Bloodstock Team of WinStar Farm

Sean Tugel

Director of Bloodstock Services and Assistant Racing Manager
Dedicated Team Member Since 2011
[email protected]


A native of Rochester, NY, Tugel began working at Winstar as the Assistant Trainer under Richard Budge in 2011. A graduate of Ashford University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Business Management, Tugel began in the industry as a groom and hot walker for various trainers at Finger Lakes Racetrack while attending college. He also spent valuable time working for his father’s veterinary practice, Farmington Equine Associates.

Tugel moved to Lexington in 2004 and began working at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms as a night watch foaling attendant before moving up to assistant manager during his 7 ½ years with the farm. He took an equivalent position at Pauls Mill for a short time in 2010 before joining WinStar. While at Winstar, Sean has also served roles on the stallion nominations team, in yearling and breaking, and stallion divisions. Currently, Sean serves as the Director of Bloodstock Services and Assistant Racing Manager.

Liam O’Rourke

Season Sales
Dedicated Team Member Since 2017
[email protected]

Liam, originally from Toronto, Ontario was introduced to horse racing at an early age making trips to Woodbine with his grandfather. He developed a keen interest in racing and began working at the racetrack while in high school. While completing his degree at Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, Quebec Liam travelled to Lexington to intern with Juddmonte Farms and Hill’n’Dale Farms.

Upon completing his degree in Finance, Liam returned to the racetrack to work for leading trainer Brian Lynch. Liam went on to attend the Irish National Stud Course in 2008 where he won first prize in the pedigree research project. Liam remained at the National Stud after the course to prepare yearlings and work the major sales in Ireland and England.

Returning to North America, Liam spent 4 years in season sales for Adena Springs and most recently held the position of Stallion Services Manager at Millennium Farms, gaining valuable experience and developing key relationships to help him in his current role at WinStar Farm.

Chris Knehr

Stallion Sales
Dedicated Team Member Since 2018
[email protected]

Originally from New Jersey, Chris pursued his business degree at Virginia Tech where he discovered his passion for horses while working on a warmblood breeding farm. Upon graduation, he completed an internship at Overbrook Farm during the breeding season learning about all aspects of equine production. Following the internship, he returned to Virginia Tech to complete a Master's degree in Animal Science with an emphasis in equine genetics. After graduate school, Chris returned to Overbrook Farm to pursue his passion in the thoroughbred industry, where he gained valuable experience foaling mares and then moving to the position of Assistant Stallion Manager. Chris then transitioned into sales working for several consignors, building his experience with sales prep, private/public sales, market analysis, and mating recommendations. Utilizing this broad base of experience, he started his own consignment and bloodstock agency with Catalyst Bloodstock in 2010.

Chris is a supporter of Thoroughbred Aftercare and the Retired Racehorse Project. He currently lives on a small farm in Midway, KY with his wife Erin and daughters. Chris is eager to utilize his previous experiences in order to contribute to the continued successes at Winstar Farm.

Linzay Marks

Marketing Director / Client Relations Assistant
Dedicated Team Member Since 2018

Raised nearby at Saxony Farm, Linzay has spent her entire life around thoroughbreds. In addition to her thoroughbred experience she has worked with polo ponies, hunter- jumpers and dressage horses. Also having an interest in art, she majored in advertising as a way to merge her art interests with horses. While in school she advanced her photography skills serving as the photographer for the New Orleans Polo Club. After graduating from LSU she worked for Orchard Hill Polo for a season, before securing an internship with the ad agency The Bell Group, where she worked for nearly 5 years. While at The Bell Group Linzay had the opportunity to work for the Saratoga Special racing publication for two race meets. She also spent time with PM Advertising where she became familiar with the WinStar brand, Woodspring Farm and Charlie LoPresti Racing.

Olivia Desch

Bloodstock Assistant
Dedicated Team Member Since 2019


Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Olivia has always had a passion for horses and grew up riding hunter jumpers. While she fell in love with racing at a young age, it wasn’t until an internship in high school working with the mares and foals at Langsem Farm that Olivia knew she wanted to work in the Thoroughbred racing industry. During her time at the University of Kentucky, where she graduated with a BS in Equine Science and Management, Olivia prepped yearlings for Lane’s End before interning with WinStar Farm starting in May of 2017. Throughout her WinStar internship, she spent time with all departments to be able to experience all aspects of the racing industry before assuming her current role in October 2018.