President and Sanctuary Founder
Who could have known where insatiable curiosity, freedom to explore, and a deep love for all animals would lead?
Since very early childhood, Catherine has been studying by quiet observation and creating homes for every creature she came across. Slugs and bugs, spiders, turtles, fish, snakes, anyone who had fallen from a nest, she would take home to care for. Always dreaming of the day it would be a horse she could bring home, even before ever seeing a real one.
With her 12th birthday came that first real horse, Fred, a very experienced and clever quarter horse gelding who taught her many important life lessons. From then on she has always lived with horses, studying every aspect of their care and happiness.
Discovering horses in the wild was a pivotal time in her life. Spending as much time as possible observing and photographing them she realized there was so much yet to be recognized and understood about their social structures, true nature, health, and well-being. This led to experiencing helicopter roundups, separation of families she had come to know, their removal from vast wild desert expanses and the empty void it left behind.
Now, this exploration of sanctuary combines a lifelong commitment to learning and respect for all of life with her desire to reunite families and friends allowing them to live together in peace, safety, and freedom.
Jesica is and has always been a friend to the animals. She is a California native and was raised with a strong element of freedom in the Sierra foothills. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Environmental Studies and a Master’s in Environmental Planning from California State University Sacramento. She dedicated her graduate work to the preservation of wild horses and wildlife on public lands in California. Her efforts continue to provide valuable research and documentation by contributing her time to protecting the wild horses and burros as well as other wildlife in California and beyond.
Nickki Lee Hill
Originally from St. John, Newfoundland, Nickki’s interest is in exploring perceptual systems through visual imagery and kinesthetic movement.
Beginning as a painter and dancer with a BFA degree from the University of Utah, she worked, traveled and wrote with Fine Art Photographer, Frederick Sommer, who deeply questioned the logic underneath 'word' and 'image'.
Her explorations have taken her through the mediums of Film, Video, Multimedia, Computer Graphics and many forms of Photography ~ all in service of how we see and
how we communicate.
“Meeting these horses and burros has been life~changing from the moment I looked into Capella’s eyes.. this was a whole other order of being and knowing. Another world opened up and I never tire of getting to know this Horse Nation on their own terms.”
Ranch Manager / Honorary Board Member
Jamie has spent her entire life living with and caring for horses. From the time she could walk she spent most of her time with them, forming strong relationships.
She grew into an accomplished horse trainer, traveling the country starting and training many horses.
In her early 20's she began her education in hoof care, learning from several leaders in the industry. This led to rescuing severely damaged horses for rehabilitation, which created a new understanding and different kind of relationship with them. This new understanding of the traditional horse-human relationship ultimately caused her to end her training career and give up riding altogether. Giving up all forms of control she now follows a path of freedom, where the horses are released from a life that caused so much pain and damage to a life lived in a species-appropriate manner.
Investigating this idea of "freedom" led to the study of horses in the wild and discovering the plight of these "free" horses, the wild mustangs.
Jamie is now more dedicated than ever to the care and well-being of horses and all animals, wild and domestic, in this new mission of sanctuary.