Brian Kavanagh’s 20-year tenure as Horse Racing Ireland’s Chief Executive will end in September upon the conclusion of his contract. The Irish governing board have already begun the search for his successor.

The first individual to be Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland when appointed to the role in 2001, Kavanagh has played an influential role in the development of the Irish thoroughbred and breeding industries.

Kavanagh said: “It has been a privilege to serve as Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland to work under three different chairmen who each promoted a strategic vision for the Irish horseracing 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. I would like to pay particular tribute to the Board members and staff of Horse Racing Ireland, past and present, whose commitment and dedication to the improvement of the industry has been a constant during my time as Chief Executive.

“Last week was a good week for racing, but we cannot rest on our laurels and there is much work to do between now and September. 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.”

Nicky Hartery, Chairman of Horse Racing Ireland, added: “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.

“His knowledge and expertise, at home and abroad, will no doubt ensure that Brian will continue to play a significant part in the industry, and we wish him well.”