Michael Osborne, from the Curragh, Co. Kildare, Ireland, takes over as Chairman of World Racing Championships Ltd from January this year, having been unanimously elected to the position at a meeting of the board in Dallas Texas on 29th October 2004.

He succeeds Mr James E. Bassett III, Keeneland, who retired from the position on 31st December 2004.  The Vice-Chairman, The Duke of Devonshire (Ascot), also retired on that date. A new Vice-Chairman and Executive Committee will be elected at the March meeting.

A veterinary surgeon by profession, Michael Osborne, 70, has become one of the leading personalities in the international thoroughbred industry after a lifetime’s work in thoroughbred breeding and racing establishments and with many of racing’s top administrative bodies, including the Turf Club,  Jockey Club (UK) and Horse Racing Ireland (HRI)

As Chairman of the Dubai World Cup Organising Committee from 1995 – 1999, he was one of the driving forces behind the inception of the Dubai World Cup, which remains the richest race worldwide. Having previously managed the Irish National Stud and North Ridge Farm in Kentucky, Michael Osborne was appointed by Sheikh Mohammed as manager of his stud farms in Ireland, a director of Darley Stud Management and Chief Executive of Kildangan Stud. He also continues as an adviser to the Emirates Racing Association, having been its Chief Executive from 1996-1999.

He was elected as a member of the Irish Turf Club in 1980 and served as Senior Steward from 1994 to 1997 during which time he was also a member of the Irish Horseracing Authority. He is currently Chairman of the Curragh Racecourse and Training Grounds as it prepares for a major re-development programme. 

He was appointed Chairman of Goffs Bloodstock Sales Company, Ireland, and served as Chairman of Goffs, France, from 2001 to 2004.  He also served on the board of Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) from 2001 – 2003 where he chaired the Fixtures Committee.

Commenting on his appointment Michael said:
“I was surprised and, on reflection, very honoured to be unanimously elected to the chairmanship of the World Racing Championships Ltd, a joint venture arrangement between most of the leading racecourses in the World.  With the support of the Turf Club and Horse Racing Ireland, I will make every effort to further develop horse racing at international level.”

The constituent organisations of the World Racing Championships Limited are: Arlington Park Racecourse, Moonee Valley Racing Club, Ascot Racecourse, Singapore Turf Club, Japan Racing Association, Woodbine Entertainment Group, France Galop, Hong Kong Jockey Club, the Baden Baden Internationaler Club and Horse Racing Ireland.

Outgoing Chairman James E. Bassett III said: “Michael Osborne is Ireland’s most prominent figure in thoroughbred racing.  He has served on numerous boards with great distinction in Ireland and internationally. His long-standing commitment to the World Series Racing Championship is widely recognised and I am certain that he will bring his unique talents to bear in developing the Series into the future.”

The World Racing Series 2005 begins with the Audemars Piguet QE II Cup in Hong Kong on 25th April and  runs throughout the year, taking in some of the top flat races in the world:

Ø Audemars Piguet QE II Cup on 24th April in Hong Kong
Ø Singapore Airlines International Cup on 15th May in Singapore
Ø King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes on 23rd July in Britain
Ø Arlington Million on 13th August in the US (date to be confirmed)
Ø Grosser Volkswagen Preis von Baden on 4th September in Germany
Ø Baileys Irish Champion Stakes on 10th September in Ireland
Ø Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Lucien Barriere on 2nd October in France
Ø Carlton Draught Cox Plate on 22nd October in Australia
Ø Pattison Canadian International on 23rd October in Canada
Ø Breeders’ Cup Classic “Powered by Dodge” on 29th October in the US
Ø John Deere Breeders’s Cup Turf on 29th October in the US
Ø Japan Cup on 27th November in Japan
Ø Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup on 11th December in Hong Kong

For further information contact Horse Racing Ireland:
Brian Kavanagh, CEO, Ph: + 353 45 842800
Tamarisk Doyle. PR Manger, Ph: + 353 45 842841, Mob: +353 872936357

Editor’s Note:

An image & detailed CV of Michael Osborne is available upon request.