John Andreini

John Andreini

Inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2022.

2022 American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame inductee John Andreini

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A decent man, an honest guy–that was John Andreini, the founder, principal owner and CEO of Andreini & Co., one of the largest privately held brokerage firms in the United States.

A top-level breeder for more than 30 years, John in his own name raced the earners of more than $2.1 million while breeding the earners of more than $7.3 million. As an original member of the First Down Dash Syndicate, he bred Grade 1 winners such as First Down Dash sons Deefirst ($319,029) and Volcom ($430,433), the latter of which has sired the earners of more than $4 million.

With multiple partnerships and breeding shares in leading stallions Corona Cartel, Mr Jess Perry, One Famous Eagle and others, John bred, raced or owned numerous notable runners, including champion Jumping Tac Flash, Check Him Out, Fantastic Corona Jr, Dinastia Toll BRZ, Lady Tenaya and Jess Racy Eyes. Most of John’s mares lived on his J/L Ranch in Paicines, California.

Born November 10, 1927, in Los Angeles, Giovanni Aurelio Andreini was the son of an Italian immigrant who built an insurance business. Discipline came easy for the young man. John joined the United States Merchant Marines at age 17. Serving in the Pacific Theater, John transported cargo and troops to India, the Philippines, Iwo Jima and other islands.

“When I came back out of the service, my father asked me what I wanted to do,” John said. “I said, ‘I want to be in the insurance business just like you, Pop.’”

After the war, he married his first wife and went to night school, studying banking and law. He later worked for Bank of America as a bookkeeper and teller, and finally went into insurance.

John became involved in racing in 1968, first with trainer Judd Morse and later with trainer Blane Schvaneveldt, with whom he also partnered on the Schvaneveldt/Andreini yearling sales. He served as a commissioner of the California Horse Racing Board from 2006 to 2009, a partner in entities such as the Los Alamitos Equine Sale and a board member in the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing Association, where he led efforts to provide worker’s compensation coverage for horsemen and backstretch workers on California tracks. In 2003, he accepted PCQHRA’s Frank Vessels Sr. Award for contributions to Quarter Horse racing in the Golden State.

In 2008, John took home the AQHA Gordon Crone Memorial Award for national contributions to racing. Then, he was one of four partners that paved the path to the new era for Ruidoso Downs Race Track, the iconic New Mexico track that hosts Quarter Horse racing’s signature event, the All American Futurity (G1).

An AQHA director emeritus, John served on the AQHA Racing Council, Racing Committee and the American Quarter Horse Foundation Council. He was a donor to  the Colorado State University veterinary school for research on injures in Quarter Horse racing and made regular donations to the Race Track Chaplaincy of America. A board member of the Cow Palace in San Francisco, he also was a member of The Original Beef Eaters of America, which financially supports FFA, 4-H and college students.

More than anything else, it was on his and wife Linda’s 2,600-acre J/L Ranch where he found peace. John had children Marc, Peter, Lisa, Tia, Adrianna and Adam.

John died July 27, 2018, and AQHA renamed its racing recognition award the John Andreini Special Recognition Award.

“I don’t need any flags waving,” John said. “Just a decent man, just an honest guy–that’s what I’d like to be remembered as.”

He was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2022.


Biography updated as of August 2022.