Anthony Busacca | Site Director
Anthony has worked in the horse industry his entire professional life. His experience includes equestrian center management, as well as training and showing dressage horses. He became involved in therapeutic riding in the 1980’s as a volunteer instructor at a small, local riding program in southern California. Now, as a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International Master Level Instructor and Lead Evaluator he has trained and certified hundreds of instructors all across the United States and in Canada, Japan and Israel. Anthony served on the PATH International Instructor Certification Committee for five years and has presented numerous lectures at regional and national conferences. He has served as the Program Director/Head Instructor of Giant Steps Therapeutic Equestrian Center, located in the north San Francisco Bay area for the past two years. Before that he was Program Director of the Fran Joswick/J. F. Shea Therapeutic Riding Center in San Juan Capistrano, California for sixteen years.
Boaz (Boozie) Or | Facility and Equine Manager
Boozie is a native of Israel. In 1999 Boozie joined the therapeutic equestrian world at two accredited PATH International centers in the Dallas area, Equest and Manegait. Boozie has had extensive training in dressage. Along with 33 years of experience with horses, Boozie is PATH-certified as a vaulting instructor and a Master Instructor, the highest level recognized by PATH. Enjoying the company of people and enriching the quality of life for those around him, both human and equine, are the passions that drive him, he says.
Cassie McCollum | Instructor – Spring
Cassie was born and raised in Houston and started riding and taking lessons at the age of 5. She got her first Arabian show horse at the age of 7 and began actively showing. Cassie was introduced to therapeutic riding in the summer of 2010 when she started volunteering at a therapeutic center in Dallas County. She moved home to Houston in the Summer of 2011 and started volunteering at the SIRE Spring site. Her love for our riders prompted her to become a PATH, Intl certified instructor in March 2013.
Christy Berry | Instructor/Therapist – Hockley and Fort Bend
Christy came to SIRE as a volunteer in the summer of 2011 and joined SIRE in June 2012 as an Instructor/Therapist. A Registered Occupational Therapist with a certification in Level I Hippotherapy, Christy also is a PATH Registered Instructor in Therapeutic Horseback Riding. She lives in Katy, TX with her family, who love to spend time outdoors camping, fishing, hunting, hiking, and biking. Christy is thrilled to be a part of SIRE with “the many wonderful clients, staff, and amazing horses.” She goes on to say, “I hope to assist clients in any way possible to promote independence, encourage learning, and further our clients’ abilities to engage in the wonderful field of horsemanship.”
Daniel Narvaez | Facility Manager II
Daniel arrived in Texas in 1981. He worked with over 200 horses at Jack Benson Unlimited Ranch, a Quarter Horse breeding concern in Brenham. In 1985, he began work for Molly Sweeney here in Hockley, caring for her horses and grounds. Daniel joined the SIRE staff in March of 2002. He now resides at the Spring site with his wife, Maria Guadalupe, his son Luis Daniel and daughter Mayra Sarahi.
Holly Ellis | Web Development
Holly started with SIRE in 1994 as a volunteer mount leader. In recent years, she has taken a behind-the-scenes role as webmaster for SIRE. As a freelance web/graphic designer and videographer with more than 20 years experience, Holly shares her knowledge and experience to educate about and promote SIRE via the website, social media and email campaigns.
Jen Donahue | Instructor – Fort Bend and Spring
Jen is an Advanced level instructor as well as a driving instructor with experience teaching in the Texas Tech Therapeutic Riding program as well as at Equest. Caring for her pets – Cayenne the horse, Trio the dog and Tallulah the cat – traveling, reading, cooking and teaching are among her many interests.
Jessica Antash | Instructor
Jessica began with SIRE in the summer of 2005 as an intern as a requirement to complete her college degree in Therapeutic Horsemanship. In 2006 she earned a double BA in Therapeutic Horsemanship and English Literature from St. Andrews Presbyterian College in North Carolina. She joined the SIRE staff officially in the summer of 2006. Jessica has been riding horses since she was 8 years old and they have remained a consistent passion in her life. She has a background mainly in dressage. She always knew she wanted to work with horses and felt that Therapeutic Riding was her calling because by teaching riding, she felt that it is a way for her to give back the freedom of horses that has been given to her. She enjoys riding horses, reading, playing the cello and watching movies.
Jim Brewer | Facility and Equine Manager
Jim joined the SIRE staff in 2006. He is a retired Lt. Col. in the US Army and did graduate and post-graduate work at Texas A & M University. Prior to joining SIRE, Jim was the Facility Manager at Waller Equine Hospital. Horses have always been a part of his family’s life. His 2 daughters, Mandy and Tori, started riding at young ages. His son, Conly, is more interested in aviation, but since Jim was a pilot, he wasn’t totally left out. Jim and his wife Peggy live at the Hockley site and enjoy showing their AQHA gelding.
