• The School Horses' Spring Break Plans

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    Hello everyone, Forest here! 

    I have commandeered the school horse IPad, and have embarked on a new journalistic adventure. Since many of our students are traveling to exotic destinations for Spring Break 2018, (Mia already enjoyed horse swimming in the Caribbean!)  I thought I’d interview my co-workers about their dream destinations for break. 

    Since we’ll all be busy preparing for and performing in the Knollwood Spring Show, I also asked many of them what songs they’d like to hear played during their classes. All proceeds of Songs for Saddlebreds benefit Saddlebred Rescue, so please consider supporting their soundtrack requests with a $5 donation per class.




    Being a traditionalist and a bit of a history buff, Willy would like to rent an RV and drive to see Mount Rushmore.  While driving across the plains, he’s be listening to 'Holiday Road' by the Zac Brown Band or anything by Bruce Springsteen.



    Thomas doesn’t feel he’s been here long enough to have earned a Spring Break this year, but he has high hopes for a future Arizona spa visit. He’d like to enjoy quiet times, massages, and sand. Thomas would like to plan his break so he could meet up with Susan for lunch, too.

    Thomas will work with some advanced riders during the spring show and looks forward to competing ‘for real’ at the summer show. To stay calm and collected, Thomas would like to zone out to Beethoven’s Symphony #6, the Pastoral.


    Sundance would like to travel to the Rockies where he can enjoy beautiful scenery that’s UP so he never has to look down and stop. He’d enjoy hiking and quality time relaxing in the bar afterwards. Sundance is a great fan of all music by Stevie Wonder.

    Bo would like to travel to Boston and participate in the marathon. Heck, he’d probably run it twice before he noticed that others only did it once.  Bo’s favorite music is anything by Metallica.


    Brinkley’s dream is to travel to NYC and see musicals for a week. Of course, he’s always listening to the soundtracks of 'Hamilton' and 'Dear Evan Hansen' with a little 'Cabaret' thrown in.

    Pony Frank would like to hitch a train to California and see the world from the open door of a freight car. He’s pretty sure no one will notice the pony on the train listening to Woody Guthrie songs on his headphones.


    Dudley is always trying to better himself, so he’d like to travel to a remote yoga retreat where he can work on overcoming past traumas like the great body clipping of 2016, and become more open to future hair cuts. His soundtrack to his better self? Abba’s 'Dancing Queen,' of course!

    Duke would like to take a quick trip to the moon, because he thinks traveling without gravity would make everything seem crooked, not just him. While traveling, he’d listen to Madonna -  a lot of Madonna.

    Tony would take advantage of his thick winter coat and travel to Iceland where he could enjoy the geysers and cool air. He’s looking forward to sitting around a fire at the spa, drinking a Harvey Wallbanger  after a long day of hiking.  Of course, he’s a Kenny Chesney fan and would enjoy the entire catalog while chilling.


    Fred would shock all of us and head to Miami  to enjoy the night life in South Beach. When he’s not in clubs hanging with celebrities, he’s be chilling out, or maybe dancing down the street  to anything by Bruno Mars.

    Another shocker is that Sparky would like to travel to Mexico and experience cliff diving in Acapulco. (It’s always the quiet ones.)  Being a little older, his favorite music is REM, particularly ‘It’s The End of the World As We Know It.’


    Hugo would travel to a Star Wars convention where he would spend the majority of his break sleeping in his hotel room. When not napping, he’d be starting fights in the bar, just like in the pasture at home.  Hugo’s favorite song?  'Despacito' - over and over and over…

    Picasso would like to travel to Spain where he could see some original artwork by his namesake. His favorite recording artist is, of course, Beyonce.


    Joey would travel to Louisville on Derby weekend, enjoy the festivities, and really wish that he could show his speed off to the huge crowd.  To calm his nerves, he’d listen to Taylor Swift, and his favorite is 'Shake it Off.'

    Mark wouldn’t leave his stall, unless some nice child offered their basement for video gaming. Because of his less than stellar communication skills, we think he said he’d  listen to Barry Manilow, but maybe he said Bare Naked Ladies.

    Big Frank would travel to Colombia to ‘study’ drug cartels. His favorite music?  Lady Gaga!


    And Me?

