International Racing & Breeding Forum – Ask Your Question

ITBA Expo Forum on International Racing & Breeding
 takes place on Friday, 24th February 2012 in the Leopardstown Pavilion at This two hour questions and answers forum will be an interactive event.

It will have a global audience of invited guests and will be streamed live on the internet. Viewers will be able to pose any question or comment on any aspect of the international thoroughbred industry via many means of social media, including email, facebook and twitter.
The Panellists for ITBA Expo Forum is an impressive list of global expertise and opinion.
Carter Carnegie - Breeders’ Cup, Senior Vice President Sales and Business Development
Paul Fisher - Jockey Club Racecourses (UK), Group Managing Director
Mark Johnston - Leading British Trainer
Brian Kavanagh - CEO Horse Racing Ireland
Jim Nicholson - Board Member Horse Racing Ireland, Chairman Tote Ireland
John O’Connor - Managing Director Ballylinch Stud, President ITBA
Mark Player - International Breeding and Racing Consultant
We would encourage all breeders and thoroughbred enthusiast to pre-register with the ITBA pior to the Forum taking place and would welcome your comments and questions, which will go towards forming the direction and content of the Forum. To register, simply fill in the form below and the ITBA Team will be in touch with you soon.
The Panellists
Carter Carnegie is a graduate of University of Virginia and is currently Senior Vice President, Sales and Business Development, with the Breeders’ Cup. That role in addition to his previous position at U.S.-based Host Communications has raised his profile as an authority on marketing racing to a global audience.

Paul Fisher joined Jockey Club Racecourses in 2000 as Finance Director for its three London racecourses (then known as United Racecourses); Epsom Downs, Kempton Park and Sandown Park.  He was promoted to Managing Director of Kempton Park in 2005 and set a new direction for the racecourse following the opening of its new all-weather surface. Having successfully completed this project he was made Chief Operating Officer of Jockey Club Racecourses in 2008 and successfully steered them through a significant cost reduction exercise in advance of the recession and was the catalyst for the new commercial focus of The Jockey Club. Paul has recently been promoted to Group Managing Director, which see’s him retain primary responsibility for 14 of the largest racecourses in the country, including Aintree, Cheltenham, Epsom Downs and Newmarket as well as wider strategic responsibilities.

Mark Johnston is one of Britain’s leading trainers, having become the first Flat trainer to send out more than 200 winners in a season (2009) and then repeating the feat the following year.  He has trained more than 100 winners for 17 consecutive seasons, achieving success in Classics and numerous Group One races. He is a qualified veterinary surgeon and is respected for his opinions on how racing is administered and marketed.

Brian Kavanagh qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG in Dublin, but a passion for racing led him to work as the Turf Club’s Financial Controller in 1989. In 1995 he became general manager of the Curragh Racecourse and in 1999 Chief Executive of the Irish Turf Club. He was appointed to his present job as CEO of Horse Racing Ireland in December 2001. Horse Racing Ireland is responsible for the development, promotion, finance and administration of the industry in Ireland, operates the Tote and owns and manages a number of racecourses.

Jim Nicholson is a board member of Horse Racing Ireland and has been Chairman of Down Royal Racecourse for the past 18 years. He is chairman of Tote Ireland and has recently chaired the Strategic Marketing Group on Attendances at Irish Racecourses.

John O’Connor qualified as a vet from UCD in 1980 and went on to practice in both France and Australia before returning home as resident vet for Sean Doyle’s Baroda Stud. He was appointed resident vet and manager of Ballylinch Stud in 1988 and was made Managing Director in 2002.  John was Chairman of the ITBA from 2002- 2004 and is presently the President of the ITBA.  In addition to this Position, John is currently the Chairman of the ITBA Veterinary Committee.

Mark Player was head of International Development at the Hong Kong Jockey Club for six years. He has returned to Melbourne in the past year and has set up a bloodstock consultancy company advising on international racing and breeding. Part of his work involves recruiting horses to compete in the main international races.

Sally Ann Grassick

Moderator, Sally Ann Grassick comes from a strong Irish racing background but has been based in Chantilly since her move to France in 2007. Having gained experience behind the scenes with Channel 4 Racing and the
BBC, she currently works as a broadcast journalist in the International Racing Department of French racing channel Equidia.  She also writes as a freelance journalist and rides as an amateur jockey in her spare time.

International Breeding & Racing Forum
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