Marie Taylor Emrey has owned, worked, and shown horses/ponies since the age of 5. She originally went to college to become a veterinarian but ended up a biologist doing research instead. Her two biggest areas of interest were equine lameness/biomechanics and genetics.
After college she became a Certified Farrier, and starting business, Reliable Farrier Services doing mainly corrective shoeing on weekends and evenings. She eventually was able to take early retirement from DuPont, the company she had been working for for many years to do what she loved full time. Marie began breeding horses on a larger scale after purchasing undeveloped acreage in Maryland, and building Lazy J Sport Horses, now LJS Sporthorses, LLC from the ground up. In 2022 Marie Emrey partnered with long time friend and talented horse person, Pam Butkiewicz which will further our goals for LJS Horses.
Marie first began breeding Thoroughbreds but then switched over to Warmbloods and Warmblood crosses. She bred sport ponies for a short time as well. Marie has been breeding horses now for over 25 years.
Marie's breeding goals have changed somewhat over the years. She first started breeding warmbloods and crosses for the amateur rider wanting a partner with an excellent temperament, versatility and soundness/longevity. Although she still breeds for that “holy trinity”, now she concentrates on producing dressage, eventers, and hunter/jumpers that have the aforementioned qualities, but are also able to take their rider to the upper level of their discipline of choice.
With a riding background in the jumper ring, Marie feels that many qualities that make a good jumper also makes for a good dressage partner; infusing jump blood into dressage prospects and dressage worthy gaits into jumpers. The theory is simple in that a good engine is important for all disciplines as well as an elastic, free shoulder and powerful “connected” push from behind. Jump talent is highly heritable where as producing upper level dressage gaits can be more of a challenge. Many horses are bred with an over extravagant front end, but end up dragging their underactive hind end around the ring. Although many of these super flashy, difficult to ride horses seem to get the spotlight early in their careers, few seem to be able to remain sound and or rideable enough to reach the top of the sport. The loin connection needs to support the front end in order to have a conformationally “balanced” animal capable of longevity in sport.
Marie's breeding goal is to produce a horse that possesses the correct conformation to perform the discipline in which it was bred for as well as have the temperament/rideability and long term soundness needed for the upper levels of sport.
LJS has produced numerous First Premiums in both dressage and jumper bred foals, most notable of which are the KWPN’s 3rd highest scoring Jumper Bred Foal of North America in 2012 and 2013 (Harlow LJS and Ignatia LJS). Many of our young stock have shown in-hand and in the ribbons at many prestigious Breed Shows such as Dressage at Devon, Future Event Horse series, USDF Horse of the Year (First Level and KWPN Bred), and recently; USHJA Zone 3 third place winner with only 3 judged outings. The oldest offspring are now proving themselves under saddle as well with many LJS-breds competing and winning USEF Awards in dressage, hunter, hunter derby, eventing and the jumper rings.
Pam’s interest in horses began at age 11 when her family moved from the suburbs of Philadelphia to rural Maryland. After showing in local shows and 4-H, she branched out to enjoy competitive trail riding (completed her first CTR in 1983). A riding injury led her to strive to learn more informed riding, including dressage, centered riding, and connected riding. She also bred her favorite mares over the years and started the youngsters under saddle.
She earned a BA from the University of Maryland and worked as a technical writer, which led to ballistic testing (helicopters) and 3D animation. When her children were young, she hired Marie Taylor Emrey to work on her horses. Marie took the time to educate Pam about hooves and how good farrier work can correct numerous hoof problems as well as improve the horses’ gaits. This inspired Pam to take a farrier course and learn how to trim for herself. Turns out there is a lot more to learn than what is taught in one course, so the journey continued. Eventually she started trimming for other people and became a professional trimmer. She has been trimming horses professionally for 18 years.
Pam is a firm believer in volunteering and giving back to the horse community. She cleaned stalls and volunteered at a local therapeutic riding facility and was “head horse wrangler” during the Extreme Home Makeover that occurred at that facility. She also helped start a horse donated trims, picked up and evaluated horses, took prospective adopters out with the horse they were interested in to see if they were a good fit, fostered horses, etc. She volunteered at the FoxCatcher Endurance ride for several years, driving the horse ambulance and scribing for vet checks. She has also volunteered many years at the Chesapeake Competitive Trail ride. All of these things have provided unique learning opportunities that lead to a broad background in horse care and horsemanship.