March 12th, 2015, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced that Steve Koch has been named Executive Director of the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance. Koch will assume the new role April 6 and will be based out of the NTRA’s main office in his hometown of Lexington, Ky. As head of the Alliance’s operations, Koch will oversee the industry’s only accreditation program assuring the establishment and implementation of uniform standards for racetrack safety and integrity. Koch (pronounced “Cook”) comes to the NTRA with 15 years of industry experience, including the last seven spent as Vice President of Thoroughbred Racing for the Woodbine Entertainment Group. “Steve has built his reputation on maintaining high standards for safety and integrity at Woodbine. " Koch joined the team at Canada’s leading racetrack operator in 2003 and has held the titles Director of Racing, Director of Backstretch Operations, Manager of Backstretch Operations, and Projects Manager. “I’m very proud to join an organization as highly regarded as the NTRA,” said Koch. “Safety and integrity represent the most critical issues facing our sport and I look forward to helping the industry adopt the highest standards possible for the benefit of horses, riders and the betting public. Koch is the Alliance’s second executive director. He succeeds founding executive director Mike Ziegler, who left the NTRA in January to become Executive Director of Racing for Churchill Downs, Inc. Prior to joining Woodbine, Koch spent four years working for the Keeneland Association and he grew up as a horseman at Claiborne Farm. He holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from the University of Kentucky. The NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance is a standing organization whose purpose is to establish standards and practices to promote safety and integrity in horseracing and to secure their implementation.