It’s one of the busiest times of the horse year, and that’s a great reason take a breath and reflect on why we love what we do.
Here are our top 5 reasons:
We get to work with horses every day.
Sure they’re a lot of work, they require many staff members, they can be incredibly frustrating and they require constant clean up, but look at them. Spend any amount of time with your favorite horse, and we know you’ll get it.
We get to work outdoors. All year round.
We know we live in Wisconsin and that the weather is incredibly creative, but that’s half the fun of it. We work with screens open spring, summer, and fall, get to watch some amazing storms roll in, and watch the snow fall on the pretty farm.
Are there days when we’d just like the rain to stop, or for the temperature to drop about 30 degrees? You bet, but it sure beats working in a cubicle.
The show barn revels in the progress of their horses, and this year has been a tremendous year of growth.
Home bred Willow, now officially known as Dance Party, has gone from romping in the pastures with her mom to winning the Wisconsin Futurity Three Year OId Incentive Park Pleasure class in her first outing at her very first horse show.
She has a bright future ahead of her!
We are privileged to watch our riders progress as the year goes on as well.
Our show riders turned in fantastic rides in St Louis last weekend, and were rewarded with some high placings. A few of our riders really stood out at the show with the experience of the season kicking in at the show.
Bella and Richie were the pair to beat in the Juvenile Country Pleasure division. Bella and Garfield (Far Away Garfield) won the grand championship and were reserve to Richie and Tink (Miss Mheirry Mac) in the qualifier. Team TInk finished reserve in the grand championship, too!
Richie and Sophie (CH-EQ Royal Tryst) won the 13 and under UPHA Challenge Cup at the show, qualifying this team for finals at the Royal in November.
Our academy riders have progressed incredibly this season as well.
We’ve helped kids enjoy their first ride on a horse, introduced others to diagonals, cantering, and had many show for the first time at the Knollwood shows.
Through the Wisconsin Futurity Horse Festival, our academy stars have won 26 Grand Championships, and 17 Reserve Grand Championships as well as 58 Championships and 37 Reserve Championships, Our riders also hold the champion and reserve titles in both divisions of the State Academy Championships.
The best part of our riders? They love and respect their horses, and frequently end rides with a pat or a hug, and enjoy just looking into those big brown horse eyes.
We are beyond fortunate to be surrounded by an amazing group of customers and friends.
Team Knollwood cheers on each and every member, horse show moms are versatile, and everyone pitches in to do what they do best.
Some folks help out early mornings putting buns in for those busy academy sessions, some plan parties, some serve as ringmasters and announcers at in-barn shows, some help run concession stands, some create fundraising opportunities for our youth group, some serve as mentors for our youth club officers and board, some help in the barn. Oh, and those are just the ‘grown ups.’
Knollwood Kids are the backbone of the farm. They’re always busy, taking care of the best lesson horses in the world. Whether they’re prepping horses for lessons, helping new riders learn the ways of Knollwood, bleaching tanks, putting up horses, giving spa treatments to our retired horses or helping with lessons and summer camp.
Our show barn riders are the best mentors an academy rider could ever have. They offer a unique perspective to our upcoming stars, and are super supportive. (At the Summer Fun Show, Laney, Finn, and Payton were being recruited to be baby sitters by our youngest stars. The riders were very disappointed to learn that those three live out of state …)
Knollwood Kids are some of the best ambassadors we have , and we’re fortunate to have so many of them in our program.
Street Clean Up
October 12 at 1:00 p.m.
Join your fellow Knockouts next Saturday as we clean up Nagawicka and Oakwood Roads. The clean up teams will meet up at the farm at 2:30 p.m. for a Knockout meeting!
Halloween on Horseback
Friday, October 18 at 6:00 p.m.
It’s time to get creative and make a costume for your favorite lesson horse. For only $40, you get to dress yourself and your horse for costume judging which begins at 6:00 p.m.. Then we’ll play games on horses, and enjoy a potluck dinner in the lounge.
You can register with your instructor, and be sure to sign up to bring an appetizer or dessert. Adults, feel free to BYOB.
