RICK VIOLETTE JR., President
Rick Violette Jr., a successful Thoroughbred trainer and president of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and the national Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, got his start in the equine industry showing hunters and jumpers on the East Coast circuit. He also galloped racehorses part time before opting to make a career at the racetrack.
A graduate of Lowell University in his native Massachusetts, Violette began working on the backstretch at Suffolk Downs. He was assistant trainer to Emile Allain at Woodbine Race Track in Canada for two years, then went to New York to take the job as assistant to David Whiteley. He started his own public stable in 1983. Top horses developed by Violette include graded-stakes winners Citadeed, Dream Rush, Gitchee Goomie, High Finance, Man from Wicklow, March Magic, Nijinsky’s Gold, Read the Footnotes, Samraat, Savedbythelight, Upon My Soul and Worstcasescenario.
In addition to serving as president of the NYTHA and the THA, Violette is a member of the NYRA Board of Directors and has held the post as chairman of the New York Jockey Injury Compensation Fund for more than a decade. He is widely recognized for his work in leading NYTHA through the bankruptcy and reorganization of NYRA; negotiating the horsemen’s share of VLT revenues and anticipated backstretch improvements at the NYRA tracks; the reorganization and strengthening of the Backstretch Employee Service Team; and acquiring state of the art equipment for the New York Drug Testing and Research Program, as well as being an advocate for the welfare and safety of the racehorse and a co-creator of the TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program.
RICHARD SCHOSBERG, Vice President
Rick Schosberg, born in White Plains, NY, was introduced to horse racing by his parents, Jane and Paul, who own Pine Lane Farm in Westchester County.
Schosberg graduated from Cornell University in 1984 with a degree in applied economics concentrating on animal science and equine studies. After working with show horses and at the Middleburg Training Center in Virginia, he returned to New York and served as assistant trainer to Sid Watters Jr. and Tom Skiffington before going out on his own in 1988. He won with his very first starter, Three Chopt Road, at Belmont Park that September. The conditioner of champion Maria’s Mon and multiple Grade I winner Affirmed Success, he limits his stable to 20 to 30 horses, and races exclusively in New York.
Schosberg and his wife Dawn live in Muttontown, NY. Son Ryan is a recent graduate of Boston University.
Schosberg served his first term on the NYTHA Board starting in 2011, and was re-elected to a second term in 2014. He is the Chair of the Aftercare Committee, and oversees the TAKE THE LEAD Thoroughbred Retirement Program, which finds new homes for the horses retiring from NYRA tracks.
PAT KELLY, Secretary/Treasurer
After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Miami in 1970, Pat promptly went to work for his father, Hall of Fame trainer Tommy “T. J.” Kelly. He started his own public stable in 1977.
Pat has been actively involved in horsemen’s issues for many years. He has been a member of the New York Jockey Injury Compensation Fund and has served as a trainer representative on pension funds for backstretch workers for over a decade. Further, Pat is the long-time Vice President on the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, and a member of the NYTHA Aftercare Committee.
Pat has won numerous New York and graded stakes races. Among his career highlights was Evening Attire being presented with the Secretariat Award as the top New York horse by the New York Turf Writers Association in 2002. Evening Attire won the Jockey Club Gold Cup that year.
Pat lives in Floral Park with his wife Karen, son Kenneth and daughter Katherine.
HERB OSTER, Board Member
Brooklyn native Herb Oster, an owner in New York since 1999, has been a racing fan since his childhood, and began riding the subway out to Aqueduct as a teenager. Now a resident of Long Island, he established the financial planning firm Oster Financial Services 36 years ago. After his children had finished college and were married, he was able to realize the lifelong dream of owning racehorses. Oster currently has two horses in training, and has been managing partner of two racing stables, Team Five Star and, currently, Herbert J. Oster, LLC. He also owns a share in the New York-based stallion Patriot Act, who entered stud at Dutchess Views Farm in 2008.
An alternate on the NYTHA Board of Directors from 2008-11, Oster was elected to his first term on the Board in 2011. He serves as the executive vice president of the Belmont Child Care Association as well.
Oster, 68, who splits his time between Long Island and Florida, has two children and four grandchildren, who often join him on his morning trips to the backstretch.
MIKE SHANLEY, Board Member
Mike has worked as an attorney, judge and real estate executive in the Albany area over the last 35 years. His legal background combined with his extensive experience working with the New York State Legislature in Albany has proven to be an important asset to NYTHA as the legislature considers the future of the NYRA franchise and VLT’s.
Since being elected to the NYTHA Board in 1999, Mike has served as Vice President of NYTHA and Chairman of the Legislative Committee.
He and his wife Lyn are involved in all aspects of the horse industry. In addition to racing, they currently have mares in New York and Kentucky.
ANDY BELFIORE, Executive Director
A native of Massachusetts, Andy Belfiore grew up riding show horses. She started her career in racing on the backstretch at Belmont Park, working as a hotwalker, groom and exercise rider, before joining the Rick Violette stable as assistant trainer. After six years as Violette’s assistant, she moved to the frontside at the track, and spent five years in the communications and marketing departments at NYRA.
Belfiore left NYRA in 1993 to take the post as editor in chief at the Thoroughbred Daily News. During her tenure, the TDN grew from a four page publication with just a few hundred subscribers to a leader in the Thoroughbred industry with a website that gets more than 110,000 hits a month from 118 countries and territories. Named Director of Communications for NYTHA in December, 2011, she has been instrumental in the success of the TAKE2 program and the creation of TAKE THE LEAD.