    My dream is to travel on a mailboat through the Fjords in the land of my ancestors. (Even though I was born in Beloit, the beauty of Norway is calling me!) I’d enjoy shore excursions, and fine cuisine on ship. My favorite recording artist is Justin Timberlake, and my favorite song is 'CAN'T STOP THE MUSIC.'


    Of course, I didn’t ask the ‘Box Stall Boys’ because every day is a break for them. With their fancy wardrobes in the winter and fans in the summer, with frequent play breaks, tail washes, and pedicures,  their life is a vacation.

    Since they’re mostly Saddlebreds, they’d like everyone to buy songs at the show to help their friends who have not been as fortunate as Knollwood lesson horses. Even Morgans Klem and Eddie agree that it’s a great cause, and recommend 'Happy' by  Pharrell Williams as a starter. Please pick your favorite, most inspiring song to play during your class, and help Saddlebreds in need.

    My battery is running out…. See you in the arena! I’ll be the one hatching my next plan!





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  • Clinic Weekend 2018

    Posted by Ann Wilt


    Every spring, it's become a Knollwood tradition to enjoy a March weekend welcoming a great instructor to conduct a clinic for our riders. We all get a chance to reflect and learn from the best in the industry. Listening to a different perspective opens our eyes as well as those of our riders.  These clinics brighten everyone's spark as we head into a new, exciting show season.


    This year, we're looking forward to a weekend of learning from one of the best as we welcome Kellie Budd March 9 to 11 for Clinic Weekend 2018.  Kellie and her husband Dalton own and operate Select Show Horses in Indiana.  They started careers in the Arabian and Half Arabian divisions where they achieved great success. Recognition of that success included  Kellie being named the Arabian equitation instructor of the year in 2016.

    They have now branched out into the Saddlebred industry where they have already made a big impact. Just last season, they had two championship riders. Faith Robbins finished reserve in the National Good Hands Final while Ella Hampton won the World Grand Championship for Equitation riders 13 and Under, and won the UPHA Challenge Cup Junior National final.

    Much like Knollwood, Select Show Horses operates a big lesson program and a busy, busy show horse business. There are many parallels in our programs, and we expect the weekend to be a great exchange of ideas, and a lot of fun.

    While we’re not holding lessons this weekend, our show riders and our busiest academy riders will enjoy lessons with Kellie. We’re looking forward to learning from her unique perspective and success at turning out champion riders.

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  • Your Official Show Planner

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    The Knollwood Spring Show is coming up fast on March 24 and 25, and we can hardly wait. 

    We have lots of fun things planned for the show, and here’s your official guide to all the festivities.


    Get Ready!

    Our used clothing sale is coming up this Saturday, March 3 from 11 am to 3 pm in the show barn lounge.  Stop by and browse our selection of gently used jods, boots, shirts, and vests. Jodi will have her deep inventory of ties and bling to complete your show ring look, too.

    We’ll have experienced horse show moms on hand to help with fit and color selection.  These pros can help you create your perfect show ring style.  If we don’t have the sizes you need, we can measure and help you with online shopping, too!



    Hair Appointments

    The Knollwood salon will be open on Saturday and Sunday before the show.  Our expert stylists will create the perfect bun for only $5, or $8 if you’d like a bow. Sign up sheets are posted in the school barn lounge. Riders are reminded to bring a hair tie, bobby pins, hairnets, a brush, and hair spray to their appointment.




    Practice Rides

    Plan on joining us on Friday night, March 23 for a fun filled practice ride.  Especially valuable to first time show riders, these practices offer all the information and experience you’ll need to be comfortable entering the show ring. Riders will practice everything from entering the ring through the chute to line up preparation and show ring etiquette.

    These $40 classes are offered at 5:30 pm and 6:30 pm on Friday night.  Please talk to your instructor to sign up.  Horses are going fast!


    Corporate Sponsorships

    We’re happy to announce that our friends at Soul Fire Art Studio are the 2018 Knollwood Spring Show concession stand sponsor.  We thank them for their continued support of our program, as they also help with our camp craft program every summer.

    Interested in corporate sponsorship for your business? We have opportunities at the Knollwood shows as well as the ASAW Summer Showcase in August.  Ann or Nancy would he happy to answer any questions.



    Concession Stand

    It’s almost time for the Knockouts’ biggest fund raiser of the year, the concession stand!  Please consider working a shift during show weekend. It’s a great way to make new friends and to fulfill your service requirement for the club. Each member must work a minimum of 2 service hours per year to be eligible for high point awards at the banquet.

