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Horse Racing Ireland CEO Kavanagh Announces Coming Retirement

After 20 years, Brian Kavanagh, the CEO of Horse Racing Ireland, announced that he would be stepping down as CEO this September 2021.

After 20 years, Brian Kavanagh, the CEO of Horse Racing Ireland, announced that he would be stepping down as CEO this September 2021.


Horse Racing Ireland is the commercial semi-state body responsible for the “governance, development, promotion and administration of thoroughbred racing in Ireland.” As CEO, Kavanagh was responsible for many milestones of the body. And not to mention that during his tenure, he was able to oversee and implement the UK’s updated betting tax framework.



Brian Kavanagh


Courtesy of The Irish Field 


Who is Brian Kavanagh?


Brian Kavanagh has been the CEO of the HRI since the date of its establishment in 2001. He has provided many achievements during his career. One of which is the continual expansion of horse racing as a sport. He also helped in the uptake of the overall revenue stream. Horse Racing Ireland was able to report a 6.6% increase in turnover. This is a historic increase because Irish horse racing had seen a 75% drop over the past ten years.


Aside from that, Kavanagh led the HRI through the challenging year of 2020. It also led it throughout the UK’s exit from the European Union.


As stated by him, “While Brexit and COVID-19 are currently providing significant challenges, there are wonderful opportunities facing the sector also. Our horses and our people are our greatest strength.”

Irish Horse Racing

Courtesy of SBC News


Brian Kavanagh On His Departure from Horse Racing Ireland


Kavanagh was the first chief executive of the HRI. Thus, people will remember and honour his legacy despite his retirement.


According to his statement, “It has been a privilege to serve as Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland and to work under three different Chairmen who each promoted a strategic vision for the Irish horse racing and breeding industries.


“It is a sector full of variety and of really talented people and I have nothing but good memories of the projects and people that I have dealt with on the way.”

His fellow workers also commend his incredible work integrity. According to the Chairman of the HRI, Nick Hartery, “I would like to thank Brian Kavanagh for 20 years of incredible service and deep commitment to Horse Racing Ireland and to the industry in Ireland.


“Brian was the first CEO of Horse Racing Ireland when appointed in 2001, and during his time he has played a huge role in Irish racing and breeding, enabling it to become a leader on the global stage while domestically overseeing the growth of a vital rural-based industry.”


Horse Racing Ireland will start its recruitment process for its chief executive on 26 March 2021. Additionally, there will be an acceptance for applications onwards until 19 April 2021.


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