01/16/2015 2:28PM

NTRA's Ziegler joins Churchill as racing executive

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Mike Ziegler, who has been the head of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association’s Safety and Integrity Alliance since its formation in 2009, has been hired for the newly created position of executive director of racing at Churchill Downs Inc., the company announced on Friday.

Ziegler has spent the past five years running a program that develops accreditation standards for racetracks and supervising onsite inspections for the program. In his new position, Ziegler will serve as a liaison between Churchill and the racing and breeding industries, Churchill said.

“Mike has long been a credible and knowledgeable voice within the racing industry, and we look forward to him bringing his wisdom and insight as he takes on this new role at CDI,” said William Mudd, CDI’s president and chief operating officer. Ziegler will report to Mudd.

While at the Safety and Integrity Alliance, Ziegler also served as the interim executive director of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, which was set up to accredit and distribute funding to retirement facilities. Prior to 2009, he worked as a general manager at Hollywood Park, Bay Meadows, and Santa Anita Park.

Churchill announced that it was forming the position of executive director of racing in October. The announcement said the official “will advocate for issues and policies within the racing and breeding industries that are important to CDI (i.e., medication and testing, safety, racehorse retirement, etc.).”