Former NYRA Starter Brosseau Passes at 74

Richie Brosseau | photo courtesy Brosseau Family

Richard “Richie” Brosseau, the head starter at the NYRA tracks from 2003 to 2007, passed away Sept. 5. He was suffering from a number of illnesses, including leukemia.

A native of Montreal, Brosseau started out in harness racing before coming to the New York Thoroughbred tracks in the early 1970s. He accepted a job as an assistant starter in 1976 before working his way up to head position. He retired in 2007. In 2011, he became a U.S. citizen.

“He was a really, really good guy,” said Raymond DeStefano, who worked alongside Brosseau on the gate crew. “He never had an agenda. He was just a genuine person , a good person. He was very kind and he loved animals. At the racetrack, everybody just knew him as 'Frenchie.' This one really hurts.”

Brosseau was named head starter after the retirement of Bob Duncan.

He is survived by his children, daughter, Corine Rishkel, of Goshen, NY, son, Connor Brosseau of Chester, NY, and son-in-law, Joseph Rishkel IV of Goshen, NY, as well as his brother-in-law, Andre Gregoire, and beloved niece and nephew, Chantal and Stephane Gregoire, and their partners, Andree, Melanie, and Linda.

Funeral services are to be private.

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