Team Knollwood is again mourning the passing of a well loved lesson horse, as we helped Mark cross over the rainbow bridge this morning.
Distinguished Mark was born on May 20, 1990, and has taught at Knollwood since 1998. Smooth as could be, Mark was an academy star in his younger days. While not blessed with a great intellect, he taught riders the values of persistence and determination.
In his later years, he became a ‘go-to’ tiny tot teacher, and was a favorite of instructors and young riders alike.
Peace to you, Mark.
Hearts are heavy tonight at Knollwood as we mourn the loss of a legend.
Willy passed away this evening, on his own terms.
A great man always knows when to leave.
Thanks to care from Nancy and Dr. Matt, Willy enjoyed a day outside in the sunshine, and then came in for a nap during which he crossed the rainbow bridge.
Just imagine the welcoming committee on the other side … Dudley, Forest, KC Pony, barn cat legend Dean, and all the others who worked with Sweet William.
Born Dakota’s Diamond Sam in April of 1987, Willy came to Knollwood in 1990, and the rest is history.
This grand gelding became possibly the best beginner lesson horse to ever walk the earth.
With his patented jog trot, he taught literally thousands of students to post during his 31-year career.
We tried to retire him three times, but he refused the first two.
Willy was perhaps a metronome in a former life.
The speed of the jog never changed as he gave each of his riders from the tiniest to the most apprehensive adult the confidence that only he could bestow.
Not without his quirks, Willy was deathly afraid of Scott for no reason, although he warmed up to him in later years.
In his youth, Willy’s trips for shoe resets were quite a terrifying experience for the grand beginner horse.
Spray and aerosols were his nemesis. In fact, he found his quarter horse speed whenever he heard the fly spray start.
Willy, the inaugural school horse of the year in 2018, had the patience of a saint, and the heart of a ladies man. In his later days, he enjoyed his time outside with CH Miss Mheirry Mac.
We thank you Willy, for the we time spent with you.
You taught many lessons, and most of them weren’t in the arena.
There will never be another Willy.
Peace to you Willy.
You were well loved, and will be eternally missed.
Well, that was a horse show.
Team Knollwood has returned home from St. Paul Minnesota where the show horses enjoyed showing at the FASH show. The fairgrounds and show management are the best, and the competition was great.
Here are a few of our stories from the road:
We got to see Bella again! Covid kept her from us for most of last season, as she travels to Knollwood from Philadelphia, but she picked up right where she left off at FASH. Now an adult amateur competitor, Bella and Garfield won both their Country Pleasure qualifier and championship UNANIMOUSLY.
Bella and powerhouse Tyler had some great rides in the amateur 5 gaited division, and are ready for the challenges of the season ahead.
Erika and Tori were rock stars in the Monarch single bit division. Tori and Frankie have become quite a team in their short time together, and they were charismatic and smooth to win the qualifying class. Erika and young Willow learned in their qualifier, and went on to win the championship in the division.
Kim and Allison make the trip to FASH each May for a mother-daughter weekend. This year was extra special, and Kim let Allison show her new horse in the adult show pleasure division. In some incredibly big and deep classes, these two worked the arena to perfection, and had an absolute blast doing it. Allison won both the qualifier and the championship, coming out on top of a field of 16 horses in the final!
The equitation riders did it again. Finn, Laney and Richie were competing in the 17 and under divisions while Allison showed in the adult classes.
It was easy to see how hard the Knollwood Kids had worked over the winter as they worked the rail and pattern work with precision.
Allison won the UPHA Adult Challenge Cup qualifier, Finn won the Good Hands qualifier, Laney rocked her Pleasure Equitation qualifier and the Saddle and Bridle Pleasure Equitation Medallion qualifier, and Richie won his qualifier and his Challenge Cup qualifier.
To close out the show on Sunday, afternoon, the Knollwood Kids took the top 3 spots in the championship, with Finn in first, Laney in second place, and Richie in third.
Next up for the show riders is the May Classic Horse Show at Wisconsin State Fair Park May 27-30.
It’s almost Olympic time!
First of all, we offer great thanks to all the Team Knollwood members who donated food kits and cash equivalents to the Food Pantry of Waukesha County. Thanks to you, we’re sending more than 200 food kits to the pantry!
This Saturday, after a 5:30 PM Knockout meeting, the 2021 Knollwood Olympics will begin!
41 Olympians will compete for six teams in five Events. This year’s contests will be:
Blind Buggy Race
Two blindfolded ‘strong’ teammates pull a jog cart through a pattern while being directed by a sighted, hopefully lightweight teammate in the seat.
