Meet Our Staff
Kellie Grayden is our Program Director. She has over 20 years of equine experience and grew up riding and showing American Saddlebreds at the state, national, and world levels. Kellie spent her summers and free time up until college as a groom working with horses as much as she possibly could. She is also a professional with the United States Equestrian Federation.
She attended the University of North Dakota. After college she spent time as a trainer and riding instructor teaching Saddleseat, Hunt Seat, Western/Western Working, and Driving to adults and children of all ages and abilities.
Kellie and her husband, Anthony, live in Hugo and own a business together called Card Connect Midwest. She enjoys working with all of our riders and is working on completing her PATH Certification so we have even more to offer our clients.
Kjerstin Berg is an instructor. She has been riding and showing horses for over 20 years. She started in the Arabian show world with her horse, Bugsy, and eventually moved into the American Saddlebred world. She spent many summers and weekends grooming, showing, and helping at horse shows before going off to college. She completed her undergraduate at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. After college she spent time riding and caring for Icelandic and Morgan horses. She has been working in the behavioral health field for ten years. Kjerstin is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor and has recently completed her Masters in Clinical Psychology. She is also working towards achieving her state license as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor.
Sara Shockency is an instructor. Sara resides in Stillwater with her two son’s, Benjamin and Zachary and their dog, Goldy. She has worked in the insurance industry for about 25 years.
Horses have been a huge part of her life. She started riding when she was eight years old on a Shetland pony named Blaze. After her family moved to Chicago, she started taking English lessons. When she returned to Minnesota, she purchased her first hunter/jumper and became a member of the Minnesota Hunter and Jumper Association. Sara showed hunters for the first two years and then ventured into the jumper ring. Taking a break to have her son, Zachary, Sara returned to horses with her sister, Lisa, and her niece, Jessica, and started to train on the west side of the cities with Bill Nunn and Len Danielson. Throughout this adventure, Sara primarily focused on the jumper ring. In 2003, Sara left the horse world to have her son, Benjamin. Since then, her life has been filled with raising two boys and attending lacrosse and hockey games.
In September 2017, Sara was happy to join the St. Croix Trail Blazers and continue to pursue her passion for horses and children.
Madeline Davis is an instructor. Maddie has been around horses her whole life. She first rode a horse at the age of three and has been riding ever since. She started taking English Jumper lessons in middle school with her favorite quarter horse, JJ. Lessons ended in high school, but she kept up her experience with grooming and riding when her family moved to a farm with 40 acres of trail riding. She even started training her horse, Baymont, to barrel race. Once college came, Maddie found her passion for horses again with St. Croix Trail Blazers as a volunteer. Maddie graduated in Business Marketing and continues to practice her degree through nonprofits.
Meet Our Board
Karen Harjes is one of the original founders of the St. Croix Trail Blazers and the Executive Director/President. She’ll admit to being a complete “city girl” until stepping out of her comfort zone to assist with the development of the team. Her son, Austin, is a rider with the St. Croix Trail Blazers. With the help of several staff, Karen keeps the team organized and running.
Johanna Martinson is our Secretary. More to come on Johanna.
Karen Malmskog is our Vice President. She previously volunteered with We Can Ride and Stable Pathways. Karen loves spending time at the barn with the horses, clients and families, volunteers, and staff. It also allows her to share a special interest with her daughter, Kellie.
Keri Nelson is the Treasurer for St. Croix Trail Blazers. She is a finance specialist in the real estate department at the University of Minnesota. Keri graduated from University of St. Mary with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Resource Management.
Kellie Grayden is our Program Director and a Board Advisor. She has over 20 years of equine experience and grew up riding and showing American Saddlebreds at the state, national, and world levels. Kellie spent her summers and free time up until college as a groom working with horses as much as she possibly could. She is also a professional with the United States Equestrian Federation. Kellie is working on completing her PATH Certification so we have even more to offer our clients.