The Board Members of Horse Racing Ireland
Joe Keeling has served as Chairman of the Board of Horse Racing Ireland since March 2013, having been appointed by Minister for Agriculture, Food, the Marine and Defence, Mr Simon Coveney TD.
Joe previously built and managed Keeling's fruit company, which has been in his family since 1896. Joe was Chairman and CEO of the Keeling group of companies, a multi-national group employing approximately 2,000 people in Ireland, England and Holland.
Meta Osborne has served on the Board of Horse Racing Ireland since December 2013, representing the Irish
Horseracing Regulatory Board. She has been Senior Steward of the Irish
Horseracing Regulatory Board since the end of 2015. Meta is an equine vet with a focus on equine reproduction. With her husband, Dermot Cantillon, she co-owns Tinnakill House, a commercial stud-farm in Co. Laois which has produced three Group 1 winners.
Meta graduated from UCD with a degree in veterinary medicine and is a Past-President of the Irish Veterinary Association and Past-President of the Veterinary Council of Ireland. She is a Trustee of the Irish Veterinary Benevolent Fund and a member of the External Advisory Board of the School of Veterinary Medicine, UCD. She is also a member of the Veterinary Committee of the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders' Association.
Meta also serves on the Irish Equine Centre Committee, Audit Committee, Fixtures Committee and Programmes committee of Horse Racing Ireland.
Bernard Caldwell has served on the Board of Horse Racing Ireland since December 2008, representing persons employed directly in the industry. Bernard has been Chairman of the Irish Stablestaff Association since 2007.
Bernard serves on a number of HRI committees - the Audit Committee, the Foal Levy Committee, the Bookmakers Committee and is also on the Board of the Racing Academy and Centre of Education (RACE).
An elected member of Kildare County Council, Bernard is highly active in his local community and has received a Civic Award for contribution to the community. Bernard also serves on the Board of Leixlip and District Credit Union and he is Director of Leixlip Festival.
Industry Employees Nominee
Noel Cloake has served on the Board of Horse Racing Ireland since December 2005, representing persons employed in the industry. Noel is an Authorised Officer in the Betting Division of Horse Racing Ireland.
Noel is actively involved with the Racegoers Consultative Forum, which he has been Chairman of since it was established as a requirement of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Act 2001 'for the purpose of consultations relating to the operations of Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) in the context of desired developments in the horse racing industry generally as they affect the racegoer or service or facility user'.
Noel serves on a number of HRI committees - the Navan Racecourse Committee, the Fixtures Committee and the Programmes Committee.
Thoroughbred Breeders Nominee
Eimear Mulhern has served as a member of our Board since December 2013, representing the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders Association. Eimear is Chairman of Robert J Goff and Co. PLC and also chairs the Board of Goffs Bloodstock Sales. She is an established breeder and consignor through her Abbeville and Meadow Court Studs.
Eimear is a Committee Member of Irish Thoroughbred Marketing, Leopardstown Racecourse and an executive Council Member of the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders Association. She serves on the Board of the Mater Hospital Foundation.
Eimear has previously been Chairman of The Irish Thoroughbred Breeders Association, the European Breeders Association and Irish Thoroughbred Marketing. She has served as a Director of the Irish Horse Racing Authority, the Irish Equine Centre and Kildare's Racing Academy and Centre of Education (RACE).
Michael Halford has served on the Board of
Horse Racing (HRI) Ireland since May 2016, representing Irish Racehorse
Trainers. Michael is a leading Irish Flat trainer, based at Copper Beech
Stables close to Kildangan, County Kildare.
Michael was elected to the committee of the
Irish Racehorse Trainers Association (IRTA) in 2002 and has held the position
of Vice-Chairman since 2008. Michael has recently been appointed to the
Committee of Irish Thoroughbred Marketing (ITM) and the HRI Programmes
He also served on the ITM committee from
February 2005 to December 2007 and was previously a member of the HRI Flat
Programmes Working Group. As a representative of the IRTA, Michael was part of the
HRI Anti-Doping Task Force for the duration of the project in 2015/16.
Michael has held a trainers licence since
1983 and has had notable success as a trainer on the Curragh. He gained his
first Group 1 success with Casamento in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster in
2010 and received the Horse Racing Ireland Flat Award that year. He was
previously a very capable amateur rider and rode approximately 50 winners.