    You can sign up here, or if you prefer paper and pens, you can sign up in the school barn lounge.



    Raffle Baskets

    Sign up sheets are up in the school barn lounge for our famous gift baskets. There are some really fun themes to help raise funds for the hardest working youth club around, and we really appreciate everyone’s help!




    Songs for Saddlebreds

    DJ Maria will be playing requested music during the show to support Saddlebred Rescue.  For a donation of only $5 a song, you can request music for your class, a friend’s class, or just one you’d like to support.  You can sign up and pay any instructor to hear your music and help a great cause at the same time. Deadline for sign up is 3:00 pm on Thursday, March 22.

    We are proud to support Saddlebred Rescue, and have been honored twice with their special 'Youth to the Rescue' award.

    Oh, and the Mother Daughter class has already been taken by a friend of Holly and Wendy’s.  Trust us, you won’t want to miss that class…




    Knockout Flowers

    The Knockouts have partnered with our friends at Bank of Flowers to create unique bouquets for purchase.They're a perfect gift for your favorite rider or friend, and proceeds will benefit the Knockouts. You can pre-order your bouquet by March 9 for $12, or purchase the day of the show for $15.

    We'd recommend that you pre-order now so you don't miss out.


    Can you tell that we're excited about the start of show season? Our riders have been working hard and having fun this winter, and are eager to enter the show ring again. We hope you'll join us, cheer on all the riders, and support all the great programs the Knockouts have going.

    See you at the barn!





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  • This Banquet Was Special.

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    The Knollwood Knockouts gathered last Saturday for a very special edition of their annual awards banquet.  Members enjoyed dressing up for an evening of fun while celebrating the past, present and future.  In case you weren’t able to join the affair, here are our favorite seven things about the evening.



    The Legend at Bristlecone always gives us a great atmosphere to catch up with barn friends.  Before a delicious buffet dinner, (including an ice cream sundae bar) members enjoyed some time just hanging out and enjoying the evening. 

    Our youngest Knockout, Olive Shearman, attended her first club meeting at the tender age of 5 months, and was held by quite possibly all the moms in the room. Being the daughter of Tom and Lin, (and granddaughter of Holly) Oli seemed to really enjoy the party atmosphere.


    The junior exhibitors in the crowd packed the front of the room, close to the awards, the slide show screen, and the dance floor.


    Award Winners

    We presented trophies  in many, many divisions to award the accomplishments of our academy riders. From our in-barn lead line stars to our out of barn stars, we're proud of each and every one of them!


    Academy Awards 

    We believe in the academy division, and it showed on Saturday night. We were proud to recognize our 18 winners of academy awards from the American Saddlebred Horse Association. With riders ranging from showing in their first season to our seasoned academy riders who are moving up to the show horse world next season, we love the process of building riders through the academy world.


    High Point Award Winners

    We keep track of points for all of our academy riders, whether they show at our in-barn shows or at the out of barn academy shows throughout the season.  It’s always fun to see who comes out on top in the competition for high point awards for in and out of barn shows for the season.

    For the 2017 season, we were happy to award the high point award for our in-barn shows to Maiya with Lauren in reserve. In the out of barn division, Richie was the champ with Sofia reserve.

    Congratulations to these hard working riders, and we hope you enjoy your personalized championship blankets!



    Service Awards

    It takes a village to prep and care for our academy horses as they travel throughout the season. We are very fortunate to have a team of show riders who take care of the best lesson horses in the world, and mentor our future stars at the big shows. These ladies prep horses for the ring, offer moral support to the riders, and make everyone's lives much, much easier. We couldn't do it without this great group of 'Knollwood Kids!', and we're happy to recognize them and offer them a little token of our appreciation for all they do.




    Recognizing our ‘B’ Competitors

    The banquet offered the perfect opportunity to thank our three riders who compete on the ‘B’ division.  In addition to showing, Laura, Jodi, and Mary support our academy riders at every show by helping in the warm up ring, the wash rack, and in the aisle. In addition, Laura is a tireless ‘bunmaker’ to our academy stars.

    We were happy to present the ladies with their own rubber boots for all the tail and leg washing they do throughout the year, and with gift certificates for each of them to enjoy some relaxation.




    The Big Reveal 

    2018 marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of Knollwood Farms, and we’re thrilled to say we were able to keep a surprise from Scott!

