Brian Kavanagh

New Chairman and 2022 European Flat Black-Type Programme Changes Announced by EPC

All Pattern and listed races staged in Europe in 2021 were reviewed by the European Pattern Committee (EPC) at their annual meeting, which was held virtually on Friday, Jan. 21. The EPC sanctioned 851 black-type races (854 in 2021) to be held in Europe in 2022, of which, 425 were group races (427 in 2021) and 426 listed races (427 in 2021), a reduction of three on 2021. Besides upgrading and downgraded races, the EPC also appointed Jason Morris, the Director of Racing at Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) to replace...

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Former Turf Club Chief Cahir O'Sullivan Passes Away

Former Chief Executive of the Irish Turf Club Cahir O'Sullivan passed away peacefully at his residence in Newbridge, Co. Kildare Tuesday. He was 86. O'Sullivan was head of Irish racing's regulatory body-or Keeper of the Match Book, as the post was then known as--from 1976 to 1999, he became a member of the Turf Club in 2000 and two years later was also appointed a member of the Irish National Hunt Steeplechase Committee. Managing director of a small manufacturing firm in Co. Limerick prior to joining the Irish Horseracing Regulatory...

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Grassick: Drugs Are Not Prevalent In Irish Racing

Speaking before the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee at the latest of a series of hearings prompted by trainer Jim Bolger's claim that there would be "a Lance Armstrong" in Irish racing, Irish Racehorse Trainers Association Chief Executive Michael Grassick said he has never been "approached or given information that there were illegal substances being used on horses in training." "In my previous life, before I took over the position as CEO of the trainers' association, I was a trainer for 35 years myself and never in my time as a trainer...

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IHRB Issues Strong Anti-Doping Statement

Following Irish trainer Jim Bolger voicing his concerns on doping in Irish racing this past weekend, a strong statement against doping was issued by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board on Monday evening. The statement read: "Following comments made recently, the IHRB can once again stress there is a zero-tolerance approach to doping in Irish racing and we operate to the highest level using LGC Laboratories in Newmarket, who are one of five International Federation Horseracing Authorities certified laboratories in the world, and the same laboratory used by the British Horseracing...

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Brian Kavanagh Named Curragh Chief Executive

Brian Kavanagh, whose 20-year tenure as chief executive officer of Horse Racing Ireland comes to an end upon the conclusion of his latest term in September, will in November take up the role of chief executive officer of The Curragh. Kavanagh takes over from Pat Keogh, who has been in the role since July of 2019. Padraig McManus, chairman of the board of The Curragh, said, "The board are looking forward to welcoming Brian into his new role as CEO of The Curragh Racecourse and training grounds, and look forward...

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Irish Derby Meeting First to Welcome Racegoers

The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby meeting on June 26 is expected to be the first racing fixture in the country to welcome up to 1,000 fans, the Taoiseach Micheal Martin confirmed Friday evening. Horse owners are expected to be allowed on course beginning June 7. The Irish Field was first to report the news. "We expect to be in a position to welcome owners back on track with effect from June 7," HRI Chief Executive Brian Kavanagh told the publication. "This would be a brilliant outcome as owners have...

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RTE Sport, HRI Agree To Three-Year Deal

RTE Sport and Horse Racing Ireland have agreed to a three-year broadcasting deal that will deliver a record 31 free-to-air live racing days in Ireland. The live racing broadcast days will rise to 32 in 2022 and 2023. Declan McBennett, group head of sport at RTE, said, "Horse racing is an integral part of the RTE Sport offering, and we are delighted to extend our partnership with Horse Racing Ireland and the racecourses. The trainers and jockeys in particular have proven repeatedly that they are at the very forefront of...

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Brian Kavanagh To Depart HRI

Brian Kavanagh, the first chief executive officer of Horse Racing Ireland appointed in 2001, will conclude his term with the organization at the end of his contract in September. HRI, the commercial semi-state body responsible for the overall governance, development, promotion and administration of thoroughbred racing in Ireland, will begin a recruitment campaign on Friday for the role of CEO. Nicky Hartery, chairman of Horse Racing Ireland, said, "I would like to thank Brian Kavanagh for 20 years of incredible service and deep commitment to Horse Racing Ireland and to...

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HRI Announces IRE Incentive Scheme
HRI Announces IRE Incentive Scheme

The IRE Incentive Scheme, which sets out to stimulate and fortify Irish Thoroughbred breeding, racing and sales, has been launched by Horse Racing Ireland (HRI). The scheme will award a bonus of €10,000 to any owner of Irish-bred winners of 150 selected races across the Irish Flat and National Hunt programmes which may then be redeemed at bloodstock auctions in Ireland. The first nominated race takes place Friday at Dundalk. Qualifying races will include 2-year-old fillies' maidens; 2-year-old auction maidens and median auction races; 3-year-old median auction maidens; and National...

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Irish Racing Figures Reveal Impact Of COVID

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was laid bare in Irish racing's 2020 figures, which were revealed by Horse Racing Ireland on Friday. The resilience of owners was a rare bright spot, with ownership remaining static and down just 0.5% in a year where owners largely could not go racing. Owner retention from 2019 to 2020 stood at 73.6%, down 1.5% from the previous year, and the number of racing clubs rose 6%. The number of horses in training in Ireland also rose for the fourth time in five years,...

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Irish-Trained Horses/Jockeys Will Not Compete in UK Due to Travel Ban
Irish-Trained Horses/Jockeys Will Not Compete in UK Due to Travel Ban

Following the news that the Irish Government has banned UK travel, no Irish-trained horses or Irish jockeys will compete in the UK through Dec. 31, Horse Racing Ireland announced on Tuesday. The travel ban will expire on New Year's Eve. In addition, declarations for UK-trained horses to race in Ireland will not be accepted during that time frame. "The concern from Government is very clear: these are exceptional times and a travel ban with the UK is a once-in-a-generation occurrence," said Horse Racing Ireland Chief Executive Brian Kavanagh. "Irish racing...

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HRI Releases 2021 Budget

Horse Racing Ireland's 2021 budget has been approved, with measures to combat the threats of COVID-19 and Brexit key among the priorities. Brian Kavanagh, chief executive of Horse Racing Ireland, said, "The HRI budget for 2021 is set in the context of two lifetime challenges hitting the sector simultaneously and the priority is to shield the industry from the impacts of both Covid-19 and Brexit, while being cognisant of the welfare of our horses and the people that work with them. Thanks to the effort of many, the finances of...

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