John Moloney has served on the Board of Horse Racing Ireland since December 2010, representing the racecourses. John was Manager of Galway Racecourse from 1989 up until he retired in 2015 and during that time he oversaw a significant period of development at the racecourse, including the construction of the Millennium and the Killanin Stands as well as building the success of the annual festival year on year.
John is Chairman of the Association of Irish Racecourses and is a member of the Irish
Horseracing Regulatory Board and the Irish National Hunt Steeplechase Committee (INHSC). He is Chairman of the Horse Racing Ireland Media Rights Committee and serves on the Fixtures, Programmes and Finance committees.
Racehorse Owners Nominee
James Gough has served on the Board of Horse Racing Ireland since March 2015, representing racehorse owners. He is an alumnus of the Honourable Society of King's Inns, the National College of Ireland, and University College Dublin.
James is a member of the Association of Irish Racehorse Owners (AIRO) and was previously the Vice-Chairman. He is also a member of the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders Association (ITBA), the Farmers Association, the Association of Compliance Officers in Ireland (ACOI), the Irish Centre for European Law (ICEL) and the Mediation Institute of Ireland (MII).
James was appointed to the office of Peace Commissioner by the Minister for Justice and appointed to the Office of Commissioner for Oaths, by the Chief Justice of Ireland. He also provides pro bono legal advice to Bradóg Inner City Youth Club.
INHS Committee Nominee
John Powell has served on the Board of
Horse Racing Ireland since May 2016, representing the Irish
Horseracing Regulatory Board and the
I.N.H.S. Committee. John is a Veterinary Surgeon by profession, having worked both
in private practice and with the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine.
A former President of the Veterinary
Council of Ireland, the Veterinary Officers Association and the Irish
Veterinary Association, John was awarded an honorary fellowship with the Royal
College of Veterinary Surgeons in London in 1993.
John became Senior Steward of the I.N.H.S.
Committee in December 2014, having become a member of the Irish
Horseracing Regulatory Board in
1994. He served as a Steward of the I.N.H.S. Committee between 1999 and 2002.
Authorised Bookmakers Nominee
Francis Hyland has served on the Board of Horse Racing Ireland since December 2005, as the Authorised Bookmakers Representative. Francis is the Honorary Secretary and former Chairman of the On-Course Bookmakers' Association and has been a racecourse bookmaker for over 40 years. He also serves on the Horse Racing Ireland Audit Committee.
Francis previously worked as a dealer on the London stock exchange for six years and he is the author of a number of books on horse racing.
Northern Ireland Representative
Nixon has served on the Board of Horse Racing Ireland since August 2016,
representing the Industry in Northern Ireland. A graduate of The University of
Leeds, he has been a livestock farmer in County Down and is the retired
proprietor of a floor coverings manufacturing business.
has had a long association with racing, both as a keen racegoer and an owner of
point-to-point and National Hunt horses. He is a Director of Downpatrick Racecourse
with particular interest in the financial aspects of the company.
Elizabeth Headon was appointed by the Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to the Board of Horse Racing Ireland in November 2016. Elizabeth is currently a non-executive director of Kenmare Resources
plc and Gibney Communications Ltd. She works as a corporate affairs
adviser with the Alliance for Racing and Breeding and Coolmore Stud, among
Elizabeth was previously a Director of public relations firm Murray
Consultants Ltd, Chief Executive of Digicel Foundation Haiti and held the
position of Corporate Communications Manager at Bord Bia.
Elizabeth qualified with an MBA from University College Dublin and
has a BA in English and French and an MA in English from NUI Galway. She is a
member of the Institute of Directors.
Peter Nolan was appointed by the Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to the Board of Horse Racing Ireland in November 2016. Peter is an experienced company director
whose board experience includes insurance, funds, treasury, aircraft leasing,
property and international business tourism. He is a trusted advisor and
finance specialist with extensive international experience in governance,
strategy, finance and risk management. His executive experience includes senior
treasury roles in banking with Rabobank International and in industry with
Kerry Group plc.
From 2012 to 2015, Peter was a
non-executive director of the CCD, Ireland's world class purpose-built
international conference and event venue. He is a non-executive director of
Quinn Insurance Ltd. (Under Administration), to which he was appointed in 2010
after the Company entered Administration. He is a non-executive director of The
Educena Foundation, a charity which enables trusteeship of Catholic
post-primary education in Ireland.
A business graduate of UCC, Peter is a
Fellow of ACT, a Fellow of CIMA and holds the Institute of Directors Diploma in
Sub-Committees of Horse Racing Ireland
Racegoers' Consultative Forum