• What We Love About Summer Showcase

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    The 2017 edition of ASAW Summer Showcase is a memory, and we can safely say that a good time was had by all of Team Knollwood.  

    We've had time to think about the weekend, and want to reflect on our favorite benefits of participating in this fun, relaxed little show.


    It's Spectator Friendly.

    Set in a park like setting, show spectators can choose to watch the action in the big outdoor ring from the shade of the barn overhangs, or in the sun of the bleachers and picnic tables. If they'd rather, fans can get up close and personal right along the rail, too. Everything's close and walkable, including the air conditioned concession stand and restrooms.  At Cedarburg, no golf carts are required!


    We Enjoy the Great Outdoors

    Experienced riders in the 'B' division and the academy division get to show in the BIG outdoor ring.  We enjoyed perfect weather last weekend, so it was a real treat for riders to enjoy the challenge of showing outdoors.  

    The size of the ring also meant that the large academy classes could be run with 13 riders.  The older and wiser walk trot academy riders showed their ringsmanship while they battled to the best positions to be seen by Judge Michelle Krentz.  


    We Put  $$ Back in the ASAW Scholarship Fund

    The show splits the proceeds 50/50 between the Knockouts and the ASAW Scholarship Fund.  With big classes again this year, we're expecting to make a sizeable contribution to the scholarship fund.  This year, 2 Knockout members were fortunate to receive $3000 payouts as they start their college careers.  We're happy to support the program that rewards riders and scholars.


    Saddlebred Rescue Wins

    Our friends at Soul Fire designed a stencil of the ASAW Logo which was artfully painted on pallets by Knockouts Jen and Emma.  Originally set simply as center ring decorations, so many friends expressed interest in the artwork that we decided to auction the designs to benefit Saddlebred Rescue.  Thanks to social media and Vicky's hard work, the art auction was a huge success.

    The Knockouts also sold horse treat bags containing mints, apples, and horse treats.  This idea created by Mary added $100 to the donation.

    We're happy to report that all these great ideas and the help of generous friends resulted in a $1225 donation to Saddlebred Rescue to help horses in need.


    Horses Love the Show

    The relaxed atmosphere of the show is contagious.  Our horses really enjoyed the schedule and the arenas for the weekend.  Many of them made the most of the cool mornings and took their power naps before the afternoon academy performances.


    Friendships are Made

    There's something about this friendly show that sets it apart. Maybe it's the setting, maybe it's the parties and the snow cones, or maybe it's the shifts in the concession stand supporting the Knockouts and the show, but the riders all have a great time together.  



    Horse Show Careers are Begun Here

    The small indoor arena is the perfect place to bring young and  maiden riders, and we made great use of the venue this year, bringing 9 first time show stars.  Classes are small, horses and riders enjoy a controlled environment, and spectators can get up close for those important pictures.

    The schedule also allows for even first time riders to enjoy up to 4 classes at their first show, allowing for plenty of feedback between events.  By the end of the afternoon, our rookies felt like pros!



    We'd like to offer great thanks to the barns who supported the show with riders and sponsorships.  We are also grateful to all the volunteers who make the show work, from the gatekeepers to the concession stand workers and delivery crews.  Thanks also to judge Michelle Krentz for giving up time just before Louisville to look at our up and coming riders.

     It takes a village, and we have a great one.



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  • Get Ready For Summer Showcase!

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    Calling all Knockout members!





    Our biggest event of the year is fast approaching, and we need your help.


    The ASAW Summer Showcase starts next Saturday at the Ozaukee County Fairgrounds, and we're in charge.

    The Knockouts and ASAW run the show, and split all the proceeds 50/50.  It's a wonderful chance to learn the inner workings of horse shows, and it's a great benefit to the Knockouts!

    And, the ASAW portion funds the scholarships offered each year to ASAW members.  This year, Sarah and Jess each won $3000 towards their first year of college, so we need to put some money back into the pot!

    On Friday, we're looking for Knockouts to deliver bagged shavings to the stabling area, to help set up the concession stand, and to organize center ring, trophies, and ribbons.

     On Saturday and Sunday, our crack concession team will be on hand to provide show riders, friends, and spectators with great food.

     They even provide delivery service to the barns for the busy workers! Would you like to meet new friends from other barns? Sign up to deliver lunch orders.  You'll be a really popular person!

    The concession stand is air conditioned, so it's really popular.  We're looking for Knockouts to work a shift or 2 to serve all the hungry people.

    We're expecting the show to be another big one.  The show features  'B' and academy classes on both Saturday and Sunday.


