Just before the Christmas break, Horse Racing Ireland announced a reorganization of its senior management team with the appointment of John Osborne (pictured below) to the new position of Director of Equine Welfare and Bloodstock, and Paul Dermody (pictured above) taking over the position of Chief Executive of HRI Racecourses.
The appointments have been made in order to align the senior management team within Horse Racing Ireland with the strategic ambitions of the organisation.
“We are fortunate to have someone with the commercial and marketing experience of Paul Dermody to step into the position of Chief Executive of HRI Racecourses,” said HRI CEO Brian Kavanagh.
“Since being appointed as Horse Racing Ireland Commercial and Marketing Director in 2017, Paul has shown that he has the full range of relevant skills and experience to add this new role to his brief.”
A native of Dunboyne, County Meath, Dermody joined Horse Racing Ireland having held the same position of Commercial and Marketing Director with Leinster Rugby and having previously served as Commercial and Sponsorship Manager with the GAA.
“I am very excited to be taking on the CEO HRI Racecourses role,” said Dermody.
“I look forward to working closely with the teams at Leopardstown, Fairyhouse, Navan and Tipperary to showcase the best of Irish racing for racegoers and industry stakeholders alike.”
“With the variety of racing hosted at these four racecourses, we have an integral role to play in growing the profile of our sport, enhancing the experience of going racing and ultimately increasing attendances.”
“I hope to leverage my commercial experience in racing to date, as well as in previous roles at Leinster Rugby and the GAA, to support the individual racecourses to grow their business and continue to play integral roles in the communities they exist in.”
John Osborne will move over to the Equine Welfare brief having served as CEO of the Racecourse division since 2017.
The Kildare native has held a number of important positions in the racing and bloodstock industry. He is a former Chairman of County Kildare Fáilte and a former Chief Executive of the Irish National Stud.
“HRI recognizes that we must have the highest standards of care for both people and horses in this industry,” he said.
“I am delighted to be given the opportunity to ensure that everything we do meets the high expectations of all who look on. If our horses could talk, I would like to think they would say ‘a racehorse has a life well lived.'”
“Horse welfare is the single biggest issue facing racing authorities worldwide and John’s appointment reflects the priority which the Board of Horse Racing Ireland are putting on it,” added Brian Kavanagh.
“John’s vast experience in the racing and breeding industry, together with his formal qualifications as a veterinary surgeon, means he will bring a unique set of skills to the area that will be a priority for Horse Racing Ireland and the industry in 2020.”
“He will also have responsibility for HRI’s liaison with the bloodstock industry, including oversight of Irish Thoroughbred Marketing.”
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