IASPHA Fall Show
Come watch our final out of barn academy show at Fields and Fences in Gurnee, Illinois. We’ll have 20+ academy riders at the show, and are entering the Saturday night costume class. We’d love a big cheering section!
Knollwood Fall Show
Entries close October 12!
Join us for the last academy show of the season!
Walk, trot, and canter classes are at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, and walk and trot classes are at noon on Sunday. The show offers classes for everyone, and features the Finals of the Knollwood Challenge!
We’re offering the entertaining games division on Saturday, and are featuring the Helper Basket Challenge to see which night of the week can create the best gift basket.
You won’t want to miss the weekend of fun!
See you soon at the barn, or at the in gate!
(And a whole lot of fun!)
After lots of adventures at the Wisconsin Futurity Horse Festival last weekend, the show horses are all set up in St Louis and start showing tonight at the St Louis National Charity Horse Show.
First things first …
Futurity was a relatively quiet show for Team Knollwood. With horses leaving Monday morning for St Louis, many were busy prepping for the events in Missouri. Horses that attended the home show turned in some great performances, and some even tried different divisions.
Payton and Eli (Undulata’s Crystal Illusionist) returned to the 3 gaited division with great success, winning both their qualifier and championship classes. Richie and Sophie also crossed over and tried the three gaited division at the show to get some more classes in.
Scott showed home grown Willow (Dance Party) for the first time, and they won the Wisconsin Futurity Three Year OId Incentive Park Pleasure class.
Willow looked fabulous in her show ring debut.
Our 15 academy riders were stars of the Saturday morning performance.
The walk, trot, and canter riders shone on the rail, and really showed their skills on the championship pattern. The sandwich serpentine with a straight line through the middle was executed with precision by Maddie, Erika, Zada, and Lauren who worked hard to make the cut.
After pattern work, Maddie was the unanimous winner on Panic, and Erika was unanimously second on JD. Zada was third on Alex, and Lauren was fifth on Murphy.
Our walk and trot riders were stars as well. Showing at only her third show, Alexa dove into the deep end at Futurity, and rode really well in an experienced field of riders aged 11-13.
Our 10 and under riders were rock stars in some really big classes.
The classes for riders aged 9-10 had 12-15 riders entered, and our riders shone in the deep traffic. Those big group lessons and pattern camp sessions really showed as Mia, Maiya, and Juliet managed their ring placements like pros.
Amelia rode her way through a strong division for riders aged 8 and under, winning both her equitation and horsemanship classes. She and Eddie made bright passes, and looked like they were both having a ball.
The Tuesday Amigos made the pattern cut in the championship, and went on to finish 1-2-3. Mia was the champion, Maiya was reserve, and Amelia finished third.
We are so proud of all of our academy riders. And huge thanks to Jeni, Anna, Payton, Heather, Richie, and Maria who helped prep horses and offered their expertise and support to all 15 riders.
Biggest thanks to the best lesson horses in the world who were, as usual, fabulous.
So the horses went home on Sunday, and left for St Louis on Monday.
A favorite of trainers and exhibitors alike, the show features wonderful facilities and hospitality. It’s home to the Shatner Western Finals, the Hunt Seat Finals, the American Saddlebred Horse Association’s National Championship of Pleasure Equitation, and the Saddle and Bridle Pleasure Equitation Medallion Finals for both junior (13 and under) and senior (14-17) riders.
Team Knollwood is there with quite a few horses, and we’re looking forward to a great week!
After a highly successful season, Kerry and Rudy (Sir Don Juan) will be competing in the Shatner western finals.
It’s a mother daughter weekend for the Schuh’s while Allison shows Eva and Kim shows Maddie in St Louis.
Country pleasure stars Garfield and TInk will be competing at the show, Gabby will be looking to continue her dream season with Charlie, Haley is showing Gwen, Finn and Leila are there for equitation adventures, Richie and Sophie will be enjoying the show, and Kerry will show Hershey in show pleasure.
Heather and Laney will be representing Knollwood in the ASHA pleasure equitation championship. The class is judged 50% on railwork, and 50% on pattern, and all participants will perform the workout.
Railwork will take place Thursday morning, and the workouts will be Thursday at 5:00.