     We're excited to have Michelle Krentz traveling from Kentucky to judge the show this year.  Michelle is the Media and Marketing Manager for the American Saddlebred Horse Association, and is a life long exhibitor of the breed.  Michelle started her career as a Knollwood Kid, was an equitation star on memorable horses including Jazz March and CH Louisville Lass, and is now a multi world champion rider in multiple divisions. We're thrilled she's joining us for the weekend!


    Team Knollwood is introducing 9 new riders to the show ring in the Maiden academy division on Sunday afternoon.  This show is well known for its history of starting new riders in the small, well controlled indoor arena that's used for the future stars of the show ring.



    The Knockouts are looking forward to a wonderful weekend of horse showing at the beautiful, park like setting of the Ozaukee County Fairgrounds.  Sign up sheets are going up in the school barn lounge for those of you who'd like to join all the fun.

    The show is known for starting young riders on their way to successful show careers.  We hope you'll come help your youth group, and stay to watch the show.  You never know what the future holds for these new show riders!


    See you in Cedarburg!





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  • A Signature Weekend

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    Team Knollwood enjoyed a fun filled weekend at the Mid America Signature Show.  Held in the BIG outdoor ring at Ledges in Roscoe, the show enjoyed near perfect weather for three days of horse showing.



    Mary and Laura had really nice rides and were very competitive in some big deep classes.  They earned some great ribbons for their efforts as well.


      The stars of the weekend were the 9 academy riders who joined us for the Saturday morning performance.


    Spanning a broad spectrum of experience levels, our walk trot and canter riders started the Saturday show.  Two of our most experienced riders showed our 2 least experienced academy horses to help them along in their education.  Emma showed Cashew, officially known as Captain Kaos to nice ribbons, and even won the pattern class.  Calm, efficient Emma rode the academy rookie in her relaxed way and he is learning to enjoy his new role.

    In her last show before heading off to the University of Wisconsin, seasoned academy star Jess rode Joey, officially known as Rumors of War, in his second academy performance.  Not the bravest soul, Joey looked really comfortable in the big classes, and we could see his confidence increasing throughout the morning.


    Great thanks to our two experienced riders for helping our future academy horse stars get comfortable in their new roles.



    Jordan and Panic were a vision in the big sunny ring.

     Panic never saw a straightaway he didn't want to get down, and never met a horse he didn't want to pass.  He and Jordan were working as a team on Saturday, and were rewarded for their enthusiasm and great skills with great ribbons, including the 14-17 equitation championship.


    First year cantering rider Maddie teamed up with Baxter who thought the big sunny ring was just meant for him.  This charismatic team presented themselves as the ones to beat, and no one could. They won their equitation qualifier as well as the 13 and under championship.


    Our two walk and trot academy riders were stars as well. 

    Sofia just started showing with us this season, having started her riding at a different barn.  She's been working really hard, and is enjoying the tested process that leads to success in the show ring.  She and Baxter enjoyed their time in the sun this weekend, and even won their equitation qualifier.  We're pretty impressed by the progress of our newest 'Knollwood Kid.'


    Richie enjoyed a new experience this weekend, showing Eddie, one of our fabulous Morgan academy horses.  A show ring standout, Richie enjoyed making the ring his own with passes off the rail with Eddie looking every bit the show horse. Eddie may not have been the fanciest horse in the ring, but Richie made him believe he was. The dynamic duo was rewarded for their efforts, with 9 year old Richie winning the 13 and under walk and trot equitation championship.


    We're thrilled with all the rides last weekend.  We learned a lot, had a lot of fun, and greatly enjoyed all the hospitality provided by the Mid America Horse Show Association. Richie and Sofia even got to represent Knollwood in the water balloon fight after the academy performance.

    Possibly the best way to finish a hot show performance?


    What's next?



    Team Knollwood will all be home this weekend, the first time that's happened since  before Midwest in June!


    The following weekend brings the big ASAW/Knollwood Knockouts Summer Showcase in Cedarburg.  We'll be at the show with lots of horses and riders, and we'll be asking all the Knockouts to pitch in and help up put on this great event.  Details are coming soon.

    See you at the barn!

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  • A Legend Passes

    Posted by Ann Wilt



    Team Knollwood is saddened to announce the passing of the one and only CH Lexmark on Friday at the age of 32.

    Hootie was born in 1985, and won his first class under the direction of Brent Jacobs.  This winner of the UPHA 5 Gaited Classic at the 1988 at the Ohio State Fair would go on to amass 63 CH points and would continue showing until 2010. (His show record from the American Saddlebred Horse Association fills 33 pages.)

