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Our Trainers

About our Trainers:

Mary Goldman
Owner - Trainer
Mary Goldman is the owner and head trainer of Red Coat Farm.  She has been in the business for over 25 years and has much experience riding, training, and showing. Her barn’s impressive showing records, on the NIHJA, “A” and “AA” circuits, speak highly of her ability and her knowledge of the sport. (Please visit Red Coat’s Awards Page.)  Mary’s unwavering devotion to the sport and to finding the right horses for her students keeps Red Coat up to date with new trends and helps the continuing success of the show team. Her students have competed at all levels of competition throughout the country. The entire show team continually places highly in medals, classics, equation, hunters, jumpers, year end awards and young horse classes. Over the years, Mary has created a barn that not only is dedicated to the progression of horses and riders, but that is also a second family. Her determined attitude creates winners, but more importantly horsemen and women. Mary's passion for the sport is always apparent and instills in her students a tremendous pride in what they do and the drive to be the best riders they can possibly be. She always teaches thought provoking, innovative lessons, while still covering all the basics. Along with winning the prestigious title of "IHJA Horse Person of the Year" in 2010, Mary has also won the admiration of everyone that is part of the Read Coat family.     

Val Buesching

Val Buesching began riding at Red Coat Farm when she was 11 years old and jumped right in to her competitive career on the NIHJA circuit. Following her passion for horses, she attended the University of Kentucky and earned a Bachelor’s degree in equine science. While in college Val competed on the intercollegiate level. Val’s education provided her with a firm basis of knowledge about equine nutrition, wound care, and training that she applies to her job daily. Upon her graduation, Val returned home to Red Coat and began teaching lessons. Since then, she has revealed her talent for starting young children on the path to success. Val has bestowed solid basics upon all her students while never losing a sense of fun. Val has trained numerous champions on the NIHJA circuit, including medals finalists and winners. Moreover, she has watched her students progress to winning at “A” and “AA” rated competitions with Mary Goldman. Her efforts in and out of the saddle earned her the NIHJA Horseperson of the Year award in 2009. Val is also known for her instinct for matching horses with their riders. No matter your level or budget, she has developed a knack for finding your the right partner. Through her efforts, Val has found and trained two separate NIHJA High Point Horses - two years in a row! The ponies and horses she has found have proven themselves over and over again to be safe and reliable teachers while still bringing home prizes in the show ring. Val's ability to combine hard work with the enjoyment of riding has encouraged and inspired students of all ages. 

Sari Polakow
Sari Polakow began riding with Mary Goldman at Red Coat Farm when she was 9 years old. First showing on the NIHJA circuit she quickly progressed through the levels and began teaching at age 17. Sari takes pride in her continuing education as both a rider and trainer being among the first trainers in the country to ever complete the USHJA trainer certification program. She continually works to expand her knowledge of equine medical care and can handle any situation requiring basic equine first aid. Sari has proudly trained medal finalists and year end division winners on the NIHJA circuit for the past several years. She has always served as a diligent assistant to Mary Goldman with her students at home and at “A” and “AA” rated shows. Sari has worked with both hunters and jumpers of all levels. Her success earned her the title of NIHJA horse person of the year 2010. Students rave of Sari’s impeccable patience while demanding the best of her riders. Sari puts her heart and soul into her training- making her students want to improve for her. Sari continues her showing career on the “A” and “AA” circuit. She has recently shown in Welcome Stakes and Grand Prix classes. Perhaps Sari’s biggest asset is her ability to work with young horses. She specializes in breaking and training babies and young horses. Over the past few years she has had the opportunity to show many of her youngsters in the International Hunter Futurity (IHJ), International Jumper Futurity (IJF), and young jumper championships (YJC). She is always glad to see the horses that she started succeeding with their new owners and doing well at the horse shows.


Lisa Goldman

Lisa grew up riding and got her start on ponies and off-the-track thoroughbreds. She maintains a "speedy reputation" in the show ring, a skill she attributes to her early thoroughbred riding. She now specializes in bringing up young horses, most of which have been bred in the USA. As a trainer and rider at Red Coat Farm, she has had the honor of helping to develop multiple national champion horses and riders.
As a graduate from Baylor University in 2012, Lisa double majored in Management and Entrepreneurship. She rode with the National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) team and, in her senior year, was a member of the national champion hunt seat team.
Some of Lisa's notable wins/achievements, as of March 2015 include:
  •  2015 CSIO Speed Stake winner on Morocco at WEF
  • 32 Grand Prix wins total including:
    • $65K "Betsy" Grand Prix (Lexington, KY)
    • $50K HITS Grand Prix (Ocala, FL)
    • $30K Luxmax Grand Prix (Wayne, IL)
    • $30K D-Braider Cherry Capitol Classic Grand Prix (Traverse City, MI)
  • 2009 6 year old YJC Midwestern League Final winner on Morocco
  • 2012 Morocco won speed classes at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show
  • 2012 $65,000 EMO Grand Prix win in Conyers, GA on Morocco
  • 2013 6 year old YJC Midwestern League Final winner on Rocs to Riches
  • 2014 5 year old YJC Midwestern League Final winner on Roc N Groovy

Judy grew up on a few acres in northwest Indiana where she had the rough and tumble fun of keeping 3 backyard horses. Back then she never saw the inside of an arena, but rode in fields and around town. Her experience as an instructor goes back to those early years, giving her friends pointers on how to get top speeds racing their Shetland ponies down dirt roads. After earning her BA in music and a few years traveling and working abroad, she returned to the USA and more importantly to horses. It was then that she entered the hunter/jumper world. She soaked in every bit of information she could, observing lessons, training sessions and clinics, teaching summer camps, helping out around the barn, giving light medical care, and riding young horses. Over the years, she went from barn to barn and in 2001 landed at Red Coat Farm. The no nonsense approach and exceptional care of the horses appealed to her instantly. She knew she was home. Before coming to Red Coat Farm, Judy spent several years working at Lincoln Park Zoo's Farm in the Zoo and Children's Zoo, where she managed a group of 80 volunteers, trained new volunteers and created and presented educational programs to the general public. Judy earned her USHJA Trainer's certification in 2011 and focuses on building confidence while assuring that all her riders have a strong foundation in the basics of riding and horsemanship. Judy has seen firsthand how people benefit from contact with animals in general, and horses in particular. She firmly believes that anyone could gain from time spent with horses. 

     Judy MacDonald