Horse Racing

John Osborne to join Horse Racing Ireland as Chief Executive of HRI Racecourses

Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) today announced the appointment of John Osborne to the position of Chief Executive of HRI Racecourses Ltd.  The appointment will strengthen the senior management team within Horse Racing Ireland to ensure delivery on its strategic ambitions for the organisation and the industry.

HRI Chief Executive, Brian Kavanagh, stated: “We are delighted to appoint John to the position of CEO of HRI Racecourses Ltd.  He will shortly conclude a very successful spell as Chief Executive of the Irish National Stud and will bring his knowledge, experience and unique skillset to this position.  John has done an exceptional job at the Irish National Stud and will make a significant contribution to the work of HRI over the coming years.”

HRI owned racecourses stage 91 fixtures a year and have a combined annual turnover of just under €15m.  Working with the racecourse management, John will be responsible for all racecourse activities including strategy, finance, marketing, property, catering and health and safety.  He will take up the position on July 1st 2017.

John hails from Kildare and since graduating from University College Dublin in 1987, has held a number of important positions in the racing and bloodstock industry.  He is a former Chairman of County Kildare Fáilte.  During his time as Chief Executive, the Irish National Stud has been turned from a significant loss maker to a profitable enterprise and is now one of the country’s most significant tourist attractions.

John Osborne said: “Whilst I will be sad, after eight breeding seasons, to leave the team which has made the National Stud the showcase it now is, I relish the new challenges which the role of CEO of HRI Racecourses Ltd presents and I look forward to helping Irish racing maintain its position as a leader in the thoroughbred world.”

In conclusion, Brian Kavanagh remarked: “The dynamic global environment is creating both opportunities and challenges for our sector, none more so than on the racecourse.  Racecourses are in the entertainment business and John’s unique and valuable skillset will be of huge benefit in driving commerciality, sponsorship, and the customer experience at all of our tracks.  I very much look forward to working with him.”