Brett Risi has been named the regional operations manager at Vernon Downs and Tioga Downs.
The announcement was made Wednesday, Oct. 9 by Jason Settlemoir, the regional vice president for racing at those harness tracks and also at The Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Risi, 26, is originally from Ilion and has been the track handicapper at Vernon and Tioga since 2017.
“You could see his enthusiasm since day one,” said Settlemoir. “He has flourished in that position and is ready to step up and tackle his new endeavor.”
Risi, who will report directly to Settlemoir, will have new duties that include the overseeing of racing and simulcasts.
Risi began attending races at Vernon Downs at the age of eight. By the age of 15, he was attending races weekly with his father, Vincent, and his brother, Ryan. He became a devoted fan of harness racing and wanted to learn more about the sport, the announcement said.
At the announcement, Risi thanked Jeff Gural, chairman of American Racing and Entertainment, and Settlemoir for the opportunity.
“I want to thank Jason Settlemoir for being my mentor and being somebody I look up to in the industry, [someone] who has led me in growing into a role like this,” said Risi. “He is not only my friend but a teacher and coach who I could never thank enough for the opportunity of a lifetime.”
Risi also made mention of his family.
“My brother and father would pick me up when I was down. They told me to keep my head up and my time would come.” Additionally, Risi thanked his girlfriend, Jaci, and his stepson, Lucas. “Jaci always told me to never give up my dream.”
Risi will begin his new job immediately and will spend time at both Tioga Dows and Vernon Downs.