     The epitome of an athletic, powerful gaited horse, Hootie campaigned successfully in the 5 gaited divisions for his entire career.


    He came to Knollwood in 1995 as the 5 gaited mount for Kris Davidson, and he never left.  Kris and her daughters enjoyed great success with Hootie as they campaigned throughout the midwest. 

    Hootie became Scott and Carol's in 2006, and he was far from done with his career.  He continued showing quite successfully until he retired from the ring in 2010, and was honored with the ASAW's People's Choice Horse of the Year in 2007.

    Perhaps his greatest contribution was his teaching career.  He gave many riders their first ride on a gaited horse, and oh how he enjoyed testing them.  Many of his students have gone on to show successfully in Hootie's division.  Current gaited riders who were students of the great one are Abby Kastenholz who shows CH Freaky Links, and Ainsley who shows Ashlyn's Only Charm.

    Hootie threw one heck of a party for his 30th birthday.  Admirers came from near and far to have their photo taken with the champion, and to share his carrot cake with him.


    In his retirement, Hootie enjoyed the sun on his back as he grazed while watching the young ones in the pasture.  He still made a ruckus every time horses were loading to go to a show.

    He was tough.

    He was unstoppable.

    He was a force of nature.

    Peace, Hootie.

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  • Our Summer Classic

    Posted by Ann Wilt




    Last weekend, Team Knollwood gathered for a favorite event of the summer, our July academy show.  The event spanned two days with our experienced riders showing on Saturday afternoon, and our up and coming stars taking over on Sunday afternoon.

    It was a weekend of great lessons, great riding, great fun, and great stories.  Here are a few of our favorites. 



    Knollwood Challenge 2017

    Our finals in November are going to be barn burners, with more hard riding kids qualifying last weekend. 

    After some impressive railwork and inverted figure eights, Maddie and Lauren advanced to the November WTC final, joining Bubbles and Heather who qualified in April.

    In Sunday's walk and trot challenge qualifier, Richie and Maiya advanced to join Mia and Lauren who advanced in April.

    After the last qualifying classes at the November classes, the riders will compete in the finals where they'll be battling to win a custom show shirt from deRagnaucourt.

    Good luck to all the finalists!




    Sportsmanship and Resilience

    When one of our prized walk and trot horses was feeling a little under the weather, riders who were planning to show him didn't miss a beat.  We worked together to find new horses for their classes, and they all turned in really nice rides.  




    It really does take a village to put on an event of this size, and we are fortunate to have great villagers.

    The masterminds behind the concession stand and gift baskets outdid themselves this time.  Our fabulous customers who staffed the stand and donated to the baskets were generous with their time and effort, our four hair stylists had all the riders looking perfect, Jeni kept the audience informed AND entertained, our hard working center ring staff kept the show running safely, Carol and Sarah presented 2 great demos of beautiful saddlebreds, Vicki kept the riders organized in the barn on Sunday, Mary and Rhonda ran the Sunday show and information office, and many of our experienced riders acted as personal assistants to the best lesson horses in the world on Sunday.

    We are grateful for everyone's contributions to the weekend enjoyed by so many.




    Saddlebred Rescue

    We tried something new this summer to raise some funds for Saddlebred Rescue.  Riders were able to purchase a song to play during a class with the proceeds going to one of our favorite charities.  All told, the new program raised more than $100.  We hope to expand the songs to both days of the show in November, so start planning the soundtrack to your classes.


    New Riders

    We were thrilled to see our newest show riders enter the ring for the first time, and were pleased with the progress of last show's maiden riders.  They looked great and were vying for good ribbons in the regular walk and trot classes.

    We pride ourselves on our commitment to the discipline of equitation, and our riders did us proud this weekend. We saw a lot of up and coming riders who will be putting pressure on our more experienced riders in the near future, and we're thrilled.


    Our Horses

    They proved once again that they're the best lesson horses ever.

     Even with the hot muggy weather and the full schedule of classes, the boys maintained their senses of humor throughout the weekend.  Although, by the end of Sunday, Fred and Dudley were trying to tell Kelsey when they thought they should come into the line up...


    Congratulations to everyone who participated in the show this weekend.  We applaud everyone who rode this weekend!


    Next Up?

    Our academy and 'B' horses are heading to Roscoe for the Mid America Signature Show.  This friendly show offers riders the opportunity to show outside, and it's looking like the weather is going to be gorgeous!

    Meanwhile, show horses continue to prepare for Louisville and Fall shows, while weekend lessons are back on schedule.




    See you at the barn!









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