JoAnn Trepl | Administrative Assistant
Jo Ann has worked part time for SIRE since 2001. She has a BS in Human Science and enjoys being a part of the SIRE family.
Joelle Devlin | Site Director/Head Instructor
Joelle joined SIRE at the beginning of 2004. She has nearly two decades of therapeutic riding experience, is a PATH International Master Instructor, accreditation site visitor, past-chair of the PATH Intl. Riding Instructor Certification Subcommittee and a lead evaluator at registered and advanced levels. This means Joelle meets PATH Intl. qualifications to assist other centers as a mentor and visitor (inspector). She also is qualified to teach, evaluate, and recommend certification for therapeutic riding instructors. Joelle earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art and Philosophy.
Karen Somma | Instructor
Karen has loved horses and helping others all her life. These two passions came together in 2008 when she joined SIRE as a new volunteer, where she has since participated as a leader, sidewalker, Designated Horse Person (DHP), and event planner/worker. She currently serves SIRE as a PATH registered instructor where her goal is to help her riders have fun while improving their functional abilities through riding activities. Outside of SIRE, she stays busy raising her teenage son, working in the women’s ministry at her church, and learning to dance Argentine tango.
Kathy Bigelow | Volunteer Coordinator – Spring
Kathy has been with the Spring SIRE site since the fall of 2008, first in a volunteer capacity and now as the Volunteer Coordinator. She’s a native Californian that relocated to Texas in 1992. Kathy first became involved with horses at the age of 10 when she joined Pony Club. She has been riding and showing Dressage off and on since then. After working in the Telecommunications industry for 18 years she left in 2008 specifically to devote her time to SIRE. Kathy is an avid reader and runner and loves to spend time in her kitchen cooking. She is married with two sons and lives with her husband Rich, two pampered dogs and two cats.
Katie Vari | Instructor
When Katie was 11 years old, her parents gave her a choice: violin or horseback riding lessons. The results are obvious. She’s been riding ever since, with a strong focus in three-day eventing and dressage, a little bit of hunter/jumpers, and the occasional Western trail ride. Her interest in therapeutic riding was sparked when a riding instructor encouraged her to take a look at the profession. In summer of 2009, she began the instructor certification process after spending two months volunteering for a therapeutic riding program. Exactly one year later, Katie achieved her Registered Instructor certification from PATH International. A family move from Circleville, Ohio to Houston, Texas four months later eventually brought her into contact with SIRE. She officially joined the SIRE team in January of 2010. For her, teaching at SIRE is the perfect way to combine her passion for horses with her desire to introduce people to the joys of riding.
Kelly Henderson | Volunteer Coordinator – Hockley
Kelly first came to SIRE fourteen years ago when her son Logan was a rider. Logan rode from age ten to his passing away at age nineteen. Kelly returned to SIRE as a volunteer because of her great affection for the riders and their families. Kelly is married and has a son and daughter. She is currently attending Texas Women’s University school of physical therapy. She shares the position with Janet Hopkins.
Kimberly McDonell | Instructor & Volunteer Coordinator
I began riding at the age of 3 while living in the UK; where I would go on to compete in show-jumping, hunter trials, dressage and show ponies, as well as foxhunting and pony club activities. In 1988 I moved to Texas where I continued as a pony club member ageing out with my H-A certificate, and I have competed throughout the area in dressage and horse trials. I have participated in instructor certifications with the BHS, CHA, and now a PATH instructor. I remain active within USPC as a chief horse management judge and national examiner, as well as the regional instruction coordinator for the Rio Grande region. I volunteered at SIRE prior to a becoming certified instructor, and have been working part time with SIRE.
Lili Kellogg | Executive Director
Lili has been involved in the therapeutic riding industry since 1987. Prior to coming to SIRE, she served as the Director of ManeGait Therapeutic Horsemanship, and the Program Director at Equest Therapeutic Horsemanship both in the Dallas metro area. Before moving to Texas, she was on the faculty of the Horse Management Department at the University of Minnesota Technical College, Waseca. Lili, a PATH International Master Instructor, has been instrumental in developing therapeutic equestrian programs to national prominence. She has coached riders at the international level in both the Paralympics and Special Olympics. Lili has served on numerous committees and task forces and has travelled abroad representing the therapeutic riding industry. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Colorado State University and is the 2002 recipient of the James Brady Professional Lifetime Achievement Award presented by PATH International.
