New York owner, breeder and ace handicapper Joseph Appelbaum, the newly elected president of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, has been elected president of the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association.
Appelbaum, who was unanimously elected by the THA board of directors, succeeds longtime THA president Rick Violette Jr., who retired from the NYTHA board.
"Joe became active with the THA upon his election to the NYTHA Board three years ago, and he has impressed the THA board with his commitment to horsemen's leadership, backstretch causes and, most importantly, the need for racing to adapt for the future," THA chairman and chief executive officer Alan Foreman said. "Joe brings a fresh perspective, and his strong commitment to the THA's longstanding industry leadership and consensus-building efforts made the decision an easy one for the board."
"I'm humbled to be in leadership," Appelbaum said of his roles with NYTHA and the THA. "By sticking together, working hard and building coalitions, we're going to do it."
Violette was elected a director emeritus—the first time the THA has rendered such an honor—in recognition of his many contributions to the THA as well as NYTHA, for which he was president or a board member for more than two decades. As THA president he has played a key role in shaping policy and developing consensus both regionally and nationally.
The THA also honored NYTHA director Richard Schosberg, who was presented with the THA Unsung Hero Award for his heroic efforts during the humanitarian crisis at Belmont Park in January, when two power outages during the record cold wave threatened the 1,000 horses and 600 backstretch workers.
"This whole thing is a team effort," Schosberg said. "There's not one person deserves all the accolades. Joe was a terrific leader through it all, Andy Belfiore was unbelievable, and so many others chipped in to help alleviate the hardship."