NJ Assembly Speaker Coughlin Visits Fair Winds Farm

Speaker Craig Coughlin and Julie Miller listen as Heather Zitone gives her tour of Fair Winds Farm.
Published: June 6, 2024 03:35 pm EDT

New Jersey State Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin on Wednesday, June 5 visited Fair Winds Farm, where he interacted with mares and foals while taking a tour of the facility and gaining insight into the Standardbred breeding process.
Speaker Coughlin’s visit, which included a reception and fundraiser, was hosted by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey (SBOANJ) and the state’s Standardbred industry’s political action committee TrotPAC. Fair Winds Farm’s Heather Zitone provided the tour for Speaker Coughlin.
The event came as the New Jersey Legislature continues work on the state’s Fiscal Year 2025 budget, which includes an appropriation for horse racing purses for Standardbreds and Thoroughbreds. The SBOANJ has been meeting with legislators to get the appropriation, first introduced in 2019, extended through FY2029. The current fiscal year ends June 30.
Speaker Coughlin’s support was vital to the initial five-year, $100 million USD appropriation for the state’s horse racing industry that was approved by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Phil Murphy in 2019.
Among those joining Speaker Coughlin for Wednesday’s event were SBOANJ President Mark Ford as well as fellow officers Anthony Perretti, Mike Klau, Julie Miller and Al Ochsner. The group also included SBOANJ directors Bob Boni, Mike Gulotta, Mark Mullen and Chris Ryder, plus drivers Yannick Gingras, Dexter Dunn, Andrew McCarthy and Patrick Ryder and trainer Paul Stafford. Others from the industry to participate included John Campbell and Moira Fanning from the Hambletonian Society and Jason Settlemoir and Nick Salvi from The Meadowlands.
Members of the Monmouth County 4-H Club, led by equine science instructor Suzanne D’Ambrose, also met with Speaker Coughlin and discussed their involvement in equine activities and passion for working with horses.
A Democrat representing the 19th Legislative District in Middlesex County, Speaker Coughlin has served in the State Assembly since 2010. Speaker Coughlin’s responsibilities include scheduling meetings and determining which bills will be considered within the Assembly.

(SBOANJ; Photo of New Jersey State Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and trainer Julie Miller during the tour provided by Fair Winds Farm’s Heather Zitone)

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