The Saddle and Bridle Pleasure Equitation Medallion final is split into two age groups and they’re judged the same way. Riders will compete on the rail first, and judges will pick 12-14 riders in each age group to complete pattern work. After cut downs, the Top 10 will be announced, and then placings will be awarded in reverse order.
Payton and Dos will represent Knollwood in the Junior Division, while Heather will show Tucker and Laney will show Robert in the Senior Division.
You can watch all the action free here.
This weekend, we’re hosting photo shoots by Emma Utoft as she’s coming up to photograph our academy show stars. We still have several times open if you’re interested in professional pics with your favorite horse.
Next Wednesday, October 2, the Hartland Culvers is donating a % of all sales made between 5 and 8 PM to the Knollwood Knockouts. Be sure to stop by and enjoy some deliciousness and support our hard working youth group.
The following weekend, academy and ‘B’ horses are off to Woodstock, Illinois for the UPHA Chapter 10 Fall Show.
Adopt a Street is coming up at 1:00 PM on Saturday, October 12. Join the Knockouts as we clean up Oakwood and Nagawicka Road, and stay for the club meeting at 2:30!
Knollwood Fall show entries are due on October 12 for the event on November 9 and 10.
Halloween on Horseback is coming up at 6:00 on Friday, October 18.
We’ll start taking entries and payments on October 1, so start planning your costume for your favorite horse!
Our final academy show is coming up on October 26-27 when we’ll travel to Gurnee for the IASPHA Fall show.
We’re excited to have a creative entry for the costume class starring Klem, and all riders showing are invited to participate.
We hope you’ll join us for all the fun we have planned.
See you at the barn, or at the ingate!
The Wisconsin Futurity Horse Festival is starting tomorrow, and we can hardly wait.
Held at State Fair Park in West Allis, we consider it a ‘home show’ because we feel like we’re showing with a home field advantage.
We’re asking all of Team Knollwood to join us at the fabulous event. We think it’s so exciting that we’re even cancelling lessons on Saturday because so many of our horses and employees are involved in the event.
Why should you come to the show?
The horses are beautiful,
and their riders are pretty great, too.
With classes ranging from equitation where the rider’s skill is evaluated to Open Jackpot classes where professional trainers show the most exciting horses, there’s always something to watch.
Young Horses are A Blast to Watch.
Futurity showcases the youngest horses shown, and you haven’t lived until you watch a class of weanlings being led in the arena. They’re vocal, they’re beautiful, and they’re frequently opinionated about the whole thing.
The big Weanling Open Championship is Sunday morning at 9:30, and it’s the best.
It’s An Academy Showcase.
Futurity features the state championships for the academy division, ad Team Knollwood will be there with 15 riders ready to compete for the titles.
Academy riders will be treated to a 3 judge panel evaluating their skills, so there will be trained eyes all over the arena. Great thanks to show management for giving the riders this great opportunity.
Team Knollwood will be represented by 10 riders in the walk, trot and canter classes, and 5 competitors in walk and trot categories.
Please join us at 9 AM Saturday morning to watch the fun and cheer on all our stars.
On to St Louis.
Show horses will return home Sunday night, and head south on Monday for the St Louis National Horse Show. Home to the Saddle and Bridle Pleasure Equitation Medallion National Final as well as the National Championship of Pleasure Equitation, St Louis is a favorite of exhibitors and spectators alike.
Held at the National Equestrian Center, the National is also home to finals for the Shatner Western Division, and the Hunt Seat Classics.
Team Knollwood will be in the thick of the action, and we’ll update with webcast info as it becomes available.
It’s Time for the Knollwood Show!
The grand finale of the 2019 academy show is coming up November 9 and 10 at the Knollwood fall show. We’re taking entries through October 12, and are looking forward to a big show celebrating the accomplishments of all of our riders.
From our competitive lead line division to the finals of the Knollwood Challenge, it promises to be a heck of a weekend.
Save the dates to support Team Knollwood with the concession stand.
The show features a silent auction, and we’re looking for donations to help the Knockouts. Please contact Nancy or Ann with donations.
