Craig Fravel, since 2011 the President and Chief Executive Officer of Breeders’ Cup Limited, will leave his roles following this year’s World Championships Nov. 1 and 2 at Santa Anita to assume the position of Chief Executive Officer, Racing Operations, for The Stronach Group.
“I can think of no greater privilege than to have had the opportunity to preside over what I consider the greatest championships in Thoroughbred racing,” said Fravel. “Every race comprising the Breeders’ Cup World Championships provides the chance to witness the splendid horses that reflect the hard work of breeders, trainers, jockeys, owners and backstretch workers. It has been an honor to serve them all during my time at the Breeders’ Cup. I want to thank the women and men of the Breeders’ Cup for their dedication and passion for our event. My particular gratitude goes to the Breeders’ Cup Board led in recent years by Bill Farish and Fred Hertrich whose support has been invaluable. I now look forward to new and important challenges and opportunities and the chance to join my family back in California.”
In his new position, Fravel will assume management and oversight of all racing operations across racetracks and training facilities owned by The Stronach Group. He will be focused on the implementation and enforcement of global best practices and integrity standards for horse and rider safety in collaboration with key industry stakeholders, according to a release.
During his tenure at the Breeders’ Cup, Fravel developed and executed a long-term host site strategy and was instrumental in iconic racetracks such as Keeneland (2015) and Del Mar (2017) hosting the Breeders’ Cup for the first time. He also expanded international participation in the Breeders’ Cup to its highest levels in history and struck an unprecedented 10-year partnership with NBC Sports to televise the event through 2025. He is also credited with spearheading plans to increase horse safety and welfare efforts.
“On behalf of our Board and Members, we extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Craig for his outstanding leadership and enormous accomplishments as our President and CEO these past eight years,” said Breeders’ Cup Chairman, Fred Hertrich III. “His management and stewardship of the organization, not to mention his quick wit and calm demeanor, will be greatly missed by all of us. We wish Craig continued success in his new venture with one of our most valuable host site partners, The Stronach Group.”
Added Belinda Stronach, Chairman and President of The Stronach Group: “I am delighted to have Craig join our company at this pivotal moment in our sport. Craig’s stellar reputation and proven track record of leadership will enable us to further our goal to become North America’s preeminent horse racing organization as we work lock step with industry partners to prioritize horse and rider safety.”