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Taking Action. Making Connections. Changing Lives.

Our Team

Saratoga WarHorse founder, Bob Nevins, is a Vietnam veteran who understands the difficulties veterans face long after they return home from service; racehorses face a similar transition after their careers end, making it difficult to find a new purpose.

Through Bob’s vision, Saratoga WarHorse is taking action by becoming an integral part of the solution to the growing problem of emotional wounds suffered by military service men and women. It’s an experience that profoundly changes the lives of both our horses and our veterans.


Founder and Director of Veteran Program

Bob Nevins


Bob Nevins served in Vietnam as a medevac pilot for the 101st Airborne, wounded in action in 1971. He also served in the NY National Guard. In 2011 Bob retired from his 24-year career as an airline captain to dedicate his efforts full-time to establishing Saratoga WarHorse Foundation.

Articles on Bob: Saratoga Faces: Bob Nevins, 
Flying to the Rescue


Director of Equine Development and Lead Instructor

Melody Squier


Melody Squier, a perpetual student of the horse, developed “Equipoise” natural horsemanship techniques and communication skills to create balance, respect and understanding. Melody is a member of her county Disaster Animal Response Team, Firefighter, Large Animal Technical Rescue team member and an Animal Cruelty Investigator and instructor. The State of Vermont appointed her to the Livestock Care Standard Advisory Council in 2010. Melody has been with the Saratoga WarHorse Foundation since its inception.


Program Coordinator/Executive Administrator

Janelle Schmidt


Janelle Schmidt has provided administrative and technical support in the business and education sectors for 24-plus years. She is a long-time admirer of horses. She enjoys spending time on the backstretch of the Saratoga Racecourse working with several trainers and volunteering at Old Friends at Cabin Creek Thoroughbred retirement farm. Janelle is responsible for the coordination of veteran and class activity as well as overseeing the general administration of Saratoga WarHorse Foundation.

Me and Lila color

Development Assistant

Michelle Gizzi Hall


Michelle brings with her over 20 years in management, administrative and operations experience in private and public industry as well as county government. She is an avid student of equine behavior and herd dynamics and follows various practitioners of natural horsemanship. When not working and raising her three boys, Michelle spends her time building awareness in the healing nature of horses and volunteers at various equine programs.

Julie W

Equine Managing Assistant

Julie Walawender

Julie has been working with horses for 36 years and been incorporating Natural Horsemanship techniques into all aspects of her horse handling for the past 15 years. She has worked with Thoroughbreds since she was 18 at which point working with Thoroughbreds in particular became a passion for her. Since then she has retrained and adopted out many off-the-track Thoroughbreds. Julie joins Saratoga WarHorse as our Equine Managing Assistant and will put her expertise retraining Thoroughbreds to work with the Saratoga WarHorse horses.


Veteran Liaison

Brian Austin

Brian Austin is a Vietnam veteran who served as a Platoon Commander in the 1st Marine Division. He was wounded in action in 1968. Brian is now retired from Verizon Communications and serving as Veteran Liaison for Saratoga WarHorse.


Veteran Liaison

Troy Huggard

Troy Huggard is a Desert Storm veteran who served onboard the USS John F. Kennedy CV-67 and the USS Simon Lake AS-33 from 1989 to 1999. He was injured in 1993. Troy is now a full time student as well as serving as a Veteran Liaison for Saratoga WarHorse.



Sharon Castro

Sharon Castro is a professional horsewoman/photographer. She exercised horses and managed racing stables for leading trainers throughout the East. Sharon brings not only her photography skills to Saratoga WarHorse, but also actively participates in horse acquisitions and training horses for second/third careers.



Aiken Chapter

Julie Robins

Program Instructor - Aiken

Julie Robins

Julie is a gifted instructor and a life long horse lover. In 2005, Julie founded Aiken Horsemanship Academy where she shares her methodology through classes, training and lessons. Her mission through AHA is to develop confident riders and well-behaved horses prepared to excel in any discipline.
Julie has worked with Women Beyond Cancer, STAR Therapeutic Riding, Aiken Equine Rescue, and has appeared on HorseCity TV.


Horse Trainer-Aiken

Caroline Mulstay

Caroline is a compassionate, gifted horse trainer and accomplished Three Day Eventer whose passion is repurposing off-the-track Thoroughbreds. She has a certification in equine bodywork from Prairie Winds Equine College and runs the training and adoption program at the Aiken Equine Rescue. Involvement in Saratoga WarHorse compliments her work with the Aiken Equine Rescue horses and was the obvious next step in her career. Caroline's instructional training and coaching style emphasizes safety and fun in a stair-step format that is easy to follow and practice, and which crosses over into every discipline


Veteran Liaison -Aiken

Gareth "Tigg" Brown

SSG Brown, Gareth (Ret) is a combat veteran who served in the United States Army as a Military Intelligence Team Sergeant with the 2nd Stryker Calvary Regiment. He was retired in 2012 due to injuries sustained in combat. Gareth is currently an assistant horse trainer and serves as a Veteran Liaison for Saratoga WarHorse in Aiken, South Carolina.


Program Coordinator - Aiken

Mary Katherine Philipp

Mary Katherine Philipp is a native of Aiken, SC and has spent most of her life around horses. She has her Doctorate of Medicine from the Medical University of S. C. specializing in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. MK has worked extensively with veterans and did clinical research involving children with Tourette's Syndrome which resulted in several published papers. She feels being part of the Saratoga WarHorse team is an honor and privilege.


Marketing Services -Aiken

Wendy Collins Gutfarb

After losing a friend’s family member to PTS upon his return from Iraq, Wendy was inspired to help Saratoga WarHorse. Her broad business experience in advertising and corporate communications, and her graphic design skills is an asset to the Saratoga WarHorse effort.

Since graduating Skidmore College, Wendy has returned to Saratoga Springs annually for the August race meet. Being a life-long equestrian, Wendy has recently made Aiken home.


Photographer - Aiken

Shelly Marshall Schmidt

Shelly Marshall brings to her work an eye for the heart of a subject and a moment in time. In addition to her sensitive Saratoga WarHorse photography, she has a history with action sports, but also specializes in fine art portraits – equine, canine, and human alike. Her affinity for animals is reciprocal. In the wild or in her face, horses in particular seem to sense a kindred, compassionate, soul.
www. ohschmidt.com.

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