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Tetrick Goes Back To School

Published: April 21, 2017 6:15 pm ET

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Before Tim Tetrick was a world-renowned harness racing driver, he was a member of the FFA. On Thursday night (April 20), Tetrick returned to those roots when he visited the Allentown High School chapter of the organization, which was formerly known by its full name, Future Farmers of America.

Tetrick participated in FFA all four years at Fairfield High School in southern Illinois. He served as the group’s vice president and received a college scholarship for agricultural business through his involvement with the organization, although he decided to pursue a career in racing.

“I think FFA is a great thing,” Tetrick said at Allentown’s monthly chapter meeting. “It helps introduce people to the agricultural world and it gives you a lot of opportunities. I had the opportunity to get my college education because of FFA if I wanted to go that way. I hooked on with the horses and so far it’s been a great career choice for me.

“I’ve been very fortunate. If I could do it again, I would probably go to school to get my education and have that part of my life. But I can’t regret what these horses have given to me, and to my family, providing for us.”

Among the benefits of FFA participation, Tetrick said, is meeting new people and learning to interact with others. The lessons he gleaned through FFA were helpful as Tetrick moved from an eighth-grade class with eight people to eventually living and racing in Chicago and later the New York metropolitan area.

“I lived in Chicago for eight or nine years,” Tetrick said, adding with a laugh, “I remember showing up in Chicago with my cowboy boots and belt buckle and when I left I had regular clothes on.

“When I first moved to the East Coast and I was racing at Yonkers and New York City, it was kind of the bright lights. It kind of scared me. But I’ve been able to fit in wherever I go. People are what you take from them. Everybody has good moments. I’m easy-going.”

Allentown High School is home to one of the nation’s top FFA programs. The group’s current president, Joanna Ricci, also comes from a family involved with Standardbred breeding and racing. She presented Tetrick with an FFA T-shirt at the conclusion of his talk.


Tim Tetrick posed for a photo with the Allentown High School FFA officers.

Prior to Tetrick speaking, the students watched a video detailing some of Tetrick’s numerous accomplishments on the racetrack. The 35-year-old Tetrick has already driven the winners of $178 million in purses, good for fifth most in harness racing history, and won 9,647 races, which is 15th best all time in North America.

“I’ve gotten to travel to Sweden, Australia, New Zealand with these horses,” said Tetrick, a four-time Driver of the Year Award winner. “It all starts with agriculture, whatever field you’re in. I caught on with the Standardbred business because of my family and FFA and it’s been very good to me. I’ve been very, very fortunate.”


This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit www.ustrotting.com.


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