THE STRONACH GROUP APPOINTS CHIEF STRATEGY OFFICER AIDAN BUTLER ACTING EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF CALIFORNIA RACING OPERATIONSAn expert in technology, horseracing and gaming, Butler will build on reforms at Santa Anita Park, Golden Gate Fields and throughout CaliforniaARCADIA, CA – Continuing its push to reform and modernize horseracing, The Stronach Group today 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.
New Delhi, Sep 14 (PTI) Still awaiting an apology from Pakistan over its players behaviour in last years Champions League hockey tournament, Hockey India president Narendra Batra today said he would love to have players from the neighbouring country in the HIL but not with the kind of conduct they displayed. Two players were handed a one-game ban and reprimanded by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) after the Pakistan team went on a rampage post their semi-final win against India in Bhubaneswar in December last year. Showing obscene gestures to the crowd, some players also took off their shirts in celebration. Batra insists that India have received no act of regret from Pakistan for the unfortunate incident. “I would love to have Pakistan players but not with the kind of behaviour they displayed in the Champions Trophy. And they have shown no regret of that incident in writing or otherwise. I dont want to politicise the issue but that kind of behaviour was unacceptable. Least we need an apology from them,” Batra said. Nine Pakistani players were part of the first edition of Hockey India League (HIL) in 2013 but had to leave the country before the start of the tournament following protests from a few political organisations. Since then no Pakistan player has been included in the three HIL editions so far. India though have benefited from the mega-event with quite a few international players rubbing shoulders with the national youngsters. And Batra is boastful of the HIL having a positive impact on Indian hockey. “Our aim at HIL is to form a pool of players for the future. We already have eight players from HIL in the national side. HIL has created heroes and a space for itself in the big world of cricket. “We have won the Asian Games gold after 16 years and were able to get the better of Pakistan in an Asian Games final after 48 years since 1966. So the national sport has certainly improved in the last four or five years and HIL is one of the reasons behind it,” said the HI president. Batra also informed that the senior and junior hockey set-up is on the verge of getting a boost by addition of more coaching staff. “The senior team will have a new analytical coach by November 1. The junior team will be getting a scientific advisor in a months time. The womens senior and junior team will also be getting an analytical coach and a scientific advisor respectively. So we are in the process of equipping our players with the best support staff for a bright future of the national game,” Batra said. MORE PTI FK SSC AHadvertisement