We’ve had people let go of the cart and wander along blindly until reunited with the cart, we’ve had drivers attempt to use hand signals to the blind souls, and yes, we’ve had teams hit the wall.
Keep in mind, this is a timed event, and well worth your time to watch.
Hop, Skip, and Wrap
Well, it’s 2 Olympians who must run across the arena, polo wrap the legs of their teammate together, and hop back across the arena, Yes, it’s timed.
The closest we could get to a real Olympic event, one member of each team will attempt to throw an old dusty helmet as far as they can.
Not timed, but we advise spectators to watch for flying helmets. Aim is not a strong suit of horse girls.
School Horse Charades
‘Professional Actors’ will portray horses and assorted Knollwood animals doing various activities. Teams will accrue points by guessing the animal, and what he or she is doing.
Three members from each team will pile into a horse sheet, but of course only one of them can see. (Do you sense a pattern here?) Teams will ‘race’ the length of the big outdoor ring, and the first team to reach the gate standing up will be declared the winner.
We hope you’ll come cheer on the competitors. We do ask that if you come, and you’re not part of an Olympic family, please bring a food kit, or a monetary donation for the Food Pantry of Waukesha County.
What’s Coming Up?
Knollwood Spring Show
May 22 and 23
We’re putting the finishing touches on our academy show, being held in the outdoor arenas.
Riders can pick up their shirt packets starting Thursday in the school barn, and we still have a few spots open for practice rides on Friday, May 21. Please see your instructor to sign up.
If you haven’t yet done so, please sign up here to help at the concession stand, or with show prep work.
May Classic Show
Wisconsin State Fair Park
Come watch Team Knollwood compete against some great show horses and academy riders from around the Midwest.
The show is a sell out!
We’ll post schedules when finalized, and the academy performance won’t start before noon on Saturday morning.
Prairie State Classic
Beyond Stable Farm
Come watch the ‘B’ show horses and our academy stars compete against some different competition. Primarily a Morgan show, we get to compete against some barns we don’t always see. It’s a short drive, and a beautiful facility.
Starting June 14
All our sessions are sold out, and we’re looking forward to a fabulous Knollwood summer!
Midwest Charity Horse Show
Illinois State Fairgrounds
The first BIG show of the season, and a favorite of all. The competition is fantastic, the grounds are beautiful, and the arena is the best around. Team Knollwood will be there in numbers to compete against the best.
Knockouts Car Wash
Sunday, August 8
Piggly Wiggly in Hartland
Save the date!
It’s one of the Knockouts’ biggest fundraisers of the year, and it’s lots of fun. The club sells brats and burgers at the Brat Shack, and washes cars as well. We ask that all Knockouts make themselves available to join the fun.
See you at the barn, or at the in-gate!
We’re so excited that we’re heading into a pretty ‘normal’ show season!
We’re fortunate to have such a wonderful community of customers around the farm. Please consider helping us run a fantastic show for all our riders by donating your time and talent for a shift at the concession stand, or bidding on a parking spot, or donating to the gift baskets.
You can volunteer your time and talent here.
You’ll meet some other wonderful people, and we guarantee you’ll have a wonderful time.
There’s also info so you can watch our show horses and riders compete at a big show in Minnesota, and some dates so you can watch them compete at Wisconsin State Fair Park over Memorial Day weekend.
We love what we do!
FASH (Friends of the American Saddlebred Horse) Horse Show
Minnesota State Fairgrounds
The show barn’s first big show of the year, FASH is a favorite of all exhibitors. The facilities are great, competition is deep, and the show is run by some of the nicest people in the industry. You know, ‘Minnesota nice.’
If you can’t make it to the show, you can watch the live stream here.
Last day to get your food kits for the Knollwood food drive. If you’re time stressed and want to help, you can write a check to The Food Pantry of Waukesha County. One food kit is equivalent to a $15 donation, so $75 covers five food kits.
Remember, any Team Knollwood member who collects five food kits or cash equivalents is welcome to join an Olympic Team to compete on May 15 at 6:00 PM.
Pre-orders are due at 1:00 PM for Knollwood show lunch orders. With everything from hot dogs to chicken curry wraps, there’s something for everyone. And, every purchase supports the Knockouts!
During the day
Photo shoots with Hanna
Sign up here for a photo shoot with Knollwood’s own Hanna. She’ll capture pics of you and your family, your favorite horse, or a group of friends.
Starting at 5:30 PM
We’ll start the event with a 5:30 PM Knockout meeting, and the games will begin at 6:00 PM.
