Continuing its push to reform and modernize horseracing, The Stronach Group has announced that Chief Strategy Officer Aidan Butler – a longtime technology, horseracing and gaming executive who spearheaded reforms at Santa Anita during its winter meet – will additionally serve as Acting Executive Director of California Racing Operations.
“Aidan has played a critical role as we have advocated for changes that redefine our sport for the better,” said Belinda Stronach, Chairman and President of The Stronach Group. “California continues to be a key priority for our company and Aidan's presence on the ground will ensure that we continue to make progress addressing our industry's challenges toward the modernization of our sport.”
“Thoroughbred racing operations in California are at the forefront of the modernization of our sport and I am proud of the accomplishments that have been made across our racing and training programs,” said Tim Ritvo, Chief Operating Officer of The Stronach Group. “Aidan's on-site leadership in California will undoubtedly build on The Stronach Group's efforts in the state.”
Butler will be charged with codifying and building on the reforms initiated by The Stronach Group during its winter meet while continuing to oversee the company's modernization of the sport in the areas of horse population, ownership and technology.
“The past meet made clear that change and progress is a must in our sport – and I am proud that The Stronach Group and our industry partners have stepped up the commitment to putting horses first,” Butler said. “While we have made great strides, there is more work to done. I am confident that all stakeholders throughout California are committed to putting forth the safest sport possible and I look forward to working closely with them all.”
Originally from England, Butler first followed in his grandfather and father's footsteps to become a licensed bookmaker, before relocating to the United States. He is a seasoned executive with a background in innovation and advancement. He co-founded a sports technology company, Guardlab, Inc., and has served as Managing Director at Gilberts LLP where he was responsible for nationwide operations.
Since joining The Stronach Group in 2018, Butler has worked closely with industry partners across the country and in the state, including the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC), the California Thoroughbred Trainers (CTT) and the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, as well as the state's regulatory body, the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB).
A list of the reforms spearheaded by The Stronach Group can be found by visiting www.stronachgroup.com.
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