BRI NOBLE - FOUNDER & HEAD TRAINER
Bri Noble is the founder and owner of Mulatto Meadows, an equestrian business dedicated to expanding the accessibility of riding and horsemanship to communities historically excluded from the equestrian world. Bri is especially passionate about introducing horsemanship and riding to youth of color and economically disenfranchised populations.
Bri has ridden and trained in both English and Western disciplines including jumping, eventing, ranch versatility, and Trail Trails. She believes that no matter the focus, whether it’s trail riding or show jumping, true horsemanship is a language that transcends all disciplines.
By putting the needs of the horse first, equestrians can grow both personally and professionally to reach their true potential.
Bri recently garnered international attention when she rode her horse Dapper Dan at an Oakland, California Black Lives Matter protest over the death of George Floyd. The image of Bri atop her 17.1 hand horse has become a beacon of hope for people worldwide.
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area’s East Bay, Bri is a lifelong horse enthusiast whose love of horses began with summers at the barn with her big sister. At the age of 15 she was given her first horse, an abused off the track thoroughbred she renamed Midnight Affair. Bri has dedicated her life as a trainer to rehabilitating abused horses into “bombproof” mounts, and then finding loving homes for them with responsible horse owners. Bri is the mother to two-year-old Genesis Joan, a budding horsewoman herself, and engaged to fellow horseman Adolfo Gutierrez.
The TRAINING Team
SHAHARAH MCCOY - TRAINER
I grew up in Oakland California in a non-horsey family! After watching series of Saddle Club on television, I was intrigued with horses and desperately wanted to ride! At the age of 7/8yr old, I started riding lessons in the Oakland hills under hj trainer Sara Crary! Who took me under her wing? My father who was a single parent of 6 in the household. Lessons weren’t in the budget so I worked as a working student to help pay them off. Cleaning stalls saddling and grooming horses in
exchange for my 1hr lessons! High school was tough for me and I had gotten into too much trouble. My father decided that maybe getting me back into horse would help!! My father and I then bought my ﬁrst horse for 40$ who was a retiring racehorse from racing trainers Tim Bellasis and Cassy Tschanz who will soon be my guidance into the horse racing world! Derby and I rode many trails and tried our hand out at a few jumper shows! I then switched over to western riding! Competitively Sorting and Team penning which I did over most of the Central Valley in California winning money and prizes!! I eventually started taking cutting lessons on a broodmare that had tons of earnings in cutting!! For a few years I worked under a few cutting trainers! Learning to start colts and watching the progression of training a cutting horse. With very limited funds and showing I have traveled all over. Won my ﬁrst cutting show in Amarillo Texas aboard Buddha’s warrior who was a cutting horse of the year in his division with his owner and earner of over 50k. I’ve won a buckle and a few checks and have NCHA earnings! I most recently am a licensed employee at the local racetrack where I would pony racehorse in the morning and afternoons! I also assisted a racehorse trainer for a year building my barn management skills and knowledge with the training of racehorses and breeding.
Dapper Dan (Dapper) Is a 7 year old strawberry roan 17.1h Appaloosa gelding. He loves apples, scratches underneath the chin, and long moseys down the trail.
Mare is a 17.1h dark bay 14 year old off the track thoroughbred mare. The smaller the kiddo the more she loves the cuddles. Scratch her back and she will mutual groom yours too! Jumping is her passion, but children are her true love.
(AKA Stud Muffin,
Mr. Muffin, or Cupcake)
Stud Muffin is a 13-year-old 15.3 American Quarter horse gelding. He’s our go to guy for any job and will do just about anything for a cookie! He loves to show off his tricks, he will lay down, sit like a dog, and even pick up your hat if you drop it… so long as he receives adequate payment in the form of treats!
in memory of Dinero
Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of Dinero, our amazing lesson pony. Dinero brought many smiles to our kiddos faces, and his gentle and kind demeanor impacted the lives of many. Dinero was donated to us after his career as a performance horse ended, due to an inoperable injury. He found a new passion, in his easy job, as a professional babysitter and snuggle bug. Despite our best efforts to keep him comfortable in his retirement, we could not do so. So, after consulting with our veterinary team, we made the hard decision to humanely euthanize Dinero. He will be fondly remembered.
Jose heads Programs & Partnerships for Stephen and Ayesha Curry’s Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation – a new foundation the Currys launched that is becoming one of the country’s most innovative and impactful philanthropic organizations through its commitment to creating equal opportunities and bright futures for every child. In his role, Jose oversees the vision and direction of ELP’s grant-making & programmatic work and mobilizes support for this work across ELP's base of brand and foundation partners.
Prior to joining the Eat. Learn. Play., José served as the Director of Equity and Strategic Partnerships under Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.
In this role, José served as senior advisor to the Mayor, with the responsibility of creating, coordinating, and facilitating public/private/ philanthropic partnerships that foster equitable opportunities, investments and benefits for the people of Oakland.
José also served as Chief Executive Officer of ICA/FundGoodJobs from 2004 to 2015. He led ICA to become a nationally recognized, award-winning organization for its work on scaling small businesses and entrepreneurs as a way to create Good Jobs, especially for people with the highest need. In the ten years with ICA, he oversaw a portfolio of companies that created over 5,000 jobs, creating over $150 million in wealth for local residents and collectively generating almost $300 million in revenue. He also created a platform for hundreds of professionals to participate by contributing over $25 million of total pro bono investments into the ICA mission. His innovative thinking led ICA to launch Fund Good Jobs – an investment fund focused on using capital to influence the creation and retention of quality jobs – and the Talent Management Group – an innovative approach that is reshaping the workforce development sector.
