Meet the WVS Team

TK Kuegler

Founder & Managing Partner

Michele Pesula Kuegler

Director of Aftercare & Community

George Adams

Director of Stallions & Breeding

Ron Emrick


Tamarie Allard


Jason Barkley

Jason Barkley is a third generation trainer. He went to University of Louisville and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Equine Business. He started his career as an assistant for Nick Zito. Included in the horses he worked with there are Dialed IN, Fast Falcon, and Jackson Bend. After a year off from training, he came back and worked for a year with Joe Sharpe and another year with Wesley Ward, as an assistant in both roles. After that he went out on his own with no horses but a hope and a prayer. He got his first horse, a claimer for 5k at Churchill. Jason got his first win at Keeneland on the first day of the 2017 meet. He finished 2018 with a record of 11 for 33. With this success, he started picking up more clients. You can follow Jason on Twitter at @jbark131

Jesse Cruz

Jesse Cruz has grown up at the racetrack since his toddler years. According to Jesse, he didn't enjoy being there in his younger years but became more interested by a horse named Russell Road. Initially he wanted to pursue being a jockey. This dream was derailed by a growth spurt during his teenage years. After high school he spent time at Gulfstream Park and Saratoga as an exercise rider for Billy Mott and Mike Maker. He also worked for Ollie Figgins III as an assistant trainer. In December 2016 he earned his trainer's license in Maryland. Slightly more than three months after that he gained his first win. Since then, Jesse has earned over $1.4 million and is a multiple stakes winning trainer. Jesse's stable is based at Monmouth Park and Tampa Bay Downs. You can follow him on Twitter at @Cruz_Racing.

Mark Salvaggio

Mark Salvaggio started as a groom at Thistledown during high school. After high school he moved to Ocala and started galloping there. Mark moved back to Cleveland and became a jockey at Thistledown in 1980. He worked in that role for twenty-three years. During that time, he had a number of accomplishments. In 1990 he was second in the nation for wins as a jockey. He also won at three racetracks in the same day: Parx, Delaware, and Penn National. In 2003, Mark left his career as a jockey and began working for his brother, Michael, starting in the roles of groom and exercise rider. He earned his trainer’s license in 2011 and has been working on his own since then. His stable is located at Penn National.

Tony Rengstorf

Tony Rengstorf is a multiple stakes winning trainer with over 30 years experience training and breaking thoroughbred race horses. He finished fifth in the trainer standings at Canterbury Park in 2016 with 28 wins and over 50% in the money. Tony is an honest, hardworking, dedicated, and passionate trainer.

Zoe Valvo

Growing up in Idaho, Zoe got her start in horses by first starting out in the hunter jumper world. But by the age of 8, she discovered pony races and has been in the racing world ever since. In 2011, Zoe acquired her first steeplechaser who wasn’t showing any promise for his connections and took him to the winner’s circle for hurdles multiple times and won the Virginia Steeplechase Association (VSA) Hurdle Horse of The Year award. Zoe was gifted a New York bred horse deemed “untrainable due to behavior” and won the VSA Flat Horse of The Year award in 2012. The day after she turned 16 and was legally allowed to ride races, she won her first flat race and came third in her first ride over hurdles. Those achievements were even sweeter since the horses she ran were ones she owned and trained herself. 2012 continued to showcase her talent when she won her first sanctioned NSA race on a horse she trained and was owned by her mother. She was then asked to represent the United States in the Fegentri International Amateur Jockey series that ran races in, Australia, France, Oman, Qatar, Poland, Sweden, Norway, Abu Dhabi, Germany, and Italy. For five years, Zoe rode in Thoroughbred and Arabian races across the world for Fegentri and ARCA, as well as two all-women’s amateur jockey series including H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship. While continuing her riding and training career, Zoe rode out for leading NSA trainers including Janet Elliot, Doug Fout, and Neil Morris and exercise rode for Timothy Keefe at Laurel Park. In 2016, Zoe started training steeplechasers and the occasional flat horse for a private farm in Middleburg, Virginia. Then in 2018, Zoe opened her own barn for outside clients. She continues to train Thoroughbreds and Arabians and takes a special interest in breaking yearlings to give them a great start to their future racing career.

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