The November show is also home to the helper basket challenge. Our helpers will be soliciting donations to the baskets for their day of the week, and the judge will pick her favorite entry. The winning team receives a pizza party courtesy of the Knockouts.
Academy Photo Shoot
Clearly, it's time to update our photo.
All of our academy show riders will gather at the farm on Saturday, September 28 for a photo shoot for a National Horseman ad.
Professional equine photographer Emma Utoft will be on hand to capture our stars and has time for some individual sessions as well. If you’re interested in a ½ hour session for your family, you and your favorite horse, or a holiday card shot, please contact Ann at the barn. Spaces are limited, so act quickly!
Fall at Knollwood is beautiful, so be sure to spend some time watching Agnes and Ruby out playing, the lesson horses enjoying their round bales, kids riding outside, and show horses working in the clear fall air.
Or, 'do a Hazel' and catch up with a friend on the deck while watching all the goings-on.
See you soon at the farm, or at the in-gate!
All the Knollwood Kids have headed back to school, and six special ones have started their college careers.
Here’s a look at Knollwood’s class of 2019 college kids!
Robert has been a valuable member of Team Knollwood for many years. He worked weekends at the barn, was a Wednesday helper, and rode in the 7:30 Tuesday class as well. Always quick with a joke, he was a favorite of the Tuesday Amigos, and even pushed one of them back to the centerline of their horse during one of their initial ‘saddle no stirrup’ outings.
Robert always takes great care of horses, and was proud to serve as Tony’s respiratory therapist as well. Oh, and he's famous for his dance moves at the Helper Olympics, and at the Knollwood Banquet!
He’s settling in at Carroll University, and hopes to be riding again soon, when he gets used to his new school schedule and work load.
McKailey has been a Knollwood Kid since she was a tiny 5 year old enjoying her first Tiny Tot lesson with Mary. She rode the one and only Willy, of course. Originally known 'Red Boots’ for her stellar early fashion choices, McKailey has enjoyed countless hours in the barn.
She showed Mark in her first Knollwood show in the Leadline division, and went on to achieve a successful academy show career. She particularly enjoys the Summerfun Show, as it’s outside so her Dad can come and watch her show.
This past season, McKailey was fortunate to be able to lease Maddie, officially known as Tura Lura Lura in the Country Pleasure division. She enjoyed success in her first year out of the academy division
She’s been a Sunday helper for many years, and her mom Judy says that mucking stalls has made her an accomplished snow shoveler as well.
McKailey considers Knollwood her second home, and is taking a gap year working a number of jobs while she decides on her next move.
Judy adds, ‘As a parent, you have to decide if your child is serious about riding and if you can invest in sitting in barns. That moment their perfectly executed pattern brings tears to your eyes is when you know this IS the right decision.’
Kailee is another accomplished Knollwood Kid off to college. She’s been a Wednesday night helper for years, and has been active in academy shows as well. She’s also a Saturday stall cleaner, and spent last summer working full time in the barn.
Kailee is now settling in to the University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse, where she's studying nursing, and we’re looking forward to seeing her on breaks.
Jordan started riding at Knollwood when she was 8, after some trail riding on vacations, and fell in love with Ethan at her first lesson. She’s been a constant presence at the farm ever since, and has progressed to many roles along the way.
Jordan started out as an enthusiastic helper, and made friends with every new student she met. She was very involved with the Knockouts, rising to the office of president. Jordan has been a camp counselor, a valued assistant at pattern camps, and even became a Tiny Tot instructor after presiding over some great camps.
Oh, and Jordan can ride. Really well.
She had a fun filled academy career, starting with her first show on Brinkley, who she thought was perfect, even with his ‘funky trot.’
Jordan moved on to the ‘A’ Show Horse world, first showing Maddie last year in the Country Pleasure division. All the lessons learned there prepared her for showing the legendary CH Freaky Links this season. It’s actually hard to see whether Jordan or Freaky was having more fun in the ring.
Jordan’s favorite Knollwood memories are Friday nights at the barn when school was over for the week and she got to go to her favorite place and ride with her friends. She especially loved summer nights, taking horses out for their baths while the sun was setting.
She’s also loved teaching lessons and seeing her riders progress. Jordan finds inspiring to see their enthusiasm and watch them learn to post and steer on their own.
