• A Legend Passes

    0 comments / 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

    0 comments / 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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  • An Insider's Guide to the Knollwood Summer Show

    0 comments / Posted by Ann Wilt

    It's almost time for the Knollwood Farm summer academy show!  Whether it's your first show or your 50th, here's some great information, in no particular order, that will help make the weekend a smooth one!

    New this year!

     Help support Saddlebred Rescue by sponsoring a song on Sunday.  For only $5, you can pick a song to be played during your class, or play it for a friend.  All proceeds will go to saddlebreds in need, and you can sign up in the school barn lounge.




    It all happens in the school barn lounge!  

    The ladies at the counter can help with any questions after you sign in and receive your number.  Jodi will also be selling her ties and bling.  We're also offering Woodwear and assorted Knollwood gear for sale.  Be sure to check out the great selection!




    This can be a challenge, especially on Sunday when classes are big, big, big.  Our friends at the Kettle Moraine Curling Club have given us permission to park in their lot which is directly across from the school barn on Horseshoe Bend.

    Please be sure to observe the 'No Parking' signs on Horseshoe Bend, unless you'd like a visit from a Delafield Police officer.  Really. They mean business on this bend in the road.




    The Knollwood Knockouts

    Our youth group runs the concession stand, the gift baskets, and the 50/50.  Please check out the baskets, and enjoy the treats offered by the club.  All proceeds benefit the charitable efforts of the club, and they appreciate your support.




    The Riders

    We have a saying around here, that 'It's Not the Ribbon, It's the Ride.'

    Riders participating in the show are competing at different levels, from our maiden riders to seasoned show ring stars. They are each working on their individual goals, from  steering into every corner to trotting a great inverted figure 8 in a Challenge Class.

     We applaud each and every one of them, and thank you for offering your support to them as well.



    The Horses

    Our lesson horses are the best out there.  

    They are still horses, so please watch small children in the crowd, and please celebrate within reason.  Even the most wonderful horses in the world can be startled by sudden loud noises, and we thank you for your cooperation.





    We're looking forward to a wonderful weekend with our friends, both two and four legged.  Prepare to be impressed by the riders and horses you'll be watching! We know we will be.




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  • What A Weekend at Summerfun!

    0 comments / Posted by Ann Wilt

    Team Knollwood enjoyed a wonderful summer weekend of horse showing at State Fair Park last weekend.  The ASAW Summerfun show is one of our favorites, and we have some great stories to share!



    Over the course of the weekend, we had 28 horses at the show.  Some of the young horses went home after their performances, the academy horses came in and went home, and the show schedule was action packed.

    The show string added some extra staff with Sarah and Parker pitching in, and the academy crew was fortunate to have quite an accomplished pit crew.  Haley, Madison, Ainsley, Hanna, and Abbie met us in the aisle at 6:00 am to prep ten academy horses. These champion junior exhibitors served as grooms, personal assistants, and mentors to our future stars.  We couldn't have done it without them, and we are so grateful.


    Hard Riding Kids?

    They Become Accomplished  Amateurs.

    We often talk about our Junior Exhibitor riders, and our academy kids.  This weekend was a fabulous example of what a strong riding foundation leads to after 'kids' age out of the youth ranks.

    Kerry Richter, our second generation Honkamp, started showing in the academy division, and had great success in the Junior Exhibitor ranks, showing in multiple divisions.  She now owns and shows the beautiful, athletic, and sometimes strong willed  Park mare Brookhill's Passion Punch.  They've been favorites from Kentucky to Wisconsin,  and won both her classes this weekend.

    Allison Schuh was a standout equitation rider as a Junior Exhibitor and has enjoyed great success with the athletic CH I'm Royalty Too.  They've made it all the way to the World's Championships, and they were in great form last weekend, winning the amateur 5 gaited stake.

    Abby Kastenholz enjoyed a storied academy career before she moved into the show horse world with her first 5 gaited horse, Here to Win.  She then moved up to the legendary Freaky Links, and they've been perennial champs around the country. Hard riding Abby is home after her first year of college, riding as well as ever.

    Jen Fox enjoyed her first show in a suit last weekend, debuting Heist in the Open English Pleasure division.  The pair looked every bit the part in a big qualifier, and rode to a reserve championship in the stake.  They looked fabulous, and boy, that girl can ride!


    Standout Students

    Each year, ASAW awards three college scholarships to high school seniors. Rewarding a young member's commitment to leadership, scholarship, and community service, we're proud to say that two Knockouts received the awards this year.

    Sarah finished her show schedule at Summerfun, showing Alex, AKA Perilous to some really nice ribbons.  She's heading to Buffalo to study at Canisius University in the fall.

    Jess had the opportunity to show Sharky, AKA Deker's All American in the academy division, and earned good ribbons on her borrowed horse. (More about that later.)

    Jess is heading to the University of Wisconsin this fall.


    Friends To The Rescue

    Due to some unusual circumstances, we found ourselves short one horse for the highly competitive academy division.Our friends at Lance Hayes Stables in Neenah came to the rescue with one of their lesson horse stars for us to use.

    Very tall Jess was matched with very tall Sharky for the show.  After a lesson at the show on Wednesday, this pair made a compelling team, riding to good ribbons and even making the workout in the championship.

    Great thanks to Lance and Sammy for their generosity!


    Equitation Excellence

    Team Knollwood showed up for the Pleasure Equitation in numbers.  From 11 year old Hanna to 17 year old Madison, these five riders showed the result of hard work and dedication in their Sunday championship.  Judge Cater had a difficult chore ranking the riders in a closely matched final.

    This is their last show before hitting the green shavings at Louisville, and it looks like these riders are peaking at the perfect time for the World's Championship Horse Show.


