Richard Duncan, President
Richard Duncan is Director of Systems Engineering for F5 Networks Inc., leading the company’s Service Provider Systems Engineering team for the Americas.
His first real encounter with a horse was in early 2014 when his wife announced that she intended to buy one. Being a business professional, Richard naturally approached getting a horse from a business perspective. What was the capital cost of the horse? Could they maintain the operational cost of this horse for the next 15 years? His wife’s view? “I love that horse.” Over time, the Duncan’s added two more horses to their family; a very flashy Palomino show horse and a regal and majestic Friesian/Arabian cross. Richard enjoys watching the three horses play in the field, and finds it very peaceful and entertaining. Richard says that over the last 2½ years, his wife Jolene has taught him to better understand horses. Most importantly, he now understands that when their Palomino pins back her ears, it’s not cute. She is pissed off.
So why SAFE? Richard believes that the employees and volunteers at SAFE give a voice to the world for beautiful creatures that don’t have one of their own…unless you have the gift of being able to understand them. He says that Anakin is a good example of a horse who had a voice and made himself understood. He would like those voice to be able to speak louder and reach further, so more people can experience the love of horses.
Sheridan Jones, Vice President
Sheridan grew up riding in Southern California, buying her first horse for $1 (not actually a huge bargain, according to her eventually horse-poor parents) and working from a young age as an equine veterinary assistant, stable-hand, catch-rider, and professional groom to help pay for her board, vet and showing expenses. An avid eventer when the sport was not yet popular on the west coast, at 15 she headed to Unionville, PA to become a working student for Bruce Davidson Sr, caring for equine legends Irish Cap, Might Tango, JJ Babu, Dr. Peaches, and Beacon Charm.
After a hiatus from serious riding/competing to attend university and launch a career, in 2010 she returned to her equine obsession, buying a 17 ½ acre horse farm in Monroe with her husband Jason, dubbed Flying Fox Farm as an homage to Sheridan’s lifelong love of foxhunting. There, the couple have fostered a number of SAFE horses over the years, including Goliath, Deeds, Honeycutt, Strider, and of course, Sheridan’s very own SAFE heart-horse Corona, whom she adopted in 2011 (Corona is currently on loan to the wonderful H/J trainer Stephanie Craig, where he is doted on by little girls and joyfully excels at safely carrying the young ones over their first fences.) When Sheridan isn’t working as a Director of Business and Strategy at Microsoft – where she has been for 16 years – you can find her playing with Starrian and Athina Lee, the two OTTB mares who inspire her passion for transitioning former racehorses to new careers, a cause she hopes to pursue more actively in the coming years! (email)
Lara has been involved with SAFE since the day she opened her home and heart to a rescued mare named Amber, way back in 2010. Since then, Lara has been an active volunteer for SAFE, lending her expertise in accounting, bookkeeping, and event planning. And since the only thing better than adopting one SAFE horse is adopting TWO SAFE horses, Lara added Louie to her family in 2013. Lara began riding at ten years old. By age thirteen, she convinced her parents to let her work for her trainer in order to purchase her first horse. She has competed in hunter/jumpers, English pleasure and even a little barrel racing for good measure. Lara now enjoys schooling dressage with both Amber and Louie. Professionally, Lara is a bookkeeper, and enjoys working with small businesses across a variety of industries. (email)
William Carrel, Secretary
As a lifelong resident of western Washington, William has always cared a great deal about animals and nature. He learned to ride in his early twenties in preparation for a horse trekking excursion on his honeymoon with Eileen, and has not looked back. After mastering the basics, he moved on to hunter/jumper riding and teamed up with his gray Dutch Warmblood, Kingston. Together they have ridden in many hunter/jumper events, as well as a foray into dressage with Half Trak Farm. The pair is currently training with Archway Equestrian Sports. He and his wife have fostered SAFE horses including Sinatra, Marta and Shay. William works as a Site Reliability Engineer for Google in their Seattle offices with Meta, a rescued German Shepherd, at his side. (email)
An accomplished Graphic Designer, Barb followed her heart and the man who would become her husband to western Washington over 22 years ago, never looking back. While relatively new to SAFE, she is no stranger to horses. She wanted a horse from the moment she saw one, always hopeful that this dream would come true. While waiting, she rode with friends as often as the opportunity presented itself, most memorably on a paint pony named Bucky. Over time she became an accomplished rider, taking on “naughty” horses who in her mind were just misunderstood. Long before she’d heard of Buck Brannaman, Barb tried communicating with horses by mimicking their behaviors, this changed everything.
Fast forward to 1994 when Barb and her husband bought a house on some property in Buckley. There was a horse there whose owner was leasing pasture. She stopped by once, intending to move him, that was the last time anyone saw her. She abandoned him, effectively making him Barb’s first rescue. She knew he was in bad shape based on how overweight he was. The vet and a farrier both gave her a grim report: he had laminitis and needed to lose at least 200 lbs. Undeterred, Barb asked what needed to be done and she got to work. It was a winter of putting pads on his feet and carefully monitoring his diet, making headway a few steps at a time. By mid-summer of the following year Bonfire was a new horse, he’d been given a clean bill of health and cleared to ride, which he and Barb did for the next 20 years.
After Bonfire, Barb started looking in earnest for a new horse, finding out about SAFE from her neighbor Michel. While taking a long look at the website, Barb found her horse, and set the wheels in motion to adopt Kai. In December of 2015 another horse captivated Barb, it was Anakin. He was on the news and after taking one look at him even in his desperate state, she could tell he wanted to live. When she found out that SAFE was taking him on, she called to let them know that she wanted him. Nobody was sure he would live, but he did. Throughout his recovery, Barb visited Anakin several times, clearly making sure that everyone knew she was going to give this horse a home, which she did in August of 2016.
Maeve Harris is an American abstract painter. At the age of eight she started her life long love affair with all things equestrian — from riding horses and competing in her youth to developing a large collection of equine paintings in her oeuvre. Maeve first became involved with SAFE in 2009 in a fundraising capacity, and she co-founded the first Heart of the Horse auction. She also helped foster SAFE horses Jasmine and Lola and has been a supporter and fan of SAFE in recent years as the organization has grown. Maeve likes to say she was rescued by a former broodmare, a paint named Sugar, who has taught her the value of patience, persistence, and finding a way to enjoy the ride.(email)
SAFE Founding Board of Directors
Past Members of the Board of Directors
Debi Shatos, Past President
Kyle Putnam, Past President
Eileen Carrel, Past President