Raven's Guardians and The Horse Boy foundation have been having such a wonderful time with the Knights of the Grail team we wanted you to meet them too!
Bob Brunson- Executive Director KotG - Bob has a lifelong passion for horses. He attended Valley Forge Military College where he formed an early and longstanding respect for our nation’s servicemen and women. Bob lives on a sustainable ranch outside Austin near the Sherwood forest faire. He has combined his passion for horses, veterans, and medieval history by founding the Knights of the Grail to facilitate equine therapy for veterans and help teach chivalry and knightly skills to participants. Bob’s hope is that working with horses and learning chivalry will help veterans who struggle after leaving conflict zones.
George Appling – Director KotG – George is a “Passionpreneur”, He co-owns 6 companies, all of which he has a deep abiding passion for. One of which is the Sherwood forest festival in McDade Tx. He is a founding member of the board of directors for KotG. George donates the use of his 4 horses and the Sherwood site to KotG. George has been riding since 2010 and participating in the Sherwood tournament joust games since 2016. George holds two Masters degrees from Harvard University and two Bachelors degrees summa cum laude from Texas.
Shawn McKee is a veteran of the USAF and the first beneficiary of this program. He served on active duty as a photo processor from 1976-1981 in Sumpter SC, and Alconbury, England. Shawn also served in the USAF reserves stationed at Bergstrom AFB, Austin, TX from 1986-1991 in telecommunications. He began riding in late 2015, in the summer of 2016 he was part of the first armature joust games demo at the Sherwood forest faire summer camp. Shawn finds working with the horses helps to bing him peace in times of stress. “The bonding that one must do to properly interact with the horse also has a great healing effect on the soul.” He is grateful for the opportunity to join the board and help grown this program for his fellow veterans.
Stacy “Kanga” Staudt – Head instructor/Trainer – Stacey has over 25yrs riding experience steming from her childhood being raised around horses. She has a background in Western Pleasure, Barrels, Team Penning, English, Hunter/Jumper, Dressage, and Equitation. Stacey had her first horse by age 8, began riding at 12, and working in exchange for lessons that same year. Stacey has worked as a Horse Behavioral Modification Trainer, Trail Guide, and as a volunteer for special needs equine programs. Her desire to be involved with KotG comes from many friends and family that have served in the military and her desire to help them with their struggles with PTSD and Depression.
Katrin – Instructor/Trainer/Carriage driver – Katrin began formal riding instruction at the age of 10. She has competed in Hunter/Jumper and Dressage. She began western riding at the age of 13. During high school she worked at a barn in exchange for the board of her horses. At 18 her horse passed and it took a toll on Katrin’s heart and she took a hiatus from riding for several years. In 2010, Katrin began working with drafts as a carriage driver. In 2012, she drove at the Sherwood forest faire and the Scarborough Renaissance faires in Texas. Katrin has a deep love for draft horses and carriage driving as well as a desire to become PATH certified to help assist the veterans who receive services from KotG.
Borias – 18.2hh – 16 yrs old - Percheron gelding - Named for the Greek God of the North wind. The running joke is that he is half giraffe. He is even tempered and reliable but hates to be separated from the mares. He will never fall behind in the races and believes everyone exists to give him scratches.
Sadi – 16.3hh – 14yrs old – Percheron mare – First horse to call Sherwood her home. She is Stacey’s spirit horse. Sadi is the Boss! Stubborn as the day is long and a solid competitor in the joust games.
Sgodach or “Sgo”- 17hh – 12 yrs old – Belgian mare – Saved from the kill pen in Jan 2018 and brough to her home at Sherwood. She is a sight for sore eyes and is currently working towards being fit for joust games this Spring.
Rock – 17hh – 10 yrs old – Belgian gelding – Saved with Sgo from the kill pen in Jan 2018. Rock spent several years as a carriage pulling horse and the desire is to continue him on this path for the Sherwood forest faire. He has an exceptionally calm and gentle demeanor that makes him a joy to love on.
Samhain or “Sam” - 16.2 hh - 11 yrs old - National Show Horse Gelding - Samhain is a truly intelligent and special horse. He is the first non-draft horse for KotG. In the midieval period he would have been considered a palfrey horse. He is fast and cango forever. He will be astonishing in the games and quick to learn HBM.