Our Staff

Vanessa & Nadia Camperlengo, Co-founders

In the 2nd grade, Vanessa found her love of horses in 4-H, where she learned to ride and show horses. She would take care of horses after school on the family farm in upstate NY. Her mother would have her and her sisters write out pedigrees by hand – studying all the way back to eight generations!

 

Before attending college at Union College, Vanessa would work summers on the Saratoga backstretch for a variety of trainers, including Scotty Schulhofer! And while in medical school in New Orleans, Vanessa would spend as much time as she could at the Fair Grounds race track.

 

In 1996, Vanessa had her third daughter, Nadia. Named after Vanessa’s mother, Nadia also got involved with horses, but riding wasn’t her thing. Every Sunday since she can remember, Nadia would study pedigrees and genetics with her grandmother.

Nadia graduated from the University of Virginia in 2019 studying popular & visual culture – and finds ways to creatively integrate her knowledge of current trends with the mission of CLTA.

 

In 2017, Vanessa and Nadia co-founded CLTA. When they’re not working their full-time jobs, the mother-daughter pair dedicates all of their time to their nonprofit.

 

Together, Vanessa and Nadia are involved in a variety of racing syndicates, manage family broodmares & racing prospects, and, most importantly, work tirelessly to preserve the legacy of off-track Thoroughbreds.

Aleta Overby, Intake Coordinator

When other teenagers at the time worked as lifeguards or babysitters, Aleta’s first job at 16 was walking hots for John Parisella!

 

She graduated cum laude from Louisiana Tech University’s Racetrack Training Program, and became a licensed trainer in Louisiana. She would go on to receive a Master’s in Equine Nutrition at the University of Florida.

Her favorite horsey moment? When she bet on Onion to win the Whitney Stakes over Secretariat! As Aleta puts it, “I was only 10, and liked his name...then look what happened!”

Aleta has dedicated the past 24 years of her life teaching Equine Science and Chemistry at Louisiana Tech and high schools in her area. Currently, Aleta resides at her farm, Myrtlewood Farm, in Covington, LA, where she lives with her husband Mitch and her dear horses. As our Intake Coordinator, Aleta works closely with retraining and rehoming our horses.

Nina Camperlengo, Volunteer Coordinator

Thanks to her family, Nina was exposed to horse racing early in life. During college and medical school, you could find Nina doing farm work, hot walking, and grooming at Saratoga, Belmont, and Pimlico! But before all of that, Nina recalls reading the Daily Racing Form everyday during high school – to which she says, “thanks, Mom!”

 

Her favorite horse moment? Touring the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Yearling Sale one year with Olin Gentry Sr. and her mother – two geniuses when it came to talking pedigrees!

Currently, Nina lives in Tampa, FL and strives to balance her professional life as a primary care physician with as much horse racing as possible. She makes sure her grandson, Dean Luca, watches the races and reads the form with her – just as she did with her mother decades ago.

 

As Volunteer Coordinator, Nina manages all of our helping hands and educates our team of volunteers about our aftercare program!

Sandy Zaconick, Development Director

Sandy started with horses when she was only eight years old – and has dedicated her life to these sweet creatures ever since.

 

Her enlightening horse moment? Her first time at Saratoga Race Course when she saw Seattle Slew up close. In Sandy’s words, “that sealed the deal”.

Involved with the race track since 1977, Sandy has worked in breeding, training, and rehabilitation, and even managed her own farm for over 20 years. And now, she works as our Development Director, overseeing fundraising and outreach partnerships.