HORSE Racing Ireland (HRI) today announced the appointment of John Osborne to the position of Chief Executive of HRI Racecourses Ltd.
The appointment is set to strengthen the senior management team within Horse Racing Ireland to ensure delivery on its strategic ambitions for the organisation and the industry.
In February, Osborne announced that he was not going forward for a second term as chief executive of the Irish National Stud, a role he was appointed to in 2010.
Osborne steered the INS through a difficult period and the stud’s most recently published accounts returned a yearly profit of €2.5 million, up €700,000 on the previous year.
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.
At the announcement of his announcement, INS chairman Matt Dempsey paid tribute: “In over 40 years of dealing with the Irish public service, he encapsulates all that is best in terms of capacity and integrity.”
Speaking on his new role, 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, Osborne 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.
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 added: “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.”