Brian Kavanagh takes up Curragh posting
EHMF Chair Brian Kavanagh is to join the Curragh from this autumn after he steps down from running Horseracing Ireland. Nineteen years on from taking up the career-defining role at HRI, Kavanagh will leave the sport in Ireland in a considerably better condition than when he arrived.
The Curragh has duly snapped up Kavanagh to begin his new position in November, taking over from Pat Keogh.
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 to Brian leading the Curragh as we prepare for racing post-Covid world and growing the world class training ground facilities here at the Curragh together with the strong, committed team we have already in place.
“We also want to put on record how extremely grateful we are to Pat Keogh for the tremendous job he has done, and his leadership of the Curragh Racecourse and training grounds over the last two years.”
This is something of a step back in time for Kavanagh, who filled a similar role at the Curragh from 1994-99. “It’s a place I love, a magical place,” Kavanagh told the Racing Post on Friday. “I’m delighted to be going back, and the work that has been done on the training grounds and the racecourse in recent years provides a wonderful platform to build on. I’ve always said, of all the jobs I’ve done, my time there was one of the most enjoyable.”
The Curragh, recipient of an €81.2m development in order to re-open in 2019, still has some ground to make up in terms of winning over both spectators and racing professionals, neither of which embraced the new racecourse with alacrity. However, this looks like a challenge the versatile and communicative Kavanagh can readily overcome.