The Board of Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) was established through the Horse and Greyhound Act 2001. Under the terms of the Horse Racing Ireland Act 2016, the Board of HRI consists of a Chairman and 13 ordinary members, representing key sectors of the Irish racing and breeding industry.
*As of January 2024, there are currently two vacancies on the Board of HRI.
Nicky Hartery was appointed by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D. to serve as Chairman of the Board of Horse Racing Ireland in May of 2018.
Nicky has a lifelong interest in horses and is the owner of Caherass Stud in County Limerick. Nicky is Chairman of the Musgrave Group, the Irish food wholesaler and the current President and CEO of Prodigium, a consultancy and business advisory firm. In the past Nicky has held senior management positions with a number of international companies including Dell Computers, Eastman Kodak, EMEA, Verbatim Corporation and General Electric.
Caroline Corballis is a member of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board and was appointed to the Board of Horse Racing Ireland in March 2023. Caroline served on the Turf Club Licensing Committee from 2005-2014 and on the INHSC Point-to-Point Committee. She chaired the IHRB’s Stewarding Committee from 2017-2021 and was an IHRB Board Member from 2018-2021.
Caroline chairs the Committee of Management for The Drogheda Memorial Trust and is a Director of the Jockey’s Accident Fund CLG. She grew up on her family’s Abbey Lodge Stud farm, which was responsible for breeding dual Oaks winner, Blue Wind. She was a director of the Irish Horse Welfare Trust from 2017 to 2019.
Ger Flynn has worked in the racing industry for 34 years. Ger joined the Irish Stablestaff Association in 2004 and was elected Chairperson of the Association in 2019 to present. Ger is also a member of his local Coan Tidy Towns Committee and Coan Redevelopment Committee.
Chair, HRI Industry Services Committee
Carol Nolan is Chair of the HRI Industry Services Committee which was established to representing the interests of those employed in the industry. This Committee includes nominees from SIPTU, Mandate, Irish Jockeys Association, Irish Stable Staff Association and Horse Racing Ireland representing persons employed in the horseracing industry, stable staff and jockeys and qualified riders. Carol is HRI’s Director of People & Industry Education and oversees the activities carried out by HRI in relation to the support and development of education and training opportunities at every level of the industry.
Laurence McFerran is a member of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board. A retired HR/IR Executive, he was elected to the Irish National Hunt Steeplechase Committee in 2010 followed by election to the Turf Club in 2013. He is well known in racing circles and currently he is Chairman of the Stewards at Down Royal and Joint Chairman of the Curragh Racecourse Stewards. He serves on the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board's Disciplinary Panel, Licensing Committee and was Chairman of the Finance Committee.
Thoroughbred Breeders Nominee
Christy Grassick was nominated by the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders to the Board of Horse Racing Ireland. Christy has spent a lifetime in the industry having worked at Coolmore since 1976. Christy is on the boards of the Irish Equine Centre and RJ Goff, and a past Chairman of the ITBA.
Racehorse Trainers Nominee
Joseph O Brien was nominated by the Irish Racehorse Trainers to the Board of HRI on January 11th 2023. At just 24 years of age, Joseph became the youngest winning trainer of the Emirates Melbourne Cup and is currently one of Ireland's leading Flat trainers.
Conor O’Neill has served on the Board of Horse Racing Ireland since January 2019, nominated by the Association of Irish Racecourses (AIR). Conor was Manager of Limerick Racecourse from 2014 up to 2017. He then moved to Punchestown Racecourse to take the position of Commercial Manager and stayed in that role for two years before becoming CEO of Punchestown racecourse in June 2018.
Conor is also the Chairman of the Association of Irish Racecourses.
Racehorse Owners Nominee
Caren Walsh has served on the Board of Horse Racing Ireland since October 2019, nominated by the Association of Irish Racehorse Owners (AIRO). Caren has been an AIRO Council Member since 2013 and is currently Vice-Chairperson of the Association. Caren also serves on the Programmes and Fixtures Committee of Horse Racing Ireland and HRI’s Welfare Council.
Before moving to Ireland, Caren was the Catering & Hospitality Manager at Salisbury Racecourse in the UK. She also worked at Wincanton Racecourse on race days. Caren has horses in training in both Ireland and the UK.
Chair, HRI Betting Committee
Ministerial Appointee Northern Ireland
Robert Nixon was appointed by the Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to the Board of Horse Racing Ireland in August 2016. 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.
Robert 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.
Peter Nolan has served on the Board of HRI since November 2016. He is a finance specialist with extensive experience as a non-executive director and in governance, strategy, finance, risk management and compliance. His executive experience includes senior treasury roles with Rabobank International and with Kerry Group plc. He is a member of HRI’s Audit and Risk Committee and has served on a number of other HRI Board sub-committees.
Peter is a non-executive director of Western Union Payment Services Ireland Ltd., Western Union’s European retail payment services business. He was appointed a non-executive director of Quinn Insurance DAC (Under Administration) after the Company entered Administration. He is a non-executive director of The Educena Foundation, a charity which enables trusteeship in the voluntary post-primary education sector in Ireland. He was previously a non-executive director of the CCD, Ireland's world class international conference and event venue.