New Vocations stall named in honor of Rick Violette Jr.

Posted: Jan. 31, 2019

The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association is sponsoring a stall at the New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program facility in Lexington, Ky., and it has been named in honor of the late Rick Violette Jr., who passed away Oct. 21, 2018.

An accomplished trainer and former president of NYTHA, Violette was a steadfast supporter of New York’s horsemen and backstretch workers. He also believed passionately in aftercare for retiring Thoroughbred racehorses, having created the TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program and NYTHA’s TAKE THE LEAD Thoroughbred Retirement Program.

Violette, also the longtime President of the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, also served as a founding board member of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, the industry’s aftercare accreditation organization.

“We are deeply thankful to NYTHA for naming a stall at our Mereworth Farm location in honor of Rick,” said Anna Ford, New Vocations Thoroughbred Program Director. “Rick was an avid supporter of Thoroughbred aftercare and he became a wonderful friend as well as advocate for our program; he was always excited to hear how we were growing and expanding.

“I know he would be extremely pleased with this generous tribute from NYTHA—hundreds of retiring racehorses will be housed in this stall over the coming years as they begin transitional training for second careers. I know in my heart he would be profoundly happy to know the impact of his legacy.”

Said NYTHA Executive Director Andy Belfiore: “There has been a sea change in the racing industry’s outlook on aftercare in the last eight years, and Rick was at the forefront of that transformation. He recognized the importance of the work done by organizations like New Vocations, and the need to throw the weight of our industry behind their efforts.

“Rick was never one to look for accolades, but he was a difference-maker. Naming this stall in his honor is just a small token of our immeasurable appreciation for his work on behalf of retired racehorses.”

TAKE THE LEAD has partnered with New Vocations for the last six years. New Vocations has taken in more than 250 retired racehorses from the program and given them rehabilitation, retraining and rehoming services into qualified, loving homes.