Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) has announced the appointment of John Osborne to the position of chief executive of HRI Racecourses Ltd. He will be leaving an eight-year tenure at Irish National Stud where he was CEO.

In his new position, which will take effect from July 1, 2017, Osborne will be responsible for all racecourse activity, including property, health and safety, finance, marketing, strategy and catering. He will be required to drive commerciality, sponsorship and the entertainment experience for customers at the racecourses.

Osborne has held a number of high-profile positions in the racing and bloodstock industry, including chairman of County Kildare Fáilte and chief executive of the Irish National Stud. His new appointment will strengthen the senior management team of HRI.

“We are delighted to appoint John to the position of CEO of HRI Racecourses Ltd,” announced Brian Kavanagh, chief executive of HRI. “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.”

Osborne headed the Irish National Stud during the period that they went from a significant loss maker to a profitable operation. Today, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country.

“Whilst I will be sad, after eight breeding seasons, to leave the team which has made the National Stud the showcase it is now, 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,” stated Osbourne.