Jordan’s Mom Kimber says , ‘ Riding and working at the barn have taught Jordan so many valuable life lessons. She has learned that it takes practice and persistence to learn new skills, and that the privilege of riding comes with great responsibility to care for our equine friends. She has learned good sportsmanship – as a gracious blue ribbon recipient, and when not placing after a nice ride. Most importantly, though, Knollwood is where Jordan has made life-long friendships and has found a barn family that supports and encourages her in everything she does.’
Jordan is attending the University of Wisconsin in Madison where she’s planning to major in neurobiology with hopes of becoming a dentist or orthodontist.
Her advice to young riders? ‘Get involved with anything and everything you can. You won’t forget the memories you make doing new things and meeting new people. I’m so glad I chose to get involved in the Knollwood Knockouts and met so many great people.’
Knollwood college Kid Haley enjoyed her first lesson at Knollwood when she was seven, and showed Willy in her first Knollwood show.
Haley has been a beloved ‘barn rat’ from the beginning.
Her mom Sue says, ‘Riding horses allowed her to relax and be one with the horse. I don’t know how to explain it, but when riding she has a connection with that horse, which I believe allowed her to be more relaxed and allowed her to be more free. Picture after picture we have is of Haley standing with a horse head to head making that connection. Anyone who knows her now and not then would be scratching their head saying, ‘Shy??’ Her tenacity, drive, discipline, patience, and confidence have come from her dedication to horses.’
Haley has been a helper, an active Knockout member, and has shared her unique perspective as an equitation star to mentor many riders.
Her favorite Knollwood Kid memories? Haley lists working as a Saturday helper, lessons with Ann, moving up to lessons with Scott and Carol, lunge lessons, the first time riding Batman and Leila, the first time she showed in a suit, and winning the Triple Crown of Saddle Seat Equitation.
That’s quite a list!
It was evident early on that Haley had lots of talent. She had a very successful academy career, with many adventures along the way.
Haley was fortunate to show several horses along her show career in the ‘A’ division, including Batman, Nugget, Felix, Robert, and Fergie to name a few. She won many of the 13 and under equitation finals on different horses before she was paired with the one and only Leila.
New to the equitation division, the game mare and the talented girl enjoyed a legendary year in 2018, becoming the 13th rider ever, and the 3rd Knollwood Kid to earn the coveted Triple Crown by winning the Good Hands Final, the UPHA Challenge Cup Final, and the USEF Medal Final.
Haley is currently working on her core college requirements locally, and in planning to become a Sports and Entertainment lawyer.
Mom Sue’s advice to Knollwood parents?
‘Support your child whether it be as a hair dresser, scheduler, confidant, dry cleaner, nutritionist, or psychologist. We have grown to work as a partnership while away at horse shows. Be your child’s biggest cheerleader, not their critic. Allow them time with their trainers after a class as it’s the best time for their partnership to flourish. Don’t expect your child to win – it truly is about them doing their best and learning from each ride.’
Haley adds, ‘Knollwood has been instrumental in who I am today as a rider and a responsible young adult. Knollwood is my home away from home!’
Ainsley is a legacy.
Her older sister Sydney was riding when 3 year old Ainsley started coming to watch. She was an avid listener, and was quickly imitating all the instructors in the middle while lessons were in full swing.
Fearless from the start, Ainsley's own riding career started at age 5, and the rest is legend. She bonded with horses from the beginning, and progressed really quickly. Ainsley was showing academy at age 7, and made an impact even then.
Mom Tina says, 'Knollwood has helped to build her character, taught her the true meaning of compassion, and has given her an amazing work ethic.'
Mom Tina adds, 'Knollwood has been our second home for 15 years. It's a place filled with impeccable instruction, guidance, and support. I can't imagine our family anywhere but Knollwood.'
While she was learning, Ainsley hung in there with older kids, even attending pattern camps with them. She was the first rider to figure out that a helmet stored in the cooler was super comfortable on a hot morning in the big outdoor ring.
And, when the days got too long, she enjoyed spending quality time with her friend Dozer.
