NTRA elects new Chairman, creates Executive Committee

By: Tom LaMarra

Posted: Oct. 1, 2018

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has a new chairman of the board, and the organization has also created an Executive Committee, according to a release.

Bill Thomason, President and Chief Executive Officer of Keeneland, was elected chair during the organization’s third-quarter Board of Directors meeting Sept. 27. Four new board members were elected: Glen Berman, Executive Director of the Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, will fill a new seat given the fact the Florida HBPA has joined the NTRA; Jim Gagliano, President and Chief Operating Officer of The Jockey Club, replaces Robert Clay in that organization’s seat; Josh Rubenstein, President of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, replaces Del Mar executive Craig Dado; and Mike Ziegler, Executive Director of Racing for Churchill Downs Inc., replaces Bill Mudd as the company’s board representative.

With the addition of the Florida HBPA there are now 16 board members, including NTRA President and CEO Alex Waldrop.

Executive Committee members are Thomason, who will chair the committee; Breeders’ Cup President and CEO Craig Fravel, who will serve as Vice Chairman; Greg Avioli, President and CEO of the Thoroughbred Owners of California; Alan Foreman, Chairman and CEO of the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association; and Ziegler.

“The NTRA remains one of the most important national organizations in horse racing,” Thomason said in the release. “The entire industry has realized the benefits of the NTRA’s legislative advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C. Likewise, programs like the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance are leading the way toward establishing a safer and fairer racing environment for all participants in our sport.

“I look forward to working on behalf of the NTRA with our board and many industry partners who share our commitment to Thoroughbred racing.”

Officials said they reaffirmed the core focus of the NTRA: legislative advocacy on the federal level, safety and integrity, marketing and member benefits programs, and communications.

The board also received updates on federal legislative activities including sports betting, credit card use for advance deposit wagering accounts, the impacts of new federal regulations modernizing the withholding and reporting of pari-mutuel winnings, prospects for inclusion of three-year depreciation of racehorses in any year-end tax extenders package, immigration reform, Horse PAC, and the potential impacts on the industry following the November mid-term elections.