It’s not just four-legged residents at KBS, there’s also a growing band of international (human) occupants too, with well over 70 years of diverse equestrian experience between them all.
Claire: KBS Manager
An equestrian since her teens, Claire is today a highly successful UK registered national competitor in the sport of endurance racing. She’s lived in Bulgaria for over 12 years, and prior to joining us at KBS worked for almost three-years with Pirouette- one of Bulgaria’s top endurance racing stables.
Today, she manages the daily running of KBS and remains an actively competing member of the Pirouette Endurance Team, for which she competes at FEI 2* Level both nationally and internationally with her Arabian mare Intifada.
Claire is passionate about all things equine, and is currently a qualified Bulgarian instructor and continuing her online training in Equitation Science. She also loves developing children’s riding skills and coaching the fledgling Team KBS children’s team.
To read more about Claire’s endurance career see here.
Cursty: KBS Co-Owner
Co-owner at KBS, Cursty is a lifelong horse rider and owner. In the past, she’s worked in polo, carriage driving, trekking and livery yards, in the UK, UAE and the US.
More recently, she has obtained her UKCC Coaching Certification Level One and the American University of Dubai Certificate in Equine Behaviour and Performance. She is also an Open Level endurance rider with Endurance GB, riding in both Bulgaria and the United Arab Emirates.
Initially moving to Africa, she became an English teacher, then later a reporter for the United Nations. Later she moved into journalism and over the years has written for various lifestyle, education and equestrian publications. Today, when not riding or writing; she’s usually found researching natural horse-care and new things to do in and around the Sakar region.
Ian: KBS Co-Owner
Growing up on a small-holding in South Africa, then moving onto work for the United Nations in some pretty inhospitable countries including; Sudan, Chad, Mozambique, CAR and Botswana, Ian’s certainly learned how to make things work in remote places.
It was these ‘experiences’ which helped him to see the potential in the KBS site even though it was nothing more than a series of dilapidated buildings with no water or electricity supply.
Yet, it was love at first sight, and he’s spent the thirteen intervening years researching, planning and designing pretty much everything at KBS, and when its possible, he’s also project managed and built much of it too!
Itzo: the REAL boss!
What ever the issue, from sourcing great local hay to fixing an exploded water pump, from putting up the perfect roof to cooking-up the best plate of Mixed Grill in the village; there’s only one man to call- Itzo!
Itzo has been the linchpin at KBS since we moved to Srem and to date, we still haven’t found anything; he can’t make, find, hatch, do or give solid advice on. Yet, its not all crisis management with Itzo, because once evening falls, he’s there to kick-back, pour the Rakia and remind us that what ever happens- there really IS a funny side!
Marco: All-Round Help
Marco might only be 18-years-old, but he’s spent each one of those years with horses. It’s all thanks to his father, Petar, who is an accomplished local horse-owner and horseman, known for his skills in village hoof trimming, stallion handling and equine medical care.
While Marco is learning all about competition and riding horse management with the KBS team, in return, we’re also discovering a whole lot about the local equine traditions and techniques.
Angel: Stable Hand
Originally from neighbouring village Melnitza, Angel has spent 65 plus-years leading a village life. In that time, he’s owned and cared for a range of farm animals from chickens and bunnies to donkeys and horses.
When he’s not telling us how it is- he’s showing us how to grow pretty much anything, teaching us how to make insanely-good sheep milk yogurt and what shouldn’t go into a truly great rakia!
Josie: Content Creation/Trail Leader
In the past, Josie has worked at some of Australia’s biggest Arabian showing, endurance and stud farms. Today, a global traveller, when she’s not roaming the world, she’s a Srem resident. When Josie needs a break, she’s often found in the village, working on her house and taking staggeringly good images for KBS.
In fact, they’re so good, she’s recently launched her own company- Social Aspect Marketing, which aims to offer small businesses affordable and tailor-made Social Media support and content creation solutions.
Our Ever Expanding Team of Incredible Friends, Volunteers and Helpers
We also have an incredible (and expanding) team of friends and supporters who help out with everything from; training and schooling to supporting and marketing our events.
Some drive the length of Bulgaria to come and make us Banitza when its kids camp, (yes, you Adriana!), then there’s Hannah who hitch-hikes from Iraq when ever she can, Frankie who helps with logos and design, Jolene who pops in when ever she’s in Eastern Europe and of course Stani, Deni and Ali who drop what ever they’re doing and walk from their homes when we urgently need some extra hands.
We HUGELY appreciate you all!