Ainsley was fortunate to show the legendary Cartman (CH-EQ What a Feeling) to a National Championship in the UPHA Walk and Trot Challenge Cup.
She partnered with him to win the Reserve World's Grand Championship of Equitation for Riders 13 and Under, TWICE.
(And once with a broken wrist.
SSHHH, her doctor still doesn't know she rode with the cast!)
Ainsley decided to go on a different path than sister Sydney, and showed the beautiful Ashlyn's Only Charm in the Junior Exhibitor 5 Gaited division. This charismatic team was a memorable team in their years together.
Ainsley is also honored to have been a member of the gold medal winning 5 Gaited World Cup Team in 2018 as well as the USEF Young Riders Team where Scott was one of the coaches.
Ainsley is a Knollwood Kid through and through. In addition to her riding skills, Ainsley had been a mentor to so many hard riding kids, and served as a Tiny Tot Instructor in her high school years. She adds. "I'm grateful for being trusted and given the opportunity to each Tiny Tot lessons. There's nothing better than turning a Kid into a 'Knollwood Kid.'
Ainsley is attending Edgewood College in Madison studying business, and hopes to take on a key role and work with her Dad at the family business, Wild Impact Marketing.
We are grateful and honored to have played a role in raising these fabulous young adults.
Horses and Team Knollwood raise great kids.
We wish them all the best, and look forward to seeing them in the arena at Thanksgiving break!!
Tradition. Honor. Passion.
It's what we do, and we love it.
Sure, most of the Knollwood Kids are just settling into a new year of school, but to our equitation stars, it’s the start of Finals Season!
It all starts this week at the All American Horse Classic in Indianapolis where team Knollwood is set and ready to show. This iconic show is home to two finals for Pleasure Equitation stars. These riders have worked hard all season showing pleasure eq horses, and it’s time for the best to gather.
On Friday morning, the stars will gather for the Pleasure Equitation Olympics. Run by the Illinois American Pleasure Horse Association, (IASPHA) the same organization that produces three popular shows a year in Gurnee, this final offers gold, silver, and bronze medallions to the top three riders in both the junior (13 and under) and the senior (ages 14-17) divisions.
Team Knollwood will be represented and in the Senior Division by Laney showing Robert, and Heather showing Tucker.
The UPHA Pleasure Challenge Cup National Final starts Saturday morning, and is also a big part of this show. Pleasure equitation riders who have qualified at shows across the country are gathering in Indy for a chance at a national title.
Riders have qualified by competing in a qualifier, completed a set pattern of a 4 loop serpentine at a trot, and finished the top 4 in their class.
The best will compete in this final sponsored by the United Professional Horseman’s Association. It’s judged a little differently than some of the older finals, with showmanship being paramount throughout the process. This final is judged 60% on railwork and 40% on individual work.
The ability to show a horse will set a rider apart in this final which is also split into Junior and Senior divisions. Payton, Laney, and Heather will be competing for Team Knollwood, and we can hardly wait to watch.
You can catch all the action on SeeHorse Video for free, and here’s the link.
In addition to all the pleasure equitation excitement, this show offers the All American classes for weanlings through three year olds, the Indiana futurity, and the American Hackney Horse Society’s futurity. Oh, and there’s a heck of a horse show for all divisions as well!
Our Pleasure Eq finals competitors may be the ‘riders of the hour,' but in addition, Haley will be showing Gwen in Show Pleasure, and Finn will be showing Leila in equitation.
It’s going to be an exciting start to finals season, and we wish all competitors the best.
Our fall ‘home show’ is coming up! The Wisconsin Futurity Horse Festival runs September 19-22 at Wisconsin State Fair Park. It showcases young saddlebreds in the futurity classes, show horses in the performance divisions, and even hosts the state championships in the academy division.
Team Knollwood will be there with numbers, and we hope you can join the fun! We’ll publish a schedule, and the academy performance is Saturday morning starting at 9 AM.
Finals season will continue the following week in St Louis where the Saddle and Bridle Pleasure Equitation Medallion and the ASHA Pleasure Equitation National Finals will be held.
In addition, the show is home to the Western and Hunt finals. We’ll keep you updated with schedules!
See you soon at the barn, or at the in-gate!