RACING and breeding in Ireland was in focus this week, and not for the right reasons. The highly effective CEO of the Irish National Stud is to step down, a poor reflection on the policy in Government bodies of not allowing people in such a position to be a candidate after they have completed two terms of contract. It is corporate governance gone haywire.

Apart from turning the fortunes of the stud around during his term of office, John Osborne’s departure from the role comes at a key time for the stud as they seek to find the natural successor to Invincible Spirit, their flagship sire. This is important from a strategic point of view. It was very interesting to see Minister Simon Coveney praise Osborne publicly on social media – yet it is Government policy that has effectively driven him out.