Passed Away On: 07/27/2018
Horseman John Andreini, 90, died of a brain aneurysm on Friday, July 27. (Obituary courtesy of AQHA)
Funeral services were set Saturday, August 4. A funeral mass at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, 1310 Bayswater Avenue, Burlingame, California. Friends and family were invited to attend a Rosary at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, August 3, at Crosby N. Gray Funeral Home, 2 Park Road, Burlingame.
Husband of Linda Andreini. Father to Marc, Peter, Lisa, Tia, Adam and Adrianna. Grandfather to 5 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. Brothers Georgio and Romano and sister Giovanna also survive him.
“For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23-7.
A giant of a man whose accomplishments coupled with self-sacrifice and generosity and a spirit to serve others has inspired countless individuals to reach a higher calling in life.
Born in Los Angeles, California shortly before moving to San Mateo, John attended St. Catherine’s grade school and San Mateo High School until leaving to join the Merchant Marines at age 17 during World War II, serving in the South Pacific in Iwo Jima for two years.
Upon returning from the war, John settled down and started a family working two and three jobs at a time to make ends meet. This early pressure was the beginning of John’s drive to succeed. With help and advice from his father, Giovanni (who was born in 1888 in Florence Italy and immigrated to Los Angeles before World War I), John decided to launch his first business at age 23. John’s following list of accomplishments quickly became his platform for a lifetime of good deeds and service to others. As an employer of hundreds of people whose careers have flourished, as a mentor and a positive role model, he inspired so many he came into contact with throughout his life. He was a man of his word, tireless worker, and had a core of integrity.
He will be sorely missed but never forgotten.
Andreini, who was based in San Mateo, California, has owned and bred racing American Quarter Horses for more than 40 years and was the recipient of the 2008 Gordon Crone Special Achievement Award. He was an AQHA Director Emeritus and served many times on the AQHA Racing Council. Andreini owned the 2,600-acre JL Ranch in the Diablo Mountain Range of California’s north coast, and was also very involved in the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing Association and was a partner in the Los Alamitos Equine Sale. He was appointed by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to serve two terms as one of seven California Horse Racing Commissioners.
He raced champion Jumping Tac Flash ($147,065), and in his own name he has bred horses who have earned more than $6.1 million, including the likes of Volcom ($430,433), Deefirst ($319,029), Exquisite Stride ($278,883), JM Mister Destiny ($274,369), We Like Corona ($270,687), Make A Secret ($267,605), and many more.
“I can’t express what an incredible loss this is to the racing industry,” said Ed Allred, the owner of Los Alamitos Race Course. “He was a giant in Quarter Horse racing. All the wonderful things you’ll hear about John Andreini are all true. He helped Los Alamitos Race Course in so many ways. When we were facing difficulties with worker’s compensation coverage, John helped us greatly. He helped us create the framework for Finish Line Insurance Group. I was looking forward to spending some time with him on California Breeders Champions Night tomorrow night. He was such a distinguished gentleman in every way.”
“John was always looking to the future,” said Vince Genco, a friend and longtime business partner in Quarter Horse racing. “I don’t know anybody that had more passion for the sport and more enthusiasm to make it better. He bought part of a racetrack when he was 90, that tells you right there how much passion he had and much he enjoyed racing. He was always looking for a good mare. We did a lot of fun things and enjoyed a lot of great races together.
“The great Bill Verdugo told me that there are guys you can party with and guys you can go out and do business with, but very few you can do both with. John Andreini was one of those guys. He was such a great role model. He had such a positive attitude and always such enthusiasm for the sport. Just the other day we were at his ranch looking at the babies. He was so excited about his yearlings and weanlings. We would go out to his ranch four or five times a year. It was an honor to spend time with him and a privilege to have had some opportunities to sit down with him and Dr. Allred and listen to them talk about the sport. I’ll miss him dearly. It’s a sad day today.”
Andreini first entered the equine world in 1965 when one of his best customers at the time invited him to take part in the Rancho Vistadores annual trail ride. He accepted the invitation and went on the trail ride that year. Horses became a major part of his life from that moment on. Race horse ownership soon followed in 1968 when Andreini met Los Alamitos trainer Judd Morse. The two raced horses together at Los Alamitos. Andreini would eventually have horses with legendary trainer Blane Schvaneveldt, who would encourage Andreini to spend $175,000 for a breeding share of First Down Dash, who would go on to become the sport’s all-time leading sire. Andreini owned shares of several other top stallions over the years, including the likes Mr Jess Perry, Walk Thru Fire, Corona Cartel, Separatist, One Famous Eagle, Valiant Hero and more.
“I can’t think of another person that supported Los Alamitos Race Course, the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing Association, and the American Quarter Horse Association at a local and national level more than John Andreini,” said Dominic ‘Bud’ Alessio, the president of PCQHRA. “He was also such a fabulous person. If you needed his helped or asked him to do something, he did it. He’s irreplaceable.”
Andreini was the founder, Chairman of the Board, and CEO of Andreini & Company, which he established in 1951. He built his company into one of the largest, privately held insurance brokerage firms in the United States. The company has 11 offices located throughout California as well as, Oklahoma, Texas and North Carolina. Today his company employs over 200 insurance professionals. The company consistently ranks in the top 50 independently owned insurance brokers and in the top 100 of all United States Insurance Brokers.
He was one of four partners in All American Ruidoso Downs Racing, LLC (AARD) and All American Ruidoso Horse Sales, LLC (AARHS). These companies operate Ruidoso Downs Race Track, the Billy the Kid Casino, and the Ruidoso Horse Sale Company. They purchased AARD and AARHS in October 2017.
He also established family owned and operated grape growing operations covering some 3,000 acres throughout California’s Central Valley under the names of L&J Farms and Cortona Vineyard, and owned JSJ Harvesting, an independent wine grape harvesting company serving vineyards in the Central Valley of California. (BenitoLink note: Andreini family owns a thoroughbred ranch in southern San Benito County.)
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the All American Ruidoso Downs Foundation – John Andreini Scholarship Fund, PO Box 449, Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico 88346, in memory of John Andreini.
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