    Our Bright Future

    The academy performance was a whopper, with over 150 entries.  Team Knollwood was ready with 15 riders ranging in age from 7 to 17, and from beginning show riders to our very experienced academy stars.

    The walk trot and canter division was a showcase of horsemanship in numbers, with a split championship to prove it.  All of our experienced riders showed well, and learned some great lessons along the way,  Maria piloted our up and coming academy horse Joey through his first pattern after making the championship cut, Jordan and Panic lived through a lost shoe, while Emma and Cashew got better with each ride and winning one of the championship splits.


    Our walk and trot riders even wowed us. 

    The 10 and under riders rose to the occasion in the big arena and rode beyond their years.  When Klem, Heist, and Baxter thought they'd show off their cantering skills in the walk and trot division, Maiya, Richie, and Mia did their best to stop the enthusiasm.  

    Juliet won her first class away from home with Hooper after a great ride, taking him off the rail and looking super confident.  This 7 year old even made the workout in the 10 and under championship!  

    Mikayla turned in some strong rides on steady Eddie as well.


    What's Next?


    This weekend brings the Knollwood Summer Show!  Please join us for a weekend of showcasing our academy riders.  The Knockouts are running their concession stand, they're offering gift baskets, and are raising money for Saddlebred Rescue. For only $5, you can pick a song to be played during a class, and the $$ goes to help Saddlebreds in need.


    See you at the barn!




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  • We're In The Thick of It!

    0 comments / Posted by Ann Wilt

    Summer horse show season is in full swing, and Team Knollwood is right in the thick of it!

    Last weekend, we enjoyed the Oshkosh Charity Horse Show, one of our favorites.  The grounds are beautiful, show management is fabulous, and hospitality is top notch.

    Oh, and it was quite a horse show!





    Amanda and Pixie

    Amanda has been working hard at home, getting to know her new horse Pixie.  Scott has been preparing this beautiful four year old, showing her lightly in Equitation Prospect classes along the way.  So at Oshkosh, Scott decided it was time for Amanda and Pixie to make their debut in their age group qualifier.  

    They had a wonderful first class together, and we're looking forward to seeing this team come together as the season progresses.  Amanda was fortunate to show Sadie in her other equitation classes, finishing second in the Good Hands and Saddle and Bridle Medallion qualifiers.




     Hanna and Tucker


    Fresh off a successful walk and trot academy season last year, Hanna has moved to the big time with Tucker, officially known as WC Fine By Me.  This team really came together at Oshkosh, winning their Challenge Cup, Good Hands, and Medallion qualifiers.  They're now qualified for their fall finals and are looking forward to showing at Summerfun!


    BIG Academy Classes

    The big arena at Oshkosh hosted some of the largest, most talented academy classes we've seen yet this year.  The walk, trot, and canter championship had 11 riders, while the walk and trot finale hosted 15 contenders.

     The workout for the walk trot and canter championship was a pocket pattern.  Usually only prepared for riders in suits, these academy stars welcomed the challenge of coming up with a pattern that would show their abilities off well with the horse they were showing at Oshkosh.


    After a workout of six riders, Emma and Cashew were champions with Zada and Sadie a close reserve.

    The big walk and trot championship finished with six riders performing a UPHA serpentine for their pattern.  Team Knollwood placed five of their riders in the workout group, and Richie earned the champion title showing Heist.  


    We are so proud of all of our 14 academy riders who made the trip to Oshkosh with us.  We had riders of all different levels of experience, and they all rode to their personal bests!









    After a quick trip home from Oshkosh, Scott left again with a few horses for the Lexington Junior League Horse Show.  It's the last year this classic show is being held at the Red Mile Harness Track before it moves to indoor facilities at the Kentucky Horse Park for 2018, and this year's edition is really big.

    The show hosts the adult equitation finals each year, and Team Knollwood has two riders competing this year.  Sarah and Fergie will be showing in both the USEF Adult Medal Final on Wednesday night, and the UPHA Adult Challenge Cup Final on Friday afternoon while Frannie and Butters will be in the Challenge Cup Final.


    The show is also hosting the first ever Triple Crown Challenge, in which all the winners of equitation's Triple Crown were invited to compete in a class together.  Team Knollwood has had two Triple Crown winners with Sarah in 2001 and Nick in 2010, and they're both coming to Lexington to join the event.

    It's a fundraiser for the ASHA's marketing efforts, and if you'd like to support the benefit, you can click here to support Sarah, or here to support Nick.




    Lora and Finn are also showing in Lexington, and have had some great early success, with Lora winning her Challenge Cup qualifier on Wednesday after Finn won her pleasure equitation qualifier on Tuesday.  We wish them both good luck in their championships later in the week.



    What's Next?

    While Lexington finishes up, Carol, Lin, and Carlos will be at home prepping horses and riders this weekend, and the academy and 'B' horses will be off to Gurnee for the IASPHA Summer show.

    The following weekend, we'll be at State Fair Park for another favorite, ASAW Summerfun. We'll be there with plenty of horses and riders, and hope you'll join us.

    The academy performance on Saturday morning at 9 am promises to be another good one.  The Knockouts are hosting a meeting in the stands just after the performance which offers a  great chance to watch the show, and then join up with fellow Knockouts to put the finishing touches on their next event.... 


    Knollwood Summer Show

    It's coming up fast!  We're looking forward to a fun weekend of horse showing at home on July 22 and 23. Please stay tuned as we'll be posting gift basket info and concession stand sign ups.

    We still have limited openings in our prep camp the week before the Knollwood show.  Please talk to your instructor if you'd like to enjoy a week of camp designed for riders competing in our summer show!



    Thanks for joining us for Knollwood Summer, 2017.

    See you at the barn!


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