Billy Koch was appointed by the Thoroughbred Owners of California at its Jan. 6 meeting to fill a vacant slot on its board.Koch will complete a board term that expires June 30. The opening was created when Ron Charles stepped down in November to become director of California racing for Magna Entertanment Corp. "I really look forward to joining the board," said Koch. "Ed Friendly (TOC founding director and chairman) was a good friend of mine, and I appreciate all the contributions that TOC has made. Hopefully I can contribute something now and for a long time to come."
With his partner Marc Madnick, the 35-year-old Koch manages the Little Red Feather Racing syndicate, which currently owns seven horses including Eclipse Award nominee Singletary, winner of the 2004 NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT). Koch started going to the races when he was five years old with his grandfather, the well-known industry member and movie magnate, Howard W. Koch., he said, adding "and now everything I am doing is to hopefully continue my grandfather's legacy."
Koch and Madnick started their first partnership in 1992. Their syndicate currently averages about 60 partners from all walks of life, including his 85-year-old grandmother. A graduate of Northwestern University, where he majored in Radio, Television and Film, Koch worked in visual effects before forming Final Draft Productions, a film production company in Agoura, Calif., with Madnick. He is married to Kathy Kaehler, NBC's Today Show fitness consultant. They have three sons.
"Hopefully, I will be able to work, not only with the members of TOC, but with tracks, jockeys, owners, and other organizations to continue to better serve our industry. I love the sport, and my goal is to get new people involved," he said, "and I hope to contribute, to be creative, to come up with ideas that improve the popularity of the game we all love and are passionate about."