The Team

Our unique program addresses the distinct challenges facing our veteran population.

Mission Statement:

Saratoga WarHorse assists veterans and victims of trauma who are suffering from psychological wounds through providing a confidential, action-based, equine-based experience that initiates immediate, empowering changes.

Taking action. Making connections. Changing lives.


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 the WarHorse Project.

Read these articles about Bob Nevins from The Times Union and The Saratogian:

Saratoga Faces: Bob Nevins
Flying to the Rescue


Director of Thoroughbred Industry Relations and Development

Marilyn Lane
Marilyn Lane is a lifelong horsewoman with 23-years of experience as an owner and trainer of Thoroughbred horses. Marilyn is a strong advocate of racing, and fully understands the unmitigated power and beauty found in the unspoken language of the horse. Her father and four older brothers served in the military. She has been with the WarHorse Project since its inception.


Lead Instructor & Training Director

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, and is an Animal Cruelty Investigator and instructor. The State of Vermont appointed her to the Livestock Care Standard Advisory Council in 2010.  She has been with the WarHorse Project since it’s inception.

Nugget and JanelleExecutive Administrator/Program Coordinator

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.


Equine Manager

Valerie Buck
Valerie brings 35 years of horse experience, 29 in the thoroughbred industry, to the program. Her racetrack career as an Exercise Rider included some of the top racing stables and champion horses of her generation. Valerie manages the daily care of our horses and applies her natural horsemanship techniques to ready horses for interaction with veterans.
Read about Valerie at


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.

marys-website-photoBusiness Services

Mary Price
Mary Price brings a combination of experience in non-profit business services and an educational background in spiritual care.  Mary has over 12 years experience in the areas of accounting, capital project coordination, and financial reporting. In her graduate work, she followed her deep interest in psychology and theology as it relates to grief, trauma, and healing practices.  Mary’s primary responsibilities are accounting, gift processing and financial reporting.



Head Veterinarian

Dr. Luis Castro

Luis Castro, DVM is one of the nation’s premier equine veterinarians who’s cared for the likes of Kentucky Derby winners Barbaro and Animal Kingdom. He is also vice president of Tiegland, Franklin and Brokken, the largest equine ambulatory practice in the country. Dr. Castro, or a member of his practice, will evaluate the health and well-being of horses before they are accepted into the WarHorse program and provide the veterinarian care and annual physical evaluations of the horses participating in the program.


Medical Director

Jon Berg

Dr. Berg served as an Air Force physician in the emergency department of a Combat Theatre Hospital in Iraq. Currently he enjoys living in Saratoga and works as a physician with a local emergency medical group. Dr. Berg is a Saratoga WarHorse graduate and has joined our staff as Medical Director of 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.

Sharon Castro Photography