José has built a reputation as a visionary leader, strong manager, innovator and relationship-builder who builds mindful and creative organizational cultures and convenes public, private and community people and resources to solve many communities and business problems. He is currently Co-chair of the Oakland Economic Recovery Council, charged to safely open businesses in Oakland during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Michelle has over 30 years of experience in business operations, including a background in Information Technology, Supply Chain and Human Resources. Michelle started her career in Information Technology (MIS as it was known then) at Coopers & Lybrand, as a Systems Administrator. Michelle was hired as a Systems Analyst for Gap, Inc., and assumed a variety of manager-level positions within Information Technology, until she transitioned into a technical role within the Supply Chain business, as a Data Integrity Manager. After eight years in role, Michelle had an opportunity to leverage her technical expertise and assumed an HRIS Analyst position in the Human Resources organization.
Michelle was instrumental in the formation of Gap, Inc.’s first Employee Resource Group, the African American Network Group (AANG), and served as the Co-Chair and Board Member for five years. Michelle left the corporate sector in 2013 to follow her dream of serving the community doing nonprofit work.
Michelle, also known as “Mom” and “GrandMe” (pronounced Grammy), is the proud mother of two daughters, Brittany and Brianna and two granddaughters, Aliyah and Genesis. Michelle is an avid artistic roller-skater, loves to travel and make organic gourmet granola for family and friends. Michelle currently lives in San Leandro, with her husband Gary.
UC Davis Global Affairs. She loves animals, and her greatest passion is serving and improving her community.
Adrien York is a senior at UC Davis, studying Community and Regional Development. She’s a biracial girl who grew up in Fairfield, California and has always loved doing anything outdoors. She always felt challenged by the fact that she never saw people like her represented in activities that she enjoyed, so she loves the mission of Humble to educate children about diverse histories and make them feel confident that they belong in spaces like this. She has experience in communications, having served as Editor-in-Chief of her school’s chapter of Her Campus online magazine and as a current Communications Student Assistant at
NIA TAHANI WILKES
Nia Tahani Wilkes, CED wields event marketing as a powerful means of storytelling and affecting desired behavior change. As a Certified Event Designer at San Francisco's official destination marketing organization, she produced impactful and revenue churning events aimed at facilitating conventions and meetings bookings at The Moscone Center and throughout the SF Bay Area. From concept to wrap report, Nia has proven her talents for sponsorship procurement and management, copywriting and art direction, as well as building marquee experiential CSR and wellness initiatives into her programs. Nia was exposed to event marketing at the start of her
career in communications, after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania. She was the primary publicity engine behind major luxury and fashion brands in New York and Los Angeles. Her lifelong equestrian journey began at age 4 and was supported in its earliest stages by a black cowboy who encouraged her to ride through any adversity. Grateful for his impact, Nia continues to pay it forward, now including Humble to the volunteer work she’s most passionate about—the kind that has a direct healing effect. A resident of Oakland and a native of D.C., Nia a professed "country mouse in the city," takes to the hills on her Andalusian buckskin mare Aya, with her husband Leroy and heeler mix Ashe often trailblazing ahead.
Frieda Park brings 16+ years of operations management and sales experience as well as over 35 years of horse experience to the team. She is currently a Senior Sourcing Manager at Clif Bar & Co and actively engages with a worldwide ingredient supply chain, meeting with farmers and manufacturers to promote growth as well as ensure ethical sourcing practices. Her approach to business is founded on what she has learned from horses over the years, that success first comes from listening and adapting and only once you have built a solid foundation can you
seek growth and opportunity. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley and an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management @ Arizona State University.
AIMEE BRUCKNER STEVLAND
Aimee (Bruckner) Stevland is an experienced creative professional who is passionate about connecting people through excellence in design. She has spent the majority of her career in the entertainment industry, leading creative teams in music artist merchandising, licensing, and video games. She's developed successful merchandise collections for some of the biggest names in popular music as well as brand identities for local entrepreneurs. Large or small, she strives to give each project her all.
Adolfo Gutierrez is a lifelong horseman whose passion for riding and ranch life drive him in his work. As an expert carpenter, with over 25 years’ experience, there isn’t much he can’t build. Adolfo’s skills in ranch mechanics, welding, electrical, and plumbing, make him our go-to guy for every job around the ranch. Whether riding, teaching or doing handy-man work, Adolfo gives his all every day and the ranch couldn’t run without him.
We are endlessly grateful to the herculean efforts provided by our initial team of volunteers who helped to launch Humble. Thank you to LIZ RICE, deb finkler, Alli Szutu and Lee Jackson for their dedication to the project, its children, and to our mission to use horses as a medium to inspire positivity.
Advisors & VOLUNTEERS
Elka Karl is a writer and communications consultant working with a variety of mission-driven clients. Elka originally moved to the Bay Area over 20 years ago as an AmeriCorps volunteer, building organic gardens in 10 Oakland public schools and teaching health, gardening, and writing skills to elementary students. A passionate lifelong equestrian whose access to horses was severely limited by childhood socioeconomic issues, Elka is a huge believer in Humble and similar programs providing children with broader access to horsemanship. She is the
mom to Uli Forster Speedwolf Spoerl and the horse mom to Kleary’s Grateful aka Jerry, a young Irish Sporthorse. Elka holds a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Texas State University.
Rachel Royce has 25+ years’ experience providing professional service marketing and public relations expertise to award-winning Bay Area architecture, engineering, and construction firms. She has proven experience managing and guiding technical teams to win design build contracts in civic, institutional, community, higher education, and hospitality sectors throughout California. Major projects include new construction and renovation projects for public/private partnerships, development teams, and municipal agencies.
She is a consummate horsewoman and has
completed numerous certifications and training as a member of the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) Mounted Patrol Unit (V318), Search & Rescue, and the California Mounted Officers Association. She currently serves as President of the Metropolitan Horsemen’s Association.