In the glorious year of A.S. 47 during the reign of their Royal Majesties Andreas and Kallista, Maple, a Belgian mare, made her first appearance during the Kingdom Equestrian Championships in the Barony of the Endless Hills.

With thundering hooves and fierce demeaner she carried her warrior boldly through the challenging course, and a few minutes later during the same event, Maple was carrying another warrior with gentleness safely through the obstacle. This impressed the court and left them astounded. This massive 2000 lb war horse, strong as she could be, also demonstrated that she is also just a gentle giant who is here to protect and serve our glorious Kingdom and Mounted Warriors. That day Maple started her journey within the SCA.

Photo credit to Michelle Bauer

Over the recent years, Maple established a solid place in her Barony of the Debatable Lands. She has served her glorious kingdom of Æthelmearc by processing many Royals and Highnesses into Court over the past 10 years. She paraded proudly during the SCA 50 Year Anniversary and carried TRM Byron through the procession. His lovely wife was riding Maple’s friend Daisy, another war horse Maple shares her pastures with.

During the Middle Kingdom’s 50-year anniversary, the procession was cancelled due to weather, but Maple was present and stood happily for some Royal pictures. Of course, Maple did not miss the opportunity to participate in Æthelmearc’s 20-year anniversary celebrations and provide transportation for TRM into court.

Maple loves attention and enjoys making humans smile. She agreed to pose with the pasture sister Daisy for pictures during Debatable lands 12th night celebration in the winter of 2019. This picture opportunity was well appreciated and attended by all.

Marching in processions, parades and posing for photo opportunities is not what makes Maple a war horse. Her athletic skills during the equestrian games and in the jousting list is what earned her the title of Sylvan Horse of Æthelmearc. During the equestrian championship Maple carried four different riders through the challenge course and came out victorious. At the end of that day, King Byron called Maple into his court and bestowed her with the title “Sylvan Horse of Æthelmearc.”

Earlier this year, Maple aided His Highness Byron to claim his throne during spring coronation.

Since then, Maple has carried many riders to their victories in the baronial championship in her homeland. Since 2017 all the Barony of the Debatable Lands champions rode this wonderful strong and majestic war horse Maple. This fact earned Maple an Iron Comet during the Iris Festival earlier this year, from the Debatable Lands.  Additionally, Maple has been mentoring and training new SCA equestrians, and was available for rider’s authorizations in games, mounted archery, and jousting. In fact, Maple was used to authorize over 20 riders, 7 mounted archers and 16 jousters between 2016 and 2019.

Today, Maple is over 25 years old, and enjoys her life with her equine friends on the farm in Gibsonia PA. She enjoys her trail rides and eating fresh grass and clover. She always appreciates additional treats like apples and carrots. Occasionally, she is making guest appearances at community events, and is always looking forward making others smile. After so many years in service, Maple is started a new adventure this summer. Since Pennsic, Maple has started training experienced archers, who are brave enough to join the Kingdom’s Cavalry, in the skill of mounted archery. We will be looking forward to the fruits of her new adventures!