New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing has a new boss.
After a global search, the organisation today named experienced Australian administrator Bernard Saundry as their next chief executive.
"Bernard's vast knowledge and experience from the creation of Racing.com and negotiating media rights, will be advantageous to New Zealand racing," said board chairman Dr Alan Jackson. "His proven career in racing administration, club funding, building relationships with the jockey association and trainers and his experience with Country Racing will be invaluable."
"Mr Saundry is arguably one of Australasia's most experienced racing administrators and has spent the last 14 years in senior roles at Racing Victoria including Racing Development Director, Commercial Director, Chief Operating Officer, and the past four years as Chief Executive Officer."
"During Mr Sundry's tenure, he implemented a digital platform, negotiated broadcast rights, and entered into joint ventures. He was instrumental in developing a shared service model for clubs to create efficiencies, something the Board believes has potential in New Zealand."
Dr Jackson said thoroughbred racing in New Zealand "requires strong leadership" and Saundry "has the energy, experience and enthusiasm to make a material difference".
"He's well placed to build innovation and promote New Zealand racing to international markets."
Saundry said he was "honoured" to accept the role.
"Racing in NZ is an important contributor on the international racing and breeding stage," he said. "To work with the Board and staff in leading the future growth of NZ Thoroughbred Racing for all clubs, owners, breeders, trainers, jockeys, stable hands and racing fans is an opportunity I truly appreciate. Importantly the horse must always be a central focus in all our future planning."
Saundry has spent 37 years in race club administration and is a former chief executive of the Western Bulldogs AFL club.
Dr Jackson said there was a large number of applicants for the role which shows the degree of interest in New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing. Last week four shortlisted candidates were interviewed, two were New Zealanders and two were Australian.