Board of Directors
Karin Wagner, CEO & Founder, Executive Director
Karin Wagner has been associated with thoroughbreds for nearly twenty years as an owner. As an owner, Ms. Wagner observed that not all thoroughbreds land safely after their racing careers have been concluded. That, and a horse named “Caught Heart” was the reason Neigh Savers Foundation, Inc. was created in 2007. Ms. Wagner’s philosophy behind Neigh Savers is to make sure before accepting any new horse into the program that the funding exists to provide each and every horse a quality experience with no set exit date. Although not a horsewoman herself, Ms. Wagner has the business expertise to run a successful foundation and to ensure that all the horses in the Neigh Savers program are rehabbed and retrained by qualified individuals in the proper setting and subsequently adopted out into loving homes with their matched person.
Ms. Wagner grew up in the Bay Area but also lived in Europe for some years. She studied at UC Berkeley and the University of Goettingen in Germany. For over 20 years Ms. Wagner was a partner in a small computer applications consulting firm. Ms. Wagner also holds a teaching credential and now substitute teaches in her local school district.
In order to understand the physiology of a horse Ms. Wagner completed her certification through the Equissage program and became an ESMT (Equine Sports Massage Therapist).
Ms. Wagner resides in Walnut Creek, CA with her beloved Bernese Mountain dog “Blaze.” After she turns the reins over to her successor she intends to adopt an off track thoroughbred of her own from Neigh Savers.
Nicole Rawnsley Schwartz, Board President
From the time she could talk, Nicole Schwartz loved horses. She began riding at the age of four and competitively showed Hunters/Jumpers as a Junior rider atop her beloved Thoroughbred. At the age of 14, Ms. Schwartz discovered the horse rescue world and saved her first rescue horse–an Off-Track Thoroughbred (OTTB)–from a feedlot in Southern California. She has been associated with Neigh Savers since 2008.
Ms. Schwartz conceived the idea for the Thoroughbred Classic Horse Shows out of a passion for Thoroughbreds and a determination to support the breed and facilitate their reentry into the competitive arenas they once dominated. She wanted to provide OTTB owners a venue to gain experience for themselves and their horses in a forum that was affordable and supportive to the OTTB. She loves the Thoroughbred’s athleticism, versatility, and spirit and will gladly ride a Thoroughbred any day over a warmblood.
Ms. Schwartz lives in Southern California with her husband, twins, step-son, and several rescue dogs. When not chasing kids, Ms. Schwartz is restarting rescued Thoroughbreds providing them with Hunter/Jumper training for their new careers.
Caroline Holmes-Nathan, Director
Caroline is a lifelong horse enthusiast, and she believes wholeheartedly in providing animals with a second chance at life. Caroline started riding at the early age of five at Thomas School of Horsemanship on Long Island. Her first horse, Tiki Tiki Tumbo, was bound for auction after coming off of Charlestown Raceway in West Virginia. She trained him from a young, green OTTB through novice level Eventing. Today, he is competing at the upper levels on the East Coast with his new owner. In 2015, Caroline switched from Eventing into the Hunter/Jumpers. Her new prospect, Ben’Jammin, came from Golden Gate Fields Raceway. He’s a talented, five-year-old, bay OTTB. Together, they are preparing to start their career in the Hunter ring. In addition to training for horse shows, Caroline runs a busy property management firm in San Francisco. She and her husband, Paul H. Nathan, reside in Tiburon, CA with their three cats and three dogs, all which are rescues.
Dr. Marta Granstedt is a graduate of UCDavis. After an internship and residency in surgery, she returned to private practice in Simi Valley, CA where she still practices general medicine and surgery today. Her husband and now adult daughter put up with her continued dedication to her clients and their horses.
Maureen Sowell, Director
Born and raised in England, Maureen’s love of horses started at a very young age when she discovered pony rides at the seaside! After convincing her parents that she was big enough to ride a pony it was just a matter of time that she was able to talk her way into actually leading the ponies up and down the beach! Forget about swimming in the ocean and building sandcastles!! Not being able to afford a horse of her own she would hang around the local stables, mucking and grooming just to be around the horses and eventually started taking riding lessons.
After moving to Southern California in the mid-70’s she was able to purchase her first horse and spent many years happily riding the trails. Her second horse was an unraced Thoroughbred, Mac Rhythm, and she started learning dressage. Mac has since gone on to become a very competent event horse in the Pony Club.
Maureen works in the construction industry and still resides in Southern California with her two cats, Zoey and Tommy. In her spare time she rides her friends’ horses as much as she can, and one day hopes to be able to adopt her own Neigh Savers horse.
A graduate of the University of San Francisco in Political Science and with a juris doctorate from Golden Gate University School of Law, Paul is also a published attorney and a sought after speaker. He has won multiple awards and has been honored in the legal community by his peers having been selected as a “Super Lawyer” 2013, 2014 and 2015. Paul was also asked to be a member of the “National Association of Distinguished Counsel” in 2015. Only 1% of the top attorneys in the United States are invited to become members. Paul lives near San Francisco with his wife Caroline (a NS Board Director) and their rescue dogs.