Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) is on the lookout for a new CEO, as current CEO Brian Kavanagh has revealed that he will be stepping down in September.
During his time as CEO of Ireland’s horse racing regulatory body, Kavanagh oversaw a number of significant achievements and obstacles, including the introduction of the country’s new betting tax scheme, which closely mirrored the POC regime implemented in the UK in December 2014.
His other accomplishments include the sport’s continued growth and uptake of its total income stream, with the HRI announcing a 6.6 percent rise in profitability, a critical turning point for Irish horse racing, which had seen a 75 percent decrease in the preceding ten years.
Off-course betting duty proceeds of €95 million were raised by the government in 2019 as a result of the improvements in tax arrangements and the financial turnaround, which made a substantial boost to the Irish economy.
Kavanagh remarked: “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.”
Under Kavanagh’s direction
Furthermore, Kavanagh directed Irish horse racing through the chaotic year of 2020, overcoming obstacles such as the coronavirus pandemic, which caused racetracks around the world to shutter their doors to fans, and the diplomatic repercussions of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union.
Kavanagh continued: “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.”
The HRI and Irish broadcaster Raidió Teilifs Éireann (RTÉ) reached an arrangement that aided the sporting revival from the COVID-19, significantly increasing media programming and total viewership.
Chairman of the HRI, Nicky Hartery, said: “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.”
The HRI will launch its recruitment push on March 26th, and applications will be approved until April 19th.