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President's Awards Winners Announced

Published: February 6, 2015 2:50 pm ET

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U.S. Trotting Association President Phil Langley announced Friday that Ellen Taylor, Paul Fontaine, the Standardbred Owners Association of New York, represented by President Joe Faraldo and Executive Director Alex Dadoyan, and Yonkers Raceway, represented by Vice President and General Manager Robert Galterio, are the recipients of the annual USTA President’s Awards.

Langley will make the presentations at the USTA Board of Director’s Recognition Luncheon at the Hilton Columbus at Easton (Ohio) on Sunday (March 15).

Ellen Taylor is the executive director for the Harness Horse Youth Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to providing young people and their families educational opportunities with harness horses in order to foster the next generation of participants and fans. The Foundation has been making a difference in young people’s lives since 1976, and its programs include interactive learning experiences with these versatile animals, scholarship programs, and creation and distribution of educational materials.

“One thing we all agree on is the need to get young people involved in harness racing,” said Langley in announcing the awards. “No one is more active in this pursuit than Ellen Taylor. Every summer she travels thousands of miles conducting youth camps and does more than anyone to get and keep youngsters attracted to our sport through the Harness Horse Youth Foundation.”

Paul Fontaine, a partner in the law firm, Fontaine & Croll, Ltd. who served as deputy majority leader during his decade (1966-76) of service in the Rhode Island State Senate, holds and held key executive positions in major organizations in the harness racing industry.

He is the current president of Harness Tracks of America, was the former president of the Standardbred Owners Association of New England, and is a director and vice president of the Harness Horse Youth Foundation. He was elected to the U.S. Harness Writers Association New England Hall of Fame in 1995 and served on the USTA board of directors for more than 30 years, where he was chairman for seven years.

Fontaine has owned harness horses for more than 40 years, among them 2013 Hambletonian winner Royalty For Life and No No Yankee, winner of the inaugural Woodrow Wilson in 1977.

“Few have made a bigger imprint in so many areas of harness racing as Paul Fontaine has over several decades,” said Langley. “In addition to his contributions as a leader at numerous industry organizations, he has championed many voluntary causes and has been a very successful horse owner.”

Both the Standardbred Owners Association of New York and Yonkers Raceway are recipients of the President’s Award for their successful partnership with LeTrot and French PMU to simulcast Yonkers’ racing to France and other countries in Europe.

In addition to France, the signal is also sent to Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Luxemburg, Holland, Estonia, Malta and the Spanish Basque community.

The European response has been strong with more than $300,000 in average wagering per race.

“I know this was not something that happened overnight,” said Langley. “For more than a year Tim Rooney, Alex Dadoyan, Bob Galterio and Joe Faraldo worked to put this together. The success has been far greater than expected. They are still improving the product and their efforts are expected to culminate with a renewal of the International Trot this fall.”

President Joe Faraldo and Executive Director Alex Dadoyan will accept the award on behalf of the Standardbred Owners Association of New York and Yonkers Raceway Vice President and General Manager Robert Galterio will represent that track.


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