Teams will compete in a blind buggy race, a helmet toss, a blanket race, hop, skip, and wrap, and another event to be named later.
Deadline for dropping off gift basket items at the farm.
Please make sure you’ve signed up here for a volunteer helping spot, too!!
Bids end for the preferred parking auction. Remember, the preferred parking spot includes free raffle tickets AND a free print of your choice from Hanna Agathen Photography.
We’re so excited that we have 30 riders showing for the first time ever! To help them and more experienced riders who’d like a refresher, we offer practice rides at 5:30 PM, 6:30 PM, and 7:30 PM.
These classes offer riders the opportunity to learn all about the show as we run through the whole process. And, they’re a blast!
Please sign up with your instructor or with one of the office admins to choose you spot. The classes are a bargain at only $40.
Knollwood Spring Show
Join us for performances starting at 11:00 AM on both days. Saturday will feature all the walk, trot, and canter riders as well as the walk trot riders aged 11 and over. The Saturday show will be in the big outdoor ring.
We’ll finish the day with an entertaining games session, and we have a couple of spots left if you have a great sense of humor!
Sunday’s performance will take place in our little outdoor ring and features our walk and trot riders aged 10 and under, those showing for the first time in our ‘maiden’ division, and our lead line riders.
If the weather absolutely doesn’t cooperate with us, we’ll reschedule the show on June 12 and 13 when we can move inside if we have to. The show horses will be in Springfield, Illinois getting ready to show at the Midwest Charity Horse Show.
We’re excited to announce that Shelby Hader will be judging both days of the show. Shelby grew up a Knollwood Kid, and had a very successful junior exhibitor career as both an equitation and performance rider.
Shelby is a graduate of Lawrence University, and is currently working in medical research.
Wisconsin State Fair Park
May Classic Academy Classes
Join us to cheer on our academy stars at a ‘local’ show! Academy classes won’t start before noon on May 29, and we’re bringing 10 stars to compete against some of the best academy riders in the area.
The full show runs from May 26 – 29, and Knollwood will be there in numbers. We’ll publish the full schedule in the days ahead.
Prairie State Classic Horse Show
Beyond Stable Farm
Our academy riders and some ‘B’ horses return to Woodstock for one of our favorite shows. The facility and the hospitality can’t be beat, and we have a strong academy team making the trip. Please consider joining us!
We're looking forward to making memories this show season with wonderful horses and friends.
Team Knollwood is thrilled you're joining us for the ride!
Covid has changed a lot of things across the world, and we in our little Knollwood universe have not escaped its effects. One of the positives to come out of the experience has been the change to hosting outdoor academy shows.
Our lesson program has prospered during these strange times, and we’re thrilled to report that we’re welcoming 30 new riders showing for the very first time on May 23. All of the show divisions are welcoming great numbers and depth of riders, and we can hardly wait.
This is going to be a record setting show, and we couldn't be happier to introduce horses to all of new customers, and to continue the educations of all of our experienced riders.
The show countdown has begun, and we have lots of helpful hints to share:
While we can’t control the weather, we can sure plan a way around it. If the weather just isn’t going to cooperate with us, we’ll move the show to June 12 and 13. If it rains that weekend? We’ll move the show inside, as the show horses will be in Springfield, Illinois competing at the Midwest Charity Horse Show.
The show starts at 11:00 AM sharp on both Saturday, May 22 and Sunday, May 23.
We like to keep in-barn shows really simple to introduce everyone to the joys of horse showing. Riders just need jods, paddock boots, and a helmet. If you are currently using ours, you’ll continue to do so.
Prior to the show, you’ll receive a packet with your cool show shirt and your back number for the show. Please be sure to return your number so you can use it for future shows!
The Saturday show takes place in our big outdoor ring, affectionately known to all our academy riders as ‘patternland.’
Saturday will feature all of our walk, trot, and canter riders as well as our walk and trot riders aged 11 and up.
Our adult divisions are strong, and we’re offering both walk and trot and walk, trot, and canter divisions. Oh, and we suspect they’ll be enjoying some adult beverages after their performances!
Spectators are welcome to set up their chairs on the grass to the west of the show arena.
The Sunday performance takes place in our small outdoor ring, and will showcase our walk and trot riders who are 10 and under, our first time ‘maiden’ riders, and our leadliners.
Each of our lesson horses will have their very own personal assistant for the day who will see to their every need, and to the needs of the students showing them. These personal assistants are unbelievable with the riders and horses, as they’ve all grown up in the program and remember their walk and trot days. We are so fortunate to have them volunteering their mentoring skills to our new show stars.
