Akron, NY --- The Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association is proud to recognize five aspiring young reinsmen who have been competing in fair and qualifying races with the ultimate goal of obtaining their ‘P’ licenses and joining the driver colony in Western New York.
Jami Chatt (23), Jake Baumeister (22), Andrew Monti (18), Brittney Ohol (18) and Jon Mays (15) make up the Future Stars of western New York and will be honored in the winner’s circle during the “Night of Distinction” awards at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Dec. 8), which is the final night of racing there.
Jamie Chatt is a graduate of Oakfield-Alabama High School and SUNY Fredonia, where she received a degree in childhood education. She is the daughter of Cherie Haslip-Chatt, a former driver on the Western New York circuit and granddaughter of Fred Haslip, a longtime trainer/driver who raced at Batavia Downs and Buffalo Raceway from 1965 until semi-retiring in 2004.
Jake Baumeister is a 2008 graduate of Vernon-Verona-Sherrill High School and is also a third generation horseman as his grandfather Ronald and father Mike have both applied their trade in Western New York. The 22-year-old has worked for three years as a blacksmith.
Andrew Monti is a graduate of Canisius High School and is currently attending Canisius College. He is a third generation horseman following in the footsteps of father Darrin Monti and grandfathers Carl Monti and Don Zich, who were both longtime regulars on the WNY circuit.
Brittney Ohol is a 2011 graduate of Lockport High School and is currently attending Medaille College as a fulltime student enrolled in veterinary medicine. She now trains a four-horse stable following in the footsteps of her grandfather, longtime horseman Mike Ohol.
At 15, Jon Mays is the youngest of the group. The Williamsville East High School 10th grader hails from a family of Western New York horsemen. His father, Terry, and uncles Richie and Frank have been active on the Western New York circuit for many years. He is also the grandson of the late Frank Mays Sr.
The group plied their trade in a special Future Stars non-betting race held at Batavia Downs this past Columbus Day, which was won by Andrew Monti. The group continues to move closer to their goal and some may be driving under the lights as soon as next year.