Meet the WVS Team





TK Kuegler

Founder & Managing Partner

Michele Pesula Kuegler

Director of Aftercare & Community

Adam Parker

Director of Equine Operations

George Adams

Director of Stallions & Breeding

Tamarie Allard

Accounting

Ron Emrick

Engineering

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. Jesse's stable is based at Charles Town. You can follow him on Twitter at @Cruz_Racing.

Joe Orseno

Joe Orseno began his career as a professional trainer in 1977. In 1997 he joined Frank Stronach's racing stables. In July 2002, Joe Orseno returned to running a public stable. Among his career highlights are winning 10 Grade 1 stakes races. The horses include Red Bullet at the 2000 Preakness Stakes, Macho Uno at the 2000 Breeders' Cup Juvenile, and Perfect Sting at the 2000 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

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.

Zoe Valvo

I grew up in Idaho riding hunter jumpers, I rode my first pony race at the age of 8, and ever since then I’ve caught the horse racing bug and have not been back in a show ring. I acquired my first Steeplechaser, who was given to me for free as he was no longer running well for his previous connections in 2011. He went on that spring to win several hurdle races with me as trainer and winning the VSA (Virginia Steeplechase Association) Hurdle Horse of The Year award. I also trained the VSA Flat Horse of The Year in 2012 with a NY bred gelding who was also given to me due to the fact that his previous trainer said he was untrainable because of his behavior. The day after I turned 16 (legally allowed to ride races) I rode and won my first flat race and was third in my first ride over hurdles, both on horses I owned and trained myself. In 2012 I won my my first sanctioned NSA (National Steeplechase Association) race on a horse owned by my mother and that I trained. At the age of 16 I was asked to represent the US in the Fegentri International Amateur Jockeys series. For five years I rode Thoroughbred and Arabian races all over the world for ARCA and Fegentri in two all Women’s Amateur Jockey series. I rode out for multiple leading National Steeplechase Association trainers, including Janet Elliot and Doug Fout. I was also Niall Saville’s Assistant Trainer at Fair Hill at one time. I also was an exercise rider for Timothy Keefe at Laurel Park. In 2016 I started training steeplechasers for a private farm in Virginia, and we dabbled in some flat horses. In 2018 I opened my stable doors to outside clients.

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