Spectators are welcome to set up chairs under the trees along Horseshoe Bend , and along the school barn.
Did Someone Say Lunch?
The Knockouts are now accepting preorders for lunches for touchless pickup at the show. Order blanks are in the school barn lounge and offer a selection from grilled goodies to chicken curry wraps. Please place your order by May 14 at 1:00 PM. You can pay by cash, check, or venmo.
What? Preferred Parking Spots?
This is popular show, so parking spots are sometimes tricky to locate. The Knockouts have decided to auction off a preferred parking spot for each day.
This cool package also includes 10 raffle tickets, and a print of your choice from show photographer Hanna!
Opening bid is $50, and the auction runs through Thursday, May 20. The auction is happening in the school barn lounge, and proceeds will benefit the Knollwood Knockouts.
How can you help with the show?
You don’t have to be a horse person to contribute to this memory making weekend. We need lots of volunteers to assist with set up, gift basket donations, concession stand sales and lunch assembly, sales of tickets for the baskets, and more.
It takes a lot of volunteers to put on a show of this size for so many wonderful kids, and we ask that every family who is enjoying the show please volunteer in some way if you can.
What’s a practice ride?
We offer practice rides on Friday night, May 21 so riders can put the finishing touches on their show skills. For only $40, show riders get a small group lesson on their horse in the arena that they’ll be showing in. We’ll focus on show skills and procedures one last time to make everyone feel prepared and ready to show. You can sign up in the school barn, and we’ll bill your account for the class. Please sign up soon, as spots are limited. Classes are available at 5:30 and 6:30.
Will there be a photographer?
We’re happy to have Hanna Agathen photography shooting both days of the show. You can view and purchase proofs here.
Hanna’s a Knollwood Kid and a true horse girl who has the ‘eye’ for capturing the connection between horses and their people.
We can hardly wait to watch our riders show all the skills they’ve learned in their lessons. They’re welcoming the challenge of applying lessons learned in the totally different environment of a show, and we’re proud of each and every one of them.
What’s Coming Up?
Our food drive benefitting the Food Pantry of Waukesha County continues through May 10. Each rider who contributes a minimum of 5 food kits or cash equivalent is eligible to compete in the Knollwood Olympics on May 15!
Help us help our neighbors in need.
Lesson horses are headed back to Beyond Stable Farm in Woodstock for the Academy Palooza Show. Hannah and Jilly are making their show ring debuts, and Paeton is competing for the second time.
Adrienne, Alexa, Emilie, and Samara are competing in the walk, trot, and canter divisions for the first time, too!
Street Clean Up
Join us this Saturday at 1:00 to clean up Oakwood and Nagawicka Roads for spring! The weather looks like it’s going to be perfect to spend some time with your barn friends AND beautify our neighborhood for spring.
Tuesday, May 4
5:00 – 8:00 PM
Help the Knockouts raise some $ and anjoy some Culver’s deliciousness at the same time! From 5-8 next Tuesday, a portion of ALL sales will be donated to the Knockouts. Meet your friends, or bring your family to the Hartland Culvers. You never know who you’ll meet!
FASH Horse Show
Show horses are heading to St Paul, MN on Tuesday for the FASH Show which takes place May 6-9. Many Knollwood horses will be competing, and we’ll post a schedule and livestream info soon.
Get those food kits in, and join us on May 15 at 6:00 PM to watch Knollwood Kids compete in ‘games of skill.’ It’s a blast to watch.
May 22 and 23 starting at 11 AM.
Noon, Academy Riders
The Madison Classic horse show has become the May Classic this year, as it’s being held in our backyard, at State Fair Park. We’re attending with many, many show horses and a crew of hard riding academy kids. You won’t want to miss this show!
Prairie State Classic
June 4-6 at Beyond Stable Farm
Our academy kids and some ‘B’ horses will be heading to Woodstock to compete at one of the most hospitable shows on the circuit. It’s a short drive, so please drive down and cheer on your favorite riders.
Midwest Charity Horse Show
June 15 - 19
Illinois State Fairgrounds
Midwest is the first of the truly big shows of the season where horses from the south and north meet for the first time. And, it’s held in arguably the most beautiful building in which to show horses. The newly renovated Coliseum of Champions is a sight to behold, and the competition is pretty great, too. Team Knollwood will be there in numbers to compete with the best.
We hope you can join us for all the fun we have planned!
See you at the barn or at the in-gate!