Our People

Ecole

ecoleEcole spent a decade working in the film industry as a commercial production manager and producer before opening her own store.

In 2002 Santa Clarita was a rapidly growing community, but lacking a tack shop geared towards performance horse enthusiasts. The idea of opening her own shop was brought to life with the generous help and support of parents Noel and Linda. After 10 years of continuing growth, Ecole found the opportunity to expand and moved to the new and more centralized location in Lake View Terrace.

Growing up in the abundant hunt country of the Midwest, Ecole rode and competed in Hunters and Equitation as a junior, starting in the pony divisions. She also had the experience of riding with the hounds, as fox hunting was a celebrated tradition to be enjoyed each Fall.

Once settled into Los Angeles post-college, Ecole was introduced to the California horse community training and competing with Jonathan Soresi, George Morris, Mike Henaghan, Patti Cromer, Philip Klipa, and Archie Cox.

These days, Ecole continues to actively attend horse shows as a competitor, sponsor, vendor and fan.


Emily

Emily McConnaughy returns to VSS after a four-year hiatus working in the corporate world.
A California native, Emily has always had a passion for horses. She has been riding hunter/ jumpers since the age of six, competing in hunters and equitation through her early twenties.
Emily took a job at VSS after high school and through college. Her nine-year stint with the store allowed her to grow and eventually achieve management at a major retailer.
In 2015, Emily married her high school sweetheart, Joel and they reside in Valencia. In her spare time, Emily enjoys traveling, cooking, running and hiking.
VSS is thrilled to have Emily back as our Store Manager.


Candy

Candy began riding at 8 years old while living in Puerto Rico. She was asked by a friend to come along for a lesson at Centro Ecuestre, where she was immediately hooked and has been riding ever since. She has competed in hunters, jumpers, dressage and gymkhana over the years but always goes back to her need for speed in the Jumper ring. Candy’s knowledge in many areas of riding has given her the expertise to confidently help VSS customers near and far.

Candy is a mom to Austin, Tanner and Payton (a pony rider herself!). And the other love of her life is Nixon, her off-the-track thoroughbred.


Michele

Michele was bitten by the ‘horse bug’ in 2006, when she married Russell Myerson and moved to California from Cincinnati, Ohio with her children Ian and Lindsay.
It did not take long to acquire her three biggest loves: Petey, Ocean, and Kahlua.
She currently spends time with her babies daily at Sand Canyon Equestrian Center and considers it an integral part of her life.
Michele has her BFA in Television Broadcasting from the University of Cincinnati, and also has years of retail sales and management experience under her belt.
She has been with VSS since 2011, and is currently a Sales Trainer for the company. “It’s easy to sell products you love and believe in when you work for a store like VSS. We have the best sales team and offer outstanding products and service each and every day.”


Kacie

Kacie returned to the VSS family after briefly being away to finish her bachelors in business administration from USC and working a creative production job in the film industry.
Never too far away, her help over the years during VSS events has made it an easy transition back to what she considers to be “home”.
Kacie has been an avid rider since the age of 10, and regularly competes on the circuit with her A/O Hunter, Savoy. Her experience in the hunter/jumper ring has given her the knowledge to confidently help with anyone’s needs. She loves all things horse related and working with our customers to make their VSS experience great!


Christine

Since Christine’s first ride at the age of 7, she has trained and competed in many disciplines. Her focus has included hunters, equitation, jumpers, ponies, reining, and her current favorite, barrel racing. A proud owner of 4 horses: Presley, Oakley, Peek-A-Boo, and her colt Chiave, she has experience with horse care and barn management and can find a good solution for just about anything.
Christine aspires to owning an honest and successful equine boarding and training facility one day. She also hopes to qualify for the National Finals Rodeo and even has Olympic dreams. With her passion for horses and tireless attitude, we have no doubt she will go far! In the meantime, you will be treated to Christine’s friendly and knowledgeable service at VSS.
When not spending time around the barn, she enjoys camping, hiking, fishing, motocross and most everything outdoors.


Hannah

hannah-vssHannah’s life has forever and always been about horses. Her love for riding began when she took her first lesson at the age of 3. She rode in both english and western whenever she could and became a proud horse owner at the age of 13 with her horse Boaz. Later on, a few more horses joined her family: Honeybunz, Harlow and Cherokee.

As an officer with Blue Shadows Junior Advanced Team, Hannah has competed with the team for 5 years at the Reno Rodeo. Outside of the organization she rides with her friends for fun. Being a horse lover is not only a hobby for Hannah, but a lifestyle as well.


Noel

noelNoel went to Butler University, married Linda, started his family and began an advertising career in Indianapolis. Over 25 years, created ad campaigns for Budweiser and General Motors in St. Louis and Detroit before retiring to Southern California, where kids had already begun careers in film production. Moved to Santa Clarita to help Ecole launch Valencia Sport Saddlery in 2003. Noel fits Tucker saddles, cleans and conditions fine leather and designs promotional materials for VSS. Goodman the Golden Retriever usually assists. Both are very happy to be on the VSS Crew!
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