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George Casale wins Monticello-Goshen USHWA's Amy Bull Crist Award

George Casale wins Monticello-Goshen USHWA's Amy Bull Crist Award
Tuesday, November 04, 2014 - by Chris Wittstruck, for the Monticello-Goshen Chapter USHWA

Monticello, NY --- As a daughter of privilege, Amy Bull Crist could have rested on the laurels of her lineage. Rather, this remarkable first lady of Orange County spent her entire life serving the interests of others. It is thus fitting that George Casale, a tireless advocate for our industry and other worthy endeavors, should be the 2014 recipient of the award named in her memory.

On Nov. 16 at the 56th annual awards banquet of the Monticello-Goshen Chapter USHWA, Casale will be the 31st recipient of the chapter's Amy Bull Crist Distinguished Service Award.

USHWA photo

George Casale

George N. Casale received his bachelor's degree from St. Francis College, a master's from Long Island University and his juris doctorate from the University of New Hampshire School of Law. For more than 35 years, George enjoyed a rewarding career as an insurance executive and practicing attorney. His work and leadership positions in various professional societies led George to places around the globe. His last employment was as a partner in Rivkin Radler LLP, Long Island’s largest law firm.

Despite the time and intensity of George's career, he always found time for those things that were foremost to him: Family, friends, service…and harness racing.

A lifelong horse enthusiast who as a young boy marveled at the western movie genre on his television screen in Bay Ridge, Casale formed Brooklyn Cowboy Farms, a training and boarding center in Farmingdale, N.J. From this facility, George honed his skills as an amateur driver. The hard work paid off, as George was the Monticello-Goshen Chapter's 2004 Amateur Driver of the Year, as well as a three-time victor in the American Harness Club finals.

George, however, is much more than an owner-driver. For more than ten years, he served as the Executive Director of the Standardbred Owners Association of New York. Here, he championed the health, well-being and economic wherewithal of countless drivers, trainers, grooms and owners competing in New York. He was an all-important point person in negotiations with the New York State legislature, especially its insurance and workers compensation committees, as well as with the former New York State Racing and Wagering Board.

As George's time commitments have lessened in retirement, his dedication to our industry has strengthened. Casale presently serves as the Vice-President of Goshen Historic Track and as volunteer counsel to the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame. He is a frequent speaker on behalf of the Historic Track and Museum before Kiwanis clubs, chambers of commerce, schools and anywhere else he can share his love and knowledge of Goshen's favorite sport with others. He is also a USTA certified judge and serves in the stand during the July Grand Circuit meet.

Yet, as to his spirit of selfless altruism, George is no one-trick pony. As former Chairman of the Board for Daytop Village and Trustee of Daytop International, Casale fostered the drug and alcohol recovery of countless teens and young adults. As a member of Hofstra University's Paralegal Advisory Board, he followed in Amy Bull Crist's footsteps as an education advocate. A licensed pilot, George is a past President of the Orange County Pilots Association.

George is married for nearly 50 years to his beloved Anita. They have two sons, Thomas and George, and three grandchildren, Angelina, Christina and Sabrina. While home is Staten Island, the young gals love spending time with their grandparents at George and Anita's second home, bordering on, where else, the far turn of the Goshen Historic Track.

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