Maryann Gerity | Volunteer Coordinator
Maryann started her position at SIRE in November, 2007. After a career in sales and marketing for a major tradeshow company in CT, she decided to change directions and work for a non-profit organization. She is also passionate about nature and captures that love through her photography.
Natalie DeJong | Development and Marketing Assistant / Instructor
Last summer, in 2012, Natalie began volunteering with SIRE and quickly fell in love with therapeutic riding and activities. Shortly thereafter she enrolled herself in an instructor training course and recently obtained her PATH Registered Instructor in Therapeutic Horseback Riding certificate. Natalie is very excited to begin working full time both behind the scenes and in the arena with clients and horses. Natalie moved to Katy, Texas after receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Sam Houston State University. She lives there with her husband and two dogs who all love going to the park and spending time outdoors.
P.J. Murray | Head Instructor, Hockley
P.J. came to SIRE with significant experience in school development, admissions and teaching combined with a profound admiration of horsemanship. She became involved in therapeutic riding as a volunteer in 2006. She has been at SIRE since 2008. She is a PATH registered certified instructor and is certified as a Special Olympics coach. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Theology from the University of St. Thomas. Working with SIRE brings together her passion for horses and teaching.
Renée Jamieson | Equine Manager/Instructor – Ft. Bend
Renée joined SIRE as a PATH Instructor In Training in November 2011 upon her relocation to the Houston area through the military, where her husband serves as an Army Officer at Ellington Field. Renée was born and raised in Jamaica where her love of horses began. Renée is a graduate from Meredith Manor International Equestrian Center and brings with her a wealth of experience as a horse trainer,coach and Instructor. She is an upper level dressage rider and eventer. She has a Riding Master VI and teaching certification through Meredith Manor and is a certified Life Coach. Renée is enthusiastic about sharing her knowledge with our SIRE horses and riders as she knows first hand the positive role horses can play.
Roy Figueroa | Facility Manager II
Sabrina Strawn | Director of Development and Marketing
Being development director at SIRE brings many of Sabrina Strawn’s passions together in one place. She and her husband had ridden and owned horses for years. So when he suffered a brain injury in 2007, SIRE was one of the first places they came for help. Soon thereafter, Sabrina began to volunteer as a leader and sidewalker. With years of experience working in health and education-related nonprofits, Sabrina’s delighted to bring that experience to the office at SIRE. Sabrina was graduated summa cum laude from Trinity University, with a B.A. in political science, economics, and business. She has a Master of Public Policy degree from The University of Texas.
Shayna Bolton | Site Director/Head Instructor
Shayna started volunteering at the Spring site in 2001. She obtained her PATH International registered instructor certification in 2002 and became the Spring Site Director/Head Instructor in 2009. Shayna has been involved with horses for over 10 years; showing, eventing and instructing both English and western lessons. She graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Houston-Downtown.
Sherry Flores | Director of Finance and Technology
Sherry has been volunteering at Sire since Sire’s first Summer Camp July 2003 as side walker and now as a leader and DHP. Sherry’s background in IT as Sr Business Analyst and different Accounting positions for more than 25 years, she was able to work on different projects for SIRE to help streamline their processes. In 2008, she became a full time employee as Director of Finance and Technology, using her background to assist SIRE grow and fullfill the mission to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities through therapeutic horseback riding and related activities.
Susan Sanders | Office Assistant
Susan joined SIRE in May of 2008. Formerly a Compaq Computer/HP employee of 17+ years with experience in Human Resources, Administrative/Channel Sales & Customer Service as a Customer Satisfaction Manager-High Profile Escalations Team. After many years in Corporate America, Susan decided she wanted to pursue her passion of serving & helping others to make a difference. Susan learned from a friend that SIRE had an opening in their West Wing office. Although Susan had no former experience with horses prior to SIRE, she now volunteers twice a week in the arena in addition to her office responsibilities. Susan has come to cherish the amazing experience of side-walking with the riders she has had the privilege to work with. Susan resides in Hockley, TX with her husband, Richard, & their two children Ashley & Eric.
Truman Alexander | Facility and Equine Manager
A native of Gladewater, TX, Truman has resided in Cleveland (that’s in Texas) for 2 ½ years. In 1996, he joined the Marines and served his country in Viet Nam. He returned to attend College in San Jacinto, completed a major in Computer Science and has worked in IT with various energy companies for the past 30 years. Truman was first put on a horse shortly before his third birthday. While in college he trained horses and did stock work. He has been trimming horses’ hooves for over thirty years. In 2004 , he attended a “Natural Barefoot Clinic” espousing a technique similar to the Strausser method. and started doing a barefoot trim. He began volunteering with SIRE in January 2004, became involved in all aspects of the program and is now Wrangler at the Spring site.