Richard A. Violette, Jr.
Rick Violette Jr., a successful Thoroughbred trainer and president of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association since 2008, 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 the Board of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, 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.