott and Carol bring in their Louisville riders for an intensive week of prep for the World’s Championship Horse Show.

     Of course, this year is a little different with only Finn and Richie traveling to Freedom Hall, but many show riders are coming to the farm to prep for all the Fall shows and equitation finals.


    It’s also a week when the school horses relax between camp sessions, and academy staff catches up on scheduling, horse shows, all the tasks that fall to the side when you’re teaching many lessons.

    We’re fortunate to say that we’ve been busy. Really busy.

    Camps have been full, private lessons are rocking, and our newly introduced Mini-Camps and ‘Welcome to Knollwood’ sessions have exceeded expectations. 

    Team Knollwood staff members all love their jobs, but we certainly can’t take sole credit for the booming lesson program. In addition to having the best school horses in the world, we have a secret ingredient:


    It’s the helpers who make it happen.

    We are beyond grateful for the exceptional group of riders who serve as helpers at all levels in our lesson program.

    After 12 weeks of shutdown, we reopened around June 1, and the helpers were some of the first Knollwood Kids back in the barn. They quickly learned how to sanitize reins, brushes, and all the door hardware.

    They helped design a new system which involved each helper serving as a personal assistant to an instructor for their work day. Each helper brought horses to the arena for lessons, and returned them to the barn as the riders met their steeds in the arena and returned to their cars.

    These riders delivered treats to horses from the kids who missed them, gave the kids updates on all their favorite horses, and kept up with the care of the best lesson horses in the world.

    When we reopened for new customers on July 1, the helpers reached another level. They greeted our new riders, (and there are plenty of them!)  and embraced our new Sunday afternoon Mini-Camps, and Monday Welcome to Knollwood sessions. 


    All of our camp sessions are full, so the helpers learned to show their friendliness even in masks. They spend the day in masks, and help the riders do the same.

    All the while, our senior helpers are mentoring new helpers to learn the skills needed to advance, and taking care of our priceless lesson horses, including those in our senior living community.  Of course, they continue to further their education as well, serving as show techs when the academy horses hit the road for shows, and continue their show careers either on their own horses, or on the best lesson horses in the world.


    Simply put, we can’t do this without this unbelievable group of riders. They make Knollwood what it is, a friendly, welcoming place full of horse loving people.  Our helpers share their passion for horses and Knollwood with everyone that walks in the door.

    We are beyond grateful.




    What’s coming up?

    August 8-9

    ASAW Summer Showcase Show

    Ozaukee County Fairgrounds

    Come watch the academy horses compete against other midwestern lesson programs on Saturday and Sunday afternoon!





    August 15

    Knockout Meeting 4:30 PM

    Parent’s Night Out  5:00 PM to 8:00 PM

    Come for the meeting, stay for the fun. The Knockouts will meet at 4:30 PM, and then you can stay for dinner, fun and games, and a water fight if the weather cooperates. PNO is only $20, and is limited to the first 15 people who sign up so we can maintain social distancing.






    August 22-23

    Knollwood Show

    Starts at 11 AM both days in the outdoor arenas

    Our walk, trot, and canter riders and the walk trot riders aged 11 and up will show in the big outdoor ring. Please bring chairs or blankets and set up in the pasture to watch the show. Feel free to bring your coolers and picnics as well.

    Our 10 and under riders, maiden riders, and leadline riders will show in the small outdoor ring on Sunday. Again, please bring your chairs and picnics.

    We will have boxed lunches available for pre-order, and touchless pickup on show day.




    September 16-19

    Wisconsin Futurity Horse Festival

    Wisconsin State Fair Park

    Enjoy a wonderful horse show, and sleep in your own bed! The show features beautiful show horses, equitation riders, and a full schedule of academy classes.

    We're expecting a huge academy turnout, so please get your entry forms in soon so we can plan for a big day.

    New this year, the academy classes will close out the show on Saturday afternoon.

    You won’t want to miss it!




    September 26

    Photo shoots at Knollwood with Emma Utoft

    More details are coming soon, and we DO plan on an academy group shot, so please save the date!


    We're looking forward to fun full steam ahead, and we hope you can join all the festivities.

    See you at the barn, or at the in-gate!

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  • Summer Adventures!!

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    Let's face it, we do summer adventures really well.

    Last weekend, the academy and ‘B’ horses traveled to Roscoe Illinois for the Mid America Signature Show. In addition, Carol, Lin, and Hazel brought some of the ‘A’ show horses and had a ‘girl’s weekend’ at the show.

    We enjoyed wonderful hospitality from the Mid America Horse Show Association, a beautiful big outdoor ring, and a sunny warm horse show weekend.

    Highlights of the weekend included Richie and Tink turning in some amazing rides as they prep for Louisville, and spending time with the Honkamp ladies and their horses. 

    Our academy riders turned in great rides with especially stiff competition in the 13 and under WTC division. The Novice divisions in both WTC and WT were tough, with Addison finishing at the top on Saturday with Jules reserve, and Thea winning WT with Adrienne second.  We’re so proud of all our riders!


    This weekend, we’re off to Gurnee for the IASPHA Summer Show. 

    It’s ‘ladies weekend’ again for the show barn, while the academy and ‘B’ horses will be there to compete at one of our favorite shows.


    The following weekend, we’re off to the Ozaukee County Fairgrounds for the ASAW Summer Showcase. This outdoor show features both academy and ‘B’ classes, and we’ll be there competing in both divisions.


    Knollwood Kids, don’t forget to sign up for Parents’ Night out!

    Saturday, August 15 is all for barn fun as we hold a Knockout meeting at 4:30 followed by 3 hours of fun and games.  Weather permitting, we’ll hold a water fight after dinner, so be sure to bring a towel and wear clothes that you don’t mind getting wet.

    The cost is only $20, and you can sign up in the school barn lounge.


    Our ‘old school;’ Knollwood show is coming up fast on August 22 and 23!

    Please bring your chairs or blankets to sit on, and your coolers of beverages to enjoy the show.

    Horse assignment sheets will be up soon in the school barn lounge for all our riders.

    The show will start at 11 AM on both days, with Saturday hosting ALL the walk , trot, and canter classes.  We’ve also scheduled the 11 and over walk and trot classes so the riders can experience showing in the BIG outdoor ring. We’ll finish the afternoon with a games session.

    The Sunday session will move to the little outdoor ring, and will showcase our walk and trot riders aged 10 and under, as well as our leadline stars.

    If the weather doesn’t cooperate, we’ll host the show the following weekend, August 29 and 30.


    Since we don’t be having a traditional concession stand, please be sure to sign up to donate raffle items. Basket lists are located on the tack room door in the school barn.

    Presidential Mother Lisa is organized pre-order box lunches for the weekend, and they’ll even feature touchless pickup.  Please stay tuned for ordering information.

    We hope you can join us for PNO, and the summer show.

    See you at the barn, or at the in-gate!




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