Emily Kocubinski



Emily Kocubinski has long had a passion for off-track Thoroughbreds (OTTBs). She bought her first OTTB, Smokey Fire, in 1996. She quickly became a working student for Michael Godfrey, who helped her unlock the talented but quirky horse’s potential. Renamed “Alexander,” she trained and competed him successfully at the Advanced level of eventing for several years. Accomplishments included completing 12 Advanced horse trials without XC jump penalties, completing the Rolex Kentucky CCI*** in 1999 (when she was 19 and Alex was 8!), completing the Beaulieu CIC*** in 2000. She was also named to the USET Developing Rider list in 2000 and earned a team silver medal at the North American Young Rider Championships in 1997 under team coach Jimmy Wofford. Emily also attained her H-A rating in Pony Club at the young age of 16. After taking some time off to go to school and establish a graphic and web design business, Emily returned to horses in 2010. In 2013, Emily was selected as one of the 26 trainers from around the country to participate in the Retired Racehorse Training Project’s Makeover Challenge. She selected and trained an OTTB, Victory Money, for several months, and successfully presented her at the RRTP symposium at Pimlico Racetrack in October of that year. She returned to the RRP Makeover in 2017 and competed The Big Rooster in the dressage competition. Emily has been involved with the Omega Horse Rescue since 2016, and has enjoyed getting to help horses of all breeds, sizes, and ages get placed into adoptive homes.

More information about Emily and her horses can be found on her website,

Jeff Michael


My career started when my parents bought me a 3-year-old Assateague Pony for my seventh birthday. As a kid, we didn’t have trainers to work with our horses. So, I learned to train horses out of survival. He was a beautiful little mahogany paint and his name was Sin Bad. He lived up to every ounce of his name. That little pony took any fear of riding that I ever had and replaced it with a curiosity to figure out how to fix him. This curiosity pushed me into riding and fixing all our horses on the farm. When I graduated college, I bought another horse. He was the prettiest dun Quarter Horse colt I had ever seen. I named him Major. He was as difficult-minded as he was pretty. I was able to use a lot of the hard lessons I learned on that little Assateague pony to start Major under saddle. Major stirred up a whole new curiosity about training horses, and I knew I needed to collect more knowledge. I started attending any clinic I could find. I focused most of my attention on the publications, videos, and clinics of Chris Cox, Buck Branaman, and Pat Perrelli. The last block of my horsemanship was based on observations I have made of Mustangs and Domesticated horses in their natural environments. Using these observations has formed the theory of my natural horsemanship. It solidified in my mind that a horse will use his physical strength to survive until he finds a more intelligent herd member to entrust with his own survival. My horsemanship has been developed by the hundreds of horses that I have observed and  trained over my career. I have enjoyed my journey of horsemanship and continue to learn from every horse and person that I work with, and I take great pleasure in being a part of their horse journey. 

Sam Smucker


Sam grew up working with horses and has a natural ability to work through their problems. He has been based out of his farm in Quaryville for the past 10 years and has made a name for himself in starting horses and working through problem issues.