    The banquet room was filled thanks to Scott's vision 40 years ago when a very young horse trainer started it all. Due to his hard work and dedication to his horses and riders in his care, Knollwood has grown into the phenomenon it is today.

    Oh, and Carol helped a little bit along the way. ;-)

    We created a separate slide show for our fearless leader, and our friends at Wild Impact Marketing created fun party favors to help us kick off a year of celebrating 40 years of Knollwood.

    We have some great things planned, and we hope you join us for all of it.





    What’s Next?


    Knockout and Parents Meeting

    This Saturday, February 24, we're holding a Knockout meeting in the lounge at 4:30 pm.  Please join us to meet your new officers and help plan the March show and other fun events.  We’re hosting a parents meeting immediately after the club meeting, too. We’d love to meet parents who would like to become more involved with our award winning youth club.


    Used Clothing Sale

    Next Saturday, March 3, we’re holding a used academy clothing sale from 11 am to 2 pm in the show barn lounge. We’ll have all of our used clothing available to purchase, Jodi will have her show ring accessories for sale, and we’ll have experienced academy show moms staffing the event so you can create the prefect outfit for the Knollwood Spring Show March 24-25.



    We hope you join us

    as we start the celebrations recognizing 40 years of Knollwood.

    See you at the barn!









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  • Our Mid America Champions

    Posted by Ann Wilt

    Our Mid America Champions


    Banquet season has begun, and Team Knollwood traveled to Lisle, Illinois for the Mid America Horse Show Association’s awards celebration last weekend. The association, founded in 1939, puts on three horse shows each year including the Signature show in Roscoe and the Mane Event in Springfield.

    The banquet features great raffle baskets donated by many of the attending barns, and a wonderful silent auction. Knollwood's own Mary donated one of her original artworks which sold for $265!




    After social time and dinner, awards were presented for the  academy and show horse divisions. Team Knollwood was well represented in the awards, and we congratulate all of the winners!

    In the ‘B’ division. Laura and Heist were champs in both the adult country and show pleasure divisions. (Thanks to Scott for the shoeing change during the season!)



    Jodi and JD were reserve champs in the adult country pleasure division.



    In the ‘A’ division, Kerry and Leila were champs in both Park Open and Park Amateur. 




    Haley was champion in Pleasure Equitation

    for riders aged 14-17.



    In her first year out of the academy division, and her first year showing at the canter, Hanna was champion in Pleasure Equitation for riders 13 and under.


    Finn was reserve champion of Pleasure Equitation for riders 13 and under.


    Our academy riders finished at the top of many age groups.

    Emma was champion of Equitation for riders 14-17.

    After a championship academy career, we can hardly wait to see Emma partner with Impressive Asset, AKA Fergie and enter the Pleasure Equitation division!


    Heather was named champion of both Equitation and Horsemanship for riders 13 and under.

    We’re looking forward to watching Heather and CH Fine By Me, AKA Tucker, compete in 13 and under Pleasure Equitation this season!



    Erika was reserve champion of both Equitation and Horsemanship for riders 13 and under.


    Sofia was walk and trot champion in Equitation for riders 11-17, and was reserve champion in Horsemanship for riders 11-17.




    Lauren was Walk and Trot champion of Horsemanship for riders 11-17, and Reserve Champion in Equitation for riders 11-17.



    Richie was Champion in both Equitation and Horsemanship for riders 10 and Under.

    He finished his 2017 by riding to a Reserve National Championship in the UPHA Walk and Trot Challenge Cup Final.  He’s already qualified for the 2018 final, and will campaign this season with his horse, the one and only Miss Mheirry Mac.


    What's Next??

    We'll be celebrating the accomplishments of all Team Knollwood this Saturday at the Knockouts banquet. We have some special things planned for this year's event, and we can hardly wait to look back at our 2017 adventures before we look ahead to all the great things coming in 2018.





    Don't forget the Knockout meeting coming up on Saturday, February 24 at 4:30.  You can meet your new officers, and help them plan the upcoming spring show, and the new events they're thinking of for 2018.

    After the kids meeting, we're hosting a parents' meeting. We'd love to have some new parents join the fun of helping with the club. We run concession stands at 4 horse shows, and participate in lots of fun events. Please join us to learn how you can get more involved with these great kids!




    See you at the barn, and at the banquet!


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